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Surprise Proposal At Beautiful Bernardus Lodge | Melissa & Ryan


When Ryan reached out to me about a Bernardus Lodge surprise proposal, I knew we would be the perfect fit! Ryan and Melissa both have busy schedules, and since Melissa is currently going to Stanford, he knew he’d need the perfect excuse to get away to dreamy Bernardus Lodge together. The perfect plan started to unravel when Ryan began to bring up an upcoming “work trip.”


Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

Bernardus Lodge is a luxurious wine country experience nestled in Carmel Valley. It has trickling fountains and unique lounge areas throughout the grounds. They boast in being a “relaxing escape from the bustle of life,” and it’s evident everywhere you go while on the property. Something about this place makes you release your tension immediately, and it was the perfect venue for Ryan and Melissa to visit together. As a local Carmel Valley photographer, I’m especially fond of this beautiful location!


The Surprise Proposal

I stood in a discreet location as I waited for Ryan and Melissa to arrive at the engagement spot. Part of being a local Carmel Valley photographer is knowing how to hide in the venue! Ryan told Melissa that there was a wine tasting in the garden (where he hoped to propose), and she initially didn’t want to go! She looked up the wine tasting online and didn’t see any information on a wine tasting in the garden. After Ryan convinces her to go anyway, they walk towards the garden and he drops to one knee!


Melissa was elated! She broke into the largest smile and they celebrated their incredible moment. Right after they proposed, we celebrated by walking the grounds and taking perfect portraits of them throughout the venue.


The Second Surprise

Little did Melissa know that Ryan had another surprise for them. Ryan invited their families out to stay at Bernardus, too! This meant that Ryan and Melissa were able to celebrate with their families right away. I thought this was such a thoughtful gesture of Ryan. What’s a better way to celebrate two people uniting than bringing the families too?


After I sent Ryan the sneak peeks, he and Melissa announced that I’ll be photographing their upcoming wedding as well! I simply cannot wait to capture their wedding on the East Coast! I’m confident it will be a beautiful wedding with these two.


I was delighted to be Alexa and Matt’s local Carmel Valley photographer! Are you planning a surprise proposal? I would love to be a part of it! Contact me here.

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