Recently engaged Metro Detroit couples share their engagement stories and how he popped the question.
By SEEN Staff
Laura Genouw and Mike Henderson met at a Michigan State University party their junior year. He tried some cheesy pick-up lines. She quickly turned him down. It wasn’t until after graduating in 2015 that she finally agreed to go on a date. “I had asked her at least 20 times,” Mike jokes.
They bonded over a shared love for the outdoors, hiking and camping. Henderson had told her about a trip he’d taken to the Smoky Mountains. “She wanted to go so bad, but the timing was never right — until last summer when I made the decision to ask her to marry me,” Mike says.
“Some call me cruel, but I had told Laura that I was on a five-year proposal plan from the start,” he adds. “I had her so convinced that a week before our trip, Laura and I actually got in a pretty heated argument about how ‘I’m never going to be ready to propose,’ while her wedding ring was sitting in my closet.”
Mike wanted to catch her by surprise. They left Michigan at 9 p.m., drove 10 hours through the night, and arrived in the Smoky Mountains at 5 a.m. Mike drove up the winding mountain to Newfound Gap — a beautiful sunrise lookout — and parked the car. Laura, having slept most of the trip, awoke to the sight of the sun peaking over the mountains.
“She slipped out of the car, let out a yawn and joined me on the edge of the lookout,” Mike recalls. “I then went into my spiel and dropped to my knee. She was absolutely shocked and continuously asked me if I’m kidding until she saw the ring.
“It was a bit of a cloudy morning, so our pictures are less than ‘picture-perfect,’ but I would not have had it any other way. Following the proposal, our adrenaline wore off as we made our way down the mountain to a local pancake house to celebrate.”
Heartfelt at Home
Birmingham residents Evie Chutz and Scott Sonenberg worked together as Jewish Community Center summer camp staff in 2009. After graduating college, they reconnected in 2013 and started dating.
In December, Evie came home after a long week at work to find the living room filled with hundreds of rose petals and candles arranged in the shape of a heart. Scott was down on one knee, waiting for her in the center. He then asked “the big question.”
“I was in shock,” she says. “I couldn’t believe Scott was able to pull this off without my knowledge.” She quickly said yes.
Scott flew in his brother from Denver to capture the moment. Later that evening, Scott had yet another surprise — he had arranged an intimate family gathering to continue the celebration. They are planning a June 2019 wedding.
Ten years ago, Ryan Yanez and Maeghan Ulrich started dating as eighth-graders at Hart Middle School in Rochester. Last summer, they traveled to the Upper Peninsula to hike trails and kayak at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. On July 24, they spent the morning exploring downtown Marquette and Presque Isle State Park. They then laced up their hiking boots. Maeghan packed her backpack. Ryan packed his camera bag, and they left to hike through Dead River Falls and see the waterfalls.
Ryan had planned for them to hike Sugarloaf Mountain at sunset, but they accidentally stumbled on it early. After an intense 30-minute hike, they arrived at the breathtaking view of Lake Superior. The couple stood on the cliff between two viewing decks overlooking the water. Maeghan will never forget what happened next: “As Ryan and I stared into the deep blue water, Ryan said, ‘Maegs, we’ve been together a long time.’ I jokingly replied, ‘Yes, I know, babe. I was there.’ And then I turned to see him on one knee. With tears in his eyes, he said, ‘You make me the happiest person alive. Will you be my wife?’
“That day was the day my dreams became reality, and I got to say ‘yes’ to not only my best friend, but also the man I knew I would marry since I was 12 years old,” she says.
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