This candid surprise proposal was so cute! Cole proposed at El Matador State Beach in Malibu. Cole made up a story that he was taking his girlfriend to a work party, and on the way he mentioned that friends were waiting at the beach to have a drink. She was super upset because she was wearing expensive shoes and didn’t want to walk on gravel to the sand! When they arrived, he admitted that their friends weren’t coming. She immediately started crying because she knew what that meant!

Cole knelt down on one knee and proposed. She was in shock! It was such an adorable moment. She didn’t see it coming! I love when partners are totally taken by surprise during a proposal. It makes for some really sweet and emotional photos. Because it was such a surprise, she wasn’t prepared for photos. I totally understand! She didn’t expect to be in the middle of a photoshoot! I took a different approach. I let the couple hang out and enjoy their moment while I captured photos from a distance.

Cole had brought champagne so they sat on the beach and had a glass. I got some beautiful candid shots of them celebrating together. It was really sweet. Afterwards we did just a few quick portraits. Then I drove with them back to their house. Cole had planned a surprise party. All their friends were waiting to pop out and surprise her with a celebration dinner! What an amazing night! Everyone toasted the newly engaged couple and had a wonderful time.

Are you looking to schedule a candid surprise proposal? I’d love to chat! Send me a message at and we start planning!

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I'm Heather!

A Los Angeles  based Wedding + Family photographer on a mission to capture all the moments that make your relationship with your partner and family uniquely yours. 

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Candid Surprise Proposal at El Matador

April 8, 2022