Marriage is an age-old sacred union between two people. We are all familiar with the romantic progression from “First comes love then comes marriage.” For Bryn Quick and Mark Hornbostel, World Dairy Expo 2013 rewrote that romantic timestamp to “First comes cows then comes vows!”
“Aisle” Be Seeing You at Expo 2010
Bryn was at World Dairy Expo exhibiting for the first time with her sister and two friends. Mark was there, also for the first time, helping a breeder friend haul tack and show his Guernsey’s for the week. They set the scene for us. “We were tied up in the center aisle of Barn 1” and “Being the social event that Expo is, we began talking and hanging out and doing night line together.” Neither one of them had anticipated romance at Dairy Expo. Bryn says, “I never once thought that I would meet someone at Expo. I went there to show and socialize with friends and that was all that I really intended to do. So I surprised myself when I found a guy whom I bonded with instantly. It’s funny when I think about it now because my friend, Stephanie Lemay, kept asking me that whole week if I had a crush on Mark and if I would date him. I thought that she was being ridiculous. There was no way that I would jump into dating a guy I had just met that week and would probably never see again—after all, he lived seven hours away in another state.” Mark reports that they spent a few months connecting through Facebook and phone calls and then their relationship changed somewhat. “Just before Christmas I received a card from Mark and that was when I knew there was something different about this guy.”
Right girl. Right time. Right place.
A marriage proposal is a big step in everyone’s life and for Mark it was both exciting and stressful. “I guess you could say I have been thinking about it for quite some time. I knew that if I was ever going to ask her it would have to be at Expo, there was just no other place that seemed so perfect for us. But I guess you could say that I really committed to it late this summer when I went and bought the ring and really started planning exactly how I was going to do it and how I wanted it to all play out.” He provides details. “I have to give credit to Bryn’s twin sister Allison. She was the only one that knew how it was all going to play out. She did an amazing job at keeping it a secret and doing what I needed her to do to make it all happen.“
From the outset, Mark wanted to make sure that his plans for getting hitched would go off without a hitch. I asked Bryn’s father for his blessing. Given the fact that we are seven hours apart that is by far a conversation to have face to face. I was forced to do it just a few days prior to proposing. I have to thank her sister Allison for keeping Bryn distracted at school while I was out with her father having dinner and asking for his blessing.”
Expo “Knee Mail” From Her One True Love
Mark describes how his plan went into action. “When I had asked Bryn to show one of my cows that morning she had no idea that while she was in the ring I was getting her ring and getting everyone in to the position that they needed to be to make it all happen. “ He continues speaking from his successful experience. “As you can imagine her reaction was like most women when they see the man they love get down on one knee. She was surprised and her hands went instantly to her mouth and she was crying before I could even open the ring box. And between the crying/laughing she couldn’t even say the word yes after I asked, all she could do was shake her head yes.” Bryn confirms that it was very exciting. “I think that the video my friend captured of the moment really answers this question well. I was ready to get back to the barn after the show but instead we made an unexpected pit stop to a grassy area where Mark told me that he had a question to ask. I was so beyond confused at that point…that is until he knelt down on one knee. We had talked about engagement in the past and he hinted on a time period that it may occur and I always figured that Expo would be the perfect place for it but I never thought too in depth about when and I sure wasn’t imagining it this year.”
Expo 2013 Becomes the Centre of the Dairy-Marry-Me Universe
Mark always knew where this special moment would take place. “Like I said earlier, in my mind there couldn’t be a better place than Expo to propose to her. It was where we met and ultimately where everything all started. It was a place that we shared a love of something and a place that meant a lot to both of us. We have always said “Thank God for Expo” because if it wasn’t for Expo I don’t know that I would have met the love of my life!”
First You Propose. Then Everyone Knows!
When you propose in public at a dairy show billed as the “Centre of the Dairy Universe,” in front of people that you might think care more about cows than romance, you might be as surprised as Mark and Bryn were at the results. “Not for a second did I think that our special moment would go viral. I thought it was normal for couples to have their engagement documented by friends and family but today’s social media takes that to a whole new level. I barely had a chance to call family before it was all over Facebook! It spread like wildfire and I can’t help but laugh every time I hear that Mark and I are on another page or someone else has shared it. It’s unbelievable. We have done nothing to deserve such attention but, believe me; we appreciate every bit of it.” Mark sums it up for both of them, “It is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life and it is exciting to see that so many people are so excited for us.”
She said, “Yes!”
In books, movies and advice from already married friends they always say something that proved true for Mark. “They say that you just know when you meet the person that you are meant to spend your life with and honestly I didn’t believe that until I met Bryn. She is smart, funny, beautiful, caring and loving and everything I had ever imagined in a woman. I guess the biggest things that I fell in love with the most was that she had the same dreams I have and she loves this life style and everything that comes with it. And the major thing that I think I fell in love with the most is her understanding of this life style, you know in the job things don’t always work out the way we plan them, things go wrong and you don’t always make it to the things you want and you may not make it there on time and with us being so far apart it gets tough sometimes for us to see each other and yet through all of that she has been so understanding of it all and I can never express to her just how much that all means to me. So I guess you could say there are a lot of things that were just right with her and there just wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she was the one for me.”
He is “The One!”
Bryn too knew that Mark was very special. “He has Brown Swiss! How could a girl not be attracted to that? But seriously, we share the same love for cows and the dairy industry and the same urge to make a difference in this field. His integrity is absolutely amazing. He is a true sweetheart and is so beyond thoughtful (thus the perfect proposal). I never considered a long distance relationship but he made me change my mind completely. I connected better with him than the “city-boys” at home. He was worth getting to know. I thank God for Expo every day.”
BOTTOM LINE: REAL life REAL LOVE
We have heard much about the passion and engagement that is necessary to build success in the dairy business today. Bryn and Mark have taken “engagement” to a whole new level. Congratulations to this lovely couple. Stay tuned to see if they go from tied up across the Dairy Expo aisle to tying the knot at World Dairy Expo! All you need is love!