Melissa is a wedding, elopement, and lifestyle photographer specializing in photographing candid and emotion filled moments with her clients.

 Based in Sonoma, Napa, and San Francisco Bay Area. Available for travel worldwide.

Surprise Proposal at The Napa Valley Reserve

William and Liz (Alex’s mom) planned an elaborate and insanely perfect surprise proposal at The Napa Valley Reserve. They brought in florist John James (from San Francisco) to create a subtle, yet elegant space for the proposal to take place. It was so unassuming as it naturally blended in with the trellis.

Arrival for the Proposal

William and Liz brought in several friends and family as part of the proposal surprise. W, Liz, Alex, A’s Dad, and her brother Max flew into Napa County Airport from their recent trip to Scottsdale. From there, they climbed into a chartered car and drove to TNVR for (what Alex thought) was an evening of drinking wine and playing croquet.

The Big Moment

W lead A onto the lawn and partnered off from the family and friends that had arrived with them, while others watched from a secret room. W drew it out for a couple minutes with an amazing speech (I’m told) and then got down on one knee to propose. A was giggle-crying the whole time and absolutely shocked. Personally, I was shaking (as always during proposals), but held it together to get the moment documented.

groom proposes to bride at the napa valley reserve
couple get engaged at the napa valley reserve with surprise proposal

Everyone rushed out of the Hospitality Room to gush over them and surprise A (who had no idea that most of them were even there!) It was truly a beautiful moment.

family and friends surprise couple with proposal and engagement party at the napa valley reserve

Pop the Champagne

The amazing staff at TNVR had set up a champagne tower with champagne from Champagne, France. The family had recently taken a trip to Champagne and had enjoyed this specific bottle of champagne! It was so cool to see it in person at their event! A + W poured the champagne in and the celebrations began.

champagne tower with couple pouring champagne from Champagne, France for their proposal and engagement party
couple pours champagne for champagne tower at their surprise proposal and engagement party

Party Time

Once the champagne was flowing, it was a blast. Everyone was over the moon and so excited for these two to start their lives together. We finished the evening off with a little jaunt around the property after a quick outfit change.

family and friends cheer on newly engaged couple at the napa valley reserve
bride holds champagne glass while wearing custom 3.5 carat pear cut diamond engagement ring
bride and groom walk hand in hand down path with olive trees
bride wears 3.5 carat custom pear cut diamond engagement ring
couple kisses on driveway of the napa valley reserve after surprise proposal
couple kissing at the napa valley reserve after proposal with friends and family
walking hand in hand at the napa valley reserve after engagement proposal.

The Napa Valley Reserve was such an amazing place for a surprise proposal – I can’t wait to go back!

For more couple stories, head over here.

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