A Perfect Proposal at Sarah P. Duke Gardens: Brandon & Heather

I’m convinced that my clients are trying to kill me. I’ve been having to keep secrets lately and it’s far more work than I realized. First I had Brian and Jill’s surprise wedding two weeks ago, and then Brandon contacted me about the time I was finally able to let that secret go to tell me that he was proposing today and wanted to make sure I’d be there to capture his proposal. It’s hard to keep stuff this big to myself! But I always do. (Well, I generally end up telling our dog or my wife… I’ve gotta get things out! haha) 

So let’s talk about this proposal… 

Brandon had the perfect proposal planned for Heather. Today (August 28) marks their FIFTH dating anniversary and I personally don’t think he could have picked a more significant date. Reservations at a nice restaurant, and then a stroll through he and Heather’s favorite “place” is exactly how he planned to ask his sweetheart to be his wife. He talked me through everything, even went scouting the location and sending me photos to make sure we’d have it exactly right! Then a big ol’ wrench was thrown into our plans – he found out just yesterday that the park he had chosen decided to hold a last minute concert the same evening. Panic mode kind of set in… 

Brandon and his sister set out on a last-minute effort to find the right spot for popping the question. After quite some time they finally settled on a quiet little spot at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. It would be just right for asking Heather to marry him. A few rocks right at the water’s edge – just across the coolest red bridge you’ve ever seen. It would be beautiful, quiet and rather secluded… Or so we thought! (I’ll come back to that in a moment)

Today was spent making sure everything would be perfect. I was in contact with Brandon to make sure things were going as planned and everything was ready. My wife and I arrived a little before he and Heather did to make sure we had a solid plan in place so that we wouldn’t be spotted. We were getting excited for what was about to happen!

Then I spotted them… Across the canal I saw them walking toward “the spot,” but there was a little issue. (Remember the “secluded” part we talked about earlier?) Now there were about 10 people that showed up to the EXACT spot right as Brandon and Heather were walking over the bridge. (I wasn’t sure if I should push them off into the water to get them out of the way or just let Brandon take his time and wander around a bit. I’m thinking that my decision to wait it out might have been the better option:p) Like a pro, Brandon wandered around for a few minutes until the area cleared and then brought Heather back over the bridge right to the exact place he had planned. As he turned to her I stealthily crept over to get a closer view and began shooting their proposal. It was perfect – Heather had no idea it was coming and was totally shocked! 

After they had their moments together, Brandon pointed me out to his new fiancee and let her know I had been there to capture the entire thing! My wife and I congratulated them and took at look at that beautiful new diamond ring Heather was wearing! (Good job on that rock, Brandon!) We spent the next half hour walking through the park and capturing some of the happiest moments for these two. It was the perfect evening, and such a sweet, romantic proposal story that these two now have captured and can share with their children! 

Brandon & Heather: thank you both for letting my wife and I be a part of this very special time in your lives. It was such an honor to capture these memories that you’ll never, ever forget! Congratulations you two lovebirds  – enjoy being engaged and planning the wedding of your dreams! 


(P.S. – props to my lovely wife, Heather, for assisting me on this top-secret mission and capturing some really good second angles for me! You’re the best babe!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's be Pals!!

As friends, I'll keep you posted on all things JTP...adventures, events, and more! And because we're pals, I'll never spam you!


It's official

I'll keep you up to date with JTP news.

the latest + greatest

On Instagram

Follow along with my latest work, adventures, and more!