A Valentine’s Themed Proposal


Shay & John

John was so happy when Kellie Hetler and Shay’s best friends Erin Langdon and Johnny Rathjen suggested to organize a surprise proposal shoot with the help from Michelle, proposal planner for Red Heels Events! They told Shay that Kellie needed their help for an inspiration photo shoot. She had no idea John was going to propose!

How They Met

Shay: “John and I met while we were in 9th grade back in 2007.  We started talking, because I went to school with the drummer in his band. Both of us were in very serious relationships in the years after we met, but we always kept in contact. To make a long story short, the fall of our freshman year of college we reconnected after about a year of not talking, and then one thing led to another!”

Planning the Proposal

Kellie: “Michelle and I were planning a fun engagement cocktail party inspiration shoot with the amazing stylists at Cheeky Strut and wanted to create something different than just a typical “bride and groom” shoot.  We wanted something that people will remember with lots of color and lots of LOVE!  After throwing around some ideas, I thought that it would be great to photograph an actual proposal.”

Shay: “I thought that it was just going to be another one of Kellie’s “inspiration” shoots, little did I know that the whole thing  was planned for the proposal! I came downstairs from getting my hair done for the second time with one of my best friends Johnny Rathjen, and he told me to walk down the hall and read the signs. I was really confused at first, until I started walking and saw the first table with all the beautiful flowers. On the table there was a sign that read “Shay, read me!” and then there was a letter that John had written for me. There then was another table following that one with some more flowers and another sign that read “Me too!” with another letter from John. By this time I was really anxious and kind of in shock! I had no idea that this was going to happen. I continued to walk down the hallway, which led to a room where outside the door was one last table with a sign that read “Now I have one question…” and I walked into the room where John was waiting for me. On the floor there were what seemed like a million rose petals  and candles with John standing near the back of the room. Needless to say, I was freaking out at this point.  I walked towards John, who looked so handsome in his tux. I don’t remember much of what he said to me, but all I know is that he asked me to marry him, and I said yes! ”

Michelle (the proposal planner): “I really wanted to create a color palette that was fun, young but yet romantic. By bringing in the deeper and lighter purple tones it really lent itself to an elegant look and, of course, what is a love shoot without red! The ribbon wall consisted of over 1000 feet of ribbon in all different textures, sizes and colors and also included strands of white carnation garland to add an extra special touch. The dozens of candles and red rose petals added the final romance factor.”

The Engagement Ring

John: “Shay and I went to a ton of jewelers to shop around for rings. After that I kind of had a feel for what she wanted. Eventually I found a jeweler who I really liked (Wheat Jewelers in Okemos) and who carried a diamond that shined brighter than anything else I had seen.”

Photo Credit: Helter Photography
Proposal Planner: Red Heels Events

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