4821.818 miles for the perfect proposal … and she said yes!
When Patrick contacted me to photograph his surprise proposal to his girlfriend Savanna I was thrilled to be able to document such an incredible moment in two peoples’ lives; what a tremendous privilege. Of course there was the small detail that they lived in Texas and had never been to Tintern Abbey before, so making sure all the small details were in place was paramount!
Here is their story:
Patrick and Savanna met at the start of their Senior (last) year at Texas A&M University in August 2011. A mutual friend of theirs introduced them and they became good friends over the course of the first semester. Before their weekend hangouts with friends, they would usually hang out at her apartment where she would attempt to teach him how to salsa (her favourite). A romantic interest slowly grew, but neither of them made a move until a week before they graduated. They both moved to Austin for work where they were able to spend much more time together and go on various adventures — kayaking, sailing, hiking, boating, etc. They started officially dating in January 2013 and their relationship has grown ever since.
While at uni, Savanna met a couple Brits who were studying abroad there in Texas. They became great friends and have kept up the friendship ever since. The friends happened to be getting married in Carmarthen in July and invited them to the wedding and so they saved up enough to book a flight out and make a week long holiday out of it as well! Patrick decided that this would be a fantastic place to propose as the scenery in Wales is such a dramatic contrast to Texas. While looking at places they wanted to visit on their trip, they found Tintern Abbey and both really loved its beauty, so Patrick decided that was where he wanted to propose as a total surprise for Savanna.
Patrick contacted me as I am local to Tintern and because he fell in love with my work. I was over the moon to be a part of such an occasion and through numerous emails we managed to put his vision into action. For a while it was tricky, as we had issues with where he wanted to propose in the venue as they had it set-up for a concert, and so it almost didn’t go ahead, but after lots of negotiations and changes the plan was ready to set into motion.
Once he was in the UK we had very little contact and needed to stay discreet so that Savanna didn’t catch on and so on the day of the proposal he texted me what they were wearing and what time they expected to arrive and I replied with what I was wearing too, so we wouldn’t miss one another.
I arrived in plenty of time and laid rose petals in the area in front of the famous, vast picturesque window of the Abbey to indicate to him where he should stand. Georgia Boy Choir were practising for their Welsh tour and agreed to sing immediately after the proposal which was such a lovely gesture. I whispered to all the tourists who were curiously gathering around the trail of rose petals, to keep the area clear at 2pm and so word spread and a very obedient audience attempted to ‘act natural’ when they arrived.
The atmosphere was electric, hearts were thumping out of chests.
Wow! what did you all think of that?!