david + nicole | complete surprise proposal | azalea park

This moment. Has my heart.

And it was literally the best case of right place, right time.

A day that started with a fun sister session, and ended in "yes I will" and a new diamond ring!

We had a scheduled session in the Azalea Garden that afternoon with some lovely gals that the Rising Tide Community had brought together to me. We had a fun session the gals where adorable, they got some pictures and the weather was perfect( rare Florida cool day ).

Alas, I avoid Azalea Park at all cost, due to its photographer saturation(there where nine others shooting there same time as us), tho it is unique with its very Roman/Grecian structure and it was a perfect middle distance for all of us so we put on our big girl pants and did it anyways! 

Due to the amount of photog's we had wait in line( yes you read that right IN LINE) to use the structure. It was not a big deal, we enjoyed the time to chat, and as always creatives learn from creatives While doing so, I ever aware of my surroundings couldn't help but notice those behind us in the line. A few places behind us was a young couple, discussing which side of the structure would be best for a photo. Didn't pay much heed. Everyone in line wanted a picture with the structure.

After completing our shots, we started walking back towards our cars and could again see the couple discussing how to take this photograph. I walked a few steps past them. And my conscience wouldn't let me.

I turned back around, and said " Hi, I can't help but overhear, if you guys need help taking your photo with your phone I would happily help!" To my surprise they both shouted extremely excitedly, " oh would you!" So the guy( who's name is David btw ) asks if I can actually take the picture with his go pro. And seeing as we have had one of those for a little bit, I agreed. I told him I was going to walk my clients back to their cars and I would come back. He then asked Nicole( his girlfriend ) to hold the place in the line, and walked back with me and , my clients back to the cars to get his go pro.  

As we are walking back, David turns to me and says " Hi I am David, thank you for doing this, she doesn't know but I am about to propose to her. In turn I said " Hello David, Im Ashley and oh my goodness!"

The gals with me overheard( and being photographers too) immediately asked "HOW CAN WE HELP" So we figured out a simple plan that they would hang out to one side of the structure and act like they where there to watch the sunset and I would hold Davids phone and pretend to take pictures. Turns out the gopro already had a dead battery so the phone had to be a good enough ruse.

As they get comfy on a spot on the structure, and as I pretend to situate myself( all the while I was literally so nervous I couldn't breath! I literally had 5 mins preparation!) the girls are off to one side video cameras in hand. At first I took a few posed pictures of them, he started talking to her, and I quietly switched over to my camera. He spoke to her, and she looked over at me and asked him if I was suppose to keep taking pictures. 

It was an  amazing moment to watch as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She went through a stage of shock, of "are your for real"! and then the best kind of happy cry. It was so sweet. In that moment there was only two people in their world. It was them and the making of their wonderful promise to each other. It was simple, it was emotional, it was perfect.

And best of all....She said YES!

She then proceed to ask if this had been planned, an if I knew David. And how it was a perfect moment for me to ask them if I could help. In which I simply replied, that anyone could have done it, I'm just flattered it was me.

I'm so grateful I asked to help that day. I believe everyone deserves these special moments to be eternally remembered in a photograph. As me and another photographer where discussing just recently, everyone deserves to have wonderful photographs, whether your budget is pennies, or thousands. One is not greater then the other. Even a random stranger you have never met. 

I have now had the privilege to get to know my random strangers, who are very much not random strangers anymore. They are David and Nicole, one of the sweetest couples I know with such a wonderful story. I asked Nicole if they would allow me to share here on the blog, and she agreed! I am also happy to say you will be seeing more of them, as we shoot their wedding this spring. Enjoy the lovely snaps of the impromptu super surprise proposal, and Nicole's sweet story below. Thanks for you time lovelies! See you next week.

Their Story

You have no idea what this means for myself & David. You captured such an important moment in our lives. The way you captured it was so beautiful, you have a very key eye and a God given talent with photography. I am so forever thankful for you.
Just to give you a back story, I met David when I was 13 yrs old at our church and we became friends over the years. Going to youth events, youth camps, even High school & College events & etc. I pretty much grew up with him through all my teen years. We started dating when we were 16 yrs old so its been quite a long time. (Almost 7 years) When we first got together I gave him a list of things he would have to do or get before he could ever ask me to marry him. Of course at the time because we were so young it was kind of a joke/serious request. But he kept that list and as the years passed, when he new I was “the one” he fulfilled every last one of them. The last one was to get the ring and ask for my hand in marriage lol.

Its really a testimony of Gods goodness after all these years together. We have gone through every hardship you can imagine together which has strengthened us as individuals and in the relationship. Gods love, His word and presence has been the foundation that has kept us grounded & pure. So I have to give Him the glory!!!

So this is just a little bit of our story but I did want to share. You’re amazing Ashley and I don’t even know you, But I new when talking with you that you have a very sweet & pure heart. Your the best!
the shock moment!!!!

the shock moment!!!!