PERFECT ROOFTOP PROPOSAL PHOTOS: Downtown Phoenix, AZ Photographer: Amie + Justus

There’s no way he’ll surprise me, she said. I’ll know when it’s going to happen, she said. I even have a dress picked for the day he does it…. She said.

Except he did. And she didn’t. And as for the dress… well… she’ll just have to save it for another special day. Because Justus pulled off exactly what Amie never expected. The perfect marriage proposal. Complete with a stunning view, rose petals, champagne, and oh yeah… some serious bling. And she didn’t suspect a thing.

How, you ask? How does one surprise the love of their life when you’ve already picked out the ring together, and you both know it’s just a matter of time?

Planning, that’s how. And a little help from your friendly neighborhood photographer. *wink*

Justus nailed it. He contacted me a month before “the big day”. He knew he wanted pop the question somewhere with an urban downtown feel, and a good view of the city. I gave him several suggestions of locations (although to his credit – he had already looked at or was aware of many of the places I mentioned! Take note guys… do your homework in advance! It will make the process so much easier!) We met 2 weeks before the day to walk the area and plan out where he would lead her to, which way they would stand, and exactly how it would happen. We texted back and forth the day before and the day of so all of the details would be set, and the proposal would go off without a hitch.

He brought champagne and rose petals ahead of time, and I got to our spot early to set it all out. Oh… and make sure there where no straggling sunbathers or hotel catering staff lingering around to ruin their private time! I may or may not have shoved some staff members into a closet to hide. To my defense, Justus and Amie were literally on their way up the elevator when the banquet servers walked in to gather supplies. Aack! It was only for a few minutes until she said yes. I promise no staff members were harmed in the making of this proposal! Special thanks to all the amazing staff at the Hilton Garden Inn… they were all SO helpful and integral in pulling this off!

Amie’s reaction was priceless. Of course she said Yes!! (Although she doesn’t even remember if she did because she was so caught up in the moment.) And THAT makes the whole thing, all the planning, all the details, all the nervous excitement…. so, so worth it. They spent some time on the roof enjoying the moment, popping some bottles & sipping some bubbly, and admiring that shiny new rock on Amie’s ring finger. And then we headed down for a little adventure around the Phoenix streets. They made friends with everyone they met, and even found “Their” street. It was a fabulous night that started out as “just going to a work dinner”, and turned a day they’ll remember forever.

Congratulations Amie & Justus! I’m so honored to have been there to capture these memories. You guys are just incredible and I adored photographing you! Your joy is infectious, and I know your life together will be filled incredibly romantic, epic, bottle-popping, dancing-in-the-streets, making-all-sorts-of-strange-friends, kind of adventures! I am so very happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what you plan for your wedding! 💕

©Mindy Deluca

Photos:  Mindy DeLuca Photography

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To see more proposal, engagement, & wedding stories photos, follow my blog!


The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 35mm f/1.8Nikon 50mm f/1.4Nikon 60mm f/2.8, Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL Speedlight, Flashpoint R2 Pro Transmitter,  MagMod Grids, Gels, and Sphere

SURPRISE FILLED WEDDING PROPOSAL: Phoenix, AZ Photographer: Juliana + Paul

How do you plan the perfect proposal? Better yet… IS there such a thing as a “perfect” marriage proposal??

When to pop the question? Where to pop the question? How to pop the question?

He had been searching online – and searching…. and searching…  for ideas, locations, suggestions and tips. It’s nerve wracking enough just thinking about the whole ‘down-on-one-knee’ thing, asking the love of your life those four little words…. Will you marry me…, let alone trying to coordinate it all so that everything goes according to plan AND not tip her off so she figures it out ahead of time!! It can be overwhelming! And stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning, some preparations, and a photographer (Hello!!) on your team… your proposal can be not only super special, but more importantly… unforgettable.

Paul had the ring. Well, almost. He had designed it especially for her. It was being made, and would be ready in just over a month. When… Check.

He had been eyeing the perfect spot… the gorgeous, lush Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. In his search, he found some photos of another proposal that I had captured there. It was secluded and romantic, perfect for privacy, and a place she had never been, great for a date night. Where… Check.

He recruited her best friend to help with the plan and keep Juliana occupied and un-suspicious. First some pampering for the girls, where they would have their hair and makeup done. Then they would go get dressed, and the two couples would meet up later for a stroll around the garden and out to dinner. A full double date day. But he knew he wanted to kick it up a notch (or 3!). There had to be music. More specifically… Juliana’s favorite song (Sabes Una Cosa). So that meant there had to be Mariachis. They would be hidden, waiting until she said yes, and then they would come out around the path and play for her. And Arthur had to be there (Juliana’s dog)! So, her friends would pretend they were running late (giving Paul time to pop the question in private), pick up her pup, and bring him to the garden for their first official family photos! And no celebration is complete without the cake and champagne! So to finish the plan, I picked up the fabulous custom cake Paul had ordered from Piece of Cake and had it set up further down the path, for her to find as a final surprise, along with some bubbly for them to toast to their future! And, of course, he wanted it all captured in photos for her to remember this (quite unforgettable), and altogether perfect day. How…. Check.

