Sometimes these words catch people completely off guard. While others wait, and then wait some more, hoping that they will be asked this life altering question.
Will you marry me?
Four simple words that can change a person’s life forever. Hopefully, it is for the better, though others find a less then romantic fate. However, I’m not here to talk about divorce rate or tips on a keeping a healthy marriage (though I’m sure I have a few worth while). I just wanted to share a few thoughts on that very first step in creating a lifetime together, the proposal.
You never know when it will happen. Maybe you’re an unexpected bystander or the lucky recipient. Whatever the case may be, a wedding proposal is a beautiful thing.
After viewing Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal last night, I wanted to find a way to share this amazing proposal with others, but also talk about the importance of preserving such an amazing moment between two people. There is so much time and effort put in engagement sessions and of course the wedding day, but little is done to capture that exact moment a decision was made to spend the rest of your life with another individual. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty important milestone, one worth photographing and sharing with others.
Now we can’t all have a proposal like Isaac prepared for Amy, but each one is unique and special. I remember my parents sharing their story with me. My Dad had presented my Mom with a box on three occasions. Each time my Mom thought it was “The Ring”. However, my Dad had surprised my Mom with a necklace, a bracelet and a brooch. To say the least, my Mom was not amused. I’m sure my Dad had grand plans of making the proposal very memorable. The night he proposed, he was so nervous that he quickly placed the ring box on my Mom’s plate and said with a sigh of relief, “I’m glad that’s over with.” They were married for close to 43 years.
It has been over 14 years since my wedding proposal. On January 18, 1998, I was completely surprised on top of a mountain in Colorado. My boyfriend (now my husband, don’t want to confuse anyone) and I had talked about marriage, but I never expected to be engaged while skiing on Keystone Mountain. I’m so happy I have pictures to take me back to the day. I am quickly reminded how oblivious I was, even with a huge sign saying, “I love you Sharon” and my boyfriend wearing a tie. It took me a moment to realize what was happening. It is day I will never forget.
This past December I was given the opportunity to photograph a wedding proposal for a very sweet couple. I did not know this couple, prior to being hired by the boyfriend. This was my first proposal and to say the least I was a little nervous. I’m sure not as nervous as the boyfriend, but pretty darn close. I didn’t want to screw up this “once in a lifetime” moment. The plan, as told to his girlfriend, was to go out to dinner downtown, then take a cab back up north and then walk a few blocks to a co-workers party. Little did she know that the short walk would take them past the bus stop where they first met and that the bar right across the street would have friends and family anxiously awaiting the big event.
I made sure to scope the location out before the big night. I wanted to check my available light and where I was going to hide while the proposal went down. I even brought my sister and her boyfriend as fill-ins, to make sure I could explain to the boyfriend the best place to stop and ask the big question. I should have thought about where I was going to park. Wouldn’t you know, trying to find parking in Lakeview on a Saturday night was a bit difficult. I began to panic (slightly). I had given myself plenty of time, but not finding a parking spot made me a little worried. After contacting a friend and parking in his garage and running about a half mile, I made it to my location in plenty of time. I even had a chance to meet the mother of the future bride (as long as she said “yes”). I took my position behind the dry cleaners and awaited my call.
At about 10:45pm, I received a call from the boyfriend letting me know they were on their way. My heart started to pound. My final check list was quickly underway, lens cap off, camera on, settings correct and ready to go! Within minutes I could see them through the side window of the dry cleaners (bus stop right in front). They stopped and he began to speak the words that would change their lives forever. I then realized that he had positioned himself completely wrong (my diagrams obviously didn’t work). I was not going to get any good shots from where I was standing. As he got on one knee, a very loud roar came from the bar across the street, the girlfriend looked in the direction of the bellow and I made the decision to come out of hiding. At this point I didn’t care if my cover was blown. I wanted to get the best shots possible. I was pretty much in their face for the remainder of the proposal. The funning thing is, it wasn’t until after she said “yes” and they hugged and kissed, that she actually realized that I was standing there. She was completely consumed by the moment. A moment that I was able to capture for them. It was truly a magical evening, only to be topped off with the surprise of friends and family waiting with open arms and drinks raised high.
All the planning, the half mile run, the waiting in the winter cold and the pounding heart all paid off. I will be photographing their wedding this December. I can’t wait to preserve even more memories for this lovely couple.
Don’t miss out on the important events in your life. Pictures are a portal to the past. They allow us to relive amazing moments and be thankful.