With 11 years of photographing couples and their weddings under our belts, we’ve photographed LOTS of engagement sessions, but photographing an actual engagement, a real life, live proposal wasn’t something we’d ever had the pleasure of doing…until now.

Why haven’t we done this sooner? Talk about super crazy fun!!! We want more!!!

It all started a couple of months ago, when we received a super sweet email from Connecticut Jim. Jim wrote asking about our availability to document a surprise proposal the week before Thanksgiving. He and his girlfriend, Keri, were planning to come to Chatham for a little fall get away. But, what Keri didn’t know is that Jim was planning to ask her to marry him and he wanted the moment captured in photos. His email to us was so full of love & goodness; we were instantly smitten by Jim and his secret mission.

Jim explained that he & Keri were planning to arrive on the Cape on Friday, and his plan was to propose to Keri on Saturday, during a stroll on Lighthouse Beach, one of their favorite places to walk and take in all the beauty that is Cape Cod.

Although they are both Connecticut natives, and still live there now, the Cape holds a special place in their hearts as they both spent summers here as kids (before they knew each other) and continue to make memories here now as a couple.

“The Cape has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember and is even more special to me now, having shared my love of it with (Keri). We truly savor our precious few moments up there and I can’t imagine a more perfect place to pop the question!” Jim told us.

And, so it would be.

Jim & I spoke many times on the phone in the weeks leading up to the big day. His love for Keri and his excitement about documenting this special surprise came shining through in each conversation. Andy & I were already pretty stoked about getting front row seats to our first, “Yes!” but Jim’s enthusiasm was infectious and so we excitedly counted down the days like kids waiting for Christmas morning.

When the day finally arrived, it was as if the stars aligned to give Jim & Keri the PERFECT day for a proposal. It was the warmest November day I can remember. The sun was shining and the beach beckoned.

Andy & I set up a blanket and picnic basket, as if we were just there enjoying the day. We had a camera on a tripod, pretending to photograph the seals frolicking just off shore, while our other cameras were hidden until THE moment. We had texted with Jim in the morning about where we would be and what we were each wearing, so he’d know who we were as he walked past.

My heart began to beat a little faster as we noticed them walking down the beach toward us, hot ciders in hand. Although I only knew Jim from our phone chats, and from the photos he had sent us of he & Keri, I could see in his stride that he was nervous, and it made me fall for him even more.

We exchanged a casual greeting as they passed, and then, after a few more yards, Jim dropped to one knee. I wish someone had got a picture of the goofy smile on my face, because I was enthralled, caught up in the moment as if it were my own.

With my camera pressed to my face and shutter flying, I recorded this very special moment, feeling so grateful to have been invited to share it with them. Andy had walked further down the beach to grab the moment from a different angle. It was so special for us, having got engaged ourselves on our favorite beach in Falmouth.

After hugs & kisses and obvious signs that Jim got the answer he was hoping for, Andy & I moved in a bit closer. A few happy minutes passed, just the two of them soaking in what had just happened, then Jim, excited to share his secret with his now fiancé, introduced us. We led them back to our faux picnic spot and popped a bottle of bubbly we’d brought along to celebrate. And, Keri & Jim called their parents to share the happy news. It was as perfect as perfect gets.

Without further ado….here is the moment she said, “Yes!”

The joy was absolutely contagious….if Jim hadn’t been paying us to document it, I would have grabbed Andy & kissed him and said yes to my sweet mister all over again.

Checking out her new bling…

Listening to Jim & Keri share their happy news with their parents was as big of a treat as getting to see the proposal itself. They are truly blessed to have lots of love & support in their lives. Yaaay for that!

More phone calls and more bubbly….

After some happy tears, and still somewhat in shock that she was not only proposed to, but that there were two photographers there documenting it all, Keri wanted to take a moment to freshen up. So off into the warm November sun they headed…

Back for a little mini love session, I mean ENGAGEMENT SESSION….a real one. Think Jim is happy she said, “Yes!” Ummmmm…yup!

Sealed with a kiss…

Jim & Keri have this super cute thing they do where they just lean their heads into one another. It wasn’t anything we prompted, although we do sometimes ask couples to do this. It was just their thing, which made it so sweet and special. I especially love how their gripping each other’s hands. Yaaay for love!!!

There was a lot of kissing happening….

Snuggling and soaking in the moment….

And….a little more bubbly.

Love is….THIS!

The glow of the late day sun was as intoxicating as the surprise proposal itself. Jim, my friend…you done good!

Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!

Checking out her new ring and the sweet man who gave it to her….

The look of love….

Let the new chapter in their fairytale begin….

Jim, thank you sooooo much for inviting us to share this moment with you & Keri. You had us at “hello” with your email and each chat we had after that just made us even more excited to be a part of your sweet & very thoughtful surprise. Keri, we can totally see why Jim is so smitten with you and why he wanted to do this for you! You are wonderful and handled the proposal and us being there with such warmth & grace. You are lovely and it’s no wonder Jim wanted to do something extra special for you. Watching you two together, we just know that you’re in for a long & happy life together! Thank you both for letting us in and sharing your story with us in such a warm & wonderful way. Thanks too for being so much fun to photograph!!! We hope these images serve as happy reminders of your incredible engagement day for many happy years to come! And, here’s hoping you want us there with you in CT for the “I dos” too! (no pressure, but we’d love to see your amazing story through!) With big love & hugs, Chris & Andy xoxo