So, about that ‘perfect’ proposal thing? Yes, it is possible. You take some things that your girlfriend loves, you combine them into one incredibly romantic date filled with surprises at every turn, and you recruit someone to help you pull it all off! Paul’s plan included things that were special to Juliana, and that’s what made it perfect… for them.

Juliana and Paul, thank you so much for allowing me the honor and trusting in me to capture this incredible moment in your lives. I am so very happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what you plan for your wedding! May your lives together be filled with many more perfect plans!! 💕

©Mindy Deluca

Paparazzi style engagement Japanese Garden romantic photo paparazzi engagement She said yes He put a ring on it Serenade Mariachi surprise Romantic surprises Violin serenade canine puppy engagement puppy poodle terrier gorgeous garden engagement newly engaged couple wow, tears of joy, cry she said yes cake bridge, ring, bling, princess cut Koi Pond Bridge Engagement

Photos:  Mindy DeLuca Photography


Check out another proposal I photographed at the Japanese Friendship Garden -click here!

To see more engagement stories photos, follow my blog.

The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8Nikon 50mm f/1.4Nikon 60mm f/2.8.

UNIQUE & FUN DOG PARK WEDDING PROPOSAL: Phoenix, AZ Photographer: Megan + Jordan

He told me he was going to propose to Megan and he wanted me to capture it. I was honored. Then he told me he planned to do it at a dog park…. And I thought to myself, these are people after my own heart.

Let’s be honest. It’s HARD to plan a unique wedding proposal. One that hasn’t been done before. One that will come as a surpise. One that is absolutely perfect.

But that’s exactly what he did.

Let me back up a minute. To know how it was the perfect proposal, you have to know why he decided on the where part of the plan.

Valentine’s Day was coming, and it also happened to be eighteen months – to the day – from the day that changed both their lives. A year and ½ from that perfect day when he and Sophie just happened to run into her and Lola at the local watering hole. (Err… the drinking station at the Dog Park they frequented.) Call it canine coincidence or four-legged fate, but their furry friends brought them together. And from that day on, he knew that when the time was right, he would bring her back to that very spot where it all began.

We had it all planned. I would go the park and pretend to take photos of my dog. When they arrived, they would do a lap around, and then stop at the drink station. Jordan would say something to get Megan to turn around, and I would turn my camera on them. Aaannnddd then the (normally dry and sunny) AZ weather took a turn. The clouds opened up and the rain started falling — ALL DAY. I was worried that Megan may not want to go to a wet dog park on Valentine’s Day before their dinner reservation. But thankfully she was still game (my kind of girl!). And Cupid must have been looking out for them, because by the time they arrived… the rain had stopped.

So I played fetch with my own pup, and concealed my camera (with my giant zoom lens on it) inside the doggy tunnel in hopes that she wouldn’t notice there was crazy girl with a camera watching them walk around the park. (Side note: training obstacles can be really good camouflage for a photographer!)

They entered the park and talked about how romantic it will be to toast to their ‘anniversary’ on Valentine’s Day at the spot they met. (Megan had even thought to bring champagne to celebrate!) And as they approached their spot, Jordan said to Megan, “You know what would be more romantic? If I proposed to you at the spot we met.”  And when Megan turned around, he was on his knee, ring box in hand, surrounded by their best friends, in that very spot.

Megan and Jordan, thank you so much for allowing me the honor and trusting in me to capture this incredible time in your lives. Here’s to best friends, dog park drinks, never letting the weather hinder your plans, and making many more memories together regardless of how much doo-doo is surrounding you. 😉 I absolutely CAN NOT WAIT to hear what your plans are, for what is sure to be, your perfect wedding! 💕 ©Mindy Deluca

He popped the question She said yes black & white Dog people cheers, champagne Engagement Ring, Oval, Halo


Photos:  Mindy DeLuca Photography

To see more engagement stories photos, follow my blog!

The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750Nikon 70-200 2.8Nikon 60mm f/2.8


He planned it all out perfectly. Every last detail. He had the where and the when. A lush garden, to celebrate the romantic holiday. He even planned the details of the how.  He had found a dress for her (a hot little black number), to go with the pink suede Christian Louboutin shoes he had bought for her as a Valentine’s gift. He asked her if she would like to get dressed up, have some gorgeous “couple” photos taken, and then go to a romantic dinner together. The perfect date night… complete with the perfect pink heels. What girl could possibly say no to that?

