The plan was set into motion when Erik texted in a group message with his sister, Landon (Gaby’s friend), and myself. His sister, Amanda, called us to give us the important details. The proposal was actually going to happen, after over five years of dating. This was the moment Gaby had been waiting for and talking about for months. As I got off the phone with Amanda and Landon, Gaby walked through the door to meet me for dinner. I played it off that I knew something, but she told me we needed to look for a dress. She was suspicious that something was happening, but never questioned if I was involved. We strolled around the mall looking for the perfect dress. Gaby went back a few days later to pick up the perfect dress and classy heels. In the meantime, Landon and I were planning our journey up to Washington, D.C. to watch our best friend get engaged.
I drove to Randolph-Macon to pick up Landon. We turned off our locations, so Gaby wouldn’t be suspicious. We could barely contain our excitement on the way up, daydreaming of how Gaby would react. On the drive up, we received a Snapchat from Gaby. She was in her dress and heels ready for whatever the day might hold.
When Landon and I arrived in Georgetown at the Dumbarton House, we met up with Erik’s sister and brother-in-law to set up the magical moment. Just a few minutes later, Gaby’s family and Erik’s close friends arrived to help bring it all together. There were fresh flowers, several photos, candles, and a cellist to make this moment one to remember. Amanda texted Erik to give him the signal that everything was ready. I was hiding in the corner of the room, the cellist began playing, and all of Gaby and Erik’s friends and family were hiding in the kitchen.
I heard the elevator arrive and I moved out of the corner to begin taking photos. Tears were streaming down Gaby’s face as she entered the room, realizing that the moment she had dreamed of was actually happening. Erik got down on one knee and placed the ring on Gaby’s finger. She said, “yes!”
I went up and gave them hugs and congratulated them. I told them to stand together and scream, “YAY” to signal their family and friends in hiding. They turned to their right, and tears streamed down Gaby’s face again. She couldn’t believe the detail that went into planning this moment. Moments later, Gaby’s dad made a toast to commemorate the moment. More hugs were exchanged, and then we took some time for photos.
Gaby and I have become best friends, and I have been wanting to photograph her and Erik together since we met. She’s always said, “Let’s do it when he proposes, it’ll be so special.” Little did she know when she was getting dressed that morning that she would be in front of my camera with a ring on her finger hours later.
We walked around the property at the Dumbarton House and took some of my favorite photos ever! After photos, we all went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant downtown. It was such a fun and exciting day to celebrate the love between Gaby and Erik.
Gaby and Erik, I’m so thankful for your friendship and the way you serve others. I’m so excited for you and to celebrate your love for years to come!
Enjoy a few of my favorites from their special engagement!