Every wedding photographer dreams of being asked to shoot a marriage proposal. Last week, I got that dream call from Zech, and I was doing a happy dance all week long, waiting for the big moment.
Zech planned it out with great care to all the details. He enlisted the help of his family, and created a scavenger hunt for Sheri. What you need to know is that Sheri is from Australia, and was coming to visit not knowing anything about his plans for her experience. All she knew is she it was going to be cold - heck, the poor girl was already cold in the airport before she even left Australia.
And believe me, it was cold! Towards the end there I was not able to click, click, click the way I'm used to because my bare fingers were just not able to move very much. But never mind, that is not the real story here!
With the help of his mom, Jennifer, the scavenger hunt ended at the home (well really, in the field) of some folks the family knew. Jennifer had lights, blankets, candles, chocolates, hot chocolate, and beautiful little details all arranged - including the big giant E for the family's last name. In that beautifully created setting, Zech got down on one knee and let Sheri know he wanted her to be in his life forever as his wife.
So, what went into making this proposal a success (besides a great relationship between two people who feel the same about each other and are ready for marriage of course)? One factor that was really important is that a couple of days before the big event Zech, his mom, and I met out at the proposal site to review how things would go, where I would stand, the fact that Zech would blind fold her to be sure she didn't see me or the family as she was getting out of the car. We went through what the light would be like, how long we would have before we were out of light, where I would stand, and what kind of shots he wanted once she knew I was there. That kind of planning ahead was a bit of effort on everyone's part, but it made all the difference in the world.
Then on the BIG day, things went pretty much as planned. I photographed, one of his sisters had it on a face time for a member of her family, and another of his sisters was taking video on her phone. And most importantly, Zech did his part by getting down on one knee and she said yes (cue the pictures of the big moment again!)
The reality is I couldn't hear a word they were saying. I knew she said yes because Sheri's head started bobbing up and down in a "yes" answer - before he had finished talking. To be sure I got all the moments, I shot through, and gave them a few moments to come to grips with the reality of what had happened - that they were engaged, and all of the sudden a wedding was in the works.
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this whole process - from keeping the secret to hiding behind the barn when they drove in, to sneaking up on the scene while it was happening, to being among the first to congratulate them and introducing myself to the newly engaged bride-to-be and seeing her pure joy.
If you need someone to shoot your proposal, call me. Please! I loved this and want to do more - can you be addicted to something after just doing it once? If so, I'm addicted!