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Surprise Proposal! || JC Raulston Arboretum

Eek! SO FUN photographing this surprise proposal at JC Raulston Arboretum. I've known Caitlin for a while so I was pretty excited when Antonio (who I had never met) reached out to me letting me know he was planning to propose and wanted me to photograph it! He's from New Jersey and not very familiar with the area so we chatted through some possible locations. Settling on JC Raulston, we had a rough "plan" in place. I was going to show up a little early, scout it out, find a spot, and let Antonio know where to pop the question. Sounds simple enough, but with a moment this big, any little thing could throw it off:

  • like the fact that we were messaging back and forth while Caitlin was right beside him

  • or how he had to find me back in the White Garden which I told him was about an 8 minute walk and that he would pass the Japanese Garden and come through the Lath House, but turns out you can also get there by walking a short distance from the entrance.🙃 I included a photo of the map below with our routes highlighted. You can figure out which route belonged to me and which belonged to the happy couple.

  • or how they needed to enter through the big arch, if they came through the little arch, I could probably still make it work. But WHAT IF for some reason they came through behind me and saw me chilling behind the stone wall.

Here was my hiding spot. And here are those routes I was talking about.🤦🏻‍♀️ I'm sharing some quality behind-the-scenes on Instagram so go ahead and check that out if you want ridiculous footage of me and bees and a random couple and my text chat with Antonio.

But spoiler alert. Our plan worked, and Caitlin was totally surprised!

After waiting a while, I spotted them coming toward the big arch. Yes! He found it. I snapped a few photos but stopped quickly because I didn't want Caitlin to hear the shutter. So funny watching this all play out. Antonio said something like, "What's this plant?" referring to the unimpressive plant to the right of them.

Caitlin then proceeded to walk all around the plant that had no sign or label. When Caitlin made it back around, he put his arm on her back and started talking. When she gave him a look, I knew it was about to happen.

Of course we took the opportunity to get some sweet engagement photos! As we walked around, Caitlin just kept laughing. So happy.

Congrats, you guys! Thanks for letting me be a part. Proposals might be my new fave.

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