My first session of 2022 began with an exciting request from a client requesting a photographer for his surprise proposal. I usually receive inquiries through my website, but this request came in through my Instagram DM's. I love getting requests from couples these days and it seems proposing marriage and especially surprise proposals is a current trend for me right now; what an awesome way to begin 2022!
After confirming that I was available for his event, we quickly communicated the details of how my client's proposal would occur. When he mentioned that he had rented out an entire ballroom just for his girlfriend, well, color me impressed! All I could think was - how incredibly romantic! And well, it was. He didn't want to take the risk of any potential rain that could happen, so renting out a ballroom was the best option for a January proposal in Seattle. He hired a an event planner known as Turtles Occasions to create this candlelit runway aisle to walk his girlfriend down. I arrived early to check camera lighting and make sure I knew where to position myself. After determining the right camera settings on my Sony a7III, myself and the floral team hid behind a curtain to wait for his signal before they walked in. You guys, I live for exciting and romantic moments like this!
To say she was surprised was a complete understatement. Once they came in through the door and she saw the beautifully decorated runway, she immediately knew what was happening and began to cry. He had chosen their favorite song to play while he walked her down the aisle and let me tell you - it was hard to hold back the tears for these two. This felt like a scene out of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette - truly! This future groom did such an amazing job planning out this entire proposal for his girlfriend and she was visibly moved by the entire layout. I could hear the floral team sniffling behind the curtains after she said yes - it was one big collective wave of emotions for these lovebirds. I don't take these moments for granted. I know what an extreme privilege it is to be part of someone's important milestone, so I wanted to make sure I captured just the right moments for my client.
After capturing his proposal and all the moments that come with that, I like to give my clients a couples minutes to process. Most brides and couples I work with are genuinely surprised, so it's always nice to say out loud "I'm going to give you a guys a minute. Congratulations! Let me know when you're ready". This particular future bride definitely needed a few minutes. Lots of emotional crying and hand shaking which was very sweet to witness. A very grand marriage proposal such as this can be a lot to take in all at once! Also, I love the look on the groom's face after seeing her genuine surprise and emotional reaction to him getting down on one knee - romance is alive and well!
A couple quick makeup checks in the ballroom mirror, a nice observation of the beautiful engagement ring (didn't he do an amazing job?), and a few deep breaths later - it was time to start capturing some celebratory pictures for the both of them. Again, this can be an overwhelming process for any couple after just becoming engaged, so I like to take my time with my clients and check in to make sure they don't need to take a break. They did a lovely job interacting with each other and simply enjoying the moment through out entire session. The weather was slightly unpredictable on this day, but we ended up having a clear and beautiful day to go outside and grab some pictures.
This proposal was held at an iconic and historic Seattle hotel along the Seattle waterfront. The Edgewater Hotel is famous for hosting many prominent musicians throughout the years, including The Beatles in 1964 during their world tour! Besides it's popular history, the hotel has beautiful waterfront views that show off the iconic Pacific Northwest mountain range. It just happens to have one of my most favorite bars in downtown Seattle - such a gorgeous place to catch a beautiful sunset. It's a wonderful place to hold a wedding or a special event due to the dramatic wide views that their ballroom offers.
Besides capturing his marriage proposal, my client very kindly asked to capture the water views in the background for them. Going outside the hotel was the perfect spot to insure good lighting. I love this romantic shot of the two of them having a loving embrace with the snow-capped mountains in the background. This is my perfect example of capturing the feeling and mood of their special day with some Seattle scenery in the background.
When I'm taking photographs of a couple, especially for a surprise proposal, I know that their families are looking forward to seeing these pictures. Since this was a fairly slow time of year for me, I was able to edit and deliver their photographs by the end of the day for them. Their session was held in the morning, so it gave me some time to go through their photos and finish them by early evening so that they could have something to share with family and friends. I began as a family photographer here in Seattle, but my new favorite request to receive are couple sessions, engagement sessions, and definitely surprise proposals. Because I've been receiving a few proposals, I have now added in weddings and elopements to my list of photography services. In the past, I've had the pleasure of delivering photos for micro-weddings, adventure elopements, and formal banquet hall weddings, so I am excited at the prospect of adding these back in to my list of services. I can't resist love in all its forms y'all, and being able to witness two people exchange vows is so special!