Surprise Proposal at Swan Harbor Plantation
September 11, 2018
By: eddye
Mid Atlantic
Classic WeddingsModernOutdoor
From Hannah Lane Photography... Ainsley and Michael’s proposal was one of the most captivating, love-filled and joyful days that we’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Set up like an editorial shoot, our “bride” had absolutely no idea that this day was made for her. Leading up to the big day, we spent countless hours plotting with Michael...
We talked dates, details, locations… we set up everything perfectly behind the scenes, meanwhile talking to them both on the side, asking if they would "model" for us for an upcoming shoot. The most difficult aspect of the entire project was Michael’s schedule. He is an active-duty US Army Soldier and was off on a duty-assignment for the majority of the planning phase. Believe it or not, most of this proposal was planned in just two weeks!
We wanted to make sure that the details were not just beautiful, but uniquely them. With Ainsley’s background in architecture we included geometric accents and materials like wood, marble, metal and glass.
Also incorporated were the couple’s love of donuts, along with blue and purples, their favorite colors! We wanted them to look back on this day and not see it as a styled shoot that ended in a proposal, but THEIR styled shoot, specifically crafted for THEIR proposal.
Watching Ainsley and Michael interact all day was magical! Their love for each other is so clearly displayed in the way that they interact; holding hands every chance they get, stealing kisses and looking at one another in that “lovey-eyed” way, as Ainsley refers to it. This shoot is filled with love. It’s filled with beautiful flowers and personalized details. But most importantly, it’s filled with the promise of forever.
All of our amazing vendors showed up in a way that we couldn’t have dreamt of. All to make sure that this couple, who has spent years navigating different time zones and budgeting for plane tickets, had an amazingly special proposal that they would never forget!
Watch the surprise proposal unfold in this short film from Ivory Tree Weddings...
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A little bit more about Michael and Ainsley and their surprise proposal...

Q: So, this proposal?!

A: Michael: It was terrifying. I always tell Ainsley she terrifies me and she has no idea what I could be talking about but that day, it was on full display. My heart was pounding from the moment we woke up. I hardly remember the drive to Swan Harbor. I dang near forgot to take my shorts off before putting the suit on. But it was better than I had ever imagined. All I could focus on was memorizing every detail of her face when she turned around so I can go back to that moment in my mind. She was as beautiful as ever. Truth be told, I don’t actually remember her saying “yes” but the ring was on her finger and she still came home with me!
A: Ainsley: I always told him I'd cry. I'm surprised I didn't! But I think it was because it took me so long to process what was happening. Since I had JUST taken the fake wedding bands off my finger, and this was a fake wedding photoshoot, I turned around and saw him on the ground on one knee and just assumed he was holding Hannah's ring as part of the photo. Why that made sense in my head, I don't know. Why would he be proposing if we had just gotten married? Beats me. But once I realized he had a different ring I was pretty excited. He told me he had something to ask me and I felt like I was going to faint so I was like "well ya better hurry up and ask it, before I fall over!" and he proposed. At this point I had already had my hand out like “why are you even asking just put it on already”. I don't even remember saying yes. I just remember him putting it on my finger and being too gentle to push it over my knuckle so I had to fix it. Then everyone cheered. Strangely enough, it was kind of a blur. Thankfully we have it on tape!

Q: What was your favorite part, other than being engaged of course?

A: Ainsley: The absolute entire thing! I've just wanted to make him mine for a while now, so the fact that I know that is actually happening is the best feeling. I guess my favorite part would either be that it really was a surprise or that it happened when I was playing bride. Given that we both knew this day would come eventually, I was truly hoping he would actually take me by surprise and that I wouldn't see it coming. He did.
A: Michael: The donuts.... I mean how happy Ainsley was the entire time. Before the proposal she was just so excited for the photo shoot. I’m glad I could take that excitement higher. She was beaming the whole time, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. And the donuts.

Q: You’re engaged! Do you have any plans yet?

A: Michael: We had a long drive back to Kansas after the proposal where we kinda talked over some rough details but mostly I think we’re just enjoying each other’s company. I just got back from deployment about a month before the shoot and we have a lot of time to make up for.
A: Ainsley: We don't yet. We pretty much know who we want in our Bridal party. We think the ceremony should be early summer or fall because I get cold easily and he gets hot easily so we're trying to find a happy medium where I won't be shivering and he won't be sweating. We think we want a military wedding. I know I want some lavender in there. That's about it!

Q: Anything else you want to share with us?

A: Ainsley: I want to thank thank thank thank everyone who made that day super special. And I want to thank him for being so invested in our relationship. For knowing me well enough to know what would have made me the most happy that day. For listening to me and believing in us even when our constant distance made everyone else lose faith.
A: Michael: I can’t thank you guys, Hannah and everyone else for helping put this together. It’s certainly one of those memories we will have for a lifetime.