Summertime Morris Arboretum Proposal
This Morris Arboretum proposal was nothing short of beautiful, romantic and sentimental. Let me explain.
The Game Plan
Will reached out to me about his plan to propose to his girlfriend of a few years at Morris Arboretum in the summer of 2022. I had never been to Morris Arboretum before, so we set up a time to walk around the grounds together to choose “the spot” for the proposal. While we walked and talked, Will filled me in on his relationship and the meaning behind the proposal location.
He and Ana started dating in college and did two years of long distance while Will was in med school. Ana pursued research at UPenn and Will, decided to change career paths, moved to Philly to be near her. Ana grew up around here and used to frequent Morris Arboretum growing up – she told Will it was her favorite park. What better place to ask Ana such an important and life-altering question?!
Morris Arboretum Proposal
I assumed position at “the spot” quite early, as per usual for surprise proposals. We decided on a cobblestone road in a quiet portion of the grounds, right near the pond of swans. I kept an eye out for Will & Ana – I met Will when location scouting so I knew who to look for – and pretended to photograph the swans as they approached. (Actually, I lied – I did take pictures of the swans because … well, swans!!)
Soon enough, Will stopped Ana at the designated spot and turned her sideways to say a few words, just as we planned. He got down on one knee and Ana immediately reached out to hug him! She bent down and gave him a kiss and it was such a sweet moment to document.
After I said my congratulations, we made our way back to the rose garden. To Ana’s surprise, Will had his parents and her immediate family waiting there to congratulate them!! I photographed their smiles and hugs and a very giggly champagne spray. What a lovely idea!
Will, Ana and I walked around the park for about 20 more minutes to take engagement photos. They are so in love, which made my job super easy!! I had a few portrait spots in mind from Will and I’s location scouting meeting, and we incorporated all of Ana’s ideas into the photos as well. I could have stayed out there for hours photographing those two, but I knew we were on a time crunch!
Rittenhouse Square Surprise Party
Will wins the award for most thoroughly and intentionally planned proposal day. After their Morris Arboretum proposal, we made our way into Center City for an official surprise party in Rittenhouse Square! There was an adorable picnic setup put together by Taste of Company and even more family waiting for the newly engaged couple’s arrival. After some formal family portraits, candid smiles and a few more engagement photos, I left Will & Ana to celebrate with their loved ones. Congratulations, you two!!
Summertime Garden Vibes
Morris Arboretum is BEAUTIFUL in its peak season. The park is huge, though not as big as Longwood Gardens. Somehow, however, it’s much less crowded! Morris Arboretum is characterized by its old, massive trees as well as its various gardens and nature-themed works of art scattered throughout the grounds. It’s the perfect spot for a proposal because it feels private and nearly everywhere you look is manicured and beautiful.
If you’re planning an afternoon trip to Morris Arboretum, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, there is an entry fee (and a much higher photography fee if you want photos done there). Second, the hours are seasonal and they close far before sunset in the summer months. Third, wear a good pair of walking shoes. There’s a lot of ground to cover and not all of it is paved!
All that being said, I recommend you check out the rose garden, the swan pond and the fountain (all pictured below).