I don’t know how I have tapped into photographing all these beautiful proposals, but I love it. It is so exciting and nerve wracking on my end. If I have ever made you think this is easy, I’m sorry! Sometimes, proposals go exactly as planned and sometimes they don’t. I never realized this, but I like to stick to a plan.

Our plan for this proposal was to meet at a gas station close to Cades Cove, so they could follow me into the park, due to no cell phone service. Our plan was to meet at 4:30, but since they had Dollywood planned as well, time got away from them and 4:30 turned into 7:30. Luckily, It was no problem. I was home all day and didn’t have anything planned.

When we met at the gas station, they were getting ready to leave so I lucked up on getting there in the nick of time. We drove to the Missionary Baptist Church and I let them get out before me and they walked around the church. His plan was to get the ring from her mom when they went into the church and her dad pulled her to the graveyard to distract her. When I was walking towards the church Nate whispered that he changed his mind and wanted to go to the field across the street.


I all of a sudden, I panicked. I had no clue where to stand and how to hide. I knew she already saw me so I let them go into the field first and when he distracted her, I snuck in behind them.

Nate gave a beautiful speech to her and the best part was he was down on his knee for a few mins which gave Ashley plenty of time to soak in this moment.

Her parents were standing close by so they got to witness the whole thing. After this photo, we saw a bear way off into the woods.

After we got some photos around the church, we stopped at one of my favorite overlooks in Cades Cove. I love the 180-degree view you get of the Smoky Mountains. We were shooting right at sunset, which is by far the prettiest time of the day. If I would have known he didn’t want to propose in front of the church, I could have taken him here.

Congratulations to these two lovebirds. I know they can’t wait to start planning their wedding day.