Teacups and Cigars Photoshoot (surprise proposal)

Savannah Smith & Brady Liles

Back in July, I won this cool photo shoot and I was over the moon with the idea of a free shoot with my love complete with a make up team and catered dinner with dessert. Wow.

So during the month of August, Jessica and I began planning. Emails, emails, emails of ideas and details. She says, “Oh I have scoured your fabo, and since I can see that you love tea cups, how about we have an outside tea party shoot?” Oh, Im thinking that is perfect! I suggest that we also incorporate his love of premium cigars by having a fancy, classy cigar box or two on the tea table. Of course she LOVES it! SO then she is like, “Lets re-create your first date by going to the antique store.” Brilliant. Oh and hang teacups form ribbons from a trees! I could not be more happier about the way our brains work together.

Little did I know that Brady had already met Jessica for lunch and the real first planning session…BEFORE SHE ANNOUNCED ME AS THE WINNER. Not only that, but nearly every idea that she shot my way, was actually his idea. What a gem.

So, here we are planning away– Jess and I that is. She sends me the cater’s menu: Filet Mignon, Creamed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Garlic Bread, and a unique sweet/salty salad with basil vinaigrette. DELISH. From this moment on, Brady only voiced an excitement for the food. In fact, he frequently ‘forgot’ the date of the shoot, minor details, and fussed with me about what to wear. Such a trickster since he suggested the ideas for shoot locations AND wardrobes to Jess, who sent them to me.

I had asked a dear, darling friend from church to use her beautiful, riverside home to get ready, the first shoot in her garden/dock, and to cook dinner later. She was so delightful to plan with and be around because she is so loving and thoughtful. I am so glad that we included her and her sweet husband on this (more special than I knew yet) special day.

So much running around, I do not know how he kept this huge secret. Wait, yes I do…he told little pockets of people…people who were super important to me and he decided could keep it too.

I had collected tea cups from yard sales, thrift stores, and antique shops; ordered a vintage looking dress from china via ebay; and packed up all of our accessories, including: scarf, shoes, tights, black vest, red red lipstick, black crochet gloves, even handmade crochet earrings– Im real proud of those.

Brady and I had been having conversations about marriage and the next step for us…he mentioned his timeline and his budget for the ring– not all information that I wanted to know as I did not want to know when the proposal would come. “The best prize is a surprise”…well the best prize is actually Brady.

The 28th.…finally arrived!

We spent the morning in M & M textiles looking for more fabric for the shoot– last minute details of course. Everything else was packed in tubs and ready to go. We come back, he cooks breakfast while I tear the fabric into ribbons. And then…oh no we have 30 minutes to shower, load the car, and get to the Yelvertons! So…Im nagging and whining– Im not perfect ok! He asks me if he can drop me of and run to Florence real quick…um no? I need you! He had some bogus excuse that he really wanted to clean my ring one more time. Such a gem. And then my directions were crap and everyone got lost, so they were calling me as I am running late and nagging. A great way to start the day :/

As soon as we arrive, I hug Dianne and they send me with the make up team to get ready– this includes my sister and Christine from The Transformation. They give Brady the heavy stuff to move around aka get him alone and let him shake out his nerves, that I had no idea he had!

We are all dressed for the first part of the shoot– the casual teaparty on the dock. (Later, the plan is to dress fancy vintage and go to the antique shop.) Here we are, just being together :)

Then she tells us that it is time for some individual shots. She give him his absolutely favorite cigar to pose with and tells me to “stand over there.”

Now, its Savannah’s turn. She gives me a spoon to hold and tells me to pose with…tells me not to move, “The shot is perfect!” I am eating everything up like a baby. I can see etching on the spoon in my hand, and since I had asked a friend to make a necklace with the words ‘Love is Brewing’ engraved, I thought, ‘oh how precious, they made me a spoon or something!’ I NEVER expected what it really said.

Now turn the spoon over, Savannah!”


I am now thinking: “What? Do they know what this says? This cant be a joke.” Then, I see that the handle says, ‘Savannah,’ and I realize that this is intentional…

“Now turn around, Savannah!!
Can you believe that there he was right on his knee!!??
With this in his hand!!?
Here we are. I am astonished. And honestly..slightly afraid to cry because Christine told me not too. But of course she was in on it and prepared my perfect make up to be emotion proof as she asked me all kinds of questions about Brady and when I thought we would be engaged…to which I said ‘sometime before Christimas…maybe’ but I NEVER thought, oh in a couple of hours…
So we laughed, we cried… I squealed and screamed! My best friend Chelsea came (surprise since she was working, but I had invited her on the off chance she could come. Well she did, she new today was bigger than I realized. And she brought a sweet gift: a frame of her, her husband, Brady and I from their wedding when we caught the bouquet AND the garter! She also brought us an ‘L’.)
Here are some more shots of us with that RING on my hand, and of course in our vintage attire. We made it to the Antique shop in the nick of time for some photos-that havent been released yet. Lol.
A little lipstick on his mouth…oops ;)

You can check out Jessica’s blog where she posts the story in her beautifully written words and her dazzling photos. Her business is charming and Im delighted to have worked with her so much so far…and hopefully in the future :)

Their special dates

Savannah Smith & Brady Liles were happily engaged on 10/28/2013 and celebrate their anniversary on 05/03/2014.

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