When Ryan told me he was planning on proposing to Becky, I’m not going to lie and say I was surprised, because I wasn’t. I’ve known Ryan for years, and had the pleasure of meeting Becky about a year and a half ago at a mutual friends’ destination wedding (but that is a blog entry for a different day.) They were the gross kind of in love that you see on TV, and Alex and I thoroughly enjoyed ribbing them about it, with all of the love in our hearts. So, when Ryan called me up to say he a. was going to propose and b. wanted me to photograph it, I was beyond excited. And honored. I mean, what a thing to be able to capture?! That being said, I’m really glad our proposal wasn’t photographed because I ugly-cried through most of it, was so shocked I didn’t respond to the question, causing Alex to have to ask me “will you marry me?” a second time AND there was this weird demonic looking goose lurking in the background that I can’t forget, no matter how hard I try (Alex proposed at a park near a lake that has a bunch of geese – most of them are normal, except for the aforementioned and most unfortunately Chernobyl’d fellow who graced us with his presence, that day).
I’m just going to take a moment here and say it: I love. Photographing. Proposals. If I could do it every day, I totally would. It was literally the coolest thing, ever.
We had to work out some logistics, but I ended up keeping an eye on the ring (after opening the box probably 50 times to gawk at it because omg, it is lovely) until Ryan tucked it away inside a box Becky had given him previously (during which I tried my best not to cry because the diehard romantic part of me couldn’t. even deal.) The sentimental factor was high, y’all. Logistics, overall though, were not in our favor, though it worked out perfectly. Ryan intended to recreate a previous date they had gone on, during which I would hide and wait for them to come outside, after giving him the ring at a previous moment (he didn’t have any pockets in which to keep it). However, things had to be pushed back when Becky got called in to work and, since Ryan was trying to surprise her, couldn’t come up with any compelling reason not to go. Thus, we rescheduled for the following week. They were to visit the Art Musuem and afterwards, Ryan would pop the question in front of the Apotheosis of St. Louis (Louis IX) Statue, out in front, overlooking the park. As this ALSO presented logistical issues (I am short. Nowhere to hide.), we regrouped and settled on the front steps. Pending rain. It was a beautiful (if you like rain and fog, which I do) fall evening; mist, leaves changing colors, joyful hearts – everything I could have hoped for. Literally, the color on Forest Park was on. point.
We did a LOT of texting back and forth day of (mine more panicked than his, likely) but everything went off without a hitch AND it stopped raining briefly AND she even said yes!! Pretty sure I was significantly more nervous that Ryan, even though my job was easy compared to his! It was a beautiful moment and I feel so, so incredibly privileged to witness it. It is almost impossible to describe what it is like to witness that kind of love, and what a true honor it is to see people (your friends, no less) share that with each other. I tried my best not to cry, and failed miserably. We did a quick engagement session afterwards, during which I was given the opportunity to capture what I can only describe as elation. It was magical. My face hurt from smiling. Still does, writing this blog entry. Ryan and Becky, I am so happy for you guys and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. Thank you for sharing this step in your journey with me.