Romantic and Whimsical Styled Shoot and Surprise Proposal – Paris, Ontario, Canada – Sara & Matt
What originally was going to be a whimsical romantic styled shoot turned into a beautiful, romantic proposal! Matt Bootsma and Sara Tenhage volunteered to be the models for this styled shoot, but little did Sara know that Matt was planning to propose to her! The details of the styled shoot were tailored towards them and their relationship (without Sara knowing). The menu, the wedding invitation, the custom pillows, the cake, and the hanger were all carefully and beautifully created by our talented vendors and shop owners to add an extra special touch to the proposal. Spoiler alert: She said yes!
“A photographer I know sent me a message asking for Matt and me to be in a styled shoot for her. I wasn’t too excited about this idea but Matt eagerly said yes. We found out it was at the Arlington Hotel in Paris (our favourite town). We took a day off work for it and when we arrived they dressed me up like Cinderella (I’ve never felt that beautiful in my life). They told us we were going to do a first look so I turned to face a wall. When I turned around Matt was holding a sign that said “Sara, I love you. Will you be my last girlfriend ever? Matt”. I remember being very confused until he got down on one knee and said: “will you marry me?” I froze as it started to sink in until I could finally work up the voice to say yes.”
Matt and Sara both have a passion for soccer, so when her team was short one player one of her friends asked Matt to play. He said yes and after discovering his talent they began to ask him to play all the time. That’s how they were first introduced.
They share a very similar, sarcastic sense of humour and both have an obsession with the small town Paris, Ontario (which is why they planned the photoshoot/surprise engagement in that location) and they both love bruschetta. “We share the same dream for our future.”
You should just hear all these beautiful little romantic details which went into this beautiful styled shoot and the perfect proposal!
1. The Cake: Sara and Matt’s favourite Bible verse is in 1 Corinthians 13, so Julie, from Refined Sugar Cakes, wrote parts of the verse around the bottom tier of the cake; “love is patient, love is kind, love never fails”.
2. Menu: Instead of food listed on the menu, Matt made a list of their favourite things to give to the stationery designer, Heather of Red Bicycle Paper Co. On the menu were things they liked to do together, their favourite foods, their favourite shows, etc, and it was called “Our Love Recipe”. At the bottom of the menu was significant dates listed: where and when they first met, their first date, their first kiss, and when she said yes to his proposal.
3. The Invitation: Instead of a wedding invitation, the stationery designer made an engagement announcement instead for Sara and Matt to keep to remember this special day. “It was funny trying to hide this (and all the other elements) from Sara because we’d ask her to hold it and pose with it but had to distract her enough so she wouldn’t turn it around and read it. The invitation said “First Comes Loves”, then below had both their names and “our forever love story begins today, on this day of our engagement” with the date and location underneath it.”
4. Pillows: They had custom pillows made by Laura at Go Fluff Yourself with Matt’s choice of words on them. They had the pillows set in a cosy pillow corner with candles all around them. The pillows said “P.S. I Love You” and “Love Never Fails”.
5. Hanger: Tayne and Ashely had made a custom, beautifully etched Bride hanger. On the back of it was a message from Matt to Sara, which said, “I told you I’d surprise you”. “It was funny to watch Sara’s expression when we asked her to hold the hanger with the front (“Bride” engraving) towards her.”
6. Wooden signs and cake topper: Amy from Spring Meadow Co-created a sign that said “Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favourite”; chair signs that said “better together”; and a cake topper that said, “the adventure begins”. Sara knew she was modelling to be a bride, but because it was a secret engagement they had to have all these details represent their love without giving away too much.
7. Proposal sign: When Matt proposed to Sara, he held up a watercolour, calligraphy sign made by Victoria from Victoria Monique Designs, which said “Sara I love you. Will you be my last girlfriend ever? Matt”.