Well hello all you lovely people!
Samantha here. We have been so blown away by all of your warm wishes, congratulations, and outpouring of love about our recent engagement. It’s been a long time coming, so we’re very excited to share the news with you and have you be so excited with us! Three and a half years after Reid and I first met, we are now planning a wedding. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
While we have photographed tons of weddings, we have never (obviously) been on the other side of one as a bride- and groom-to-be. It’s a little bit overwhelming, a little bit daunting, and a huge bit awesome. We would love you join us on this journey as these two wedding photographers figure out how to be on the other side of the lens and plan their own big day. I’m going to blog regularly (at least that’s my goal) to keep you in the loop and get your advice and recommendations on how to do this thing. We may be wedding professionals, but we’d love all the help you can give! Hehe.
Many of you have been asking how it happened, so without further ado, here is the story of how Reid asked me to marry him:
December 17. It was a snowy day before Reid and I left for the East Coast to spend three weeks there over the holidays. Traveling during the holidays is stressful, and neither of us are any good at packing early, so we were running around town doing last-minute errands and shopping to get ready for our trip the next day. We were a bit frazzled and in our own worlds.
Reid, who is the audio/visual guy at the live performance theatre in town, The Ellen, called me to say he had to drop by the theatre quickly before we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s for dinner at 6. The theatre was in the middle of the run of its Christmas show, so that didn’t sound out of the ordinary. It wasn’t a show night, but Reid often goes in to tweak things or pick up something he forgot there.
I continued with my shopping, annoyed that the snow had started to come down fairly intentionally. I like snow, but not when I need to drive all over town in it. Reid then called me at about 5:30 to say his car wouldn’t start and he was stuck at the Ellen. This was also not out of the ordinary. He drives an old Jeep Wagoneer that is temperamental.
“Hey, can you come help me start my car? I’m behind the theatre,” he asked.
Sigh. This was interfering with my plans. Why did his car have throw a temper tantrum right now?
“Okay,” I said begrudgingly. “I’ll be right there.”
About 10 minutes later, I pulled up in the alley behind the theatre and saw Reid leaning out of the stage door.
“Come inside for just a second. I want to show you something,” he beckoned inside.
Really? What’s so important? We are about to go to my family’s for dinner and we have so much to do before tomorrow. I don’t have time for this. My inner monologue was getting a bit edgy at this point.
Reid led me inside the maze of the dark theatre, around the behemoth set for A Christmas Carol and onto the stage, where the theatre’s huge projection screen was down.
What do you want to show me? I have things to do. I had no clue at this moment what was about to happen.
And that’s when I saw it. A picnic blanket and basket laid out on the stage. I looked up at the giant projection screen and saw a video of a sunrise over the ocean being projected onto it and the sound of the surf and seagulls coming over the sound system.
My heart started pounding. I turned around to Reid, and at that moment, he was pulling a small, white box out of his pocket. He opened it, where inside waited a beautiful rose-cut diamond set in platinum. It was simple. It was elegant. It was perfect. (Which, considering my insane pickiness, was a feat in itself.)
“Will you marry me?”
I burst into tears. And then, of course, I said yes. Between tearful kisses and happy exclamations of “I can’t believe this!” he put the ring on my finger, which went on perfectly, even though my hands were shaking. He then led me over to the blanket where we sat down and tried to eat some of the lovely picnic he had put together. I managed to eat a couple of crackers, a slice of brie, and a square of chocolate. But there was so much adrenalin coursing through me that I couldn’t eat more than that.
We sat and talked and cried and loved each other.
“I know how much the ocean means to you, so I found this footage of a sunrise over the Atlantic. And of course, I know how much the theatre means to you, too. I’ve been trying to figure out how to surprise you and make it really special, and this idea finally came to me.”
Be still my heart. It was so incredibly perfect. Then I had an idea of my own.
“Let me have your phone,” I asked.
“Why?” Reid questioned.
“Just hand it over,” I demanded. (I can be a little bossy.)
As we had been sitting there, the song “At Long Last Love” by Frank Sinatra had popped into my mind. I love that song. (For the full immersion experience, I’d suggest clicking on the link and playing the song as you read the rest of this story. 🙂 ) I found it on YouTube, started playing it, and then said, “Dance with me.” We had met dancing, and it’s one of the things we just love doing together. It seemed apropos.
Reid smiled, and said, “Hold on.” He jumped off the stage and ran to the sound booth. A few moments later, the big band started playing over the sound system and Frankie’s voice filled the entire theatre.
The two of us danced in the spotlight on the stage in the dark, empty theatre, laughing and totally relishing the moment of being newly engaged. The song ended, and Reid asked if I wanted to dance one more time. Of course I did. We danced once more, as the waves crashed behind us and the snow fell outside.
And that, my friends, is our story. Reid proposed in a theatre, on the beach, in Montana.