When Montee contacted me to take photos of them, and complete his plans for his perfect proposal…. I almost couldn’t believe how well he had everything already worked out. When he and I met to walk the garden and finalize his proposal plans, he told me he was just a romantic at heart and he knew both his own and Jessica’s “love language.” That’s when I knew he was the real deal. Pay attention guys…. you can learn a thing or two about how to make a girl fall head over pink heels, here! Yes, you can be a tough-on-the-outside, and sweet-on-the-inside kind of man.

So, a few days before Valentines, we met at the amazingly beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden in the heart of downtown Phoenix. We strolled the garden for a bit to help them relax in front of the camera. They were both so nervous at first, I couldn’t help but laugh a bit because I knew what was coming! We made our way around to the spot where we had planned for Montee to pop the question. I told them to give me a minute to make some adjustments and to just chat with each other. I stepped back away to give them some space, and when I was ready, I gave Montee the “signal” we had agreed upon. I won’t give away all my proposal photography secrets here, but suffice it to say that the whole point is to capture the moment from a bit of a distance, and hopefully they forget the camera is even there (if even for just a brief time). And it worked! Evidenced by the very sweet, soft tears that Jessica wiped from her eyes; the true, genuine way they smiled at each other; and the warm, tender embraced they shared after she said yes.

And, in true perfect proposal planning fashion… Montee had arranged for a bit of bubbly to be waiting for them at the other side of the garden. So, while they toasted to their amazing future together… of course I took the opportunity to photograph those perfect shoes – and that HOLY MOLY – perfect ring!!!

Oh, and as for the why? Well, after I spent the evening with these two and saw how adorable they are together…. I totally understood the why. These two make one gorgeous couple. But beyond that, they make a fantastic pair.

Jesica and Montee, thank you so much for allowing me the honor and trusting in me to capture this incredible moment in your lives. Thank you for being so sweet and genuine, both to me and to each other. I absolutely CAN. NOT. WAIT. for your wedding, my friends! May your lives together be filled with many more perfect plans!! 💕

©Mindy Deluca

Photos:  Mindy DeLuca Photography

To see more engagement stories photos, follow my blog!


The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8Nikon 35mm f/1.8Nikon 50mm f/1.4Nikon 60mm f/2.8Nikon 85mm f/1.8Yongnuou 560iv SpeedlightsYongnuou 560-tx and 622nll ControllersMagMod Grids, Gels, and Sphere

SURPRISE WEDDING PROPOSAL: Phoenix, AZ Photographer: Chelse+Chris

You remember in elementary school, how when you liked someone, you gave a note to your best friend, to give to the person you liked, to ask them if they liked you too, and maybe they might want to go steady with you, and if so… check this box? Yeah, that’s kind of how this worked. Only the note was a sign. And the friend was a dog. And going steady meant forever. And the box… well, it held something much prettier than a check mark.

When Chris told me he wanted to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal, and have it photographed… I squealed a little. And then when he told me that he wanted to include his dog, Larry, and that his first proposal attempt had been foiled, and Chelse was now ‘on guard’, and he wanted help with the planning of this one… I jumped up and down. By the time we agreed upon the plan: Chris would “win” a fake gift certificate for a Holiday family photo session as a ploy to fool Chelse into believing that this was nothing to be suspicious of, and that Larry would have a “Merry Christmas” sign that we would sneakily swap out for the identical “Will you Marry My Dad” one… I was down-right giddy.

Yes, sometimes the ‘girly-girl’ comes out of me. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for romance. Because, let’s be honest. Every girl wants their wedding proposal to be a surprise. And they want their man to put thought into it. And what girl wouldn’t want it to be captured so that they can look back on how it happened, and relive those moments, and show their children, many years after they’re married?

We met at a secluded desert location near the Superstition Mountains, so that the whole plan could unfold in privacy and surrounded by beauty. And when they stepped out of the car, dressed in the finest polyester Christmas suit and dress you ever did see, I couldn’t stop laughing with joy. Because I knew that within the hour, their crazy family Christmas card photo session would turn into something much more magical. It would no longer be photos as girlfriend/boyfriend/dog, but as an engaged couple and their fur-kid, and soon to be family of three.

Chelse and Chris, thank you so much for allowing me the honor of capturing this incredible moment in your lives. Thank you for trusting in me to help with the planning, and for being so amazing during the session. I absolutely CAN. NOT. WAIT. to see how the rest of your engagement and your wedding plans unfold! May your lives together be filled with many more zany, romantic surprises, and awesome Christmas Card Photos!! OH! And I hope I’m never competing with you guys at an ugly Christmas Sweater Party! #BestChristmasOutfitsEver 💕

©Mindy Deluca

Photos:  Mindy DeLuca Photography

To see more engagement stories photos, follow my blog!


The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8Nikon 35mm f/1.8Nikon 50mm f/1.4Nikon 60mm f/2.8Nikon 85mm f/1.8Yongnuou 560iv SpeedlightsYongnuou 560-tx and 622nll ControllersMagMod Grids, Gels, and Sphere