Matthew & Athena’s Carmel Valley Ranch Surprise Proposal

Matthew had the perfect surprise proposal planned for his girlfriend Athena. It was going to be in Carmel Valley, at a special spot with an absolutely majestic view of the valley below. Record-breaking wildfires had ravaged the California countryside and clouded the skies with smoke just days before the proposal, but that wasn’t going to stop him — if the coronavirus couldn’t keep them from getting engaged, then neither was the smoke. And so the stage was set for one incredibly beautiful Carmel Valley Ranch surprise proposal.

We arrived a bit early to scope out the spot, and it was pretty gray and drab like it had been all day long, with the sun hidden behind a thick layer of smoke. But as Matthew and Athena arrived, the sun suddenly peeked out from a tiny hole in the sky, as if to give them its warm, heavenly blessing. Athena, for her part, was perhaps the most excited bride-to-be we’ve ever had the joy to photograph. She was jumping and shaking and just so incredibly overwhelmed that today, right now, this was that special moment when her best friend was really asking her to marry him. We couldn’t have been happier to be able to share some of that happiness with them, and I hope these photos show not just the beautiful couple and moment, but also the feeling and emotion between them. Congratulations to Matthew and Athena!