Sarah and Patrick had been together nine years when their proposal took place in Maui. Sarah recalls a picture-perfect evening after a beautiful day in Maui on the Road to Hana; Patrick asked her to take a walk on the beach before sunset. “When Patrick pulled out the camera and was testing the light for a good sunset picture, I thought it was a little suspicious.” She noticed he had set out a towel and a bottle of wine, but no glasses. It seemed a bit weird to drink from the bottle; then she saw the bottle was open and there was a note inside. Sarah says, “Patrick looked at me and said, ‘Oh hey, it’s a message in a bottle.’ I then thought to myself, ‘Is this really happening?!’” She opened the message and found a beautiful poem written by Patrick. He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. “And, of course, I said yes!”
Behind the scenes though, nothing went to plan for poor Patrick. The plan was to end the Road to Hana with a proposal at Seven Sacred Pools. But at the first stop he found out that the road to the pools was closed due to a hurricane a few days prior. No problem, he went for Plan B: Black Sand Beach. Alas it was too crowded. It was the first time the Road to Hana had been opened since the hurricane and everyone had the same idea as Patrick. He reached for Plan C: Hamoa Beach. More crowds. He scrambled for a Plan D: Red Sand Beach. No parking, way too crowded. Recalls Patrick, “At this point I gave up on the alphabet and decided on Plan If-We-Make-It-Back-In-Time-For-Sunset-Walk, because if that didn’t work it would be Plan Some-Other-Day.” They made it back to the hotel an hour before sunset. Sunlight slowly disappearing, they made the (rather brisk) walk to the beach and Patrick set up the Go-Pro camera to record. “Unfortunately for our parents, the lighting was perfect for the proposal, but atrocious for the camera, so no video evidence.” Also Sarah didn’t find the bottle on her own as he had planned, so instead Patrick pointed it out to her. “Sarah eventually opened the bottle and began reading the poem I wrote her. While she was reading that message I was down on one knee waiting for her to turn around and ask her to marry me.”
Sarah and Patrick went on to marry in a gorgeous ceremony at the magical Park Winters. Perhaps it was the overwhelming sense of triumph that made Patrick want to lift Sarah like Baby in “Dirty Dancing” during their first dance, and to the amazement of everyone in attendance they successfully pulled it off. But it all fits: If anyone has had the time of their life, it’s these two.
— Sharon Penny