At the beginning of May, I received a phone call from Russell Canouse. Russ explained that he had seen a surprise proposal that I had captured a few months previously and the wanted me to capture his proposal to his best friend Erika. He then explained that he was currently in Germany. A bit confused, I asked him to explain what his plan was. He continued to explain to me that he is a Lancaster County native but that he has been in Germany since the age of 15 as a soccer player. Russ plays professional soccer with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany for the last two years. He explained that he would be coming home for a break over Memorial Day Weekend, staying at The Hotel Hershey and wondered if I could find a place at the Hotel that we could pull off a surprise engagement. Absolutely!! We chatted back and forth for days as we formulated a plan.
Russ and I met a few days before the surprise and looked around the grounds of Hotel Hershey, we found the perfect spot for the surprise. The Rock Garden which is a venue that holds small weddings and is tucked away that most guests never find it. Privacy - Yeah! One problem, the weather forecast for Hershey was calling for thunderstorms on the day of his proposal. After chatting, we agreed that rain or shine, Russ, and Erika would arrive at the Rock Garden before their dinner on Sunday, May 28th.
Sunday arrived and so did the dark clouds. Knowing that our weather is unpredictable at best, I drove to the Hotel to set up our surprise. As I drove, the rain stopped!! We had a window of only ninety minutes that day without rain. As Russ brought Erika to the Rock Garden and she was surprised!! It was pulled off without a glitch!
Russ planned the proposal down to the smallest details, personalized wine bottle from Grandview Winery in Mount Joy, roses, a canvas gift her ordered and a diamond that brought me to tears. Russell's mother, unfortunately, passed a few years ago. Russ was gifted her diamond and he had Koser Jewelers or Mount Joy, design a new ring using the stone and it is beautiful. Everything about the evening was perfection. I was honored to have been able to capture and share this moment. Congrats to you both Russell and Erika!!
Enjoy a peek into their special evening...