It was 3 years and 353 days from the day he realized that Caitlyn was The One, to the day he asked her to marry him. Yes, he had calculated it out. But that’s not all he had figured out. Everything about this Desert Botanical Garden Wedding Proposal was planned to a tee. And that’s why it went so perfectly. Except for one teensy little thing….
Evan had thought of everything. From making sure that any correspondence with me about photography looked like it was coming from his boss, to the back story of why they needed to ‘dress up a bit’… in the Arizona heat… to go to a garden… on a Saturday morning. From scouting weeks in advance to find the perfect semi-private location with giant cactus and just enough shade, to finding a different ring box so that he could actually hide it in his pocket without her seeing. From positioning her precisely in that perfect spot where I could get a clear shot of her face, to making sure to remove her sunglasses so that… I could get a clear shot of her face. Yes, Evan had covered every base, even one I hadn’t coached him on (serious kudos for taking her sunglasses off!).
But when it came time to pop the question, the romantic speech he had prepared was now the last thing he could remember! What was it again? Something about 3 years…. The exact words he had wanted to say escaped him. But that’s no surprise. Because let’s be real here for a minute. Planning a marriage proposal is one thing, but actually proposing marriage, well, that’s a whole other ball of nervous energy. I mean, there you are, about to go down on one knee, with the love of your life staring at you, wondering what the heck is going on. You want it to be perfect. No pressure, right?
Evan knew this was the time, they were at the spot, and he had to find the words. So he started telling Caitlyn about how much she meant to him. About how much he loved her. And then it came back to him, what he had wanted to say. The moment he knew that she was the one. It was exactly 3 years and 353 days ago, at a Thomas Rhett concert, when they began to play the song “Die a Happy Man”. Caitlyn was next to him, smiling and singing along. And all he could think about in that very moment, looking at this beautiful girl holding his hand, was how true those lyrics were… for him… about her.
So that’s what he said. He got down on his knee, pulled out the ring, and told her that ‘If nothing else happened, and all he had was her hand in his hand, he could die a happy man.’ Swoon.
Of course, she said Yes! And afterwards, Caitlyn admitted that she had no idea what Evan had said anyway. Hahaha! She remembered something about 3 years, but frankly, once she realized what was happening, the exact words that Evan was saying weren’t exactly registering in her brain anyway. All that mattered was that he had truly had pulled off the perfect surprise. His plan had worked!
(Pro Tip to proposers: your fiancé will get tunnel vision in the moment they realize they are being proposed to. Don’t worry about saying things ‘exactly’ right. Just say what’s in your heart. That’s all that matters anyway!)
And Evan still had one last surprise up the sleeve of his brand new, bought just for this occasion, pineapple shirt. After we spent some time taking engagement photos around the gardens (which, by the way, was awesome because these two are ADORABLE together!!), I suggested they get a little cactus from the gift shop as a momento, and we said our goodbyes. Then I ran to meet Caitlyn and Evan’s family, who were anxiously waiting outside the entrance. Evan had planned for everyone to be there, right then, waiting to celebrate their engagement, because he knew it meant a lot to Caitlyn. And it certainly did. She was just as surprised for the second time that day as she was for the first.
Evan and Caitlyn, I just loved all the planning, conspiring, calculating and surprising that went into your amazing engagement. I am so incredibly happy for you two, and I can. not. wait to see what you plan for your wedding! *Secretly wondering if a Thomas Rhett song will make your playlist. 😉 I know the two of you will make for perfect planning partners for your wedding, and also for your incredible life together. 💕
Photos by your expert Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Mindy DeLuca Photography
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The GEAR used for this Session:
Nikon D750, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 35mm f/1.8, Nikon 60mm f/2.8.