A few weeks ago, I received a DM on Instagram from someone named Chris. He wanted to hire a photographer for his brother, who was proposing to his girlfriend Rebeca while they visited Burlington! (Best bro ever, amirite?)
A few hours later I got an email from Dominic, who was extremely excited that I was available and willing to meet him at his proposal.
We discussed details (for example: make sure when you get down on one knee, she is facing the camera!) and made a plan to surprise Rebeca.
He and Rebeca were visiting Burlington and meeting up with some close friends, so they would all be joining us for this magical moment.
I showed up to the proposal spot and noticed gigantic, ugly tents being set up on the lawn overlooking the water (DUH, the marathon was that weekend!). I quickly scouted out a new (and better!) spot. After getting Dominic's approval, it was GO TIME.
I saw the group approaching the proposal spot. I pretended that my assistant, Don, and I were casually taking photos of the lighthouse on Lake Champlain. And even though the friends all knew what was about to happen, they all said they didn't notice me until after Dom proposed!
Luckily I was paying attention, because suddenly, Dominic dropped down on one knee! (Peep his friend's expression to his left. Haha!)
Rebeca was clearly very surprised. And photogenic. :)
Rebeca's ring was absolutely beautiful. I noticed that after Dominic put the ring on her, Rebeca took a ring and placed it on his hand as well.
Dominic had brought his grandmother's ring to wear himself, to merge the traditional American proposal with the traditional Brazilian one. Rebeca is from Brazil, and the proposal process looks a lot different than it does in the U.S.
I didn't know much about the traditional engagement process in Brazil until Rebeca explained it to me.
Essentially, both partners agree that they'd like to get married. They have a conversation about marriage, and come to the mutual agreement that they both want to take that next step. Then, they BOTH pick out rings to wear on their right hands for the duration of their engagement.
Needless to say, I LOVE this tradition. And I love that Dominic found the perfect way to execute these ideas. He did it so gracefully and lovingly.
Dom and Rebeca's friends were absolutely thrilled for them.
(That baby though <3)
Dominic had even come prepared with champagne and cups for all of his friends to enjoy. What a guy!!
We took a little walk while their friends went ahead to grab a spot at the local Foam Brewers. We walked along the waterfront, and it began to drizzle. But Dominic and Rebeca hardly noticed.
They were over the moon.
Dominic was traveling in Brazil when the two met. They fell in love, but the distance kept them apart when Dom went back to the U.S.
Rebeca said that after a few years of wondering, she decided she needed to see if they were meant to be. She booked a plane ticket to the United States.
She figured she would give it one month. And if at the end of that month she wasn't head-over-heels in love again, then at least she would know. She could move on with her life, and finally put him out of her brain.
Well, we all know what happens next.
Ten years after they met in Brazil, they are now planning their wedding. I am so honored to have been a small part of their proposal.
Dom and Rebeca, I've been thinking about your love story a lot since I met you. It touched my heart, and really made me think about how lucky I am to be photographing love stories. I wish you nothing but the best, most adventure-filled life together!
Are you a sucker for proposal photography? Check out my other recent surprise proposal HERE.