Kiss on Costa Rica Beach
December 9, 2015

My Engagement… From My Wife’s Perspective


So I’m blushing already! My wife Khalana had a great idea. She wanted to share her engagement experience with everybody out there. She accuses Chris and I of always being guys and what can we say she’s right. But her point is that Stark Bellamy needs a feminine touch occasionally and what can I say, she’s right (see how said “she’s right” twice already? I learned to say that after 10 years of marriage)! So without further maleness… Here’s her memory of when I proposed to her:

StarkBellamy wife here… You may not be able to tell by Eric Bellamy’s cool exterior, but he’s actually a bit of a romantic. Our 10 year anniversary is coming up in February, which made me reflect upon our journey to marriage. We started dating in 2000 when we worked together at a photography shop. -He had such a lovable sense of humor! -Things were going great. We didn’t feel the need to rush, so our relationship moved at it’s own pace.

destination-wedding-04Every year we would join our friends ice climbing in Ouray over New Years. On New Years Eve we would share champagne in the hotel parking lot (actually better than it sounds…) and watch the fireworks sparkle above the mountainside and echo all around us. Always an amazing time. One year, on the drive back from Ouray, Eric and I had a serious discussion about getting married abroad. By that time our families had already been asking for years when we would get married. Several hours of discussion later we stopped at a bookstore and purchased two Costa Rica travel guides. We hadn’t even made it home from our trip yet! Within a few weeks dates were set, a ‘venue’ was chosen (Playa Negra) and tickets were purchased. Only one problem (not really, more like a technicality), no proposal and no ring.

Fast forward a few months. At the time I was working at a quaint little greenhouse in Denver, where we lived. -It was an amazing job that I loved with all my heart and soul. It was late spring when I was arranging plant trays on a bench. As I turned around to grab more plants, there was Eric kneeling on the dirty greenhouse floor in a full suit holding a little grey box with a tiny bit of sweat beading on his forehead. (Not sure if the sweat was a combo of the greenhouse temps with the suit, or just plain nerves. A bit of both, I suspect.) Voice quivering and eyes glassy, he said “Khalana, will you marry me?” I grabbed his elbows, pulled him up and gave him a giant hug and kiss. After I admired the green sapphire that had taken him months to find, I realized that I forgot to say ‘yes’. I happily did so. He then whisked me away for an afternoon together followed by dinner and a nightcap at the Hotel Monaco downtown where we stayed. It took him a lot of time and collaboration to pull it all off, but he did a beautiful job. The great part is, even though the wedding was set before the proposal he was able to keep the moment just as magical. Ten years in and the sweetness of the proposal still makes me smile.

Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.