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Engagement extra bright for qathet couple

Holiday light-up event serves as backdrop for marriage proposal
ILLUMINATING ENGAGEMENT: Jakob Zago got down on one knee and proposed to Nicole Skulstad at the Tee’s The Season light display before Christmas. The bride-to-be was completely surprised.

When Nicole Skulstad went to the Tee’s The Season holiday light-up event at Putters Mini Golf in December, she was looking forward to a fun time with family over the Christmas season.

While enjoying the lightshow on a wintery night, her partner Jakob Zago dropped to one knee and produced an intricate princess engagement ring.

“I was not expecting it at all,” said Skulstad. “I was very surprised. I was happy that my family was there. That was so special to me.”

It was also the first Christmas light show that three-month-old daughter Rylee had attended.

“That’s why I was all hyped up; it was our first light show,” said Skulstad. “I thought it was a family event, and that Rylee was going to go and see Santa. The light show became the backdrop.”

Skulstad said she knew at some point there would be an engagement, but she didn’t know when, because everytime the matter was discussed, it was always a joke that was pushed off. She said she was hoping the engagement would take place somewhere special that they would always remember.

Zago said he knew he wanted to get engaged soon but he didn’t want to do it on Christmas, because so many people do that.

“The day gets overshadowed by the Christmas event and the light show just seemed like a good place where we could get everyone together all at once without it being too obvious what was happening,” said Zago. “It provided a good backdrop for the event.”

Zago said both of his parents, Skulstad’s dad, two out of three of her siblings and a couple of friends attended as well. Only Skulstad’s younger sister knew about the prospective engagement.

“Her job was to get Nicole’s family to show up,” said Zago. “She’s the only one who knew, and she took a video for us.”

Skulstad said her sister who missed the engagement was “bummed out.”

She said she had actually joked about an engagement earlier in the day.

“I was like, what if you wait too long and I end up saying no?” added Skulstad. “We joked about it and then it happened that night.”

In terms of wedding plans, they know they want something small and local. Skulstad said they will keep up with COVID-19 and see how that pans out. She said they also want to travel for their honeymoon, which will be determined by the pandemic.

Zago said when they walked into Putters, the manager mentioned that it was expected that someone would have proposed at the site. The proposal happened on the last night of the Tee’s The Season event, which was lit up by members of BC Professional Fire Fighters Local 1298.

The event was a fundraiser for Powell River Professional Firefighters Charitable Society. Skulstad said the firefighters did a great job of decorating.

Zago said conditions were clear and cold – perfect weather for a winter wonderland.

“It was fun,” said Skulstad. “I’m not super-great at mini-golfing but we’ve gone on dates there and had a blast. It’s always a fun place to go.

“I love Christmastime and I’m all about showing Rylee about Christmas and everything and she loves light, so it was a fun time.”