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Alan & Catie / Surprise Gazebo Proposal

I know I say this all the freaking time, but something I will never get over about being a photographer is getting invited into these once-in-a-lifetime, intimate moments. Weddings and engagement pictures are great in their own right, and I LOVE them, but a getting to witness a marriage proposal - someone literally proposing to spend the rest of their earthly days loving you, taking caring of you, and starting a family with you - now that was insanely special.

What made this even more special to me is the fact that I have known Catie since we were both in middle school. Her friendship brought so much laughter to the years we spent in school together. When her boyfriend, Alan reached out to me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would photograph their proposal, you can bet I cleared my calendar to be sure I could be there for them.

Alan told me he would be proposing at a gazebo near Catie's parents house. I knew that he was going to decorate, but I had no idea just how decked out this place would be. I arrived early to make sure I could be ready when they showed up, and was astounded to see the entire path up to the gazebo lined with candles and lanterns. The gazebo itself was straight out of a movie. Every individual post and railing was wrapped in Christmas lights and there were flowers everywhere. And I mean everywhere. 100 red roses covered the floor and music was playing as the sun broke out after what felt like a forever-cloudy January.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic beauty that Alan so carefully put together, the real beauty was getting to witness this moment that is the start of Alan & Catie's together story. This is their first of many promises to each other, one of the highest highs they will ever experience, and a memory that will be cherished by their children and grandchildren. I can just picture their kids looking at these photos one day and asking their mom to tell them the story of how their dad proposed. Overly sentimental? Maybe. But I won't apologize for it ;)

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