It’s been a few weeks since this New York proposal happened, and I’m still not over it!
Olivia and I first met in the fall of 2009 at the boarding school we attended in Raleigh, NC. I can’t remember exactly what it was that prompted our friendship at Saint Mary’s, but it was seamless from the start and we’ve managed to stay in touch over the years. While she and Alex started dating in college, I didn’t actually meet him until their senior year. I knew I liked Alex based on what Olivia had told me about him, and from seeing the way he stood by her and cared for her so well when Olivia’s sweet mom passed away, but my fondness of him was based solely on these second hand stories she told me of how great he was.
Olivia texted me on a Sunday that she had an inkling Alex might propose to her on their upcoming trip to Europe and I was obviously incredibly excited and told her to keep me updated. Well the next night, Alex messaged me and said, “This is last minute, but I want to propose to Liv before we leave for our trip on Thursday. Is there any way you could come photograph it?”. Within the next half hour, my plane ticket was purchased, and I started packing my bag.
Working with Alex over those two days to plan out his proposal – changing locations and times, dealing with Olivia changing her plans oblivious of what was to come – it allowed me to get to know him on a more personal level and see just how genuine he is. I consider it a true gift when you can love the people your friends are with.
When game day came, Alex and I met up in front of the Flat Iron Building (Olivia’s favorite building in the city), to strategize on where he’d pop the question, and then he left to get her so they could “walk to a cocktail thing his work was having”.
Everything after this happened so fast and before I knew it, they were there, Alex was on one knee, and they were engaged!
This moment, when Olivia realized it was me taking the pictures, was my absolute favorite for so many reasons. We hadn’t seen each other in 2.5 years so seeing me after all that time after just being engaged, talk about overwhelming. The other thing that made this whole moment so special is the fact that Olivia’s mom played an integral role in the surprise purchase of a new camera for me after mine was stolen my senior year of high school. It just felt full circle to be documenting this moment.
Including this image of Yolanda and Robert because they invited me to sit with them once they realized what was happening and started chatting with me while I was anxiously waiting for Alex and Olivia to appear. They kept their eyes out for them so I could focus on calming myself. Alex & Olivia, you already know this, but I love you two and the love you have for one another. This whirlwind trip was the stuff of dreams.