Marriage Proposal Ideas for a Surprise Brooklyn Bridge Park Engagement
It’s a beautiful story, actually. These two moved to New York City for a summer internship where they fell in love with both the city and each other at the same time. This shared affection for the city and one another grew the more time they spent with each! It was only right that their proposal would happen in their beloved city at the very spot where they spent so much time together. Returning to the start of your story is one of my favorite marriage proposal ideas and what made this one so unique!
I met Chase and Paloma through mutual friends in college and formed a deeper friendship over the years. I couldn’t wait to help Chase think through his marriage proposal ideas until we finally created a solid plan. He knew that the marriage proposal had to be in New York City. I drove up from my Virginia Beach base one evening and spent the night in a Brooklyn hotel so we could do a sunrise engagement session.
The plan was for me to be “location scouting” at the Brooklyn Bridge Park underneath the Manhattan Bridge at sunrise where I would “accidentally” run into them. It was a tradition of theirs when they lived in the city to go there at sunrise.
When I found them at “their spot” I started walking towards it as casually as possible until we “bumped” into each other! I’m pretty sure Paloma actually caught a glimpse of me before this happened! Oops! It was one of those awkward conversations where it was so obvious that I was lying through my teeth, when I said, “Do you guys think you could help me test the lighting for a few shots?”
I positioned them back to back so Paloma couldn’t see and Chase got down on one knee to propose! This is a proposal photo trick that always pays off! Even though Paloma absolutely knew it was coming, she was still so sweet and genuinely happy!
What’s great about adventure sessions like this one is that they can be whatever you make them! We turned the rest of their time into their engagement photo session! After we took a few photos in the park under the bridge, we went to one of their favorite coffee shops and I captured them enjoying their time together. We then rode the subway into downtown Manhattan and took photos under and above ground in another park! It was so peaceful and fun just to capture their love in the city!
When brainstorming your own marriage proposal ideas, I’m happy to come along for the ride whether that’s planning or just showing up for “the moment”! Proposals can sometimes be more nerve wracking than weddings because they’re far less predictable. Weddings are generally planned down to the smallest detail so you know what to expect.
I have to be so sharp and focused during proposals as I prepare for the pop-the-question moment to arrive! I’ve photographed enough proposals to know that this one wasn’t going to be a complete surprise. It was so obvious, but Chase was OK with that, so we just had to go for it!
One major tip for the photographer is to have at least one phone call with the guy before the proposal. Then you can walk through the plan make sure you are both on the same page!
I would also recommend arriving a day early so you’re familiar with the location–you know how to get there and the estimated travel time. Doing these particular city engagement photos involved learning how to navigate the NYC Subway which became quite simple after a day! It’s great to know all of your logistics ahead of time so you’re not unexpectedly late because of traffic.
Chase is also a photographer, and is super talented with film photography. It helped during the session that the couple was already familiar with being photographed on film so they knew to be patient while I lined up a shot. I loved knowing that these shots would be so special to them since they both love the medium.
I was deeply honored to tell their story through photographs in a place that means so much to them. It was so kind of Chase to invite me in to capture some of the sweetest moments of the start to their life together. See below some of the film photography shots that we captured!
Planning a proposal? I would love to help you make that surprise happen!