Cynthia Viola Photography


A Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park!

Engagement PortraitsCynthia Viola6 Comments
When you meet the one who changes the way your heart beats, dance with them to that rhythm for as long as the song lasts
— Kirk Dietrich
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

Ok. So. You know I love weddings. You know I love engagement sessions. But oh my goodness! I LOOVVVVEEE secret proposals where I get to plan and scheme with several people in on the secret and then hide in the bushes while it all plays out perfectly!!

When Matthew called me to see if this was something I'd be interested in I jumped at the thought, rearranging other things I'd had planned for the day and calling Damien to make sure he could video.  Matthew had arranged for his friend Trey to fly in from Atlanta to play the saxophone in the middle of Pullen Park while they were walking around and as they got closer to him he would switch songs to "You Are So Beautiful" and Matthew would pop the question. Damien and I would of course be capturing every moment from the bushes. 

Hollie was ecstatic! They were just supposed to be up here on a Valentine's getaway weekend and she had NO idea. It was amazing. As Damien, Trey and I ran around the area trying to get everything set up several people started asking what was going on and when I told them, THEY got excited and by the time Matthew and Hollie came around the corner there was a whole crowd of people waiting in anticipation for the moment and when she said, "Yes!" everyone erupted in applause! AMAZING!

Ok, without further ado, here's a few of my favorites from the big moment! 

Hollie's family was hiding in the bushes as well and came running to congratulate them. She was SO sweet with her dad, I almost couldn't see to shoot through the tears! I know I'm going to just be a hot mess during the father daughter dance at their wedding!

Wedding Proposal Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

They both have purity rings and hers fits so perfectly with the new engagement ring. So sweet. I'm so glad we had some blooming trees to work with, the day was perfect in every way.

Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

Why You Shouldn't Anticipate Their Reaction

Wedding Photography, Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love has nothing to do with what you’re expecting to get – only what you’re expecting to give – which is everything
— Katharine Hepburn

It's not uncommon for a mom or perhaps a bridesmaid, even an officiant to pull me aside before the ceremony or first look begins and say, "Now make sure you get his reaction, I just know he is going to lose it!" I, of course, assure them I will do my best and that the moment is just going to be perfect. 

While this sentiment is meant as excitement for the couple, and nerves just make people say things because they've heard others say them; I've found in practice that it sets up both the couple and those who love them for failure or disappointment. 

If you expect your love to cry and they don't, or drop to their knees and they don't, or do a happy dance and they don't, it immediately makes you wonder if maybe you're not dazzling enough. Maybe he doesn't like the dress you chose, or she thinks your hair looks funny. Maybe they're just ready to get this part over with so they can get to the party. Maybe they're getting cold feet. In reality, maybe your love is just not a crier. Maybe instead you've rendered them speechless and all they can do is take you in. 

Might I suggest instead to have no expectations, only love.

Rather than worrying about how they're going to respond to you, focus instead on taking them in, fully. Notice the way her curls fall across her face (her stylist put in a lot of work to make that happen you know), notice that he put on your favorite cologne and breath in deeply, notice the shy look on her face as she twirls (she's a little nervous you won't like her dress), notice how he fidgets with his watch and sways back and forth (he's a nervous too, this feels like a first date after all).

When you commit to just living fully in the moment and allowing your love and your family and friends do the same, I promise the day will be more fulfilling, more surprising, more memorable. You be you and let them be them.

Live in the present and let me capture the memories. 

Annnnnnnnd the same theory applies to the proposal of course... 

And one more...can't resist. :)