Engagement Stories – November 2011

Kayli Steger and Derek Head

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Photos Provided by Hardy Meredit

Kayli and Derek met when they were 14 at a mutual friend’s house and went on their first date to a movie. They stayed friends throughout high school and always liked each other, but the timing was never right. They rekindled their friendly romance at the end of their senior year of high school and hung out every day from prom to mid-summer.

From there, they parted ways to go off to college, Derek to West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas, and Kayli to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. They realized that a nine-hour distance just wasn’t going to work for a relationship. They remained great friends, and when Derek moved to College Station to attend Blinn College, a random phone call changed their future forever.

One night, Kayli randomly decided to call up her old friend Derek. She then drove two hours west for a visit. On the morning of October 15, 2005, she showed up on his doorstep, and they spent the day together, laughing and talking about old times. As the sun was setting on his balcony, Derek said, “We’re going to get married, aren’t we?” to which Kayli replied, “Yeah, you know, I think we probably will.”

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Photos Provided by Hardy Meredit

Six years later, to the day, the two will do just that. Derek proposed in the most beautiful place on earth – the sunny shores of Australia! They went to Sydney to visit their friend (and now bridesmaid) Zebine who just finished graduate school there. It was Kayli’s birthday, and Kayli, Derek, Samantha, Zebine and Zebine’s roommate took a coastal walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. The trail twisted around the gorgeous coastline and up steep cliffs. The turquoise water would hit the rocks, and it was incredibly beautiful and romantic.

Having no idea that Derek had a ring in his pocket, Kayli squeezed Derek’s arm and said, “I can’t wait to marry you.” From this comment, Derek was nervous that Kayli knew his plan. As they got to the edge of the best cliff on the trail, right above Bronte Beach, Kayli was busy taking pictures of the breathtaking views. Finally, Zebine took Kayli’s camera to take some pictures, and Kayli finally stood still. Derek then said, “Hey Kayli, you know how you said you want to marry me? Well, I want to marry you too.” He then got on one knee and took out a gorgeous ring that sparkled in the hot Australian sun. Kayli was in such disbelief that she kept saying, “Oh my God, is this real? Is that ring real?”

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Photos Provided by Hardy Meredit

She then heard the pop of a champagne cork. The girls had snuck champagne in their backpack and poured the couple some bubbly to celebrate. A small crowd gathered and was clapping. After about five minutes of joyful tears and a celebratory toast, Kayli finally said, “Yes!”