March 24, 2015

Our Engagement Story! Stephanie & Tom

By: Kent

Our Engagement Story! Stephanie & Tom Meet the Bride and Groom! We all love a romantic story. It's good to be reminded of the magic of falling in love. Makes us all mushy with those around us. Stephanie and Tom are marrying this summer 2015. We're excited to help them tie the knot at the Balch! Happy Reading! Bride: Stephanie Berdnick Groom: Tom Josephson Cities You Reside: Portland How did you first meet? Our first date was a mutual favorite coffee shop, followed by a Portland neighborhood walk. We've dated almost four years now! (engaged about a year and a half). Our Proposal Story told by him: We were traveling to Kauai for a friend’s wedding. I knew that this was the perfect time. We were planning on hiking the Napali Coast and I figured that the right moment would present itself on the multi day adventure. We both love hiking and being outdoors so it just all seemed so right. We hiked along the beautiful northern stretch of Kauai, seeing crystal clear water, enticing blue waters, and lush green hillsides. On the 2nd day we got to Kalalau Beach, a gorgeous white sand beach with a brilliant green valley above it. We arrived around lunchtime, so we hung out on the beach and relaxed. I was a bit nervous, so I probably went on about 4-5 “mini hikes” to try and ease my mind…. I decided to wait until sunset. As the sun was beginning to go down, I asked her to go on a walk with me. We went to the far end of the beach, just the two of us and the waves crashing. I got down in the sand and I think she said “oh my gosh” before I started talking. Luckily once I finally got the words out, she enthusiastically said YES. We camped on the beautiful sand beach under the stars, together. Our Proposal Story told by her: October 8-10th 2013. We were backpacking the NaPali Coast trail on the coast of Kauai to Kalalau Beach. It was a beautiful hike of cliffs, waterfalls, and turquoise water. By lunch time on the second day of our hike we followed the beautiful coastline and arrived at our final destination, Kalalau Beach. It was one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen; wide and empty. We hiked the trail to its end and found a campsite right in front of a waterfall. We set up camp and enjoyed some lunch. Tired from the hike I resigned to rest on my air mattress-savoring the sun and sight of the turquoise ocean. Tom was anxiously taking multiple walks (which is not completely out of character). I did think to myself, how is he taking some many walks when we just hiked a hard 6 miles and I am completely exhausted? We captured every bit of sunlight that afternoon. Around sunset Tom asked me to go for a walk and I accepted. We walked along the beach to the setting sun and sat on a sandbank to watch the sunset. As we were watching the sun go down, Tom suddenly got very sentimental at which time out of the corner of my eye I saw him pull out a tiny box. It was at this time that I knew what was coming. I don't think I delayed and very happily accepted his offer. The look of the sunset is still engraved in my memory, it was the perfect spot; sun setting on a quiet beach, away from civilization. *It is important to note that my engagement ring is Tom's grandmother's (Nan) grandmother's engagement ring. We later learned that her name is Nellie and was a beloved member of the family. She lived in New Rochelle, NY and enjoyed sewing and socializing with friends in the late 1800's. I fell honored to be wearing such a prized possession that has such a beautiful story behind it. Thing you adore most about her! Her absolute positive and fun loving spirit Thing you adore most about him! His love of travel and adventure Why did you choose the Balch for your nuptials? We instantly fell in love with the charm of the hotel itself and the grounds plus Samantha was a real delight! We found it to be a really interesting, unique space and place. We will have a bunch of out of town family and friends attending so it was important to have our wedding in a place where friends and family could stay with us. We knew we wanted to have a summer wedding and thought the grounds of the Balch would be the perfect place for such an event. We like that it is close to fun outdoor activities for our guests who will be visiting from out of town. The space it perfect, but also we loved that Samantha seemed to think of every detail and really care for the hotel. It is clearly a place that is loved and we love it for that reason too.

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