Lovely Engagement Session at Grand Teton National Park

June 4, 2022
Lovely Engagement Session at Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming Engagement

The Couple 

Shannon + Nick

Love Story

We met on bumble, chatted for a few days, then on a Thursday evening met for a drink, the Giants also happened to be playing that night, and I almost bailed so I could watch the game with my dad – really, really glad I didn’t bail, although I think we would have rescheduled and things would have gone pretty similarly. The Proposal (capital P because this was one of the best moments of my life and it took some serious help from family and really just one friend) – We had been dating for almost 4.5 years leading up to this, I knew it was time for a while, but I can be a bit eccentric and I was waiting for the perfect plan to pop up in my head. One of my best friends (whom I met at the YMCA) has a ranch in a small town between Houston and Fort Worth, Madisonville, TX – he had offered for us to stop by in the past, “I’ll leave a key under the mat, y’all go in and fix yourselves a cocktail!” (he’s a good ol’ boy), while we never took him up on that offer, it wasn’t until maybe 8 or 9 months later that the idea popped into my head – I will have Shannon’s immediate family and my immediate family hiding in the ranch house, we will pull over to “fix a drink,” I will propose as we are getting out of car/walking in, we get inside and it is a full-on celebration. After an overwhelming feeling of, “this is the best idea I have ever had,” I now needed to start making phone calls and finding out if this could actually work/what dates work for everyone/will her parents give me their blessing. My first call was to Randy, I was walking Boudin at the park, I’m sure I sounded like a maniac when Randy answered the phone and I just dove right into the plan – and wouldn’t ya know it, he was thrilled and more than happy to lend us his ranch, not only for that Friday evening, but he offered for Shannon, myself, and both families to spend the whole weekend there. Next call was to my mother, she was probably bawling her eyes out on the other end of the phone, she had been waiting for this for a long time. The final two calls were to Shannon’s parents – her father responds with what I can only describe as the most cheerful laugh followed by, “yes, of course!” Final call was Mrs. Sauerhage, she may have been sitting right next to Mr. at the time, but she still played it like she had no idea, on this call I went over my whole plan with her and emphasized secrecy – I still didn’t have a date nailed down. Once all the preliminary work was done, the easy part, I needed to start figuring out everyone’s schedules, the tough ones being when Shannon’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader sister would be available and how soon I could get my younger brother on a flight from Los Angeles to Houston (there are two more sisters involved, but they are both local, thus being very easy to work with). I cant remember exactly, but I think we settled on a date that was about two months away from coming up with this plan, which meant two months of keeping this whole ordeal a secret as well as being sure not to let anything slip when Shannon would constantly ask me, “Soooo, when are you gonna propose to me?” Luckily that two months went by and on Friday, May 7th, we were on our way to Fort Worth to visit Shannon’s family. During the drive Shannon called ahead and made sushi reservations for 9:00PM, normally I wouldn’t advocate making a reservation just to cancel it only a few hours before, but I had no choice but to keep my mouth shut, this also meant that our stop at Randy’s ranch (which i had told her about earlier in the week, she had known about the ranch prior to this week anyway from when I told her Randy said we should stop by sometime) needed to be brief – we had dinner reservations to get to. Both families arrived about 90 minutes before Shannon and myself (and Boudin) to set up and get everything ready, however they found they didn’t need to do much given that Randy is a world-class interior decorator (WORLD-CLASS) and the ranch house was absolutely stunning the minute you walked in the front door. As Shannon and I arrive I am combing the area with my eyes as to make sure their cars aren’t visible, they weren’t. We park. We get out of the car, dog comes out with us, we had been on the road for about two hours and he needed a potty break. There we are, in the front yard of my good ol’ pal J. Randall Powers’ ranch, Shannon is taking it all in, but she is also in a rush, I am basically watching my feet as I walk and reminding myself to breathe because holy shit this is really about to happen and holy shit she still has no idea. Boudin is usually too curious to do anything but sniff when we go somewhere new, so he’s not really showing any signs of peeing soon, Shannon is getting impatient and wants to go inside and get the whole “fix a drink” thing over with, as she starts to walk tooward the front door I decide that it is time, but at this point Shannon is about 10 yards ahead of me and she is moving QUICK, so with her back to me I take the ring out of my pocket, I get down on one knee (still holding Boudin’s leash in my left hand), and I attempt to subtly call out to her, I just need her to turn around and see me on the knee with the ring. I try to get her name out, but when I try to speak up I am overcome with so much emotion that I can hardly speak – she turns around (it took a while, at least it felt like a while) and when she looks the first thing she says to me is, “are you kidding right now?” I still cant speak, so i just shake me head, “no,” she makes her way over, I stand up, she doesn’t say much, we have along hug, then i ask her, “so, was that a yes?” to which she assures me – it was a yes.”

– Nick, the groom


Photographer: Jocilyn Bennett Photography
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