Shelly Pate

Leesylvania State Park | Surprise Winter Proposal

Leesylvania State Park | Surprise Proposal | Wedding Proposal Photography

Leesylvania State Park

When Mike first contacted me about photographing his proposal to Madeline, I was so excited! However, there were some logistics to work out. How were we going to pull this off without her suspecting? After all, it’s not every day you go for a walk with a photographer hanging around!

Leesylvania State Park

First, we came up with a plan that I had reached out to Mike for a free couple’s session because I had new gear to test out. Seeing that it was in the dead of winter, we decided that she would totally believe this, and we chose a spot at Leesylvania State Park.

Mike said that offering to have their pup Sophie come to the session sealed the deal for Madeline. That sweet little puppy girl sure didn’t mind the cold, even though the water was completely frozen!

I decided that the best thing to do would be to first get Mike and Madeline comfortable being photographed,  just strolling along the frozen shore, trying not to freeze our buts off, and laughing the whole time.

They are such a fun and dynamic couple. Even though I sensed Mike was nervous, I think he hid it well. Also, Sophie provided the perfect distraction as we strolled along.

In my couple’s sessions, I will often loosely direct people, telling them to cuddle up, or to look at each other, so in this way it really was just like any other session! I’m always looking to tell their story, a little bit of their personalities in the photos. 

Popping the Question

However, when it came time to pop that question, Mike and I had come up with a ruse. Now I was the one that was nervous, but it worked like a charm!

Asking them both to turn their backs to each other, Madeline thought she would be turning around for a big hug, and when she turned around, there was Matt down on one knee.  You can see by her reaction that she was so surprised, and it was such a great moment!

After we popped some bubbly and had a toast, we continued down the beach. On the rocks and the pier nearby and you can just see how amazingly happy they both were in the photos.  It was funny, after the proposal, none of us felt nearly as cold as we did when we started!

Love truly does warm the heart. Congratulations Mike and Madeline!

Are you planning a proposal? Lets talk and see how I can help!

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