Leslie said yes! A Beautiful Sunrise Proposal in Venice, Italy

What does a wedding photographer do when she travels to Europe?

As a traveling photographer, my eye feels incredibly inspired while on vacation. Still, unfortunately, I don't have anyone to photograph except for my fiancé, who quickly grows tired of being in front of the camera. This is why I always want to schedule photoshoots every time I travel. My last time in Italy, I got lucky! I planned a couples photoshoot with my friend Jorge and his girlfriend Leslie, who was unaware of the surprise we had in store for her. 

Jorge and Leslie had planned a vacation to Spain and Italy in late 2021, but it got canceled several times due to the pandemic. They rescheduled it for 2022, coinciding with my March travel availability in Italy. This gave us the perfect occasion to plan a Venice surprise proposal!

Let's meet in Italy, please!

Leslie and Jorge are the kind of couple that are inseparable. A great team, always in constant communication. Knowing this, I sent Jorge a message one day when I knew he would have Leslie nearby. In a casual message, I sent him my travel itinerary, suggesting we should meet for a mini photo shoot for my portfolio if we could coincide. "Surprisingly," we coincided in Venice.

Leslie was excited; she bought an outfit for herself and Jorge. Jorge had already sent me a confidential photo of Leslie's emerald ring, so when I saw that Leslie had purchased an emerald green dress, I had severe doubts about whether she had seen the ring or suspected the surprise.

A Surprise Engagement: Venice Proposal Photographer

We coordinated to meet at dawn on my last day in Venice, just at the end of my trip and in the middle of Leslie and Jorge's vacation. The night before, we met for dinner, talked about our European experiences, and went to bed early.

Taking photographs in highly touristy destinations such as Venice means that the best time to achieve the sessions is at dawn. Still, in popular cities, you might see dozens of people taking photoshoots and selfies around the landmarks. 

Aiming for the best photoshoot possible, we made the collective sacrifice of waking up early on our vacations. It felt like a double sacrifice because it was freezing for our Caribbean bodies, and the lovebirds' clothes were relatively light for the weather. But for good photos, one will do anything, and we had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

We were fortunate: Venice was empty, the tide was low, the sunrise was beautiful, and there was a strike by public employees. This meant there was little traffic in the area where we wanted to focus the photo shoot. We could do the session in Piazza San Marco, then move to an empty Ponte Rialto. What a lucky break!

Do it now, son! Venice Surprise Proposal

I knew Jorge was a bit nervous because he is usually a chatterbox and was incredibly quiet. So Leslie didn't suspect, I quickly attributed that silence and trembling to the awkwardness of being in front of the camera and the cold.

I kept giving them instructions and positioning them in beautiful views, waiting for the gentleman to bend his knee.

There was a point at which Leslie was distracted, and I approached Jorge.

  • "Mijo, I've been waiting for a while..."
  • "You're right; I'll do it now!"

Finally, he knelt down, and Leslie was surprised. Despite the emerald green dress purchase and how obvious this plan seemed to me, she didn't suspect a thing!

She said yes, we all hugged, and we went to look for a coffee and a brioche to celebrate. After breakfast, we saw that the light was still beautiful and Venice was empty, and we made a few more stops before saying goodbye.

We also took advantage of having a photographer, and my fiancé and I took a few photos around Venice. If you follow me on social media, you know this was not the only engagement in Italy; up next, I tell you the story of my surprise engagement!