I Love You to the Moon and Back || A Mauna Kea Proposal, Big Island Hawaii


Everyone loves a good engagement story. I personally find them so entertaining and endearing because every single one is unique. While asking someone to spend the rest of your life with you puts you in a very vulnerable state, the romance behind the question itself is full of eternal love. Here in Hawaii, we're always surrounded by Aloha and there's something about the islands here that provide the perfect romantic environment for residents and visitors alike. Which is why it's no surprise as to why Hawaii is one of the most popular locations for popping the question!



When I met Ben, he came into our Fairmont Orchid studio one afternoon with a contagious energy and I was immediately drawn into his plea for help with a proposal he had been planning for his girlfriend.  Of course I said yes and began asking him for his ideas that he had in mind for this special moment.

“Have you ever been to the top of Mauna Kea Summit?” he asked with a big smile.


Twenty-four hours later, I was on my way up to the snow kissed volcano 13,802 ft. above sea level.  I met Ben and Virginie at the visitor’s center about half way up the mountain so we could become acclimated to the climate and avoid elevation sickness. Ben told Virginie that he had scheduled a couples photo session with us at the top of Mauna Kea. Virginie, a lover of photography and modeling, didn’t know that Ben had something even more special planned for their trip to the mountain.


During the sunset and above the cotton candy clouds, Ben got down on one knee and popped the question. It was an exhilarating moment with a breathtaking view, a moment that the three of us will remember forever.



With announcing his engagement to Virginie to friends and family, Ben shared their story: 

"Over one year ago, I walked into an open door and heard myself say an audible "wow." Sitting at the counter was the most spectacular woman I had ever seen....

Who was she? How could I talk to her? Was she single?

I stole one more glance hoping she wouldn't notice I was creeping. She smiled at me.

Little did I know, my world was about to be spun around and turned completely upside down. One day, she even told me: "I love you to the moon and back and forth." I loved the French twist on the English idiom so much that the "and forth" stuck.

It was a little challenging to figure out how to propose.... Virginie doesn't wear jewelry, doesn't care for diamonds, doesn't love rings, and isn't big on cliches.

The observatories at Mauna Kea, at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, is as close to the moon as you can get in Hawaii.

Her ring shows the Earth and the moon in an infinity loop.... going back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth again.

In broken French, I asked her to marry me. She said "oui."


- Written by Samantha