We're starting to see a trend shifting to surprise engagements…and loving it!
Ryan, the brain behind Never Have I Ever Tampa (we've got to support our local Tampa Bay blogs!) planned an elaborate surprise LGBT wedding proposal for his partner of eight years, Nicholas.
With same-sex marriage now legal in Florida and a nudge from Tampa wedding photographer Ashlee Hamon Photography, the wheels were set in motion.
“Ashlee had asked for us to help with a photo shoot. Shortly after, I reached out and said that I wanted to make this a real proposal,” Ryan explained. “It is one of the most exciting times in our lives, so I really wanted to live up to the eight years we have been dating. I knew the proposal had to be special, and I thought the best way would be a surprise. This gave the perfect cover up story so Nicholas would have no idea.”
“We have interacted with Ashlee [of Ashlee Hamon Photography] on a number of occasions and really grown to love her work. She is creative and delivers quality photos,” Ryan added. “I wanted someone who doesn’t need a lot of direction, but rather looks for emotion and interactions to capture.”
With a team of wedding professionals working behind the scenes, the surprise engagement was designed to represent the couple's style: modern, inviting and down-to-earth with an edge of masculinity.
“Florist Fire was able to easily and quickly create the style and mood we were looking for when it comes to our organic influence, and Tufted Vintage Rentals was so willing to help make the setting whole by providing structure. We wanted the vintage to add an element of character and not ‘stand out' negatively. Becky has those pieces and knows how to style them.” Ryan shared.
While they are still in the infant stages of planning their 2016 wedding, the couple are looking forward to celebrating with friends and the food, of course!
How did your engagement shoot reflect you and your fiancee's personalities?
Over eight years we have brought together our styles and everything about the shoot reflects who we are: a modern couple who is down-to-earth and has an appreciation for art and style. We respect the character and story of the things around us, as well as have a vision for extending the current boundaries.
Florist Fire was able to easily and quickly create the style and mood we were looking for when it comes to our organic influence, and Tufted Vintage Rentals was so willing to help make the setting whole by providing structure. We wanted the vintage to add an element of character and not “stand out” negatively. Becky has those pieces and knows how to style them.
Like most days, work was a bit hectic, which was good, because it distracted me from feeling nervous. I skipped out early and called Nicholas to pretend I was going to late. It’s typical for me to be late since my business is growing and there is always something to do. I arrived to Cass Contemporary about an hour before the proposal would go down, changed into my outfit and confirmed with Nicholas that I was going to be late.
He rushed to the venue so that he could cover for me being late. The gallery is only about five minutes from our house, so when he said he was on his way, that’s when it became real. I remember thinking, “This is happening.” I got really excited, but then realized I didn’t know what I was going to say. Then, Nicholas pulled up into his parking spot and headed towards the front door.
When he turned the corner and saw me, I could tell he was utterly confused; I was supposed to be late. He was rushing in to meet Ashlee and there I was, dressed and ready to go. Then, he glanced at the wall of photos that Oh Hello Events helped put together. It was filled with some of the best photos from our eight years of experiences together. Then, he really knew something was up.
I explained to him that we were not actually here for a photo shoot, in fact, there was something that I wanted to ask him after eight amazing years together.
“Will you spend the rest of your life with me?” I said as I knelt down and held the box with the ring up to him. There wasn’t much to be said because we both knew this day would come. We held a long hug, and then spent a moment to take it all in, before busting out the tequila for a shot! Tequila is our drink of choice, so I knew I wanted to have some on site.
Shortly following an acoustic guitar player from Breezin' Entertainment joined us to sing some of Nicholas’ favorite long songs while we dined, called our parents and enjoyed each others company.
Before dessert, we took a break to write each other notes that we would then nail shut in a wood box with the intention to open on our wedding day. These notes were to capture the emotion that we were feeling so that we could relive some of the excitement on our wedding.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I want someone that doesn’t need a lot of direction but rather looks for emotion and interactions to capture. I think posed photos are great but candid captures are awesome. I also like a photographer that is confident but does not advise on what they think is best but help guide us to our best option. We have interacted with Ashlee [of Ashlee Hamon Photography] on a number of occasions and really grown to love her work. She is creative and delivers quality photos.
Venue: Cass Contemporary
Photographer: Ashlee Harmon Photography
Planner: Oh Hello Events
Florist: Florist Fire
Caterer: Salt Block Catering
Rentals: Tufted Vintage Rentals
Live Music: Breezin' Entertainment
Dog Apparel: Ella Bling