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Groom kisses brides hand after proposing at Laguna beach

Orange County Professional Photographer

Most of the time when we at Three16 Photography are contacted for photography services its often a newly engaged couple looking to hire an engagement and/or wedding photographer. And being that they are already engaged means that the marriage proposal already took place. Then every once in a while a groom-to-be will reach out to us and have us secretly photograph the marriage proposal as well. After all, its one of the biggest moments in a bride’s life, as well as her groom’s, but yet most never think to have it captured on film.

So, that’s what makes this story so special to me.

My good friend Alex, who is also our Studio Manager and my second photographer here at Three16 Photography, decided the time was right to pop the question to his girlfriend Melissa, but he wanted it photographed. Of course, it had to be secretive, otherwise she will figure out what was happening and the sheer surprise of Alex being down on one knee with a ring in his hand loses a little of it’s luster, or at least for that moment.

Alex met with me in secret to discuss his plan for proposing to her Melissa. He came up with the idea that he was going to tell her that there was going to be a networking event at The Montage in Laguna Beach and that he needed to attend it, and that he wanted to bring her as his guest.

Groom places engagement ring on bride's finger

Truth be told, there was no networking event. It just was Alex’s way of trying to get Melissa to The Montage where he thought would make for the perfect location to propose, as there is a beautiful venue on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Of course, I would be there as well with a camera to capture it all. It’s what I do.

In Alex’s attempt to make the event look legit, he dressed up really nice, just like he would for any other networking event we’ve attended in the past. He convinced her to do the same. Melissa later mentioned that she felt a little suspicious but went along with it because it wasn’t unusual for her to go to a networking event with Alex in the past. As they pulled up to The Montage, they almost saw Josie and me there. My concern that seeing us would blow our cover and the surprise, but then again, it really wouldn’t be too unusual since we would have gone to the same networking event. To avoid Melissa seeing just Alex and I, and nobody else for an “event,” Josie and I went off to a random place and let Alex and Melissa hang out together overlooking the ocean at a beautiful lookout point.

bride to be kisses groom after he proposes at Montage Resort

Then all of sudden, Alex popped the question. We came up from behind them and took photos of the moment. Unfortunately, Melissa didn’t cry, but was extremely happy. We then took some more photos of the lovely newly engaged couple before they went out to dinner. I wonder did they ever think at that moment about what started as a chance meeting in a college theater class in 2011 to now officially beginning of the rest of their lives together? Did they think about their first date in Hollywood and eating In-N-Out Burgers or how Alex was a knight in shining armor as he saved a man from dying one day while visiting her at work?

Newly engaged couple pose for wedding photographer

So many great memories these two have already created. And it’s only the beginning. There are many great memories to be made and a story worth telling.

Lastly, I would like to finish by saying it was a real joy of mine as Alex’s friend to be able to capture his engagement and to see his relationship with Melissa just continue to grow over the last few years and we are super excited for their wedding, which is coming up in September at the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

On behalf of Josie and the team at Three16 Photography, we cannot be happier for the two of them!!

Just engaged at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach
Newly engaged couple shows off engagement ring


Montage Beach Proposal | Alex & Melissa

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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