Johan Dekker shocked not just his girlfriend, Mallie Moore, when he proposed atop Mount Woodside, but also photographer Emily Peter who happened to be in the right place at the right time on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Emily Peter Photography)

Johan Dekker shocked not just his girlfriend, Mallie Moore, when he proposed atop Mount Woodside, but also photographer Emily Peter who happened to be in the right place at the right time on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Emily Peter Photography)

Surprise mountaintop proposal shocks Abbotsford woman and Chilliwack photographer

‘It was just meant to be that I was on that mountain that morning,’ said photographer Emily Peter

A Chilliwack photographer who ended up shooting a mountaintop proposal on the weekend was just as shocked and surprised as the fiancée that day.

Emily Peter hiked to the top of Mount Woodside in Agassiz before sunrise on Saturday, Dec. 12, with a couple she had photographed in the past, to snap some fresh images of them as the sun came up.

The three of them were all alone at first until another couple showed up.

It was Mallie Moore of Abbotsford and Johan Dekker of Greendale.

Like the trio already on the mountain, Dekker had similar plans of enjoying a quiet sunrise that morning.

He was hoping to have the place all to themselves and was disappointed when he saw the other group’s vehicle in the parking lot.

When the young couple, both 19, hiked to the top, Dekker noticed the photographer and started thinking about how he could get her to take photos without seeming too conspicuous.

Dekker and Moore made a small campfire and sat down to drink her favourite Bengal spice tea.

Turns out luck was on Dekker’s side that day as Peter ended up approaching them saying they looked “adorable.”

Peter loved what she saw – the cozy campfire, the happy couple, the morning sun just about to peek out from the mountain – and she asked the two if she could take some photos of them by the fire.

“This is my moment,” Dekker recalled thinking.

She snapped some photos of them by the fire. As the sun began to rise, Peter wanted to move them to a different spot for a better view.

Johan Dekker shocked not just his girlfriend, Mallie Moore, when he proposed atop Mount Woodside, but also photographer Emily Peter who happened to be in the right place at the right time on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Emily Peter Photography)

Johan Dekker shocked not just his girlfriend, Mallie Moore, when he proposed atop Mount Woodside, but also photographer Emily Peter who happened to be in the right place at the right time on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Emily Peter Photography)

“Just as I was telling him what to do and how to pose, he said ‘I have a better idea,’ and he pulled out a ring,” Peter recalled. “Everyone started screaming.”

Moore was “completely shocked,” Peter said as Dekker held up the ring.

But so was Peter.

She continued shooting photos amid the excitement as the warm morning sun lit the couple from behind, giving them an angelic glow.

“It was amazing. I could not have asked for anything better,” Dekker said. “The photographer was just wonderful.”

Dekker had actually tried to hire a photographer that day, but was unable to secure one since the road up the mountain requires a 4×4.

Peter, who specializes in portrait photography with her business Emily Peter Photography, said she enjoys doing nice gestures like this for people.

“I like to do that for fun. It’s fun to meet people and take their photo.”

Afterwards, she recalled Dekker saying he wished he could say the whole thing was planned, but it was pure coincidence that a photographer was there on Mount Woodside at the same time as them.

“It was just meant to be that I was on that mountain that morning,” Peter said.

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Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
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