I had a lot of fun photographing a recent surprise marriage proposal in Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. April is a great time of the year for taking pictures in Brookgreen. The springtime flowers are blooming and they also have extended hours until 8pm. Normally the gardens close at 5pm so it would be impossible to get the beautiful light from the sunset filtering through the trees.
This man did a great job with keeping the proposal to his girlfriend a surprise. He met his uncle in the bathroom at the entrance to the gardens to get the ring from him, he didn’t want to have it in his pocket the whole time or she would have noticed. Once I saw them arrive, I just walked ahead and waited for the couple on the Oak Allee. I tried to pretend like I was just taking random pictures of the gardens. He actually stopped and started to kneel a bit quicker than I expected, so I had to hurry over snapping pictures on the way. I still got there in time and got some really good shots of the proposal.
His girlfriend said after that she was completely surprised and didn’t notice me until I started taking the pictures, so I think everything went exactly like he hoped. I love some of the candid shots such as when she called her mom on FaceTime to show off the ring. We then walked around the main Brookgreen Gardens area for some engagement pictures in the sunset. There was not as many flowers in bloom as I had hoped, but there were still some areas like the Palmetto Garden that were beautiful. Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed the pictures. If you want to plan a surprise marriage proposal I’ve done a lot of them I can give you some helpful suggestions.
Update: I was specifically told a couple of years ago that doing engagement pictures in Brookgreen was fine by the administrative assistant in the Gardens, she even told me to print out her email if I had any problems. After talking to some new staff though I understand their policies have changed. So sadly unless you are hosting your wedding in the gardens we can’t do engagement pictures. You can still enjoy looking at these but we can’t do anymore at this location.