July 13, 2020
I recently photographed a wedding (you can read about it here), where Amy & Ryan were guests. The following week, Ryan emailed me about his surprise proposal, and it sounded so cool! I was so excited to be included in this as Amy and I are co-workers. Because Amy & Ryan are HUGE hockey fans, he wanted to propose at Bridgestone Arena where the Nashville Predators play. The original plan was for this to take place in April, but do to COVID, and the season getting cancelled, that plan was put on hold.
We chatted back and forth about what the day would look like. Ryan was going to set up a fake email account pretending to be from the Predators, in order to get her downtown for free stuff for the season ticket holders. He was going to forward it to her, that way it looked official! Two days before the proposal were to take place, Jason and I headed down to Nashville to check out the location, light and how this would play out. (So thankful for a husband that is my “stand in!”). The light was perfect- no crazy bright sun, and no dark, spooky shadows! When Ryan and I spoke earlier, two of my biggest concerns were: 1. people (would I be able to snake around a crowd, and/or would someone step in front of me just as he got down on one knee, not knowing what was happening? And 2. finding a place to hide. If you’ve never been to Bridgestone Arena, at the main entrance there is the sign, and that’s it. Everything else is wide open.
I took a few test shots to give me an idea of how things would go Thursday night. The good news- there was NO ONE walking around in front of Bridgestone! The bad news- there was NO ONE walking around in front of Bridgestone. I couldn’t blend in with the crowd. On to option 2.
After speaking with Ryan to let him know what our options were, and how my view of them would be blocked if I hid behind the sign (if I kept peeking out behind the sign, she may get suspicious and wonder who the creeper looking at them was), he mentioned that maybe I could hide across the street. I knew from being there two days prior, that was our best option. It was at a Honky Tonk and a crosswalk where there would be a handful of people. I could blend in!
He said they were going to be in their mustard colored Preds jerseys, so they would be easily spotted. Remember, he sent a fake email telling them they had free stuff waiting on them at the ticket office.
They took the long way around, up 5th Ave, so I could see them. I got some pretty weird looks from people as I was tucked away in the doorway of the Honky Tonk, snapping pictures.
When he got halfway up the street, I called him on the phone, pretending to be someone from his work. He even put me in his phone as a work person, incase Amy saw his phone buzz. I talked to him about where I was, what I was wearing and what was happening around me. There were about 15 scooters in front of me and about 30% more people downtown than there were the night I was there. I knew I’d have to cross the street, so we decided that when we hung up, he was going to count to 7 (or keep talking about work), to throw her off, and give me enough time to cross the street and get set up. Thankfully this didn’t send up any red flags for her, as Ryan was on call that week with his job. I also didn’t want to get hit by a turning car, or get a ticket for jaywalking incase I had to cross in the middle of the street. I kept telling him “keep coming, keep coming, ok, stop. Make sure your back is toward Broadway. Alright, looks great! I’m going to hang up & you keep talking. Good luck!” After we hung up, I darted across the street and hid behind the sign. I was peeking out & because he was talking to her, she wasn’t paying attention to me. I saw him reach in his back pocket, and as soon as he dropped to one knee, I stepped out from behind the sign and was snapping away! Amy was in total disbelief!!! There were people on Broadway and across the street yelling “say yes!!” And two girls caught it on their cellphone camera! People were cheering and clapping!
Amy was in total shock and couldn’t believe it! She even looked at me , and it took her a few seconds to realize who it was.
Ryan! You DID IT! You pulled off a great surprise proposal that I don’t think Amy will ever forget!!
Congratulations to the both of you!
Now the fun begins!