On 25 January, Sascha Franke had more on his mind than just mastering the dog sledding trip he and his girlfriend of seven years, Sarah de Alwis, were going to take... He was also secretly preparing to propose to her in the middle of the snowy Swedish landscape.
Two days earlier, Mark Wright had also been planning a surprise for Laura, his partner of five years. He felt the wintry wonderland of Swedish Lapland would make a romantic backdrop, and so tucked the ring carefully into his snowsuit.
It turns out, great minds really do think alike.
Mark and Laura (left) and Sascha and Sarah (right) both proposing in January 2017 at the ICEHOTEL while husky sledding
We were thrilled to hear that not just one, but two of our clients have made romantic, indelible memories at one of our favourite places in the world – the ICEHOTEL. So we reached out to hear from them exactly how the day went.
Mark and Laura
Mark and Laura had been dating for nearly five years, and Mark, in his own words, 'had been wanting to ask Laura to marry me for a while.
'When I asked Miranda [our Best Served Scandinavia consultant] if she could help with the proposal, she was more than happy to. After some conversations with her about the best time and place, I decided to go for it and ask Laura on our husky sledding excursion.' Husky sledding, thought Mark, would bring them away from the hotel and allow them to have a personal, special moment together.
'When the day came, I first had to hide the ring in the inside pocket of my snowsuit, which was a bit of a challenge as Laura was in our cabin getting ready at the same time… But, seeing as I had already managed to sneak it through the security x-rays at both Manchester and Stockholm Arlanda airports without her noticing, I thought I could get away with it! We were picked up and taken to the husky kennels, and I didn’t have time to get nervous as within minutes we were off and driving our sleds, which was just a fantastic experience.'
As the group stopped for lunch, Mark's calm attitude started to shake a bit. 'When I saw the location, I knew I had made the right choice, but the nerves did start kicking in!' Mark asked one of the guides to take pictures, so Laura thought it was just a standard photo-op. But then Mark got down on one knee. 'It’s fair to say she was quite surprised and not expecting it at all! And of course, she said yes!'
They celebrated that night with the five-course Ice Menu at the hotel, and had a good-luck tomahawk sculpture placed on their table as a gesture from the hotel. 'We did have a little scare the next day, though,' says Mark. 'As we went out on a cross-country skiing excursion, at one point Laura fell over in the snow; her glove came off and the ring fell off her finger!
'Apparently it was -26°C that day and, although I had bought the correct size ring, due to the cold her fingers had shrunk and it had come loose! We didn’t even notice at first, but luckily Joel, our guide, went back to where Laura had fallen and managed to find the ring in the snow – he was our hero!'
Sarah and Sascha
Sarah and Sascha have a long history together, having known each other since they were teenagers in Essen, Germany. Sarah says he once gave her his phone number, but so many other girls would swarm around him that she never called him back. Both of them moved out of Essen, and 23 years later, in 2010, Sarah found Sascha on Facebook and they rekindled an old spark.
They won a holiday to the ICEHOTEL, and Sarah recalls that fateful husky sledding trip. She was so thrilled by the feeling of freedom that, at a stop, she stepped off to take photographs and 'bring the feeling home' with her. Sascha seized his moment, dropped to one knee, and asked her to be his wife. 'I whispered yes, my voice was quiet and we both started crying and kissing', she recalls.
'We have to thank all Best Served and our travel agent, Emma, for giving us this beautiful and unforgettable moment.' And we have to thank Sarah and Sascha for making us part of their memories, too.