To say I’m in love with photographer Gray Malin‘s work would be putting it mildly. From his wanderlust-inducing La Dolce Vita series to the whimsical scenes in Gray Malin at the Parker, any one of his photos is guaranteed to make me smile. And today, my smile is from ear-to-ear because this happy photo is also one Groom’s sweet proposal! That’s right, this thoughtful Groom contacted Gray to surprise his girlfriend with what I think may be the cutest proposal ever—just saying!

From the Groom-to-Be… Nicole & I were introduced in high school but started dating in college. She went to the University of Texas and I attended SMU, so we spent our weekends traveling between Dallas and Austin (although I spent a LOT more time on the road than she did!). I knew I wanted to pursue a career in film and Nic had always wanted to be in LA, so I landed a job at a talent agency and we moved here, along with our pup Wills, as soon as I graduated. 

We have been fans of Gray’s work for years, starting our collection the year that we moved to LA. We both take a lot of pride in our home and are always on the lookout for cool pieces that we’ll be able to keep forever. Our first purchase from Gray was one of his classic beach scenes and we’ve since added several more.

When Nicole surprised me with the “I AM BUSY” print, I was inspired to incorporate our shared love of Gray’s work into my wedding proposal. I reached out to Gray to ask if it’d be possible to shoot something with the phrase MARRY ME, thinking that I was really setting myself up for disappointment given the demand for his work. But, sure enough, Gray responded and told me how much he loved the idea and that he could shoot it 2 short weeks later while in Palm Springs. The rest was history and I was able to curate the entire proposal around the print – which turned out absolutely perfect, I should mention. I decided to recreate the photo in person at our favorite celebration spot, Mr. Chow. Fast forward a few weeks…she said YES!

From the Bride-to-Be…The fact that Don was able to pull this off is really impressive. He has the hardest time keeping surprises from me and there were so many fine details to the event that I really can’t believe it! We have been dating for several years and grown so much in our time together that I was absolutely overcome with emotion when I realized what was going on. He always goes above and beyond to take care of me, but he totally outdid himself. Seeing the print was the icing on the cake – our shared admiration for Gray’s work is even greater now than before.  

From Gray Malin… It was an honor to play such a sweet role in Don & Nicole’s love story. ​I mean, it’s just incredible to think that your artwork can help bring two people together and ultimately become a story that we will be able to share with loved ones for years to come. I have to say, though it’s definitely a fun twist to include it in the proposal. Who knows, maybe it’ll be something we add to our Up & Away series for other inspired couple’s proposals?

 When Don approached me, I thought it was such a cute and unique idea, that I couldn’t say no. I was happy to do it! I also love that they owned a whopping 5 pieces of mine and already were so connected to the GM lifestyle.

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