How did you first meet?
Max: We were both watching a criterium (bike race) in Seattle, where Kelli lives. One chap had fallen off the back of the peloton and was cycling with no hands, swigging from his bottle. As he passed us I said “Ah… he’s on the vodka” and when Kelli laughed I thought “Yus! That was an awful joke”. We proceeded to offer terrible coaching advice (“Cycle quicker”, “There’s a guy right behind you”, “Beer is an energy drink, grab my pint on your next lap”) as the cyclists went round and round until my Uncle came and stood right between us. After giving my uncle the eye for about half a minute he realised the error of his ways and move to my other side, squeezing into a space that didn’t exist and pushing me right up next to Kelli. …Family, eh?
When the race ended, Kelli went back inside the pub behind us, and after a few minutes I decided to follow her in. I couldn’t find her anywhere! I checked all over, even out the back where the kegs were, before popping into the gents so I could have some thinking space without standing aimlessly in the middle of the bar. When I came out she still wasn’t there and so I left, dejectedly.
Kelli: After the bike race was over I went back into the bar and headed over to my family. Max doesn’t remember this, but I saw him through the window and was over-eagerly waving for him to come in, but he wouldn’t. So, in that moment he left my eye sight and I headed for the bathroom. I was saying to my roommate at the time, “Oh wow, I really like that guy, he was so kind and funny, he’s pretty attractive too… I really GOOFED UP not getting his number.” I left the bathroom and came out to my mom, and was telling her about my almost love story with this boy I had just met. She was saying that she had been watching us through the window and that she had never seen me like that with someone before, and she said, “Kelli, if it’s meant to be your paths will cross again.”
I agreed, and let the words linger in the air. Then, about 30 seconds later, this boy pops up by my left shoulder and says, “Hi, I’m Max, I just wanted to introduce myself.” I was overjoyed!! We talked for a few minutes, joking about how we both had 30 notes on our phone about the movies we needed to watch, but would probably never get around to, my mom embarrassingly called out for me to get his number (“Oh he’s adorable, you have to get his number!”), and that was that.
We texted back and forth a bit, went on an 8 hour date the next day, and then Max set off to cycle around the Olympic Peninsula. I booked a car and met him out there. We camped for a few days together and the rest is history. Since then we’ve been travelling every 2-3 months to see each other. Who needs disposable income?
When did you know they were the one?
Kelli: I think I first had the inkling that I wanted to be with him forever when we were staying the night at his uncle’s house. They have a dog, so it was tough for me to breath, and I was having a hard time going to sleep. I asked Max to tell me a story to help me sleep. He immediately started spinning this tale and I knew in that moment…in the moment that he did not ask a question or make fun of me for wanting a story, that I didn’t want to lose him. I think after that moment, and now, I continue to fall deeper in love and commitment to our life together everyday.
Max: I don’t think there was a single moment, but at the end of the week we spent driving around the Olympics (which we dubbed our 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th dates) she produced a picture that she’d drawn right after our first date. I think at that moment I said something like “If you keep doing that I’m going to fall for you”. I loved the person I became when I was around her, how she challenged me, and how she was interested in so many things. It was a pretty simple realisation that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
How long had you been planning the engagement, and how did you decide to propose?
Max: Geeze I couldn’t do anything mundane, or even special yet predictable. Kelli always told me about how her grandmother used to write little clues and treasure hunts at Easter and Christmas so I thought ‘geronimo!’ and started making a treasure hunt about 2 months before her trip over. I hid clues around the house, Skircoat Green, and Copley Woods, and got both her and my mum to read clues (recorded and surreptitiously sequestered on her phone). I also got my friend to help set up the proposal spot (a ring of roses in the snow at Copley woods) and hide in the bushes to photograph the moment. After all this set up (and yes, she solved the clues!) I forgot everything I wanted to say and went for the plain ol’ vanilla “Will you marry me?”
Anyway, there’s a whole video you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOWmqWrEErY
Why did you choose The Workshop to make your engagement ring?
I liked the idea of a family business taking the time to work through ideas with me and ending up with a personalised design, that was hand-finished. Also it’s fairly close to home, which helps! Once I met with Jenny for the first time I knew it was the right decision; she’s so warm, friendly, and enthusiastic that you know you’ll end with something you feel happy about.
If you would like to know more about getting something special designed and made at The Workshop, request our brochure or contact us. To see some of the beautiful bespoke pieces we have handcrafted here in Hebden Bridge, please visit our recent commissions page.