Hello, everyone! It’s that time again – I’m back to share images from a chilly, heart-melting, magical winter proposal that recently took place at Gentle Giants Sleigh & Carriage Rides in Stowe, Vermont.
Just after the holidays, Marko got in touch with me to schedule a proposal photography session for January 13th. Later during our session, I found out that he had planned the proposal post-holidays and intentionally a few days before Becca’s birthday. How clever!
Marko and I emailed back and forth a few times and I tried to help by suggesting a few locations for the shoot — Marko, however, had his own plan in mind! He would propose in Stowe during a horse drawn sleigh ride around the snowy grounds that Saturday. So romantic!
For those of you that don’t live in the area, I have to tell you that the couple of weeks leading up to the proposal had been crazy crazy cold here – as in, below zero temps. In case you missed it, my last couple’s session was 8 degrees. While it was SO super fun and amazing, I was pretty sure no one would want to take photos outside in weather any colder. Well, I was wrong — the high temp the day of Marko’s proposal was 6 degrees — six! And to top that off, we had such an extreme snowstorm here on Saturday the 13th that we had to postpone the proposal until the next day. I’m not sure what the “feels like” temp was considering the wind chill, but I know none of us were going to take our hands out of our gloves that afternoon to check, either 😉
My friend Hilary tagged along on the day of the shoot to help out – and I was so glad to have her there! We arrived early to the venue and introduced ourselves to Rachel, the guide for Marko and Becca’s sleigh ride that day. She kindly explained the entire setup of the trails for the sleigh ride, both when and where she’d be dropping Marko and Becca off at the site of the proposal, how long we would have before the horse looped back around to pick them up, and gave detailed directions as to how we get out to the gazebo where Marko would propose.
After the plan was made with Rachel, Hilary and I were off walking the trail to the gazebo – we had a 3/4 mile walk out there and luckily, the trail Gentle Giants uses is conveniently located adjacent to the Stowe Bike Path. Hilary and I arrived with plenty of time to spare so we waited anxiously just out of sight of the gazebo and trails, a bit further down the bike path.
As soon as we spotted the sleigh, we started slowly walking down the bike path towards the gazebo hoping to pass as a couple of friends out for a chilly winter afternoon walk. As we approached, Marko and Becca got out of the sleigh. Marko led her towards the gazebo…and then all of a sudden they started down the wooded path next to the gazebo instead! Without much hesitation, I walked quickly towards them, made eye contact with Marko, and before I knew it (and before they’d gotten too far into the dark wooded path), Marko dropped onto one knee and told Becca just how much she meant to him and how he wanted to spend the rest of his days with her. (I was just barely out of earshot so I don’t know specifics, but after spending the next hour with those two I can imagine just how sweet, genuine and kind those words to Becca must have been.)
After the proposal was over, I gave the couple a few moments of privacy — Becca obviously had no idea that a proposal was in the works! I just love that. They were both so crazy happy.
Once the two lovebirds were ready (and my fingers had regained a bit of feeling to them), we took a few more photos in the gazebo, and a few walking down the path nearby.
After the short walk, Rachel was back with the sleigh to pick them up and whisk them away. As the carriage looped the field, I ran ahead to snap a few shots of them riding by.
We met Marko and Becca back at the start of the trail. At this point, everyone was so excited that I’m not sure any of us remembered just how chilly it was outside. So, we just kept on keepin’ on and spent a bit longer capturing some sweet moments of them together. They snuggled for me in some pretty light further down the trail, and then we walked a bit to find a cute little bridge and gorgeous mountain backdrop.
And everyone needs a shot highlighting the ring, #amIright?
Last but not least, we spent some time trying to catch the last rays of sun before they ducked behind the mountains. This covered bridge marks the start of the sleigh rides at Gentle Giants, and it was too gorgeous a spot to pass up!
Well, that’s a wrap, folks! Marko and Becca — thank you so much for braving the cold and asking me to document such a special day in your lives!
**Are you, or anyone you know planning to propose to a loved one soon? If so, congratulations! If you’re looking for a Vermont photographer to document the moment for you, I would love to help you with the process. Please fill out a contact form here to get in touch with me for more details.**