Autumn Leaves Spell Out Surprise Marriage Proposal

Courtesy Alex Nelson

One man took the romantic notion of "falling in love" quite literally as he crafted the perfect autumn marriage proposal, spelling out the words "Marry Me?" in the season's colorfully discarded leaves.

"I was throwing other ideas around, but when I saw that location on the hill, I just knew," Alex Nelson of Twin Falls, Idaho, told of his secret plan for girlfriend Nicole Ridgeway during a fall-themed photo shoot she had suggested Oct. 27.

"He called me because we were getting ready to take fall photos," Ridgeway, 21, recalled. "He asked if I was ready, and I said, 'No, give me a minute.' And then he called me again right afterward. I knew something was going on."

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Although she knew Nelson, 28, had already fallen for her since they began dating in April, she did not, however, know something else would be falling for her to solidify that love.

As the two walked hand in hand around the College of Southern Idaho's campus, an ideal location for their autumn pictures, Ridgeway could tell Nelson was on a mission to head in a certain direction.

"He kept walking this certain path and pointing in different directions," she explained. "Then he had me turn around and look back at a different area. So I turned around, and the proposal was there, and by the time I turned back around he was on one knee."

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Nelson, along with the help of several family members, had spent three hours that morning perfectly arranging the leaves into piles spelling out the proposal, which proved to be rather difficult because "the leaves were falling pretty quickly."

Fortunately, Nelson's family continued to be on leave duty while he ran to get ready, making sure the hillside was prepared for the happy couple's impending arrival.

Needless to say, Ridgeway said 'Yes," and they've already set a wedding date for Aug. 16.

"I was really shocked," Ridgeway said, admitting that she knew a ring was coming but not when.

"It turned out even better than I expected," Nelson added. "It came together really nice. Her parents were also there, so it turned out really special."

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