Plenty of wedding proposals go viral on social media, but one Oregon couple wasn’t seeking Internet fame when a photographer secretly snapped their special moment. In fact, they may be one of the last to find out.
The story began with photographer Paul Wolfe and his roommate as they were hiking the Columbia River Gorge on Thanksgiving Day. Once they had their fill of the wet, cold weather they started to hike back.
It was then that they passed by a man and a woman walking toward Munra Point.
“Instead of heading straight back down the trail, however, I decided to backtrack a little ways along the ridge to scope more views,” wrote Wolfe in an email. “Upon turning back, I saw that the fellow was on his knee and intuitively knew he was proposing to his best girl. It was what Henri Cartier-Bresson might call a ‘decisive moment,’ so I whipped out my iPhone and took a few snapshots in their direction.”
Wolfe said he posted the snapshot on Facebook, and received feedback from his friends telling him to find out who the people were (and if she said yes). He says he knew that reddit would be his best best, so he signed up for an account Tuesday to find the couple.
“I happened upon this marriage proposal on Thanksgiving 2014,” wrote Wolfe on reddit. “I have no idea who these folks are, but would like them to have this photograph. If you know someone who got engaged on Munra Point in the Columbia River Gorge, the afternoon of 11/27/2014, please direct them to this picture. Thanks!”
The post received hundreds of comments by Wednesday afternoon as redditors worked their magic. Wolfe said it took only five hours after signing up to be in touch with the best man, Dimitry Makhanov. And he really will be the best man — Makhanov plans to give the couple, who were identified as Al Gentsitskiy and Katie Verkovod, a print of their special moment on their wedding day in July next year in Spokane.
“It was a beautiful moment and I felt privileged to witness it,” said Wolfe. “I decided it best not to interrupt their moment, since in the end, those are more precious than photographs.”