Winter engagement photos at the Arrowhead Provincial Park skating trail
It was up to Arrowhead Provincial Park last week for Meghan and Justin’s skating engagement session. Someone had cranked up the sun and the ice was barely holding its own however we managed to pull off a kickass e-session deep in Muskoka. I can’t claim any credit – these two doted and wise-cracked one another the entire time reducing my responsibilities to simply being the creepy guy firing the shutter from distant snowbanks.
I can’t recommend checking out Arrowhead Provincial Park‘s skating trail enough, it’s a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with the family just outside Huntsville. A word to the wise however, it’s a very busy place on weekends (especially long weekends) with lines just to get in and loads of skaters once you finally do.
EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Check out Meghan and Justin’s Arowhon Pines Resort wedding blog feature.
But nobody cares what I have to say, let’s hear Meghan and Justin’s story in their own words… read on.
HOW DID THEY MEET
We met on our first day in residence at the University of British Columbia in September 2006, when we both moved into Okanagan House.
WHAT DO THEY REMEMBER ABOUT THEIR FIRST DATE
Meghan: I’m not sure we ever had an official ‘first date.’ Justin spent the summer of 2007 working in Toronto, and returned to Vancouver for the start of another school year at UBC. We had spent all summer exchanging daily messages, and we arranged for me to pick Justin up at the airport in early September. He arrived at baggage claim with a container of homemade butter tarts from his mum, and I was smitten (I love sweets)! I asked Justin to come for dinner with my parents that night and he agreed! We officially started dating on September 6, 2007, about three days after Justin arrived back in Vancouver.
Justin: If we didn’t have a first date we definitely had a series of pseudo-first dates where one of us might have tried to frame the occasion as a date while the other simply thought of it as just hanging out as usual. On one occasion, Meghan, who, bless her heart, is not a runner, asked if I wanted to go running with her through Pacific Spirit Park and along Spanish Banks Beach in Vancouver. I was overjoyed she wanted to go running with me but I’m pretty sure the run lasted all of 10 minutes before she decided to go swimming in the ocean (I ended up continuing the run without her)!
WHEN THEY KNEW
Meghan: I remember that when I first met Justin I thought he was both handsome and thoughtful. Living in Okanagan House in the Fall of 2006, we attended many of the same events on campus and got to know each other as great friends. I distinctly remember driving home for a weekend in November (three months after we met) and telling my parents, “I’m pretty sure he’s my soulmate” in a very casual and easy way that surprised even me as I was saying it!
Justin: I’m not sure I had an “aha” moment, but over the years I just found myself feeling more and more attached to this amazing, vibrant friend who was always there for me and with whom I had so much in common, plus she occasionally laughs at my jokes, which was a rare quality for me to find in another person.
THE PROPOSAL, HOW DID IT GO DOWN
Last July we were traveling together in New Zealand and had planned a multi-day hiking trip through the Abel Tasman National Park. The hiking track takes you through a series of foothills and golden sand beaches that happened to be completely secluded since it was winter in New Zealand. On the second day of the hike, I managed to get Meghan out of bed before dawn under the pretense that we had an aggressive day of walking in front of us in order to cross a tidal estuary before it was flooded by the tide.
We reached Anatakapau Bay just as the red and orange hues of sunrise were breaking across the sky. After some cajoling I convinced Meghan that we should stop for a few pictures with the sunrise (she had bought into the urgency of making it to the tidal crossing in time and wasn’t convinced it was a good idea to stop). As she looked away to survey the sun rising above the inlet, (after I fumbled for a second with the ring, which I had stowed in my right sock) I dropped down on one knee and posed the question. She said “yes” (I have video evidence). With the sun lighting up the horizon, most of the footage is just two silhouettes against an orange and purple sky!
ONE THING THEY LOVE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER
Meghan: One thing I love about Justin is his encouraging and supportive nature. I feel so lucky that we have ‘grown up’ together through our twenties, as Justin has been a constant source of encouragement in all aspects of my life. If I can sneak in a second thing … I also love that he always obliges my unwavering love of hugs.
Justin: Meghan is the most vibrant person I know—her passion for her friends, her family, her career and so many little things over the course of a day is unmatched. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who lives, loves and feels for things as intensely as she does.
BESIDES GETTING MARRIED, WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON THEIR WEDDING DAY:
Meghan: I am really looking forward to relaxing and celebrating with friends and family in the beautiful setting at Arowhon Pines in Algonquin Park. I think it will be lovely to see our littlest guests enjoying the lake and surrounding forest for the first time!
Justin: I just want to see the in-laws meet the in-laws. We have some pretty big personalities from both families and I think it will be a lot of fun to see how everyone comes together.