Thursday, September 9, 2010

Otherwise Engaged

On our way to Florida I got a phone call from my sister's boyfriend. He wanted some advice on how to ask my parents for her hand in marriage. Needless to say I was pretty excited and happy for my sister. I was also really glad to be miles and miles away on vacation so that I wouldn't be able to chat with her much and give her any signs (via voice, body language, etc) that I was keeping a secret.

Throughout our trip, I kept in touch with her boyfriend as we chatted about how he would ask her, how the meeting with my parents went, etc. It happened to work out that he would be asking her on the day we were set to return. So it was decided that we'd stay over night (and extend our vacation) by driving through their town on the way home. This would allow us not only to celebrate with her but I was also able to photograph the proposal.

The two of them had dinner at one of New Orleans' finest restaurants and afterward her boyfriend suggested they make a quick stop on the way home to a very specific trolley stop. Years before when they met my sister was on a trip to NOLA with friends. Because they hit it off so well they wanted to keep chatting when her friends were ready to head to bed. So that night they spent hours on said trolley stop bench talking into the wee hours of the morning. Obviously this bench has been a sweet symbol in their relationship and they've visited it often.

This night's visit was different though. Decorated with rose petals and twinkling candlelight the trolley stop was the spot where her boyfriend got down on one knee to ask her to be his wife. To say my sister was shocked was an understatement! In fact at dinner they had discussed how she'd surely know when he was going to pop the question because he can't keep a secret. Little did she know...

I snapped away and tried to capture the moment as best as I could from across the street (and in the darkness of the summer night). Eventually I wandered up closer to them to photograph more detail and it took several moments before my sis realized I was there--she was definitely in the moment and in her own world! The final surprise was that my parents were in the window of a hotel overlooking the road and had witnessed the whole thing. My sister said she was so happy to have us all there to celebrate.

So now we are beginning to get into wedding mode here. They are looking into options for every thing from the ceremony location to flowers. The hardest part for me is helping them find a photographer! I want to do it myself but I know it is not feasible. I want to be able to enjoy the day with my sister and not get absorbed with my work*. Let the planning begin!

Please join me in congratulating my sister and future brother-in-law!

*I really DO get absorbed with my work. As I was crossing the median where the trolleys run in NOLA, I was in my photography "zone" looking through my lens and seeing only my subjects. My hubby was nearby with my camera bag, etc and it is a good thing. I was so into my "job" that I was about to get hit by the trolley! See? No way I could shoot her wedding and not get lost in the world behind the lens.


  1. So awesome that you were able to capture this life changing moment! Congrats to your sis and soon to be brother-in-law :-)

  2. congratulations to them! yay! what a beautiful surprise and those pictures are lifetime treasures...what a brilliant idea to have you placed strategically as to capture the moment...

  3. How special that you were able to catch such a delicious moment!!!

  4. That is so sweet that she has great photos of this moment. How lucky is she????

  5. How exciting! You captured these moments wonderfully! Congrats to your sis and your soon-to-be-brother in law!

  6. Congratulations to your sis and future husband. How wonderful that you were able to be there and capture it all!!

  7. what a great story!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    My wedding is in 7 and a 1/2 weeks and I will be reliving my engagement moment all day today!

    love is grand!!

  8. OMG...seriously simple and beautiful. And the romance. Too much for me. You are so lucky to be there, to capture it for her, for him, for you, for mom and dad and us. Makes my heart melt!

  9. This is such a romantic story! What a great proposal and how wonderful that you were able to be there, capture it on a camera and celebrate with your sister. Congratulations to your family!


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