As far as Katherine Lee knew, I was just a neighbor that wanted to practice taking pictures. That’s the story Gunnar and his mom, Kerry, told Katherine Lee to convince her to take pictures with Gunnar on a random Friday afternoon. Fingers crossed Katherine Lee wouldn’t remember me snapping their pictures at a wedding in October! 🙂
Gunnar and his family returned from New York on Monday after he was recognized as American League Rookie of the Year. I met with them on Tuesday morning to go over the proposal plan and we picked out the spot where he would ask Katherine Lee to marry him. Kerry asked if I knew anyone that made cookies, so of course I recommended the talented Summer Brown. We wanted to keep the proposal top secret, so I ordered the cookies for an “anonymous client” and picked them up on Friday morning. That afternoon, Kerry came to my house for a covert exchange – she picked up the cookies and passed the ring off to me. A bulky ring box in Gunnar’s pocket would have aroused suspicion, so it was safer in my care until the opportune moment.
Fast forward an hour later, I drove to the Henderson’s house to meet Gunnar and Katherine Lee for their photo session. We walked outside and I pretended to look around for a good place to take pictures, knowing that I was going to head straight for the spot Gunnar had picked out earlier that week. I guided the couple through a few poses before moving to the designated proposal spot just a few yards away.
I explained to Katherine Lee that I wanted to get a genuine reaction from her in a more candid pose. She would face away from Gunnar while I “whispered” a prompt to him. Pretending to change my camera lens, I discreetly grabbed the ring from my camera bag. I quietly slipped the ring to Gunnar as I continued guiding them through the pose. Katherine Lee turned around to find Gunnar on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage.
Gunnar’s family snuck over to the neighbor’s house during our pictures and emerged with the couple’s dogs right after the proposal. Katherine Lee was surprised again as both families appeared and shared in their excitement. The Henderson’s neighbors set up a table with flowers and champagne for a quick toast between the newly engaged couple. After more pictures, the families gathered at the Henderson’s house to continue the celebration.
Katherine Lee and Gunnar, thank you for trusting me to capture such an exciting milestone for both of you! It was truly an honor to be part of it! I was thinking back to when I met Gunnar’s family about 10 years ago and it’s surreal to know that Gunnar is old enough to get married now. I am so proud of the person you’ve become, Gunnar, and I am confident you and Katherine Lee will do extraordinary things together. I pray you enjoy every moment of this new chapter in your lives!