Though they were born and raised one mile away from one another, it took the Bumble app to bring together Ali and Michael of Sioux Falls. The couple closed down MacKenzie River on their first date, and they have been inseparable since.

On a snowy February day, Michael asked Ali to go on a walk in McKennan Park and proposed to her down on one knee in the sunken gardens.

“It was perfect and private,” said Ali.

The couple shares their story, along with details of their sunset engagement session.

“Ali and I both lived in Sioux Falls our entire lives, but never crossed paths until we both swiped right on Bumble.” – Michael

When was the moment you knew it was “forever”?

Ali: There wasn’t a specific moment for me. Michael gradually became the person I wanted to have adventures with and tell my stories to. He accepts all of who I am and doesn’t try to change it. I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.

Michael: Ali and I took a trip to the Northeast in September 2018. We spent an entire week together traveling, seeing new sites, and going on new adventures. Throughout the entire trip, there was not one moment where I was annoyed or tired of being with her. I enjoyed every minute we were together and knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

How would you describe your wedding style in three words?

A: Classic, chic, and romantic.

Michael + Ali’s Top Advice for Engagement Sessions

+ Take the Grandma shot.” We have to thank our photographer for making us take a picture where both of us are posed nicely, looking at the camera, and smiling. Our grandparents picked that image to frame.

+ Make a playlist. We had a dance party on the way to our locations, and it helped to get some of the nerves out.

+ Pack a snack. Michael got “hangry” during the shoot, and luckily I had a granola bar in my bag that kept him going.

How did you prepare for your engagement shoot?
A: We were in the midst of the rainiest spring, so I was just praying that our day would be dry. We worked with our photographer, Maddie, and changed the date at the last minute to avoid a rainy day. The weekend before our shoot we scouted several possible locations around Sioux Falls just to see if we could find any dry land. We were so glad we did because some locations were completely underwater. It also made us more comfortable with the locations.

I started looking for our outfits months before the shoot day. I picked classic pieces in the blue color family. I wanted us to complement each other without being too matchy-matchy. Going with a formal and casual option gave our photos some added variety.

Did anything random happen that you didn’t plan for?
A: There were so many bugs! All the bug spray in the world couldn’t keep them away.

What was a special moment during your engagement shoot?
A: We popped a bottle of Prosecco at the end of the shoot. It made for some cute photos, but it was also a way to celebrate us as a couple. We did our engagement shoot during the middle of our engagement. It was a great way to refocus during the midst of wedding planning and just really enjoy the moment.

Photography by Maddie Peschong Photography.