Tuesday, October 18, 2016

brittany + zach | the sweetest surprise proposal you'll ever see

Be prepared for your coworkers to ask you what's wrong and the people on the bus to stare at you for exhibiting major emotions in public, because today I'm sharing the story of Brittany & Zach's proposal. 

Two months ago, my best friend Brittany posted a photo of her and Zach that looked as stunning as a professional portrait. My mind immediately went where every other friend of Brit's did -- are they engaged?! Nope. No ring. I was so sure that her post had been an engagement announcement that I texted Zach, "Don't you DARE propose to Brittany without me taking paparazzi photos from the bushes." 

I thought he would ignore my sassy message but instead, he wrote back, "Call me on Monday."

I screamed and jumped up and down because YES! Brittany and Zach's engagement was going to be a reality!! I waited patiently for the weekend to end and our call on Monday where I could berate him with questions. At first, we were chatting about maybe doing a couple session of Brit and Zach, where he would then propose. No way, I said, because Brittany would know what was happening in an instant and our plans would be spoiled. She has been following my work for years and has seen many a proposal shoot. He agreed; we had to be sneakier. 

A few minutes later I excitedly called my dear friend, Elise, owner of Toast Events and master of the devious plan, to tell her my good news. "We have an opportunity to plan a real proposal. And here's what I'm thinking..." We plotted and planned and made a Pinterest board, checking in with Zach every few days to make sure he still liked where we were headed. He said yes to everything and really made us feel like we could just run with it. We knew we wanted Brittany to have professional hair and makeup, be wearing something really beautiful, and have fresh florals on site. The only option was to stage a styled shoot and have Brittany be the model. 

She didn't hesitate for a second. She had been a fan of all the vendors that Elise and I lined up and couldn't wait to get to work with them. We told her it would be a bridal shower shoot and that there might even be other models involved. Anything to throw her off. A date was set, a custom ring was ordered, and my stomach turned every time I hung out with Brittany for the next month and a half. I'm the worst at keeping secrets but the stakes were so high. 

On a sunny Friday morning, Brittany went into hair and makeup with the best of the best, One Fine Beauty and Topknot. We decked her out in pieces from Sarah Walsh's everyday collection, and layered two different tulle skirts from The Handmade Bride. Tanya from Presh Floral always blows me away, but her design on the macrame backdrop from Amy + Jen Decor was on another level.

While she posed in the woods, the soft sounds of Mike Meunier's acoustic guitar turned the forest into a fairytale. Brittany saw Zach and immediately knew what would happen next. With a shaky hand he slipped a stunning princess cut diamond ring on her freshly manicured finger.  It was an absolute dream. 

With tears in my eyes I hugged them both tightly. We pulled it off! And now they were free to pop the champagne and enjoy the little picnic in the teepee as planned. 

I was excited about this shoot, of course. But more than that, I couldn't wait for my best friend, the girl who gives SO much to others, to finally be engaged. If anyone deserves to be the center of all of this hard work, it's Brittany. And Zach was so proud to have created this day just for her. Friends, I've said enough. Let's just pour into the photos because they're too good to wait. 

I put together a little video using clips from mine, Elise's, and Kirsty's phones. Set to Mike Meunier's music, I think it's the perfect little something extra from an already beautiful day. Mike -- thank you for setting the scene and making this day something out of a movie. 


Styling and Coordination: Toast Events
Photography: Laura Kelly Photography
Florals: Presh Floral
Tulle skirt: The Handmade Bride
Macrame top: Forever 21
Hair: Topknot Bridal Fashions and Hair
Makeup: Penelope of One Fine Beauty
Jewellery: Sarah Walsh Jewellery
Macrame Backdrop: Amy + Jen Decor
Acoustic Guitar: Mike Meunier Music