John had planned to surprise Leah with her a 1.206 I VS1 Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Round Diamond set in a Tapered Classic Style Half Round 18K Yellow Gold Shank With Platinum 6 Prong Basket on a trip to Yellowstone. "I really wanted to capture the moment in a natural way so I put a lot of emphasis on wildlife photography on the trip so it wasn't anything unusual when I set up the camera for the big moment."

Keep reading below to see how their story unfolds…

Tell us how you met.

We met working on the same unit at a hospital in Seattle. We became friends, but I was a travel nurse and left months later for San Francisco. Despite the distance, over a year or two, we kept a friendship, going on hikes and mini adventures, always staying in touch, and talking on the phone to stay involved in each other's life. Two March's ago, we set out on a South American adventure. It started as friends, but there it blossomed and our new story began.



Describe the day of your proposal.

From John: We were in Yellowstone for what Leah thought was a winter wildlife photography trip. On our second day, we set out at 5am for a sunrise ski tour up to a large Plateau that the park rangers had advised me would be a great place for wildlife and mountain views and to propose. We had a gorgeous fiery red sunrise and some great wildlife encounters.

As we made our way up to the plateau we both were commenting on the beautiful morning light and decided we should go up on a little knoll and take a portrait while we had good light. (This was my plan all along) Leah led us up the little knoll and I started setting up our camera for some shots. We snapped a few great shots and I realized I'd forgot to take the ring out of my backpack and put it my pocket. I told Leah I wanted to put a polarizer on the camera so I walked over to the camera and snuck the ring in my pocket. I came back over and we took a couple more pictures, I was so excited but also nervous to get everything right that I kept delaying.

We both kept blinking in our pictures, so after a few more tries I told Leah I was going to switch to video so that we could capture a short clip and take screen grabs from that. I switched the camera over to video and dropped my phone in the snow which was my plan for getting on one knee. I don't know if I was nervous and my knee gave out, or if Leah was leaning over on me to give me a kiss, but my ski boots broke through the crusty snow, we both lost balance, and fell down in the snow. At this point I was so nervous, I remember thinking "is this really happening?". Leah was on her back in the snow laughing so hard that I shook it off and used it as an opportunity. She got up and reached out to help me up. I looked her in the eyes and said "while I'm down here" and started to get the ring out of my pocket.

I told her I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and she started saying "what's happening right now?". I showed her the ring and she put her hand over her mouth, and started shaking her head "yes". At this point I think she said "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" and bent over and started kissing me. I got nervous that I might drop the ring in the snow so I think at this point I put the ring on her finger and forgot to actually ask her if she will marry me. We then shared a few more kisses and I love you's and then spent about 15 minutes sitting in the snow as I explained to her how our whole trip had been planned for this moment and how I'd kept it all a secret from her. She was 100% surprised in the best of ways.

From Leah: As John mentioned, I absolutely was so excited for a week getaway, thinking it was a Montana adventure for wildlife photography and skiing. I had no clue that he had a whole other master plan! The night before I was surprised as he was getting his bag all packed (which he NEVER did in advance) and seemed so organized. The morning of, he bounced out of bed at 4:30 am, also atypical, but hey this was the first time leaving Washington state in 6 months, so I thought not much of it. I honestly was surprised through and through, up until the moment the ring was on my finger! John was a super secret keeper and planner! We are over the moon and mountains excited for a lifetime together and for such a special story and moment which was fully captured!



What were your first impressions of your new Brian Gavin Diamonds ring?

Wow, that sparkles!

If you could describe your ring in one sentence, what would you say?

It is classic and timeless, and everything I could have ever imagined.



How was the diamond buying process?

It was honestly a long process. I started researching online and went to a few brick and mortar stores. Every shop I visited confused me more because nothing was standard from one place to another and I honestly thought most of the diamonds I looked at weren't great. I started looked at large online retailers and ran into similar issues and it wasn't until putting in several days of online research I started to find out about the higher standards available of round brilliant cut diamonds and eventually found my way to BGD.

What was your favourite part of working with the Brian Gavin Diamonds team?

Lesley was my favorite person I worked with throughout the whole process. I'm not saying that others weren't great but Lesley nailed it. I had talked to many jewelers about ring sizes because I knew Leah didn't know her ring size and she didn't have a ring I could use for discovery. After a few minutes of talking with Lesley she had listened so well to how I had described Leah she said "I won't let you order anything larger than a five" and this was obviously not the reason why I bought the diamond but it was the beginning of a relationship that allowed me to feel comfortable and move forward with a purchase.

What are you looking forward to most when it comes to your wedding?

Sharing the same excitement that Leah and I shared together in Yellowstone with our closest friends and family

What's your dream honeymoon?

Backpacking New Zealand

Thank you John and Leah for choosing Brian Gavin Diamonds to be a part of your special day. We are so happy for you both!





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