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I loved being the Fort Worth proposal photographer for Peter and Mallory on their first flight together.

The day started cold and windy with promise of sunshine later. I wandered around pretending to do marketing for the local airport while watching the tail numbers of the few planes landing the day after Thanksgiving. Pete and Mal are the sweetest couple, and I truly mean that. Mallory’s smile is energetic and encouraging and Peter’s goofiness is contagious.

Here’s to more perfect, private airport surprise proposals in 2017!surprise proposal at a private airport, fort worth proposal photographer, fort worth proposal photography, airport proposal, cute proposal ideas in fort worth, professional proposal photographer    emotional moment after a surprise proposal at an airport candid engagement and proposal photographer in fort worth texas, emotional proposal photographs, dallas proposal photographer, granbury airport proposal girl hugging guy after he proposed to her in a private airplane rideprivate airport surprise proposal photographer in austin texas

How to plan the perfect surprise proposal in AustinBy this point, I’m practically a proposal photographer expert. I’ve fielded many questions from concerned guys, scheduled over a dozen secret hiding spots, and even pretended to be a professional family photographer for some. Here are my tips for how to plan the perfect surprise proposal in Austin.

Location Have you ever been set up for a surprise and find it out through context clues? Or led to an event and the gig was up before you got there? Location is the key to a successful proposal. My recommendation? Choose a location that is easy to make up a story for, one that has a bit of background sentimentality or just something you two would normally do together.  It will be easier to keep the secret going and your significant other won’t be as suspicious.

Time of Day The day is your oyster! Unlike weddings, there aren’t strict times and social codes to adhere to. Although, this somewhat depends on the location you chose.

Below, I’ve listed 8 (holy moly) location suggestions that are almost *all* tested, tried and truly legit locations for popping the question.

natural, organic wedding and proposal photographer in austin and central texasproposal photographer in austinIf downtown is key, try calling a nice restaurant downtown during the week on their off hours to see if you can get a secluded spot to set up props like balloons, signs, candles and photos of the two of you. Perhaps even try re-creating your first date, or a sentimental date spot will woo her AND keep her from wondering why you’ve been so fidgety all night.

  • The Long Center is a *classic choice* either down on the patio area or the top floor of the adjacent parking garage.
  • Parkside has a special event area upstairs that is all weather and has a great view of downtown 6th street.
  • Heck, any parking garage downtown after 5pm will be empty and a fantastically unique location to propose.
  • The Seaholm Project is industrial, urban and super chic. It’s hardly ever crowded, and if you *really* want to make an impression, reserve a romantic dinner for that night at the swanky & new Boiler Nine.

how to propose in austinIf you guys are more of an outdoorsy couple or you think your better half might enjoy a more iconic setting with views of downtown, I’ve listed 4 good spots below.

  • 360 Bridge Overlook. This place used to be a secret alternative to the popular Mt. Bonnell but it seems to be featured quite a bit more these days. It’s a bit of a hike to get up, so get there early!
  • Popular with runners, the Town Lake Boardwalk at dusk will give you the lake, trees, a most importantly clean, man-made spot to drop to your knee and a great bump out for night shots of downtown.
  • Laguna Gloria has a beautiful gazebo tucked away down a gravel path way lined with string lights and trees. Intimate AND no hiking required!
  • The tippy top of the Hope Art Gallery/Graffiti park at 6th & Baylor.

Obviously the smaller the space, the harder it is for me to “hide” but the surprise on her face will be worth all of it! There is so much less stress on all of us to get the timing “just right” because it’s a split second between you on one knee, and her (hopefully) saying “yes!!” and giving you a giant hug.

The most important thing to remember here, guys, is lighting. 

Nature and outdoor areas photograph best during the late afternoon/early evening hours when the sun is just about to set, aka “golden hour.”  Make sure you research just in case there is a conflicting event going on! Popular locations like the Long Center during Christmas/Nutcracker season and Mt. Bonnell at sunset will be very crowded.

Places I don’t recommend: Auditorium Shores, Red Bud Isle, Pfluger Pedestrian bridge, The Long Center at Christmas or summer, Zilker Park at Christmas and the Greenbelt during the summer.

Finally, these are just a few of my suggestions! I got asked a lot of location opinion questions last year from out of town couples and wanted to put all my thoughts together in one post. Got somewhere in mind that has meaning for the two of you? Say, your first kiss? Or a really cool private, personal location? Let’s talk details.

Hiring a professional photographer for your proposal shows your investment in the start of this new chapter of your relationship. It also makes for some really heckin’ cool photographs that your special person, your mom, her mom, your aunts, uncles and grandparents will love. Oh and for Facebook bragging too. Plus, if you decide that I’m pretty cool and good at my job and want to continue with hiring me for the wedding, we’ll already be comfy with each other and your family will already know me! Bonus points all around.

east austin engagement session during the winter

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Nervous laughter, goofy jokes, and a perfectly crisp fall Saturday were just the beginning elements from Christine & Travis’s River Rock Event Center wedding in San Antonio, Tx. Travis, the goofy guy who we knew from college was all grown up and ready to marry his incredible girl.

Every detail was romantic, trendy and reflected highly on Christine’s taste level. The venue was a new one for me, but a really great one in Boerne, Tx. Huge oak trees everywhere, old grain silos and a beautiful indoor/outdoor dance space, perfect for San Antonio brides looking for a medium sized wedding venue on the north side.

Christine is a graphic designer by day, it was no surprise to see a cohesive glamorous meets Texas style represented at her wedding. Her dress from Morilee was the perfect blend of traditional style and San Antonio class.

When Christine’s mom escorted her down the aisle and Travis’s reaction to seeing her for the first time, I found myself getting a little misty eyed too. Moms getting teared up get me every time! The emotions and sentimentality were honest and raw, something every photographer loves to see.

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River Rock Event Center in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas.

Bride’s attire: Mori Lee (dress designer), Kendra ScottJenny Yoo (bridesmaids), Alex Marie (shoes, exact) Men’s Warehouse Vera Wang Black Label tuxes

Details: Flower Shack Blooms, 2Tarts Bakery, Toast Entertainment, Jimmy Lyn’s Catering

Fobo and uplighting by: DPC Lighting,  Coordinator: My Forever by Nikki

intimate summer wedding at the cotton mill in mckinney

Back in early July, my best friend photographer lady-boss Elissa asked me to second shoot an intimate wedding at  The Cotton Mill in McKinney.

It being July, we were prepared to sweat and generally be battling heat and sun to get photos from this laid back, fiesta themed wedding. However, nature had other plans and barreled down rain so hard as though a hurricane landed right on North Texas. The intimate wedding got moved indoors but everyone continued to have a great time.

When I arrived, Sam was already dressed, with her sister spraying down her cropped auburn hair and handmade headpiece. A quick ceremony with readings and a quote from S’s mom who had recently passed, before a really fun reception.

S’s blush and beaded Adriana Papell dress was simple but glamorous, and L’s custom fitted Banana Republic navy suit was impeccable. Not sure if you can see in the photos later, but a pair of glitter heeled Kate Spade shoes made an appearance on the dance floor. Yes!

The Cotton Mill is now one of my ABSOLUTELY favorite Dallas wedding venues with its exposed brick and original windows, this place is perfect for the urban, colorful, modern bride. It’s great for both large weddings and intimate ones with plenty of photogenic locations all around the large building.

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Vendor team love: The McKinney Cotton Mill , Dress: Adrianna Papell, Fajita bar from Pappa’s Catering, Banana Republic suits, Fig Floral, Sparkle shoes via Kate Spade