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A Hilltop Picnic Set the Scene for Amour in This Romantic Proposal Story

Katelyn Wood, a Martha Stewart American Made maker and owner of Love. Luck. Kisses & Cake, is a true romantic at heart. So when it came time for her sweetheart to pop the question, he knew he had to pull out all the stops. 

Photography by: Clayton Austin

Michael and Katelyn were introduced through mutual friends who had a feeling they might hit it off. “I was smitten from the moment we met and immediately asked her out for our first date,” Michael says. That emotion quickly turned to love and thoughts of marriage only a few months later when the couple traveled to Paris. “I was so taken by the city that I wanted to ask for her hand in marriage right then and there,” he recalls. He played it cool while he got the details together to follow his heart, but the City of Love was never far from his mind.

When did you first realize that you wanted to get engaged?

A few months after we got together, we went on a romantic trip to Paris and it hit me: I wanted to marry Katelyn. The only thing that stopped me is I didn’t have a ring, so I decided to wait until we got home. When we got back, I immediately set out to buy a ring and ask her father for permission.

Photography by: Clayton Austin

How did you choose the ring?

When it came to picking out the ring, I knew I wanted my future wife to have something as uniquely beautiful and timeless as her. I chose two vintage rings that were not from the same set, but made the perfect pair. Katelyn tells me that she loves to think about who used to own the rings and the love stories that they keep.

What were the steps leading up to the proposal?

With the wedding rings chosen, I planned out how I wanted to ask my future father-in-law for his daughter’s hand. While visiting Katelyn’s family, I took him outside for our traditional cigar and Scotch after dinner. Wanting to make this a memorable evening, I had purchased two high-end cigars as a surprise—and intentional bribe—in hopes of easing the transition from “guy” talk to asking for Katelyn’s hand. After he said yes, he was so excited by the proposal that he ran into the house to tell his wife. With both of her parents grinning, Katelyn suspected something was up.


The next day, I planned a trip to the beach—not untypical of what we usually do when we visit her family. I purposely planned the proposal to be private and intimate; I wanted to have this special moment just for us.

Photography by: Clayton Austin

Where did you decide to pop the question?

We hiked out to a hilltop overlooking the northern California coastline. Sitting down for a picnic, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the ring box. Carefully revealing the ring, I finally made my intentions known. Surprised and excited, Katelyn couldn’t stop smiling and immediately said yes! Following the proposal, I poured two glasses of French Champagne that I had hidden away and began telling Katelyn how I had been planning our engagement since our trip to Paris. 

How did you share the news with her parents?

When we arrived back at Katelyn’s parents’ house, we decided not to say anything. Eventually her parents noticed the ring on her hand, and they gasped with excitement. A day of happy phone calls to friends and family ensued.


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