The Journal

Surprise Proposal | Springhill Pavilion // Bozeman Wedding and Engagement Photography

I got a call last week from a woman named Lu Anne. She said had been given our info by Sally and Chum, the lovely owners of Springhill Pavilion – they had told her we’d be able to capture what she needed captured. And that just happened to be a surprise proposal at midnight at the Pavilion. Her daughter Samantha (Sammi) and daughter’s boyfriend Mica were going to be flying up from Florida on Friday night and Mica was going to propose to Sammi. Would I be available and interested in photographing the proposal?

Um….HECK YES!!!!!! I was immediately excited and told Lu Anne it had been a dream of mine to photograph a proposal, so I was in. She gave me the details on how they were going to pull it off. Lu Anne and her husband were going to pick the two up at the airport at 11:30pm Friday night and on the way home, tell the kids they absolutely had to pick up something important (or drop something off…can’t remember) from Sally and Chum, who they knew personally. Sammi’s sister and best friend were also going to be flying in and be hiding in the building next to the main hall to give her an extra surprise once Mica got down on one knee with a ring. And while that was happening, I was going to be discreetly shooting the whole thing through a window.

And that’s what happened. I showed up on Friday night about 30 minutes before they were to arrive and got comfortable with my hideout. I imaged I was James Bond (or his little-known younger sister…I’m going to call her Jemma).

There was a roaring fire in the fireplace at the end of the pavilion and little tea lights scattered in front. On the mantle, red roses had been laid and in the middle of them rested the ring box with a stunning diamond inside.

Once we got word they were on their way, I tried not to freak out about what I was about to photograph (what if I MISS the moment???? AHHHHH!!!!). It was Sammi and Mica’s first time at the pavilion, so her parents told them that while they were meeting with Sally and Chum quickly, they should check out the pavilion, where lots of special events take place. In fact, they had told them one had just ended, and that’s why the lights were still on and the fire was still going.

I turned my inner spy on high gear. I heard Sammi and Mica walk into the pavilion. I couldn’t see anything, so I had to gage by sound how far through the building they were (it’s sort of a long building, so I didn’t want to look through the window too soon and have them spot me). I knew Mica was going to go all the way to the fireplace in the back before popping the question, so I had to be on my toes as to when to finally peek through the window with my camera.

I thought they were all the way to the fireplace when I snuck to the window and glanced in. Sammi’s and my eyes locked. They weren’t far enough along yet and she happened to be exactly opposite of me. AHHHHH! I couldn’t believe it. I’d blown it. But I nonchalantly walked out of sight and tried not to kick myself. Then a few moments later I knew it was about to happen. And then it happened. It was so beautiful, romantic, and sweet. And I have evidence to prove it.

While my inner 007 may have faltered for a moment, it came back when I needed it the most. And apparently Sammi just figured the photographer from the earlier “event” just hadn’t left yet. Phew!

Anyway, here is is. Enjoy.

Then they went next door where her parents were waiting.

And her sister…and her best friend….she did not see that coming. It was so special. 


Thank you for letting me capture this incredibly special event! I was so honored to be there.

Stay tuned for official engagement photos Sammi and Mica and I took on Tuesday when we went back up to the Springhill Pavilion in the daytime 🙂


  1. Marcie Halden says:

    this so awesome! you did perfect taking the pictures.. what a special moment!

  2. Sammi Collins says:

    In love with these pictures :)… I can’t wait for more!

  3. Kacie Quesenberry says:

    SOOOO cute! Love this! Way to capture the moment! 🙂

  4. Cryssy K. Saoirse-DeBoer says:

    How cool is that! I bet your heart was racing. How exciting! Well done, Samantha!

  5. Jennifer Snipes Cartwright says:

    Wow… those pictures are the definition of priceless!

  6. Caroline Carpenter says:

    def just shed a tear or two scrolling through these! sooooo perfect! <3333

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