Kirsten and Sam | A Surprise Sunrise Proposal at the Lincoln Memorial

Get ready for the absolute SWEETEST sunrise proposal! Sam was sent my way by one of my co-coaches, and it was such a huge honor to be involved in such a special moment! Sam and Kirsten were visiting DC from VA for Kirsten’s birthday, and during their trip, Sam had big plans to propose!

Sam and Kirsten actually met in middle school. They went to the same middle school and high school, and though they never really dated, they were always friends and even went to homecoming together freshman year of high school! Fast forward to their senior year of college and they got back in touch. After college, Kirsten visited Sam while he was living in Texas, and you could say the rest was history! They soon started dating, and just a few weekends ago, Kirsten said YES to forever with Sam!

Now… a little bit about their surprise proposal! If you’ve been to the National Mall on a Saturday, you know it gets BUSY once tourists start rolling in! I was worried these two would feel like they were on center stage if the proposal was set to happen later in the day, so I suggested a sunrise proposal! I knew it was a bold suggestion but was so grateful that Sam took my advice. I knew that would get us some gorgeous glow with the Washington Monument in its full glory over the Reflecting Pool, but at the same time, I was a little worried this would be suspicious and would ruin the surprise. Fortunately, Kirsten loves architecture and history, and while on trips, these two tend to get to the must-visit spots early to enjoy the best views with fewer people around. This played so well into our plan!

These two arrived right on time (7:34AM, to be exact!), and I casually hunched over my camera complete with my longest lens on the steps overlooking the Reflecting Pool, trying my best to play the part of “casual tourist watching the sunrise… nothing to see here!” I creepily watched them explore and snap photos of each other with their view at their back, looking right at me. *Insert panic and trying real hard to play it cool* Thankfully, I wasn’t spotted, and soon, Sam was dropping onto one knee!

Leading up to their proposal, we actually had a ton of huge storms that caused a ton of flooding on the East Coast. I was a little worried we would have a gloomy or rainy morning (or would hit some flooding on our way to the monument!), ruining our plan to have the sunrise be a key factor to getting these two to Lincoln early without causing suspicion. Luckily though, things were SO meant to be! I got to Lincoln and realized that the clouds were just clear enough for us to get an early morning sunrise! From there, the sun actually started hiding behind a few clouds, making conditions PERFECT for exploring for portraits and photos with Lincoln from all angles! I hope you’re ready for some serious sweetness!

Congratulations, Kirsten and Sam!

I’ve been spotted! How gorgeous is this RING?! As I was walking back to my car, I saw these two chatting and Facetiming family and friends from a far— this is one of my favorite frames from our morning together!

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