“The photos look really incredible, I can’t thank you enough!!! You somehow managed to capture all the happiness and I’m so glad we will have the memories forever! You’re the man Clive! “

Rick and Rebecca

Guys, are you looking for a simple proposal idea to ask the love of your life to marry you? Why not try what Rick did who simply chose to propose to his girl-friend Rebecca when they went for a walk after booking into a hotel for the weekend?

Pre-proposal Planning

But first let me give you a bit of background info to the actual proposal.

Rick lives in America while Rebecca lives in England, but he was planning a trip over to see Rebecca in December and wanted to surprise her by proposing. So he contacted me back in September asking would I be able to photograph his surprise proposal while they were staying at New Hall hotel?

As Rick had never been to New Hall, only seeing photos online, I made a walk-through video of the hotel for him, showing around both inside and outside. This meant we could sort out a wet-weather plan B.

I know New Hall very well, so I showed him a few locations where he could pop the question. Later we arranged a Skype chat to agree on the ideal place. The bridge over the moat seemed the ideal spot. That way the photos would have the beautiful late-medieval building as the backdrop.

(It was funny when Rebecca later commented how, when they arrived at the hotel she was wondering how did Rick knew the layout of the hotel so well. How did he know how to access the garden area leading to the bridge, when he’d never been there before? 😉 )

The Day Arrives

A lot of planning went into this deceptively simple proposal idea. Rick told me when he was due to arrive with Rebecca, so I could be there well before and wait as another regular hotel guest in the lounge. When they arrived to book in at reception and Rick saw me, I did a shifty but quick glance up from my “reading”, when Rebecca wasn’t looking. I did a quick nod and wink and then I went back to being a regular hotel visitor.

The simple plan was, after arriving they’d set down their luggage, and Rick would excuse himself so we could rendezvous – in the men’s toilet where Rebecca wouldn’t catch us talking. 😀 – to quickly confirm everything.

When he returned, he suggest they first go for a walk around the garden area before having something to eat. That gave me enough time to slip outside, pick up my cameras from the car and get into position.

The Proposal

I always get excited at the critical moment of any surprise proposal, so my heart was pounding as I saw them exit from the back of the hotel and walk together over the bridge. Rick stopped at the designated place and started chatting to Rebecca, no doubt about how much he cared for her.

Would Rebecca see me as I slid out from my hiding place to get a good view? No way! She only had eye for her man!

As Rick went down on one knee, my heart rate increased it seemed 10 fold as I captured Rebecca’s shocked expression as she said “Yes!”. As I was getting closer and closer to get a variety of photos, I was thinking: “She’ll see me sooner or later”, but no! her eyes and attention were understandably fixed on what had just happened.

I was within a few feet of them before she noticed me, but by her account later, she wrote to her family and friends that “the photographer popped out of the bushes!” 😀

There’s more to tell about their story, which you can read later. But first, let me share a few highlights from their proposal and photoshoot I did for them.

I’m so happy for you two and wish you all the best for your future plans. Thank you Rick for your simple proposal idea that worked a treat, and for trusting me to capture it for you both.

How Did You Meet?


We were both volunteering at a hospital in Arequipa, Peru. Becky was training to become a pharmacist in England and I’m was a medical student from the United States. We were staying in the same house and worked in the same hospital for the month. Needless to say, I spent every free minute of the trip getting Becky’s attention, even agreeing to hike a 5,822 metres (19,101 ft) volcano to win her over.


We were both volunteering at a hospital in Peru, I’d started a week earlier than Rick and had gone away from the volunteer house for the weekend hiking. As I came back Rick had just arrived and although I was exhausted and covered in dirt Rick started chatting to me. After a few nights talking late on the rooftop I started to realise how wonderfully funny and kind he is and things just went from there. A few weeks later he left to go back to America and I came back to England. We thought I would try to visit at Christmas but after a couple of weeks back at home I booked a flight and the rest, as they say is history, we’ve been flying back and forth every couple of months since then and spending our nights on FaceTime. I’m so excited for the next adventure… marriage!

Why Choose New Hall To Propose To Becky?

I wanted to make Becky feel like royalty. Being from America, we don’t have many castles or moated medieval manor homes so I thought it would be a special place to take her, show her how much I love her and ask her to be my wife.

What Memories Will You Most Cherish About The Proposal?


I’ll always remember teaming up with Clive to plan the proposal and make sure all went well. Everything from Skype conversations and meeting in the loo right beforehand to get it just right, I really appreciated it. I’ll also never forget walking around the beautiful grounds of New Hall with Becky afterwards. It all felt surreal, but there we were, walking across the grounds, New Hall in the background, moat and all, and my finance by my side. It was perfect.


The lighting was just beautiful, I felt like I was in a fairytale every second and I just couldn’t stop smiling. When Rick asked me to spend the rest of my life with him my heart felt like it was about to burst right out of my chest. It was magical.

Are you planning a surprise proposal?

Are you looking for different places to propose? Here’s a few more ideas for you.

Surprise Proposal | Birmingham City Centre

Guys: If you’re looking  for a some ideas on ways to propose to your girlfriend, how about following Jason’s lead who proposed to his girlfriend on Dec 5th 2015, based on a location that held precious memories for them both? Jason first booked me a couple of months before the date he’d chosen to propose to Lisa, and as he…

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