What’s better than a proposal in the Fall in the South? A SURPRISE proposal on the top of a mountain of course!
Nikki is the little sister of some long time friends, and over the years I’ve come to call her “sis” too. I’ve shot her Senior portraits, and this year she wanted me to do a Fall couple’s session with her fella Austin.
She booked a few months ago, and then one day a few weeks before their session I received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. It was Austin…wanting to enlist my help to conspire against his beloved to give her the surprise of her life! Ummm….YES! I absolutely will!
So, we set about scheming, talking locations, and I knew immediately I wanted to mess with her…just in case she had any suspicions. We were going to prolong this…setup “moments” where it *could* have happened, but didn’t. 😉
Thus my stroke of genius with “Secret Signs” was born. I made two different chalk board signs, sealed them in baggies that they couldn’t see, and one at a time I had them stand before me, neither knowing what their sign read that they were holding, and especially not the other person.
We then carried on along the way. If she though that was it, she was wrong 😉
Watching them together is simple. They’re timeless. Like they’ve known each other forever, and it’s effortless to love each other.
High-school sweethearts whom I first met as a couple at her Senior Portraits when she’d requested a few with her boyfriend too, so she brought him along.
Nothing is more magical than sunset in the south during Autumn, and this evening up on Chilhowee in Ocoee, TN was absolute perfection…albeit fiercely windy on the overlooks, the lake was amazing.
Austin had hand written a stack of letters to his love, hand-tied them in twine, and brought them along as “props” that she wasn’t allowed to read “until later”.
It was so much fun slowly torturing her, knowing what she did not, but teasing her with possibilities of “this might be it” if she had any suspicions…they were constantly, and purposefully, dashed… Just another cute photo prop, and another stunning backdrop 😉 Haha!
Finally as the sun sank low we headed back down, but made one more stop at the stone gazebo overlooking the valley below. The wind was terrible mixed with the frigid temperature, but they powered through, and FINALLY….
We headed inside the Gazebo where she took a seat to open the letters. She didn’t even get past the first one before Austin was on his knee, ring in hand, asking her that beautiful question!
I don’t think I even heard her answer, she just started to tear up, beaming all over, and soon scooped him to his feet for a hug. Safe to say she said “YES!”
We snapped a couple of images of their official engagement, some ring shots, and just as the sun disappeared behind the clouds we loaded up to go get warm again.
Truly one of the most momentous moments I’ve ever been privileged to capture, and I must say Austin has now set the bar fairly high for his fellow men 😉
So, CHEERS to the Future Mr. And Mrs. Rhoades! I cannot wait to see your wedding planning, and future together, unfold!