I am still sitting up here on cloud 9. I received an e mail several months ago from a Man inquiring about the possibility of my capturing his engagement proposal to his girlfriend on their upcoming trip to the Wine Country. Upon further discussion I realized he lived in Chicago and neither of them have ever been up here but both had a love for wine. He had created a website called http://craigfinallyproposed.com/ and he was set on this creative, unique, and incredibly romantic journey to ask the love of his life to spend the rest of their lives together. I was over the moon thrilled! I was honored in fact. I am such a romantic at heart! These are the moments in life that I live for! So much joy and emotion! I LOVE my job as a wedding photographer. I get to capture one of the biggest days in people’s lives. But today, today I got to be apart of the moment that sets that day in motion. What a joy.
Once Craig and I had a rough plan in place, I called my favorite Wine Country Friend, Lana Mounts from Mounts Winery (my absolute favorite family winery) and asked if they’d be willing to let me execute this elaborate plan at their winery. I was THRILLED when she said yes! She even went out of her way and helped me coordinate with the Helicopter company (Sonoma Helicopter) to pick a spot on their property where the pilot could land. Then once I got the ok from Lana I enlisted the help of the amazing Amanda Vineyard of Vineyard Events. She helped me with the table set up and flowers while I was off at the airport pretending to be their tour guide ;)
Craig wanted to ship the ring to me so he didn’t have to go through security with it or have it bulging in his pants pocket through the helicopter ride, since it was 95 degrees today he wasn’t going to be bringing a jacket either! So I agreed to have it shipped to my house. The poor guy had an all time high blood pressure the morning it was set to be delivered. Then the second I text him to relieve him of the stress I realized the instant transfer of stress to ME! Having that ring was incredibly stressful !! But how it all played out made it soooo worth it!
So enough of my jibber jabber…. here are the shots from the Healdsburg Airport.
Once they took off in the helicopter I jetted over to Mounts to meet Lana. Amanda was away at work down in the vineyards getting the finishing touches done on the table and the music set up. Lana and I hopped in the car and headed down to the other side of the property where the helicopter was set to land. The helicopter tour was only 30 minutes so by the time we got there about 5 minutes later they were circling above us.
Once they landed, my roll of Sonoma County Tourism Tour Guide kicked back in and I greeted them along with Lana with a cheery “Welcome to Mounts!” I had a moment there when I felt like this must be what it looks like when someone gets privately flown to Vegas or something! The owner of this beautiful winery came out to personally greet them and take them to their tasting! If you’ve ever been up to Mounts you know that it is one of the best little gems in all of Wine Country. It has such a family farm feel. So as we drove them up to the tasting room I let them into the barrel room with Lana to begin their tasting and said my fake “goodbyes” and thanked them for booking their tour and tasting and that Lana would take it from here. Once in the tasting Lana ran them through the wines like she normally would which gave me time to treck down to the spot in the middle of the rolling vineyards. I set the ring out on the table, took a bunch of photos of everything all set up, and Amanda and I quickly got in our hiding spots.
Once Lana was done with the tasting, Craig knew he needed to ask her if they were able to walk around the Vineyards. Lana was cued to know that she was to tell them that there was a picnic area set up down one of the vineyard rows and that they could walk down there and sit out in the middle of the vineyards and enjoy the scenery and some wine if they’d like. Amanda had put up signs to attempt to look like it was a regular thing. Since the walk down the vineyard row was really long we had to have a sign way down at the end of the row where they needed to turn as well.
Once they made the turn the table was right there and just as they were about three vines over Amanda started their song, Phillip Phillip’s Home (LOVE me some Phillip Phillips!!!!! ) so once she heard that we could see she knew something was up but by the time she could really do anything Craig had prompted her to stay right there, he stepped over to the table, grabbed the ring, and the rest is history!
After a few minutes I think Ashley finally realized we were there capturing it all LOL. I then, in great Superman like style (my son would have been proud) revealed my real identity LOL! Amanda and I brought out lunch for them and we left them to spend an hour or so eating lunch and just enjoying a moment alone to really enjoy this moment in time. Amanda and I reluctantly hiked back up to the tasting room to rejoin Lana who was eagerly waiting to hear how it all went down! As I was leaving I snapped a few shots of them enjoying lunch at their table. I just love how Ashley kept checking out her AMAZING AMAZING ring in such disbelief.
Craig had arranged to have a driver come and pick them up from Mounts to take them on to their next adventure! It was so sad to see them go!!! I really think Amanda and I SOOOO wanted to pull up two extra chairs and just sit there with them and suck up more of the joy that was just bursting out of them!!! But we resisted!!! =(
A HUGE thank you to Lana and the rest of the Mounts Family for all of their help and for letting us use their beautiful property. A HUGE thank you to Amanda Vineyard of Vineyard Events, a rockstar wedding and event (and now proposal) coordinator !!!
But honestly the biggest thank you goes out to Craig for trusting us and for reaching out to me and letting me be a part of such a special moment! This is what life is all about, so honored to be there to capture it!!!