A lot of people say they saw the ring coming. Some even help plan how they’re asked. No, I’m not kidding.

Others are taken by complete surprise in the middle of a field on a cold day in March while their dogs are running away totally out of sight, leaving the couple in a brief panic. That was my story and I love it but it’s for another day!

Today I want to tell you about Isaac and Nicole. 

Nicole’s mom reached out to me in February, asking if I would be available to shoot on March 16th in Washington DC. Her daughter was to be engaged on that day to her boyfriend, Isaac. Obviously, the only answer here was yes.

Of course I wanted to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment for Isaac and Nicole. Of course I would run through the city, looking for just the right location. Of course I would do my best in the days, hours, and literal minutes leading up to that moment to calm Isaac and reassure him of his plan. There wasn’t a chance I would miss out on the excitement. I had never met Nicole or Isaac in person before he was on one knee but that didn’t matter. I live for honest, unconditional, radiant love and I wanted nothing more than to capture it in this moment.

Over the course of a month, I spoke with both Isaac and Nicole’s, mom, Sue, to help plan out Isaac’s Washington DC proposal. Isaac & co. are from New York, which meant I was tasked with finding the ideal location in DC. From Eastern Market and Capitol Hill to Georgetown’s alleyways and waterfront, we searched for a spot that would reflect the authentic beauty of DC while also remaining relatively private and quiet. For those of you who haven’t spent much time in the city, this really isn’t an easy task. And what’s more, March 14th-16th were the first days of patio-weather in the District and, let me tell you, DC residents were out to play. 

We narrowed the location down to Georgetown on Nicole’s request. Her birthday was just a few days earlier and she wanted to spend a weekend in DC with an afternoon walking around Georgetown. Little did she know…

After a couple days of searching, I found what I thought would be the perfect location – a bridge crossing the canal, connecting a quiet residential courtyard with the Georgetown Pinstripes’ patio. I called Pinstripes to explain what we wanted to do and get a little more information on what to expect in terms of their typical Saturday afternoon crowd. Their manager, Aaron, was thrilled to hear about the proposal, assured us that crowds would be manageable, and even offered to celebrate with the Isaac and Nicole by offering them a champagne toast. Amazing. Seriously, they went above and beyond in ways I don’t have time to write about here!

Fast forward to the March 16th. I experienced more traffic driving into Georgetown on the day of the proposal than any other time, ever. The stress was real but thankfully the patio was empty with the exception of three tables. According to Aaron, there had been a giant rush that had totally cleared out just before we arrived. Perfect. Things seemed to be going our way. 

Nicole and Isaac made their way up from Baked and WiredSide note: Let me take a moment here to express how completely obsessed I am with their cupcakes! Run, don’t walk, the next time you’re in Georgetown. Seriously. The cupcakes are so good that the line can easily go for blocks. Back to Isaac and Nicole! The two were walking down the canal and about a minute from getting to the bridge when a tour bus of probably 50 middle schoolers showed up. 

Are you kidding me. 

Trusting that everything would work out the way it was supposed to, and also having planned for something like this to happen, I ran across the bridge, passing Isaac and Nicole, while our server blocked a bunch of probably 13-year-old boys from imposing on their moment. I have no idea what was said, but it took Nicole all of .00000000001 seconds to realize what was happening. Isaac was down on one knee, people were clapping, champagne was on its way, and all was as it was meant to be. 

You might think it would end here. It didn’t. 

Isaac’s brother Aaron (so many Aarons!) had worked with Aqua Al2 in Eastern Market to surprise Nicole AGAIN with an intimate engagement party. Both families flew down to celebrate and boy did they deliver! In about 15 minutes, the room was bursting with photos, flowers, balloons, and personalized confetti, napkins and gifts. As soon as they walked through the door, Nicole and Isaac were greeted by a wave of overwhelming love and support. The joy that filled the room was intoxicating. I took a few pictures and bowed out, letting the families revel in the excitement.

What. A. Day.

I can’t say enough how happy I am for Nicole, Isaac, and their families. I was truly honored to get to share in such a special and important moment. Here’s to love, laughter, and a lifetime of endless surprises!