Spring is almost here, but a young man's fancies turn to love way before it arrives, trust me.
I was contacted by a delightful fellow named Sean. Seems he did a search online for "guerrilla proposal photographers" in the Knoxville area - at least, that is what he told me - and my name came up. We chatted and soon Operation Jessica was underway.
But where to have it? Sean wanted, as most guys do, some privacy, but preferably a place easy to access and near a stream - it seems the first date he had with Jessica was a picnic by a stream, and he wanted to preserve that memory. Oh, and in the Smokies, of course, as they would be visiting from Alabama and staying in Gatlinburg.
And horses, if at all possible.
Unfortunately, this time of year sees all the stables in the area closed. But . . . deer. At least some nearby. With that in mind, we decided on Cades Cove, after some discussion and me emailing him pictures of various sites as suggestions. Specifically, this would take place along Sparks Lane at Abrams Creek. Picturesque. Semi-private. Water. And a plan was put together.
No, I mean it - a plan, written down. The image above is one of the pages sent to him. When I do a proposal, I go out to the site and take pictures, so the groom-to-be can see where it will take place, and have arrows or other marks to show him how it will be set up and directions to follow. We exchange phone numbers so things can be coordinated. Which proved useful when Sean and Jessica got delayed driving up and he was afarid he would not make it to the rendezvous spot on time - Forget GPS, I was able to give him an alternate route that not only got them to Cades Cove on time, but spared them the misery that is the Friday traffic of Pigeon Forge. Son, I got you covered - and I am bound and determined to see this proposal take place!
I told Sean, take your time - walk down to the creek, relax, stretch your legs. Wait for cars to pass by so they are not in the shot (fortunately, this was a Friday afternoon in February, so the Cove would not be crowded). When the time is right, whip out the ring and get to business!
And this happened:
And happiness this ensued . . .
A few hiccups but this is real life. Now they have this moment to share with friends and family (if not someday their children and grandchildren) and will be able to return to "their spot" by Abrams Creek along Sparks :Lane in future visits. Sure, it takes some reconnaissance and planning, but you'll be the hero for arranging this.
Congratulations to Jessica and Sean - may they have many years together in health, prosperity, and happiness!