brisbane city botanical gardens surprise proposal engagement photographer and planner anna osetroff


March 9, 2017

Paul & Jes Secret Proposal

brisbane city botanical gardens surprise proposal engagement photographer and planner anna osetroff


March 9, 2017

Paul & Jes Secret Proposal

Between December 2016 to 22 February 2017 over multiple countries and timezones Paul and I exchanged… 23 emails, 38 text messages, 1 international skype call, 1 whatsapp phone call, 1 secret 4 hour meeting in Brisbane and 2 days of shopping and then we were ready! So here’s what happened.

Paul contacted me back in December asking if it was possible to do a ‘covert operation’ to capture the moment he Proposed to Jes, his girlfriend of 5 years. I was in, exciting!

This is their love story, A charming Englishman Paul, and a sweet funny Filipino, Jes, meet working in Brisbane, Australia and fall in love. They are currently living and working in different countries so Paul secretly plans to come back to Brisbane 5 years later to Propose to Jes where they first met *pass the tissues*.

Paul had a beautiful vision in mind for the perfect proposal he was planning from the other side of the world but pulling it off without Jes catching on was going to be difficult, that’s where I come in. Hello shopping! We spoke on Skype about what Paul was after then we organised to meet in Brisbane one week before the big day, one day before Jes flew in, to find the perfect location, under the perfect tree for the perfect picnic. Paul gushed over all the things that Jes loved, I took pages of notes then armed with my list and determined to make this awesome I hit the shops while Paul and Jes enjoyed a road trip to Noosa!

Gosh I looked forever for a romantic and large picnic basket! Who knew! After much googling, coffee and phone calls, Wheel and Barrow was my saviour, first shopping stop Robina shopping town! Much deliberation with the staff took place and I decided on the adorable basket in the photos below, cute *check!*, pastel *check!*, fits all the food Jes loves *check!*. Next, blanket shopping, so picnic blankets aren’t that pretty, they are usually plaid, checks and very bright stripes which would never do for this. With my picnic basket in hand, off to Adairs for a comfy throw that matched Pauls vision, the goal was beige or light blue. I ‘ummmed’ and ‘arrgghed’ so much on this one, luckily for me the ladies at Adairs thought this was great fun and helped me cover their floor in various throws until I finally could make a decision, a chunky fluffy beige knit.

Then onto Garden City! Now this is where you shop until you drop, lesson learnt, should have worn joggers! I had an awesome time, I had to push it all around in a trolley I bought so much. Cute mason jars, funky glass bamboo water bottle, tiny cutting board, bottle of Chandon, gold inspirational mugs, gold spotty tea towels, Knife with cover in pastel colour, hand wipes, copper fairy lights, food safe containers, little baby sized ice bricks, apples, lemons, raspberries, strawberries, lemon drink, tiny greek yogurt, small milk, sugar, salt, serviettes, did I get it all?!?! *quickly calls Paul to check* and you’re probably thinking where is the coffee? I know! But wait! Then on to the florist to organise some beautiful blooms, seriously the posey was fantabulous! Flour and Bloom you are awesome 🙂

The morning of the Proposal arrived, flower pick up 11am. Carindale here I come! Sumo salad caesar salad no chicken, Mrs Fields cookies chocolate chip, Guzman and Gomez mild pork and beef burritos with all the sides, the guy at Carindale was so lovely, I asked for a little container to put the jalapenos in and hold him what I was doing and explained this was Jes’s favourite food so he gave me Guacamole and chips to add in, what a winner! Back to my house to pack everything, where Tim is waiting ready to go, can’t do this with just one photographer!

4pm – We pull over outside the Oaks Aurora where Paul and Jes are staying, I keep the car running, Tim runs the basket, blanket and flowers inside for Paul to pick up and secretly text the package is ready!

4:15pm – Park the car and run to the Botanical Gardens to our first tree of choice to check everything is okay. Politely explain to stranger what we are doing and beg for kindness to please move over a little as this is about to happen!

4:30pm – Hide in bushes and pretend we are also ‘picnic-ing’, sneakily catching glances to see if they are coming, here they are! Casual ninja style photography begins.

5pm – Go time! Paul texts me “Will be closer to 5:15pm” 😀

5:22pm – Text two “Now :)” *heart rates all increase dramatically* Paul hands Jes a coffee jar and a teaspoon, yes that’s right, a coffee jar I did not put in the basket 😉 What’s in the jar?

5:25 – Go Go Go! Lots of secret photos, oh no people walking in front of us! Tim and I wave like maniacs in the trees at them to move hahaha!

and it’s all documented below!

Oh and Jes said yes xx


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