Kimberly & Derek

Our Story

The happy couple tells their story... from a breathtaking first date, to a trip home to meet the parents, to the proposal and planning a wedding... this has been a fairy tale for them both.

Happy Hour His Story

I had a gut feeling with this girl. From the moment she first flirted with me, there was something different about her. We had such an amazing first date, and scheduled our second for two days later. We quickly began to spend a lot of time together. It was a big step for Kimberly, as she historically kept a bit of distance and did not spend a lot of time with someone she was dating. I guess I pushed the relationship along a bit, not knowingly as it just felt natural to me.

It took just over two months for the "L" word to make an appearance. In the pool at my birthday BBQ, with a bunch of friends around yet miles away, I told her how I felt. I don't take that lightly at all, but I knew it was true with Kimberly. Our relationship grew deep and strong, rather quickly but never in a rush. Everything with her felt so right and comfortable. The dates and important events were great, but I found greater joy in all the times between, knowing we enjoyed each other's company on a random Tuesday night with no plans whatsoever.

I couldn't feel more blessed to have met Kimberly. It truly feels like fate to me, as I couldn't imagine a better match for me... well, perhaps if she had gone to Michigan State! Hee, hee! And I think we met at a perfect time in our lives, when we both knew exactly what we wanted and what we were looking for - and found! I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this amazing woman, and I am glad you can be a part of the celebration this fall and our lives going forward.

Her Story

I remember when I first met Derek, my immediate thought was “What a cute guy” and then as I looked closer my next thought was “wow, what a tight T-shirt!” But I was very lucky that “Mr. Tight T-shirt” asked me on a date.

Our first date was amazing and Derek came dressed in a nice polo, no tight T-shirt. Yeah, bonus points! As the night moved on I knew that there was something very different about Derek. Everything was just so comfortable, conversation flowed freely, and I remember laughing a lot. We had so much in common, from the Midwest upbringing, our shared love of Big Ten sports, and our favorite food…sushi! My heart was definitely doing a little dance after that date. I did not tell Derek until after our engagement but I actually went home and had a dream that I would marry him. (Yes, it is corny but the honest truth!).

After that first date we began spending more and more time together. Derek definitely won me over with his incredible thoughtfulness and his way of always making me feel special. If I mentioned I liked a band, Derek would be surprising me with tickets; if I liked a certain food he would be cooking it for me as another “surprise.” He is the master of sweet little “surprises” for me. With my job and all of the travels he has always driven me to and from the airport so we can spend just a few more minutes together. Those little things mean the world to me and make me love him even more.

In past relationships, I have always been very independent but Derek and I’s relationship was different. I actually wanted to spend more and more time with him as I got to know him better and before I knew it I was falling in love with him. I know that many people might look at our relationship and think it moved very quickly but I feel as though the timing was perfect. I knew what I wanted and Derek was it.

I always laughed when people would say, “when you know you know.” But now I can say that I am a firm believer in that adage because I am one of those people now and have met my soul mate (tight T-shirt and all!)

I am an incredibly lucky woman and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Derek and have our own family someday!

The Proposal Crew The Proposal

The happy couple had been dating for less than seven months when Derek realized he knew everything he needed to know. This was the girl of his dreams, the girl he had been waiting 33 years to find. One day he was driving by a jewelry store and spontaneously decided to stop in and do a little ring shopping. That was certainly a learning experience! At first overwhelmed, some additional research and a subsequent visit made things much more comfortable. The process was well underway, but a big piece was missing.

Mid-Proposal Thankfully, it was mid-December and they were going home for the holidays. With a healthy respect for tradition and her parents, Derek managed to sneak a conversation in with her father on Christmas day, asking his blessing to propose to his daughter.

Upon their return to Arizona, and armed with the backing of her family, it was quickly back to the Jared Galleria of Jewelry. Yes, he went to Jared! The original plan was to buy a diamond and set it in a generic temporary band. As his confidence grew, the plan changed. He decided to be bold, and took a chance selecting a setting and having the entire ring completed. A couple of her friends were consulted during the process, and they agreed that everything seemed perfect for Kimberly.

She said YES! "Where and how to propose?" he wondered. Kimberly desperately wanted to go on a sleigh ride. He had located a perfect sleigh experience up in the mountains a couple hours from Scottsdale, however, she was a little too tired from the combination of business and holiday travel. With that out, he turned his attention to more local options. It needed to be something memorable. Aha, the perfect setting popped into his mind! Kimberly, and indeed Derek too since he had met her, frequently climbed Camelback Mountain for exercise on the weekends. She had even shared her "thinking rock" with him as they rested at the top of the hill and enjoy the fantastic view. Where better to propose than on her special rock at the top of Camelback Mountain?

Bling, Bling Derek enlisted the help of Melissa and Christina, two of Kimberly's closest friends and part of the wedding party, to create the perfect moment. On Saturday, December 30th, exactly seven months after their first date, he would pop the big question and change their relationship forever! Her friends came to pick her up so they could go hiking. Derek claimed he was too exhausted and would pass on hiking that day. Once she was out the door, he hurriedly prepared for the proposal. Packing the ring, a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champange, and his camera, he rushed out the door - trying not to fall too far behind.

Engaged Couple Of course, parking was great when the girls arrived, but was full when Derek arrived, forcing him to park nearly a mile further away. He knew he was quite a ways behind and would need to hurry up the mountain. For those who haven't climbed it, the trail is 1.25 miles long and climbs 1,400 feet. Not the easiest task to rush, but there was a little boost of adrenaline that helped.

He reached the summit, pausing briefly to catch his breath. Arriving on the top, a surprised Kimberly asked what he was doing there. "I just missed you and couldn't stand being away from you," Derek replied, knowing the sappy response would embarass her. Thankfully the girls had her sitting on her favorite "thinking rock" and ready for what was to come. Derek sat/kneeled down in front of her, the girls clicked The Ring!away on cameras, and he asked her to make him the happiest man alive pulling out a beautiful engagement ring. After an initial shock, and several "Oh my!" exclamations, she emphatically said yes. As he slid the ring on, she said "it will never fit on my fingers," expecting a generic size. But Derek had done his homework, stealing one of her rings to have the jewelers size it perfectly.

It was truly a special day. Derek knew he had done things right when Kimberly admitted she had always wanted a proposal on top of Camelback Mountain, and that she couldn't have picked out a more perfect ring herself! Out came the champagne for a celebratory toast 1,400 feet above the Scottsdale vista!