DES MOINES — Ryan Moon and Haley Smith met 3½ years ago when working as clerks at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.
So it only makes sense that the young couple from West Des Moines got engaged standing in front of where it all began. And to their surprise, a hidden shape — so powerful, yet so simple — can be easily seen in one of their engagement photos:
"A picture can really say 1,000 words," Moon told the Des Moines Register on Monday.
Moon teamed up with Smith's stepmother, Maggie Smith-Fitzgerald, for the surprise engagement last Sunday. The Smith family was taking photos for their holiday card in front of the Capitol. Smith-Fitzgerald was the photographer.
"Maggie asked us if we should do couples," Moon said. "And she said, 'Ryan and Haley: Go up there.'"
After a few takes, Moon bent down on one knee. You can clearly see Smith's emotions as the pair hold hands during the proposal.
What the couple didn't notice until scouring the touching photos later that night, though: A heart was created by their shadows.
Take a closer look at the photo. Can you spot the heart?
Moon thought it was really cool and thought it would be nice to share online, so he posted it to Reddit. His "notifications blew out of the water" shortly after as it continued to spread online.
Thousands of comments — from fellow Iowans and strangers — congratulated Moon, 26, and Smith, 25, on their engagement. Hundreds of others shared similar engagement stories as well those who said "real love exists" and "this gives me faith in love."
"It's really surreal to hear that from strangers," Moon said.
And it's a moment caught on camera that the couple will always be able to call their own.
"Engagements are usually kind of a lot of the same," Moon explained, "but just having something unique in there makes it our own.
"You can do that 100 times and not get that."
Follow Aaron Young on Twitter: @AaYoung15