Big Sur Surprise Proposal Photos

Jenn & Austin’s Surprise Proposal in Big Sur, California


Jenn and Austin are engaged!! You may have recognized them from their 2-year anniversary Big Sur couples shoot that I did for them a while back. Well, they’re back for another blog post! I’m so so happy that I was able to be a part of their surprise proposal. Keep reading to hear their story and see their awesome photos!

The backstory

I’ve known Jenn since our high school days, so this proposal was extra special to me. After high school, we kept in touch here and there and she has been a supporter of Sadie Mak Photos since the beginning! She has always interacted with my Instagram content and would send me different inspiration photos for when she met her special person. So for a long time, I knew this surprise proposal would come eventually!

Fast forward a bit, and she meets Austin! We finally had an opportunity to get her in front of my camera and give her those photos she’d been dreaming up for years. Austin booked a Big Sur couples session for their 2-year anniversary, which is the set of photos you guys have seen on the blog. At that time, Jenn and I joked about how that would have been the perfect scenery for Austin to propose!! Maybe we manifested it??

Now, fast forward to the present day! I finally got the message I had been WAITING for. Austin was ready to propose and wanted my help in putting it all together. Aaahhhh! I was so beyond excited to capture this moment for them. Jenn and I had already been chatting about what her dream proposal would be, so I had a pretty great idea of what she would love. And just like that, we got to planning!

Planning their Big Sur surprise proposal

The one thing Austin mentioned early on was that he wanted to propose at one of the spots we had visited during their anniversary session. This part would be a little but tricky because that location is epic for far-away shots because of the scenery! But obviously, I wanted to get up-close and intimate photos of Austin proposing in real-time. So in typical Sadie Mak fashion, I put my brainstorming cap on and came up with the perfect plan!

At this point, it was time to figure out how the heck I was going to get Jenn to Big Sur without ruining the surprise. Now, I have planned multiple surprise proposals at Big Sur, and I take them very seriously!! Sadie Mak proposals are always, always, always a surprise! Since every proposal is different, I schedule multiple calls with the partner proposing to go over everything and come up with the best plan possible.

Because Jenn and I are friends and chat pretty frequently, she actually mentioned to me that she thought Austin was going to propose soon. OMG!! That was not helping our situation. So, once again, I came up with the perfect solution!

Throwing Jenn off!

This part is where I was very thankful I knew Jenn and Austin personally! I knew that Austin sends Jenn his work schedule in advance so they can plan their month accordingly. So, I told him to plan the proposal on a day that she THINKS he’s working so she wouldn’t suspect anything! He thought it was a great idea, so we moved forward to the next phase of the plan.

Now, it was all about getting Jenn to Big Sur without spoiling the proposal. At the time, I was working on a Big Sur outfit guide, which was the perfect excuse to set up a model call! I could get Jenn to Big Sur AND make her wear the perfect outfit? The stars were aligning for this one. I set up the model call on a day when I knew she wasn’t working, and voila! She took the bait!

Behind the scenes, there was a lot happening for Austin and me. We had several secretive phone calls to finalize all of the details to make everything perfect. On the morning of, there was a list of things that needed to get done in preparation. I picked up the floral arrangements from Latta Love Floral Design and then Austin picked them up from me! He also built custom picture frames so he could add his favorite photos of the two of them throughout their relationship. It was the cutest thing ever! Since I grew up in the Big Sur area, I have family that lives nearby, which definitely came in handy on this day. My Cousin met up with Austin beforehand at the proposal site to make sure everything was PERFECT!

It’s proposal time!

After all the back and forth with Austin that morning, it was finally time to pick up Jenn and make our way out to Big Sur! I kept her busy on our drive and told her how grateful I was she was doing this for me because I really needed to get this Big Sur Outfit Guide out. When we got to Big Sur, we began taking pictures as planned and we made multiple stops to keep her really thinking that she was modeling for me.

Fast forward to our final spot! My fiance was driving for us, and he normally does all BTS for me. So he got out of the car before me and said he was going to use the bathroom so he’d meet us out there. This was all part of the plan! While he got a head start to get into his position and let Austin know we were coming, I had Jenn change into her final outfit. We made the walk out there and I quickly ran ahead and she eventually walked right into Austin! She was confused at first because she thought he was at work but our plan worked! It was the sweetest proposal and definitely a team effort!

And of course, SHE SAID YES! My very talented fiance was able to get those far-away shots I talked about earlier while I got the close-up intimate ones. It was the perfect day! Definitely one of my favorite Big Sur proposals of all time.

Ready to plan your Big Sur surprise proposal?

Let’s do it!!! You can fill out my contact form to get in touch with me, and we’ll get to planning ASAP. I can’t wait to help you plan the perfect proposal!

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