You guys… this photoshoot proposal in Laguna Beach is picture perfect! The elopement inspiration shoot turned surprise proposal totally fooled wedding planner Kayley thanks to the rest of the team at LVL Weddings & Events and her now fiancé, Taylor. They schemed to create the ultimate engagement story… and it worked! What made the moment all the more beautiful for the couple was the stunning sweetheart table, florals, and decor. Not only do you get to witness the proposal, but also the sweet setup the team produced to inspire other brides. We love the rustic golden color palette and the golf course venue at The Ranch but there is plenty more to enjoy! Scroll on for Kayley’s recollection of the day and all the beautiful photos capture by Lorely Meza!
Kayley says, The Tuesday before our engagement, I received a text from Lindsay, the owner of the wedding planning company I work for. She explained that she had just received a panicked call from one of our favorite photographers, Lorely, and the planner she was working with for a styled elopement shoot in Laguna Beach on Friday had to cancel due to a family emergency. Lindsay and my colleague Britt were going to step in as the planners for the photo shoot, but they needed a couple to photograph and were hoping my boyfriend Taylor and I would be open to helping them last minute. To any other couple, doing a photo shoot like this might be a bit funny (or suspicious), but I had somehow convinced poor Taylor to do this twice before and we got some beautiful photos out of it, so I thought I might be able to persuade him one more time. I texted him right away to explain the pickle my team was in and see if he could clear his schedule for Friday afternoon.
Once Taylor confirmed, the ladies ordered a beautiful white lace top and dusty blue tulle skirt for me to wear and scheduled a hair and makeup appointment for Friday morning with Design Visage, our local bridal beauty team. They also put in a special request that Taylor wear a navy suit to ensure our “elopement” ensembles were cohesive with the design and color palette.
Fast forward to Friday… Taylor and I cruised down Pacific Coast Highway and arrived at The Ranch a few minutes early to enjoy a spicy margarita in the lobby lounge before getting in front of the camera. I was so excited to show Taylor this venue, as it is one of my favorites to work at in Orange County and I knew he would love the perfectly groomed golf course and the outdoor patio’s beautiful canyon views. We sipped our margaritas and headed over to the ceremony lawn where we were going to meet Britt, Lindsay and the photographer.
True to a real elopement, they had a beautiful dinner table set for two, a bouquet for me and a silk pocket square for Taylor that perfectly matched the flowers. The ladies also brought Hoo Films in on the fun to capture the elopement details on video! We started with individual portraits and detail shots while we waited for the sunset. Once golden hour was upon us, we were escorted onto the golf course with the photographer and videographer for more photos, which was normal practice for our couples who are married at The Ranch.
We stopped at a beautiful oak tree for the “first look.” Lorely wanted to switch things up a little and have me face away from Taylor and turn for the big the reveal. I loved this idea because it was different from the traditional bride tapping the groom on the shoulder, so I went with it! Standing with my back to Taylor, she took a few photos, asked me to smell my bouquet and then eventually turn to face Taylor. A few moments later, I turned to find my boyfriend on one knee in front of me asking me to be with him forever! I was in complete shock and had never been more confused in my life! There were so many thoughts running through my head, “Was this part of the ‘elopement’ shoot? Is this real? If not, this is a mean joke. Is that ring mine? How did he do this? I have so many questions!” Taylor assured me it was real and I said YES!!!
We took a few more photos and made our way back to where Britt and Lindsay were waiting for us with champagne. We popped the bottle to celebrate and they eagerly explained everything! There was no family emergency with another planner and this was the furthest thing from last minute. Taylor, Britt and Lindsay had planned this for WEEKS! Our families, friends and colleagues had been in on it the entire time and I was completely clueless!
Taylor and I left The Ranch and drove right back up Pacific Coast Highway to a beautiful rental home where our families and grandparents were there to continue the celebration! I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect proposal.