Andy’s proposal is something that he has been dreaming about since he was young. He didn’t know the exact details, he just knew he wanted it to be BIG and there would be a lot of meticulous planning involved. The proposal was broken into three phases, each tailored to have a different effect on Emily and send her on an emotional roller coaster, hopefully creating a crescendo of joy by the end.
The first phase was intended to bring shock and excitement. Andy had Emily convinced that they were going salsa dancing to celebrate his parents’ anniversary and meeting them for drinks beforehand. Upon arriving at the bar to meet his parents, Andy snuck out and used the restroom as an excuse to disappear. As soon as he left, the speakers began to blare ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyoncé and a group of girls appeared from the surrounding tables and began dancing in Emily’s direction. Despite her utter confusion, she was clapping and nodding along, thinking this was a routine performance at the bar. After a while she grew suspicious, but it was not until the song ended and the dancers took her by the hand that she knew Andy was going to propose. The dancers lead her outside where two matching black SUV’s were parked with all of her best friends waiting with open arms to capture her and take her to the next surprise.
Phase two was tailored to be fun, mysterious and sweet. When Emily took her place in the SUV, she was greeted with an iPad preloaded with a video message from Andy. He laughed and joked on the video and apologized for the prior weeks of neglect and excuses that he had used to cover his tracks while planning. He mentioned that she was to be taken to a special location and that there was a new dress in the car for her to put on. After she put on the dress her friends joined her for an impromptu dance party in the car and on the side of the road to stall as Andy was putting the final touches on phase 3 .
The big finale was all sentiment. Both SUV’s arrived at the secret destination. As all the girls filtered out, Emily was told to sit in the car and wait. They had arrived at an abandoned Christmas tree farm in Sherwood, Oregon. The exact location where Andy brought Emily for a picnic on their very first date. Emily was led from the car by her father, mother, and sister.
As the giggling quartet approached their destination, Emily’s sister and parents hugged and kissed her goodbye and left her at the foot of a red carpet lit by mason jars and candles while photographer, Julia Green began to capture the moment. The carpet drew her into a patch of Christmas trees, all white with lights, accompanied by the strumming of a guitar playing a homemade love song written by Andy.
As she entered the circle Andy appeared, gave her a big hug, lots of kisses and sat her down at a replication of the same picnic he had taken her on their first date. They sat and listened to the song until Andy handed Emily a note that contained the journal entry he had written the night that they first met.
She read it to herself as friends and family hid in the surrounding trees, able to see but not hear the interactions between the two.
At last, Andy took her hand and brought her to her feet. He asked for her hand using her full name like she had requested months before, and gave her the engagement ring of her dreams, which had arrived only hours earlier that same day!
After she accepted the proposal, the couple kissed as family and friends cheered them on. The crowd gathered to congratulate them and look at the ring.
The group filtered out of the Christmas tree field to rejoin later for the after-party where more friends and family were waiting (along with good food, drinks, and decor). Andy and Emily listened to the love song one more time before driving to the party. Emily was in pure excitement of the proposal and astonishment over her ring while Andy basked in the relief that everything had gone as planned.
Photos by Julia Green Photography