Surprise Proposal at the Vanderbilt Museum/Centerport N.Y.

A Wedding Proposal


The plan was, of course, for this to be a surprise. I spoke to RJ about 2 weeks prior to the planned date to pop the question. He had reserved the Vanderbilt Museum as the ideal location. His mom and mother-in-law to be were all part of the planning process. Decided time of arrival was 11:10 am.

Me being, well me, I go there an hour early, just to make sure I knew the exact spot I would be in, shoot from, plus figure out how I was going to blend into the background. That was a task.
Picture this, beautiful sunny July morning (100 + degrees outside. I am in the fountain garden, the one at the bottom of the stairway from the courtyard. So there I am in a garden all by myself not a single person on the property, trying not to stand out! I leaned over the wall with my camera and wondered if I could look like a tourist? Nah seemed kinda weird for a woman to be in a garden by herself hanging over a wall! So I thought alright, let me at least hide my cameras under the bushes where I will be shooting from. Strategically placed, unable to see them from all angles. Ok so now here I am still wandering around the garden waiting for Dana and RJ still looking like a shifty tourist. That day I just so happen to dress in jeans (my favorite thing to wear) and a black shirt. I thought hey! What if I pretend I'm a gardener? So for about 15 minutes I was picking up dead pieces of shrubbery, branches, holding them in my hand while praying they would show. The heat was getting more intense by the minute. Just holding them in my hand felt strange so I placed some branches around the garden so it would look like I was actually doing something when they arrived. Finally They arrived!!! I start picking up my branches and trimming the flowers, but wait! They are heading in a different direction.....crap, grabbed one of my cameras and did a stealth ninja move over toward them all the while hiding my camera. I made it! Yes, you got it they moved! Back into the Ninja moves along with picking up weeds and branches on the way in case Dana saw me.. I make it to my spot between a row of bushes where RJ was going to propose. Whew!

Captured the moment. It was wonderful to witness and capture the surprise and she hadn't a clue. After their families came out of hiding and it was just the 3 of us for some photos, Dana turned to me and said "I didn't even see you", I said "Oh good because I was trying to look like a gardener!" she said, "Yes that's what I thought you were!" Haha! Planning works! When you have so many moving parts and factors the right planning creates great results!

Congratulations to Dana and RJ!