So a few months ago, I started a photography "bucket list" - a list of events and ideas I wanted to photograph at some point during my career. If you read my Urban Ballerina post, you know I've already checked off one item, but this weekend I was able to check off another! A surprise proposal!
My friend Kate over at Emerald Event Design contacted me about a month ago and said she was working with a client to plan a surprise proposal at Stone Ridge Hollow and that he was looking for a photographer to document it all. I knew before she even finished her sentence, that I wanted to do it!
So why was a surprise proposal on my bucket list to begin with? I mean, I knew shooting an event like this would be crazy stressful - where would I hide...would the bride-to-be see me...what if the lighting wasn't great (because using a flash would completely blow my cover)?? Despite all of these "what if's," I knew how much joy these pictures would bring a couple for years to come... a treasure to share with their children some day.
I seriously LOVE a good engagement story! Maybe because I love my own so much. This year, my hubby and I will celebrate our 10-year anniversary, and I remember every detail of the night we got engaged (with the exception of the actual proposal itself of course). Overwhelmed with all of the excitement, I remember seconds before and seconds after, but the middle is a blur. We have this one picture (ignore the horrible quality of the actual photo) that was taken about 10 minutes before my husband proposed and this horrible, old school selfie (shot with a real camera, not a phone)... kudos for us for actually getting ourselves in the frame.
While my hubby proposed in New York City, the spot of our first trip together, Brandon, picked a spot he knew his bride-to-be would love. Brandon told me Shannon loved everything rustic - wood barns, weathervanes, and roosters to name a few. Stone Ridge Hollow was for sure the perfect spot for their engagement. Brandon worked closely with Kate at Emerald Event Design to add some sweet personal touches to the space.
As Kate was finishing setting-up, we joked that Brandon should win "finance of the year" for his super sweet and thoughtful proposal. But for real, we all dream of a proposal this magical, right ladies??
Behind a gorgeous, draped entry, amidst candles and pink rose petals, Brandon waited for Shannon to arrive. Shannon thought she was coming to check out Stone Ridge Hollow for her future sister-in-law's baby shower. As she stepped into the barn towards the draping, she quickly realized that this gorgeous space wasn't intended for her sister-in-law's baby shower, it was actually designed just for HER.
To be honest, I think I was more nervous than Brandon, but his proposal and her adorable reaction was captured on film and the surprises continued.
With a gorgeous diamond on her finger, the couple walked outside only to find Shannon's entire family there to congratulate them! My husband did something very similar the evening we got engaged and it was honestly my favorite part of the night!
After the celebrating, we took some time to do some formal engagement shots. Shannon came dressed in the cutest romper and heels, so we spent about an hour together touring the property of Stone Ridge Hollow. Even looking through these photos, I can feel the joy and love between this sweet couple.
At almost sunset, we were graced with yet another surprise, a beautiful rainbow which was the most perfect backdrop for one of the coolest pictures I think I've ever taken.
And a gorgeous sunset also called for some silhouette work!
Congrats again, Brandon + Shannon! This day will go down as one of my favorites! xo