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Landon + Lindsay's Proposal at Penn State's Arboretum

On December 12th, I received a text from a friend of mine. She was asking for tips on how to cover a proposal. Her friend would be driving into State College during Christmas break with his girlfriend, and wanted to propose to her while they were in town since they met while they attending school there.

My friend passed my information onto her friend and he eventually asked us to cover it. For the next week, I texted Landon. This was one of the few times I actually texted the boyfriend. Usually I stay out of the text messages, but since Landon was stationed in Georgia with the Army, and his girlfriend, Lindsay was living in Connecticut, he told me that I had a solid three days to text and call without ruining the surprise. This is probably the only time that a long-distance relationship worked out in their favor.

The next three days were filled with planning, and running errands to Michael's, Home Goods, and Woodring's Floral Garden. Landon informed us of where he wanted to propose, and we scouted out the spot at the Arboretum. After deciding the specific location, we sent him his plans.



On the morning of the 20th, Landon and Lindsay would be driving from Lindsay's family's Connecticut home to "Landon's Grandparent's House". While on their long drive, they would have to stop for Charlie, the couple's golden retriever. Landon, having mentioned the Christmas decorations at the Arboretum to Lindsay, suggested stopping there to take Charlie out. Once out of the parking lot, they would walk the path and end at the Arboretum pavilion, where Catherine and I would have prepared a nice set-up for Lindsay.


After picking up the flowers on the morning of the 20th, we would hustle over to the Arboretum with the "Proposal Table" and the "Hot Chocolate Bar" table decorations. We would decorate the tables, and have everything ready to move into place once they arrived. Once they pulled in, Samantha would grab Landon's backpack that contained Lindsay's favorite champagne and her family's champagne flutes. While they walked Charlie, we would move the tables into place, lay out the rose petals, and put their champagne and glasses on the Proposal Table.


After changing our name in his phone, Landon updated us on their departure time and whereabouts. We got the the Arboretum early. As I waited to inform the workers at the Arboretum of what was going on, Catherine began arranging the Proposal Table with the fresh flowers and candles. I checked their location, the were 5 minutes away, and making really good time! It was crunch time. I assembled our cameras while Catherine finished the tables. As they pulled into the parking lot, I made my way out of the pavilion. The three of them slyly passed me by in the lot as I began looking for their Jeep with a Connecticut license plate.

Catherine hid herself and the tables as they passed the pavilion. Once on their walk away from the pavilion, Catherine moved the tables into place, and began lighting candles (a task that would seem easy if it weren't so windy. She averaged one match per candle). I ran the backpack over and frantically began unwrapping the fragile glasses and champagne. They were getting close!! Finally unwrapped, I set them on the table, ran across the pavilion, got Catherine's camera as she quickly threw the petals onto the ground. This was probably the first time I wanted to toss a camera to someone. We caught sight of Charlie rounding the corner! Catherine ran behind the Christmas trees, and I made my way behind a nearby column. It was go time!

Landon told us Lindsay's favorite flowers and our friends at Woodring's Floral Garden made sure that Lindsay's bouquet was not only beautiful, but also ready for their long car ride afterwards!

If you're wondering how Landon got both of them to look so good during this surprise, it's because Landon told Lindsay that they were going to see his grandparents, and told Lindsay that they should probably look nice to see them. I don't think I've ever looked this good after a 4+ hour car ride!

I have to ask Landon and Lindsay how they raised Charlie. He was such a good boy this whole time! I've never met a calmer 6-month old puppy!

This proposal wouldn't have been possible without a lot of people. Thank you to Woodrings Floral Garden for arranging a bouquet most similar to and including some of Lindsay's favorite flowers. Thank you to Lindsay's mom for safely packing us your family champagne flutes and a bottle of champagne. Thank you to my mom for making Landon and Lindsay's hot chocolate and roasted almonds for their surprise hot chocolate bar. Thank you to Catherine for her mad hustle during set up and for always nailing the reaction shots! One last thank you to Landon! Thank you for communicating well with us before and during the day of the proposal (Landon even popped his trunk for us after they walked away to help me identify his car!). Thank you both for letting us be a part of your day and thank you Landon for your service in the United States Army. We cannot thank either of you enough for the sacrifices you make.

Congratulations Landon and Lindsay! We are so happy for you both and hope you have a safe trip and a good move to Hawaii in January!


After Landon, Lindsay and Charlie's shoot, we sent them off with their flowers, champagne and some hot chocolate to-go. While Catherine and I stayed back to clean up the rose petals and the tables, there were two boys watching us. When they realized what we were doing, they came over to Catherine and offered to help her pick-up the petals. Catherine thanked them, but told them that we could take care of it. However, they INSISTED on helping! After they all finished picking them up, we thanked them and they happily headed to their mom. We felt bad because we didn't have any more hot chocolate to share. We instead offered to take their family picture, since we noticed they were with a group of people. This final thank you goes to these kind strangers! What a great way to end a holiday season proposal!

Thank you all for adding joy to our holiday season!



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