Spence Cabin Proposal
Jonathan and Josie were in town visiting from North Carolina for the holidays. They had been together for 6 years when Jonathan decided it was time to put a ring on it. He contacted me on Tuesday this week inquiring for a surprise proposal in Cades Cove on Wednesday…as in the next day. My initial response was excitement because I had two cancellations this week due to clients being sick, but also because I LOOOOVE surprises, especially in the form of a proposal!!!! When Dustin proposed to me, it was a complete surprise. I know that some people are totally not into surprises, but I do love it when the girl is 100% clueless. Then, when I thought about it, proposing in Cades Cove would be SO hard to do. The worst part about Cades Cove is the unpredictability of how long it’s going to take you to get through the place. So, choosing a spot would be one thing, but then, meeting there at a specified time without her figuring it out would be next to impossible. I’ve shot one wedding in Cades Cove, and I got there an hour before I was supposed to be there because I was terrified of getting stuck on that darn one way loop and being late. So, I quickly responded and told him I would love to do it, but I couldn’t do it in Cades Cove. On top of all the unpredictability, there is also no cell service, and if one of us DID get stuck, there would be no way to communicate that with the other. Instead, I offered some different places throughout the mountains, and we finally landed on a Spence Cabin proposal.
The plan was that I would get there at 3:15, and he would arrive to do the Spence Cabin proposal at 3:30. I have only been to Spence Cabin once so I was giving him directions on how to get to the little stone bridge based on my memory, and after getting there, I realized my memory wasn’t THAT great. So, I got there significantly too early because duh…that’s what my Type A personality does. I followed the directions I gave him and thought, well, he’ll find it, it’ll just take probably an extra 10 minutes. I was waiting back by the bridge, and the plan was for me to be taking “nature photos” as a “nature photographer.” Then, he would just walk past me and stop her at the top of the bridge. As I stood back there and realized just how few people were walking the trails that day I realized that this was not a great disguise. I mean, I was in hiking wear, but I was literally the only person out there (except for one group of elderly people). I just happened to be standing 15 feet from where they go AND have a massive, fancy camera? Yeah, right. So, I started brainstorming. I could hide behind a tree, but a) if she did see me because I’m not that tiny and these trees are not that big, then it would be a DEAD giveaway, and she would be super confused about a girl just hiding in the woods and b) Jonathan was relying on seeing my floral hat to make sure he was in the right spot. The bridge is close to the main pathway but not that close. Then, I thought about hiding my camera and “searching” for something that grows on the ground or crawls, like a special insect or morel mushroom. I didn’t really come to any decision when it was 3:35. I started to worry maybe he couldn’t find it? I began walking towards the parking lot, and then, I saw them. I saw them before they saw me through the thick of some trees and quickly turned around. I started aimlessly walking back towards the bridge hoping he saw my floral hat. I put my hand on my head acting like I was scratching my neck and just did all the things that would lead to him looking at my hat, but he was super far away. As I approached the bridge I saw that group of senior citizens standing on the bridge taking pictures! Oh shoot! Oh shoot! Oh shoot! I picked up my pace and asked them if they wanted to partake in a surprise Spence Cabin proposal. That they could be my disguise. Thankfully, they said yes, and soon enough here came Josie and Jonathan. I was talking history with these ladies, and then, I gave them a huge wink and sent them back towards the parking lot. Quickly mouthed THANK YOU to them as they didn’t know how much they rescued me from looking super awkward in the woods by myself lol. Just like that, I turned around and Jonathan had Josie positioned on the bridge taking a selfie just seconds before he dropped to one knee. She was completely amazed and totally surprised and every single thing was perfect. I am so so so thankful that I was able to be a part of this magical Spence Cabin proposal for Jonathan and Josie! I hope that you see their love as purely as I did as I proceeded to take some “just engaged” photos of them after she said yes!
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