James + Shannen | Surprise Proposal

I met both James and Shannen my freshman year of college (James was my RA, and Shannen was on the cross country team). It was ironic that out of all of the RAs that I could have had, I managed to get Shannen's boyfriend. Slowly throughout the year, they became two very important people to me (by the end of the year I had officially dubbed them my South Alabama honorary parents! Haha!)

Anyways, I was so excited when James asked me to play a part in the proposal and take the pictures! (Like...super excited!) I felt like a secret agent because I had known about the proposal pretty much since James decided he was going to propose, and I saw Shannen almost every week and had to keep the secret from her! 

Finally, the day came! James had put so much thought into the proposal and even the ring! (Typical James fashion). James decided to do the proposal at Moulton Tower since Shannen and he met at South their freshman year of college. He placed mason jars filled with sunflowers (Shannen's favorite flower) at the bench where he first told Shannen that he loved her, and he had an arrow pointing to the bell tower where he was waiting at the end of a picture walk (surrounded by more sunflowers). 

In a last second idea on how to get Shannen to the bell tower, my mom and sister were coming into town to help paint at my new townhouse. To get Shannen to the bell tower, I told Shannen that she, my mom, my sister, and I would go out to dinner Friday night downtown. I said that since it was downtown, my mom would pick everyone up and drive us all. The other detail was that I had to stay late at work, so my mom was just going to come and pick me up and we would go straight to dinner. (The bookstore is conveniently right by the bell tower!) 

My mom and sister picked Shannen up at her apartment and headed to the drop off zone! James, James' parents. Shannen's parents, and I all hid behind the bell tower columns waiting for Shannen to get there! (There was almost a mess-up because my mom and sister accidentally drove past where they were supposed to stop, but luckily they came up with a quick excuse as to why they had to turn around, and luckily Shannen had literally no clue as to what was about to happen!) 

Shannen finally got to where she needed to be! She was so confused at first, but once she realized what was happening and saw the sunflowers, she took off sprinting down the drive towards James, who was waiting for her at the top of the tower stairs! Shannen made it up to James, who then got down on one knee and asked Shannen to be his forever! <3 Shannen said yes, of course, and she could not stop shaking, jumping around, and randomly squealing because she was so excited (this part was really funny!) After they shared a few minutes soaking in the moment, Shannen and James shared the moment with their parents as well! The proposal went perfectly, and Shannen was completely taken of guard and surprised! (Good job, James!)

I couldn't have asked for a sweeter couple and proposal for my first time photographing this kind of thing. I am so extremely happy for James and Shannen, and can't wait to see all they accomplish together in life (and I of course can't wait for the sunflower filled wedding!) Congratulations again, James and Shannen! #ForeverJammenWedding