Real Island Wedding: A Surprise Proposal on Kīlauea Volcano That’ll Warm Your Heart

A romantic surprise proposal story from Hawai‘i couple Keli and Mike.
Real Island Weddings.
Photo: Christie Pham Photography


Jan. 23, 2016

Big Island, Hawai‘i


Real Island wedding.
Photo: Christie Pham Photography

Mike and I always joked around that five years is the perfect time for a proposal, but I never really thought we were serious about our so-called “deadline.” Toward the end of our fourth year together, Mike would joke that he needed more time and that he was saving money for the perfect ring. Little did I know he had his great grandmother’s wedding ring. To throw me off, he asked me to show him photos on Pinterest of my dream ring. He subliminally swayed me towards a round halo-cut ring like his great-grandmother’s.


Fast forward a few months. We went up to my family’s house in Volcano on the Big Island to celebrate our five-year anniversary. Mike surprised me with a massage so he could sneak away and set up his master plan. Post-massage, we had dinner at The Rim, located at the Volcano House hotel. Our table overlooked Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and an insanely beautiful sunset across Kīlauea.


After dinner, we took our drinks outside to get a closer look at the eruption. Mike led me around the property and asked me if I was ready for my next surprise. Every single hotel room was completely dark except for one. He secretly rented a hotel room and set up 260 candles (one for each week we were together), roses, champagne, a hidden GoPro & “Marry Me” spelled out on the bed with candles (fake, don’t worry!) I starting crying before I got into the room. I kept asking, “Is this real?!” I was so stoked and blown away! He got down on one knee and asked “Will you please marry me?” (so polite). I screamed, “OF COURSE!” Mike closed the box, got up to kiss me and forgot to put the ring on my finger. He was so nervous, it was adorable. The ring box has a little light built in so I was able to see the round halo-cut diamond ring.


I’m so glad he captured the whole thing on the GoPro because it's easy to forget exactly how it happens. Men, take notes: GoPro, candles, flowers, champagne and ring box with light! Works like a charm.


Keli Steiner Marry Me proposal story.
Photo: Keli Steiner