Surprise Proposal in Fort Fisher


I’m so happy to get to share these photos of Jake and Elizabeth’s beautiful proposal in Fort Fisher!! Jake had reached out to me on Instagram at the beginning of July and said he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend before the month was over, so we set to planning as SOON as possible. He knew he wanted to use somewhere beautiful nearby Wilmington and loved the idea of elevating the space in some special way. We settled on this iconic tree in a place called “The End of the World” and he reached out to the most wonderful team over at Kickstand Events to prepare something simple and beautiful with their proposal in mind…

Everything was in place for styling and location, but now Jake needed a plan for how to pull off the proposal with the most chance of surprising Elizabeth, so knowing she followed me on IG, I posted a model call in my stories for any local couple available last minute that would be willing to participate in an upcoming “free” mini shoot, *hoping* Elizabeth would jump on it so Jake could get her out there without her being the wiser!! I made the story visible to only two people… Jacob and Elizabeth… and we waited on pins and needles to see if she would take the bait. When it was getting late and she hadn’t seen my story yet, we pulled in the troops and I texted our mutual friend, Laura, asking her to screenshot my story and text it to Elizabeth with a “HEY! This would be perfect for you and Jake!!” pitch… she was a champ to help us out and minutes later, Elizabeth was in my DMs! Whoop, whoop!! Game on!!!

I told her I was texting with few others about the shoot and would let her know, and technically, I was texting with Laura AND with Jake AND with Nina, so…

Flash to proposal day and it rained. And rained. And rained. It rained so hard I couldn’t see past the hood of my car earlier that afternoon, eventually flooding my neighborhood with 10″ of water in front of my driveway and trapping me at home until JUST before I needed to leave. I texted with our little team and we decided to go for it and take what comes. Little did we know, the rain became the SMALLER hurdle of the evening when Nina and I met out there an hour early only to discover the rain had cleared and a WEDDING was happening exactly where we’d arranged for Jake to propose!!! 😱 The groom, officiant, photographer and a couple of witnesses were all standing around waiting for the bride to arrive who, they told us, should get there any minute and then they’d be on their way within 15 minutes or so and we could move in with the proposal setup.

Nina and I gave them their space, stacking pillows and flowers at the base of the hill and pacing back and forth incognito, watching for their bride… who didn’t come… until 30 minutes had passed (EVERYTHING’S FINE). We watched as guests leisurely made their way to our planned location and then eventually their bride as well, all the while we were making an emergency Plan B proposal location and texting Jake to stall. He did stall… and meanwhile the anonymous bride and groom said their vows, took their pictures and made their way back to their cars as we hustled double time to set up. Would you believe this spot had a crowd filling it just a couple minutes prior?!!

Huge shoutout to the real MVP, Nina, who made this lovely space happen against all odds!!

Last minute text to help Jake know exactly where to go and we were ready!!! (He changed my name in his phone in case she happened to see, so I believe my name is now Jason in his contacts? ha!)

Ahhh!! Here they come!!!

The sigh of relief on Jake here ^^ WE DID IT!!!

Couldn’t let them go without a little mini shoot after the proposal, of course…

If you loved these portraits, you should check out this engagement in Kure Beach!

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