"We were introduced by a mutual friend in December 2010 and started dating 1 month later.
On the evening that we met, I had a photo of the Santorini sunset on my phone wallpaper taken during my first trip alone to Europe. When Tuyen saw the photo she was immediately interested as it was the one place she had always wanted to visit. We spent the next few hours talking about our future travels and what a dream place Santorini was. She ended up visiting Santorini herself 6months later but I always knew that it was the one place that was special for us and it would be the place I’d propose if we ever visited together.
After seeking the help of Studio Phosart, my initial plan was to ask Joanna to hide somewhere whilst I pop the question in front of the sunset. After skyping Joanna, we decided the best way to capture the “money-shot” was to take Tuyen on a photoshoot before the proposal and then propose sometime during the photoshoot. I knew that Tuyen would instantly be suspicious if I told her I booked us a photoshoot so at that point I knew if this was to work, the idea needed to be Tuyen’s and not mine. (Read more below...)
So approximately 6 months before the proposal I started to drop hints casually about how we don’t have enough photos on our holidays and the ones we do have are mainly ‘selfies’ and aren’t that nice. The plan was to incept Tuyen with the idea of a photoshoot and make her think that she came up with the idea herself. After several months of dropping hints, one evening Tuyen turned to me and said “I’ve got a great idea, why don’t we take professional photos in Santorini? It would be a great way to capture our holiday!” At this point my plan had worked but I still needed to pretend that I wasn’t that interested to avoid suspicion. I told her we could do it as long as she organized it and I played no part.
The next step was the trickiest part as I had to somehow connect Tuyen with Studio Phosart whom I had already booked. I enlisted the help of 2 close friends and we made up a fake story about how one of my friend’s colleague’s cousin was a semi-professional photographer working in Santorini. Her name was Joanna to make the story more authentic. The next day our friend passed Tuyen an email address that I had created in Joanna’s name. Over the next few weeks Tuyen contacted the photographer (me) on the fake email address and after pretending to negotiate the price and sending through sample photos that Studio Phosart had helped provide, the photoshoot was locked in on the 28th of September 2016.
On the day of the proposal, Tuyen and I met Joanna at the local bus stop in Imerovigli. We spent the next 1.5 hours taking couple photos through the streets, making our way from one part of the town to the other side where our villa was situated. (I knew that if I had booked a nice & fancy hotel in Santorini, Tuyen would be suspicious so instead I found a villa with a big terrace facing the caldera on Airbnb). Whilst we were taking the couple photos, I also hired the help of ‘Betty Flower’s to decorate the terrace with candles and flowers whilst ‘Spicy bites’ catering set up a candle lit dinner. As we headed closer to the villa, Joanna gave me the signal for me to put a blindfold on Tuyen. I then led her into the terrace of the villa where I proposed to her in front of the caldera during sunset! Thankfully she said yes!
My interactions with Joanna and Stella during the organization of the proposal were impeccable. Every little detail of my proposal went according to plan and I could not have done it without either of their help. Superficially:
- Joanna assisted with the planning and execution of the proposal. Her ideas and experience were highly appreciated. Both Tuyen and I found Joanna to be extremely professional and we both thoroughly enjoyed the photoshoot itself.
- Stella assisted with the planning and organization of the proposal including dealing with the other vendors. She even helped provide me with sample photos with a fake watermark that I had used to convince Tuyen to book the ‘fake’ photographer.
The second best decision I have made after deciding to propose to my fiancé (which was obviously my best decision) was to hire Studio Phosart to help me capture the proposal. From the very beginning they were professional, experienced and helpful. They took time to cater to all my questions and helped me plan every single detail of the proposal. The photos that we received were nothing short of amazing and of the highest quality. My fiancé and I are eternally grateful for their help in capturing one of the best days of our lives.
Flowers and decoration: Betty Flowers Santorini | Catering: Spicy Bites