Spring is for budding romances, summer is for weddings, February is for Valentine’s Day.
But fall? Fall is for Labour Day, back to school, Thanksgiving turkey and Halloween.
Unless you’re a different kind of romantic. Then the time of pumpkins and golden leaves and witches and skeletons has an ambiance that makes the heart grow fonder.
Just 10 days ago, Nicole Jelinski and Royce Sihlis made plans to carve the pumpkins she’d picked up to decorate their Sun Rivers basement suite.
The couple met almost three years ago at a coffee house while they were living in residences at Thompson Rivers University.
She was studying event planning. He was taking science and business. She’s now an event and wedding planner, he’s gone into photography, specializing in ski and wedding photography.
And although they moved in together a year and a half ago, the couple had never carved pumpkins together.
“On Friday, Royce texted me and asked about carving pumpkins that night. I said sure. He said he was so excited he’d already opened the carving kit,” Jelinski said.
They got busy doing errands, and so it was after 11 p.m. when Sihlis reminded her they were going to carve. He really wanted to carve.
By the time they were done, it was 2 a.m.
Then Sihlis insisted that lighting the just-carved pumpkins was a tradition and they just had to do it. At 2 a.m.
She was a little surprised at how urgent it seemed to be for her boyfriend.
“He was running around like crazy looking for these candles.”
When Sihlis was ready, he led her outside to see the lit pumpkins. The bottom of the outside stairs was dark, except for the three glowing pumpkins there.
The letters in the first one said “Will you.”
The second said “Marry.”
The third said “Me.”
In the dark, Sihlis got down on one knee. All Jelinski could see was the silver shimmer of a ring box.
She said yes.
She had known the engagement was coming; she knew Sihlis had bought the ring in August. She didn’t know where or when it would be coming. And she didn’t expect it to come the way it did.
But the pressure was on Sihlis to be creative.
“He’s had a lot of people hounding him, well, you’re marrying a wedding planner, you better have a good story,” she said.
Now they can carve a number pumpkin every Halloween in the future to mark the anniversary of their engagement.
Although they got engaged near Halloween, they won’t be getting married on the spooky date. Jelinski said they’re thinking of next September.
But another Kamloops couple not only got married on Halloween three years ago, they made it a huge event that fit the date.
Ann and Vinny Bulloch had a Viking wedding, complete with costumes, shields and ye olde horned helmets.
Vinny Bulloch popped the question at the place where they met: High Octane Comics. He got down on one knee and proposed using a modified line from one of their favourite movies: Clerks.
“You know, there’s a million fine-looking women in the world, dude. But they don’t all bring you peanut-butter-cup Blizzards at work. Will you marry me?”
And the woman who had been taking him those treats said yes.
When they set a wedding date, they saw that Halloween landed on a Saturday two years down the road. The timing gave them a chance to be creative.
“We weren’t tuxedo, top hat and tails kind of people,” he said.
“My mom and dad weren’t surprised at all. My childhood hero was Mr. Dressup,” said Ann Bulloch.
They are both huge Halloween fans, and their yard has the most skulls and ravens of any on the block. In fact, they built their own tombstone to mark their wedding — Sean and Ann, 10/31/09. Vinny’s real name is Sean, but only his family uses that moniker.
Holding a Viking wedding on Halloween day in costume made everyone relax and have fun with it, she said. People still remember it and still talk about it.
“It’s about you and your partner,” she said.
Now three years into wedded bliss, they still go to High Octane, in costume, for the store’s annual Halloween contest. It may not be a traditionally romantic gesture, but it is sentimental and fun for a couple that doesn’t go by-the-book.
“There’s romance around Halloween — Bride of Frankenstein,” she quipped.
This year on their anniversary, they’ll probably have a dinner at home, watch a scary movie or two, and answer the door for the kids brave enough to walk into their graveyard-decorated yard.
“We like having the kids come to the door,” Ann Bulloch said.