Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Matt and Brandi's Engagement Story











Our Engagement Story…

Hello, my name is Matt Freije and my fiancée is Brandi VanArsdale. The big day is scheduled for September 05th, 2009. Our engagement story begins on Sept. 25th, 2008 with a planned trip from Indy to Herkimer, N.Y. We were going to Herkimer because outside of the town is located a diamond mine open to the public called Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. For only $9 dollars a day you can travel to the mine and search the grounds to your hearts content for Herkimer diamonds. The diamonds are very abundant at the mine and this was proven true as we first stepped out of our truck into the parking lot to find our first diamond under our feet. We spent two days digging, chipping, and moving dirt/rocks to find a variety of diamonds of assorted sizes, colors, and grades. The largest diamond we found was approximately ~1 inch in length, width, and height. Brandi found this particular diamond as she was walking by a puddle and saw a glisten in the water, so she reached down to pick it up. We stayed across the street in a KOA Campground. I rented a cabin at the site which had all the amenities we needed while we supplied our own food, linens, and entertainment. The cabin had a porch containing a porch swing that overlooked the Adirondack Mountains while the leaves were just beginning to change color during the fall season. We really enjoyed the change of colors as we sat outside on the porch swing watching the sun set over the mountains. During our stay I took one of the diamonds we found and took it to the mine store where they fashioned it into a ring. The ring after it was finished was a 3-carat, emerald cut, grade A diamond set in sterling silver. I was so happy the ring ended up being as nice as it did, because I would have never been able to afford anything close to it anywhere else. Later Brandi and I got is appraised for greater than $10,000.00. The elderly owners of the mine were very helpful in selecting that perfect ring and getting it made just right. However, the story doesn’t end here as Brandi didn’t know that I had gotten the ring made while at the mine. So, as we were leaving on the last day we decided to stop for breakfast in the town of Herkimer at a local dinner called Crazy Otto’s Empire Dinner. The place is a small old fashioned 50’s diner filled with memorabilia over the last 60 years. We ordered and as Brandi just put down her hot chocolate I popped the question. It was truly an experience since all of the activity in the diner stopped and went quiet after I popped the question. When she then said “yes” the café was full of activity again as the owner promptly came over and congratulated us on the engagement as well as the rest of the patrons in the café. The owner took lots of pictures of us together as well as the ring (See pics). It was funny to watch the events in the café, especially when two of the waitresses that came over to say congratulations & look at the ring actually broke down and started to cry. We thanked everyone, ate our breakfast, and then left for home. The ride home was full of thoughts and talk about the future to come. We decided then that this would become an annual event to go to open mines across the country looking for emeralds, rubies, fire opals, sapphires, and etc, so we could build upon the diamond ring she already has to make a set of family jewels that can be passed down to future generations to come. This was truly a great experience and not a memory that Brandi or I will likely ever forget.

3 comments:

Samantha Fox said...

Wow, the idea to actually go to a diamond mine and dig up your own diamond is so SWEET!!! I wish my fiancee would have done something like that. This story is really unique and not just the everyday engagement story with fancy dinners and proposing under the stars. Congradulations Brandi & Matt!!!

Crystal Poulard said...

I can't believe your fiance found her own diamond. After reading this I want to go mining right now and find a diamond for my boyfriend to give me (hint, hint).

FYI: I looked up the Herkimer mine up on the internet and they have a great website for people wanting to come out there.

Mike C. said...

Well planned guys. I think it is funny you included the picture of how dirty you both got while mining. Hope my lady doesn't find out, but thanks for the idea b/c I'm planning a trip to go there in the spring to get a diamond for her now. I'll be sure to post our pictures on this site when we get back so you all can see our pics as well.