Summer’s birthday celebration was an extra special one this year! After going to dinner, her then boyfriend Russell asked to go for a walk at sunset. Little did she know that Russell was about to propose with fur baby Rooney and a local Nashville wedding photographer there to capture it all. Their surprise downtown Nashville proposal by Ashton Brooke Photography was documented with perfection. See it all play out in the photos below!
Ashton: On Saturday, August 15th, Russell took Summer out to dinner for an early birthday dinner. Little did she know, the night would end up in Downtown Nashville for a quick sunset walk which turned into the sweetest proposal. Russell tied a sign onto his dog that said, “Will you marry my dad?” His friend let his dog run off the leash and she ran straight to Summer. Summer gasped and couldn’t believe this moment was actually happening. With tears of joy, rolling down her cheeks, Russell got on one knee and asked Summer to marry him. They celebrated with some champagne and a toast to the future! Afterwards, we got to take some pictures right before the sun went down to document this glorious day of their relationship! It was the most precious proposal and I was so honored to be apart of it.
How did you get engaged? Tell us about your proposal!
Summer: Oh boy! So it was my birthday weekend. (My birthday was Sunday the 16th – 27!!) We started at Bourbon Steak downtown at the JW Marriot around 5 PM on Saturday. I got ready for what I thought was my “birthday dinner” and honestly, did not have one OUNCE of a clue. He was acting like he always does, just doing house chores and yard work all day. We end up having a great time at Bourbon Steak (of course eating to much…) so we end leaving. We get in the car and are heading towards our house in East Nashville when we take a left and pull into Nissan Stadium. Now, I never really question Russell because everything we do always ends up being something fun or something I’ve never done before. So we start walking towards the river (granted I’m in heals) so I’m let’s not walk to far because my feet hurt, he was like “okay we won’t, promise”. So we get to the spot where he popped the question and had a blanket, champagne and a cooler already waiting for us. I was thinking.. “WOW he went all out for this birthday!” NO NOT EVEN CLOSE – I hear movement behind me, turn and see our dog Rooney running towards us with a sign that says “Will you marry my Dad?” I BALLED. I was a wreck.. I mean I cried sister, CRIED. We ended up taking photos and having the BEST time. I was SO shocked. Afterwards, the surprises didn’t stop. He planned for 50+ of our family and friends to be at a house close by to do a surprise party. Now that was a surprise too. It was the best night of my life – He did amazing.
How many guests are you expecting?
Summer: 150-175 Guest
What’s your approach to your wedding budget?
Summer: I’m hoping to stay under $30,000 – I’m sticking to it. I think that is completely doable and you can have a beautiful wedding on a smaller budget. We obviously have a “just incase” fund but hopeful that we do not have to access that money.
Who have you hired for your wedding team so far?
Summer: No one yet – since we just got engaged we still are trying to find the “best fit” for almost everything. We kind of have an idea of everything but wanting to just be sure. Also, the pandemic has also caused a few issues but nothing we can’t work around 😉
What’s your wedding style?
Summer: Russell and I are both pretty simple, modern traditional with a small pop of color. So I think that’s what I’m going with for the wedding. I love a pastel w/ a metal so I’m sure that will be thrown into the style.
What aspect of being engaged has surprised you the most?
Summer: How exciting yet scary this time is. It’s money, timing, places, food, photos, video, venue.. Gosh I could go on forever. It’s SO exciting but still so scary. I know everyone goes through this but it really gets “real” when it’s you.
What have you most enjoyed about being engaged?
Summer: The support. This is not something that is for the fate of heart. It is stressful, expensive, overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. It’s just so nice to have someone to talk to about it and someone that understands completely and has the same feelings is a great part of being engaged. Other than having a FIANCE, of course!!!! 🙂 (I feel like I say that all the time now since it’ll only last for a little while – cherishing every moment).
Tell us about your engagement session. Where did it take place?
Summer: Nissan Stadium (Go Titans!) towards the river. So we get to the spot where he popped the question and he had arranged a friend to lay a blanket down, a bottle of champagne and a cooler of ice already waiting for us. I was thinking.. “WOW he went all out for this birthday!” NO NOT EVEN CLOSE. Suddenly, I hear movement behind me, turn and see our dog Rooney running towards us with a sign that says “Will you marry my Dad”. I BALLED. I was a wreck.. I mean I cried sister, CRIED.
What’s the significance of the location?
Summer: The river at Nissan Stadium – 1. Well we both met in Nashville so Nashville had to be apart of it. 2. The date – August 15th (Was his Dad’s Grandmothers Birthday and we both LOVE grandmothers) 3. The ring – It was his Mom’s mom’s ring. (No alterations, perfect the way it is) 4. My grandfather’s company (he’s an architect) built the Bellsouth building (ATT Building) and you can see it in every photo! The surprise party – My step dad is a contractor and him and I both built and designed the house that held the surprise party. I’m telling you. The man thought of everything.
What was it like working with your photographer?
Summer: O B S E S S E D! A dream!!!!! She’s Unreal. The sweetest, kindest, most encouraging human. She made sure we felt comfortable, excited, happy and overjoyed. She is seriously one of the best photographers I’ve worked with. I would recommend her to anyone – Honestly not enough words to say how I feel about her.
What did you like most about the session?
Summer: No pressure. A lot of photographers worry about timing and setting and are not conversational. Ashton was that and more. She talked with us, celebrated with us, danced with us, and took her time. No rush, no pressure, she felt like a best friend I’ve known for years!
Would you recommend the photographer and why?
Summer: YES YES YES!!!!! She is a delight. She makes sure that everything is placed right, she’s professional, she is a DREAM. Really. HIGHLY recommend.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with NBG readers?
Summer: Brides, I know this is a strange time but remember that you are LOVED and someone loves you just as much or more than you do – Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget to enjoy this time, it only happens for a little while. We are all in this together, you are beautiful.
Nashville Bride Guide’s Owner + Editor, Alyssa DiCicco
Since 2016, Alyssa has combined her loves to become the owner and editor of the local wedding blog, Nashville Bride Guide! The online publication showcases weddings, engagement sessions, styled shoots, vendor spotlights and advice posts from all across the Middle Tennessee area. Read more...
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