Phil and Nikki's Arboretum Proposal | A Socially Distant Proposal Session

As far as proposals go, this one was the one that was planned out for the longest, but also shortest time...

When Phil reached out to me in February, he had planned his proposal to happen at the Penn State Arboretum. He and his girlfriend Nikki would be in town visiting friends on the weekend of graduation, Friday, May 8. Back in February, our biggest fear was the crowds that would be there. Three months later, the crowds would worry us again, but for a different reason.

As the outbreak of Covid-19 began, Phil and I kept in touch, discussing our options, rain dates, and planned with a lot of uncertainty. Throughout the whole lockdown, we planned everything out. This way, if it happened, we had a plan, but also if it doesn't happen, we had a plan... for later.

In the days leading up to the the proposal, stay-at-home orders were lifted in Centre County, and Penn State students returned to Happy Valley to move out. Graduates especially didn't want to leave without having their graduation photos done. Students were flooding popular areas around campus. Not adhering to the limit on group gatherings and social distancing restrictions, public officials began threatening to shut down these areas. The crowds and potential shut down forced us to be on our toes (and on our phones contacting Phil) more than ever!

Thankfully, even in a time of crazy unpredictability, this beautiful (snowy, sunny, windy) day could happen! On Saturday morning, Nikki and Phil left their friend Jackie's house to "go move a desk" for her. On their way to campus, they stopped at the arboretum, the place where they had their first date over five years ago!

Once they got to the spot, it was time for Phil to pop the question! Check out their behind the scenes video and photos below!

Phil also wanted to surprise Nikki with their pups! He had their friends Jackie and Dustin bring them to the second half of the photo shoot!

Thank you Jackie and Dustin for bringing over Walker and Ollie, and for getting them to look at the camera!

Although there was a lot of unpredictability throughout the planning of this proposal we had an amazing time coordinating this surprise with Phil! He is one of the sweetest guys we have gotten to work with. Every exchange was pleasant, joyful, and very understanding of the situation. Anytime there was a change or speed bump, we all stayed on our toes, adjusted when needed, and worked through it together. We got to see just a few of the wonderful qualities Nikki sees in him. Not to our surprise, Nikki is just as sweet. We had gotten to know Nikki at a wedding two years ago, and knew how lovely of a girl she was. Through the crazy weather and the county restrictions, Nikki and Phil were a couple of troopers. They had me smiling under my mask the whole session!

We are so happy for you two, and can't wait for you to tie the knot! You make an incredible team.

LOVE! Samantha

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