When Tyler Retty proposed to girlfriend, Bhawna Sadiora, in the Kootenay mountains, the backdrop made for stunning photos of the memorable moment. However, the surroundings were a natural fit for the couple who originally hail from Squamish, BC, but now call Cranbrook home along with their puppy, Aspen.
“We love the mountains,” said Bhawna. “We always joke around and say things like ‘the higher the better. It's fun to go get lost.’ We like going to places where there aren't going to be people. I guess you could say being in the mountains is our comfort zone.”
From math class to sunsets
Tyler and Bhawna first met in high school. They spent some time in a long-distance relationship when they went to different cities for post-secondary, but were destined to come back together. They lived in Lethbridge for a time before returning to British Columbia. Regardless of where they’ve called home, this couple has always chosen a spot that is all theirs for sunsets together.
So it was nothing unusual that Tyler and Bhawna decided to head up to their spot on Mount Baker for an evening picnic. However, Tyler arranged for their photographer friend from Tara Hill Studios (View even more photos of Tyler and Bhawna on Tara’s blog) to reach out and tell Bhawna that a local client had cancelled. Would Bhawna and Tyler be up for taking a few photos so she could work on her portfolio?
“Of course I said yes,” said Bhawna. “I thought that was pretty suspicious so I asked Tyler if he had anything to do with it and he said no, of course not. He kept a straight face, which was funny. He's never been able to do that.”
Despite the assurance, Bhawna remembers that Tyler seemed nervous as he got ready for the outing. He was scurrying around the house trying to decide what to wear for the photoshoot. When they all got in the truck, Tyler realized he had forgotten his keys and went inside again to grab them.
“He’s normally not this flustered,” Bhawna mentioned to the photographer. “I don’t really know what’s going on.”
The photographer assured Bhawna that Tyler was probably just feeling a bit anxious about being in front of the camera. That made sense to Bhawna, and they carried on.
Emotion, nerves, and the perfect ring
Once they arrived at their scenic location they started the photoshoot. Everyone was having fun, and then Tyler got more serious. He started to tell Bhawna some of the reasons he loved her.
The proposal itself was a combination of so many happy tears and lots of laughter. Tyler got down on one knee, and then realized the ring he’d designed for Bhawna was still in the pocket of the jacket he had taken off and left by the bags.
Thankfully, Tyler quickly returned with the ring box and finished asking Bhawna the special question that the whole evening had been planned around.
Afterwards the couple looked at each other and asked if either of them remembered the details of the moment. In the excitement, nerves, and the emotion they both were caught up, and memories of everything that was said is a blur.
The photographer did catch one line. When Tyler placed the ring on Bhawna’s finger she looked down at the pear shaped diamond surrounded by a halo and thin rose-gold band.
“Dude! It’s perfect!” she yelled.
In retrospect, she’s a little more concise.
“I'm just obsessed with my ring. It's everything I have ever dreamed of. I can't even comprehend how perfect it is,” she said. “ I feel like it's just so me. It's just so simple, I feel like it's very elegant. It’s beautiful.”
The couple ended the evening with a surprise bottle of champagne. Aspen, their pup, got into the excitement and photos. From the photographer to the ring to the location, Bhawna loves that the man she loves did such a phenomenal job preparing for the big question.
“I'm quite surprised, honestly, that he was able to plan this out without telling me, because we're on the same wavelength about everything,” said Bhawna. “I was just super surprised with the whole thing. I'm so happy.
“Who knew that this cute guy that I sat next to in grade 11 math would one day be my best friend and soon-to-be husband?”
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