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I'M A FULL TIME DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, 100% IN LOVE WITH ADVENTUROUS ELOPEMENTS + SMALL WEDDINGS.

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Epic Hiking Proposal at Sunrise in Scottsdale, Arizona

I woke up hours before sunrise to hike up to this spot for Dan’s surprise proposal to Sydney that he had secretly been planning for several months. When I reached the top, it was so fun to be pretend that I was just taking landscape photos as just your average hiker would do, when really I was waiting for THIS magical moment. Dan and Sydney’s epic hiking proposal at sunrise in Scottsdale, Arizona was beyond breathtaking! Here’s their story:

HOW THEY MET:

“We met our sophomore year of high school. Dan was taking one of my friends to his school homecoming dance. We became friends then. I remember thinking he was funny, sweet, and kind. My friend and him didn’t work out, but we remained good friends. I wanted to get to know him better, but didn’t know how (I didn’t have his phone number yet!). My bold 15 year old self decided in that moment that I should facebook message him. We began a funny conversation on that social media app that lasted FOREVER (literally like a month). I was afraid he would never ask for my phone number, but one night when we were hanging out at a friends house, he did right before he left. Our friendship quickly turned into dating and then on one of our best friends birthdays, Dan took me aside and asked me to be his girlfriend. This friend to this day still laughs that our anniversary is on his birthday. Danny and I grew up together, graduating high school and going to college at the University of Kentucky. Constantly we pushed each other to succeed and to become better people. We both agree we wouldn’t be the people we are today without each other.”

THE PROPOSAL:

When it came to their hiking proposal at sunrise in Scottsdale, Arizona Dan said: “The proposal always had to be an adventure, no matter what. Sydney’s dream proposal is horseback riding on the Italian hillside, but the pandemic cancelled our trip to Europe that we had planned in April. Luckily, we take enough adventurous trips together, that I knew I would have another shot at creating an adventure together. With another couple, who are friends from college, we decided to plan a trip out to Arizona, and I knew this would be a great opportunity. After going back and forth on a few different scenic hikes, I ultimately decided that a mountaintop trail located right near our airbnb would be the perfect spot. Later that same day when I decided that spot, Sydney suggested that we do the very same trail on our first day at sunrise. This could not have worked out better since now it seemed like she had picked out the trail on her own when in reality, Allison and I had already planned to have the proposal and pictures at that spot. After getting up at 4 in the morning and cutting it a little close to the sunrise, we made it to the top of the mountain just before sunrise. Allison and her husband were obviously already up there, and luckily Sydney still did not suspect that she was the photographer. Once I could see that everything was successfully in place, I knew that all I had left was to actually ask the question! I asked and Sydney could not have been more excited to say yes!”

Sydney said: “I was so surprised by Dan’s proposal at sunrise!!! I think the best part of the proposal was that it happened while we were doing something we loved. Exploring a new place, hiking, and doing it with some of our best friends. The sunrise at the top of the mountain was indescribable and having that memory along with our engagement moments after will be a memory I will always cherish.”

PAST ADVENTURES + UPCOMING WEDDING:

When it comes to planning their wedding day, the two of them said that they want a big celebration, with lots of dancing and a candy/dessert bar for the sweet tooth that they two of them have. 

When it comes to other things that they love to do together, they said: “We love to travel! We have been to Australia together, and recently explored Europe for the first time as well. I would say our European adventure has been the best experience so far. We flew into Paris and immediately took a train through the chunnel to London. We explored the many pubs in the Soho District (even went to a gin palace… didn’t even know those existed). We traveled to Amsterdam and had a canal tour through the beautiful city. After meeting some new friends on our canal tour we continued to explore late into the night ( to end it we decided to walk 2 1/2 miles back to our Air BNB lol, but it was worth it). Our favorite place was Chamonix, a town in the french alps. We hiked and went to the top of Mount Blanc about 14,000 feet up, it was breath-taking (literally and figuratively because it was 15 degrees up there with views for miles). We had a bus trip mishap that gave us an unexpected 6 hours in Geneva where we walked around the lake. And then ended our trip in Paris. My favorite night was our last when we bought a bottle of wine, baguette, cheese, and meat. We went to the top of Montmartre in Paris and had a wonderful picnic while watching the Eiffel Tower light up. 

That trip was special not just because of the sights, but because we planned and explored together. Not everything went perfectly, but we were always able to make the best of every situations. We were just happy to be with each other.”

THEIR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER:

After their hiking proposal at sunrise in Scottsdale, I asked the two of them what they most love and appreciate about each other. Here’s what they said:

What Sydney loves about Dan: “Dan is one of the most level headed and intelligent people I have ever met. I love that he is constantly looking for different ways to learn and grow. He genuinely loves to learn new things. I love that he is open minded to all of my crazy adventure planning and will do anything to make a dream of mine come true. I love that he has always supporting me and pushing me to better myself. For example in May of 2021 I will be starting a 3 year doctoral program to become of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, my dream job. From the start of my application process he has been so excited for me, and has made it clear he will fully support me through this process. I love that Dan will always be up to stay in for a movie night, or find new places to go out and explore. I love that we can spend every second of every day together and still be fully happy to be in each others company.”

What Dan loves about Sydney: “She has the most adventurous spirit I have ever seen. I love that she Sydney is always leading us to new places to explore, new countries to experience, and I couldn’t have a better companion to see the world with. Sydney also has a caring heart that would do anything for anyone or anything in need. At work she helps the sickest of children as a pediatric intensive care nurse, and at home she is always making sure that I feel loved, her friends are happy, and her family feels cherished. I love that Sydney is smart and driven in her endeavors. She is one of the top nurses at the number #3 best ranked children’s hospital in the world, and she still chose to pursue her doctorate in nurse anesthesia. She was one of 20 people that were accepted into the doctorate program, standing out amongst 200 other applicants! Sydney is also beautiful, athletic, and outgoing, and seeing her is always the best part of my day.” 

The entire morning of their proposal was absolultey filled with so much joy, love and excitement. They’ve had so many incredible adventures and moments together already, but I have no doubt there will be many more.

Cheers!

Allison

PS – scroll down to see when Dan got back down on one knee once the sun had risen, to share with Sydney the things that he loves about her!


Want to book with me for your epic hiking proposal at sunrise in Scottsdale, Arizona or for your elopement?

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