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Tessa said Yes!

After climbing 545 meter over an 13 km hike, I asked Tessa to marry me. Fortunately, Tessa said 'yes', under the watchful eyes of three marmots. Click the image to enjoy the moment (and to find the marmots).

In the panorama, Tessa and I are just obscuring the view of Half Dome as seen from Mount Hoffman. We were on a 3 day camping trip to Yosemite, following the International VR Photography Conference in Berkeley. On the second day of that trip, june 21st, our group ventured outside the frequented Yosemite valley to climb a mountain summit in the highlands. At around 3300 meter height, Tessa decided she'ld rather enjoy the view with some oxygen in her lungs, so we stopped some 60 meters below the summit. Our group went on, giving me some privacy to execute my devious plan...

When setting up for a panorama, I often ask 'my luvely assistant' to carry some of my excess equipment and generally give me a hand. Tessa usually hides out of view, or stands behind me as I rotate around the camera (she calls this the 'panorama-dance'). This time, as I was kneeling down with my gear for adjustments, I asked Tessa to come and give me a hand.

In the top flap of my camera bag, there's a small plastic bag with a ring in it, could you get that out for me?

Tessa hands me the bag

... and could you tell me if you want to marry me?

Tessa, somewhat perplexed, low on oxygen, says:

I think so

Yes, those were her historic words, after almost 12 and a half years. The actual 'yes' followed soon enough ;-)

We have not yet set a date, we are going to take our time. 'Less than a year from now' sounds good at this point.

Update (juli 4th): This is a bit more exhibitionist than we normally are, but the World Wide Panorama: Community project is now live, and I submitted this panorama. So for those of you who couldn't view the interactive panorama before, there's now a Quicktime version too. Incidentally, the WWP entry also has a neat Google Earth link.

By the way, thanks for all the nice comments so far. It's fun to see who reads this blog.


Hey, congratulations! I liked your devious plan - almost as much as I like that 'spherized' photo at the top of the blog! Well done, and don't forget to post a pano of the wedding...


What a great story! Congratulations to you two and all the best for your future!
Greetings from Switzerland...

Whoo Hoo, congratulations Aldo & Tessa. What a devious and great plan Aldo, and an amazing spot to pop the question.

Looking forward to the Live VR stream from the wedding ;)


Woohoo! Gefeliciteerd allebei!


..couldn't find the marmots though..

Ha, mooi! Een bijzonder mooie foto van een bijzonder mooi moment... gefeliciteerd! :-)

Gefeliciteerd! Briljante foto! En die marmotten zijn gevonden.

Gefeliciteerd, ook namens alle marmotten! Kan de pano niet openen want shockwave doet het nog niet op Intellimacs, maar de platte foto (rare woordcombi) met begeleidende tekst doet toch al vermoeden dat een en ander een erg mooi moment was. Dat er nog maar een mooi feest mag volgen, en een heel gelukkig burgerleven erachteraan! ;-)


Een goed huwelijk start in California! Heel veel geluk toegewenst


Michiel en Melanie

bravo !
brava !

many little Hoebens then ;-)


Mooie plek wel kan alleen die marmotten niet vinden...

Mooie plek om op de knieen te gaan, al kies je wel voor de subtielste kiezeltjes voor de poezelige knieen, Aldo...
Ik geloof dat ik alledrie de marmotjes heb gevonden, al verstopt er zich eentje behoorlijk goed!

Nogmaals gefeliciteerd,

Armand & Nicoline + Sander

As they say in another community, "Mazel Tov!"
Best wishes!

What a wonderful location to ask!

Congratulation and best wishes to you and Tessa!


Clever plan, as is to be expected from you Aldo. Belki and I were watching from the other end of the valley at Olmstead Point Overlook. There was only one marmot!
John and Belkis Dobbins

Fabtastic congratulations to you Tessa and Aldo. That's a lovely pano and a great break in the proceedings at wwp. Have a lot more dances, together, over the coming years.

You must show me your moves Aldo. ***:)***

Great photo! Great story! Thanks for sharing that; it brightened my day — and it was a pretty good day already... (except for the British weather, which is more naff than I can remember in years; so far summer is delayed by over two months. Wimbledon in crisis. British GP could be washed out, when we have a British driver leading the championship for the first time in over a decade... forgive my rambling)

John, Wales, UK

GREAT! And so dramatic in such an environment . . :-) ! Congratulations!

the very best to both of you, Klaus

Congratulations Aldo and Tessa and to your cool and romantic proposal scheme. Traveling all those weeks with a ring you had to keep track of and also keep secret until the right moment is a nice move.
And you imagined the panorama sequence clearly in your mind too.
Yes I see the 3 marmot witnesses, that's extra cute!

Best wishes,

OHila'!!! MAny compliments guys. If you don't want to wait till the 09-09-09, may be enough to wait till 08-08-08, next year!
I think a nice date, don't you? So we hope, in few years, to see three new witnesses around you, non only marmot... (perhaps "mamocchi"? like we
say in italy...). Well: I found the actual witnesses only with the help of full screen pano. I hope the new one's also visible in normal pano.
Ok, waiting for events, best whishes too.

congrads by the way how cum you didnt inform the rest of the group of what happened, we would have run a specail trip to sumwea to celebrate.

now i was wondering if you could please inform on how to view the beauitful shots you and tessa took in yosemite cheers and congrads again

eryn the kiwi one

Hi Eryn! More panoramas are coming up (and other pictures as well). Tessa and I are a bit 'funny', we like having special secrets every now and then ;-)

Also, congrats to mY girl for not being the only one having to do the occasional 'panorama-dance' ;-)

Whoa, congratulations :)
By the way, nice photo.

Best regards,
contact email:

I came across this site by accident and found it intriguing. I came across your "Tessa said yes" picture and being a hopeless romantic, had to view it. It is a beautiful tribute to your engagement. Thanks for sharing it!...(and by the way, does her shirt say Dorneypark and Wildwater Kingdom? I live 7 miles from there. I thought that was a wierd coincident if that is a Dorney shirt.) Hope you have a terrific life together!

Er... it does... Never been there though.

congratulations! what a great moment and photo!

Kevin - citizen with dolphin tattoo design

did u really did that?
awesome dude
{duncan from insomnia herbal}

What a wonderful location to ask!

Congratulation and best wishes to you and Tessa!