On September 7th, 2019, around 2:30PM I was stringing lights from my best friend’s, Jocelyn, hollow tree that she got married in front of. Jocelyn graciously was being my model with her husband for a styled shoot I was hosting the next day. Jocelyn is the friend who squeals about my ideas and often is just as excited as I am supporting every step I take into this business. If you’ve attended any of my minis, you definitely will have seen some of her work because I often use her incredible eye to set things up just perfect.
As we were hanging lights from this beautiful tree, I shared with her that I was hoping one day I’d get the opportunity to one day shoot a surprise engagement.
Cue tyler essiembre!
At 8:45PM (ONLY SIX HOURS AFTER I SAID I WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN), I received an email from Tyler stating that his girlfriend, Randelle, had just scheduled a session with me and that he was wanting to turn it into a surprise proposal with Randelle thinking that it would be a regular family shoot. I actually had tears reading the email because I couldn’t believe that something like this occurred only a few hours after I wished for it.
Tyler and I got on the phone pretty quickly and that’s when I learned how much thought had gone into this proposal. Tyler had all the details hashed out and knew exactly what he wanted with VERY little input from me. If you know Tyler or have met him, you can hear his voice change when he speaks about Randelle. Tyler spoke about Randelle being free spirited, a doting and incredible mother, beautiful, creative, and incredibly selfless. Tyler shared that Randelle chose me because she loves the rustic look of my photos. When I told Tyler that I had wished for this only a few hours prior, Tyler laughed and stated, “Randelle has a tattoo on her arm that states ‘everything happens for a reason’”. And that became the slogan of our project.
Tyler also shared with me that he would need some help because him and Randelle were attached at the hip and it would be hard to keep this secret from her. And the rest was history. I was beyond sold and was so incredibly excited for this project.
I helped Tyler coordinate with one of the most incredible florists, Carrie Lynn Floral, who was just as excited as I was about this very secret mission. Tyler also recruited the help of Matt Green Photos to do videography for the proposal and our team was set. Tyler, Matt, and I snuck around Port Elgin one afternoon to set our locations in stone and ensure our cameras had the perfect lighting.
October 4th, 2019 came and the elaborate set up was executed. Tyler recruited the help of his parents, who were incredible and helped Carrie Lynn, Matt, and I execute the perfect dream proposal. With one hour of setting up and many helping hands, we had it all from ninety-six photos, rose petals, an arch decorated in incredible flowers, a bouquet, candles with pillars, boards spelling out Tyler’s last name, and a BEAUTIFUL ring, we were ready.
The time came around that it was was time for me to meet up with Tyler and Randelle and pretend that I’d never met Tyler (pretending we had not been in frequent communication for weeks prior to this). Tyler and I awkwardly smiled at each other and shook hands upon our introduction (meanwhile carrying the ring of his beautiful bride to be in my pocket).
Randelle was EVERYTHING Tyler described her to be. With a contagious smile, laugh, and incredible sense of humour, Randelle is one of those people you have that instant connection with and gives you the kind of feeling like you’ve known them forever.
Randelle and I walked along the trail (that we had already chosen) talked about life and we reached the meet up spot where Tyler brought out a blindfold and asked her to put it on. Tyler walked down the trail with their son, Haven, and I guided Randelle to the beginning of the trail where she was met with Matt (a longtime friend of hers) and a letter from Tyler. Randelle practically sprinted down the trail and continually swearing asking us what was going on (also when I knew I loved her to death). And Tyler got down on one knee and Randelle said yes and the rest was history. Every second of planning was so worth it and it was such a special moment.
After the proposal (and Randelle's shock wore off) we did an outfit change, headed to a gorgeous quiet beach, and enjoyed what looked like the last little bit of summer (it was most definitely fall, solid four degrees). We watched the sun begin to set as we looked at Chantry Island in the distance and all of us cheered and celebrated that it was such a success. It was an incredible and memorable time in my photography career and even more excited to continue to work with these really special individuals with their engagement photos as well as their wedding next year.
Check below for the behind the scenes video! (short but sweet ;))