A Surprise Proposal on Sydney Harbour: Ryan & Lacey

Connecticut, 2:00am. A nervous young lad in a dark room whispers loudly at his iPhone, the patchy Facetime connection spitting static every few seconds, slightly obscuring the image of the black-clad ninja photographers.

“Operation Koala is a go. Repeat, Operation Koala is a go!”, the shaky voice repeats as the static buzzes. A fat bead of sweat drips onto his screen and he smears it away. “Confirm, please confirm, commence operation at rendezvous point, 16:30 hrs. Over.”

“Roger that, Private Ryan. 16:30 confirmed. Transmitting satellite images of rendezvous point now. Over and out.”

OK, so the conversation didn’t exactly go like that. Jeff and I don’t usually wear all black, although Jeff does sometimes like to think of himself as a ninja. Ryan wasn’t nervous on the call with us either. He was actually pretty calm, and confident about the outcome of this whole surprise proposal and photoshoot that he was planning for his sweetheart, Lacey. And actually, our video connections are pretty good over here. It’s Australia, not the inside of our volcano lair…

Anyway, we helped Ryan plan this secret stealth mission so he could surprise Lacey, the love of his life, with a beautiful ring and a very important question, during their vacation down under! It was SO fun. Ryan came up with the “excuse” to get Lacey to dress up in a cute dress and not question the afternoon’s activities—she was expecting a group photoshoot with some of Ryan’s friends who were about to be married. After a number of emails, that Facetime conversation, and lots of blue prints and schematics Google Maps, the plan was ready to go. Ryan and I secretly made eye contact when they came off the ferry, and I lay in wait behind a nearby palm tree, my telephoto lens pointed straight at Lacey! Good thing there was something behind Lacey that I could pretend to be photographing, otherwise I might have looked a little bit creepy…


But never mind that, Ryan didn’t waste much time and scrounged around in his camera bag, where he had been carrying the ring throughout their entire Australian trip so far! I couldn’t hear anything from my spot behind the palm tree, except I did hear Lacey’s immediate reaction to seeing that little red box in Ryan’s hand. A very clear, “STOP IT!” resounded across the Milson’s Point boardwalk, Lacey’s way of expressing her surprise. Of course, Ryan promptly ignored this request.

Secret photos of surprise marriage proposal on Sydney Harbour

How cute was Lacey’s reaction and how cute are these two together??

Surprise marriage proposal and engagement photos Sydney

Pictures of marriage proposal at Sydney Harbour Bridge

Lacey was taken completely by surprise. I love her facial expressions!

Engagement pictures with Sydney Opera House

They were soo happy! Ryan pointed out to Lacey that I was capturing all of this from a distance. She hadn’t even noticed me. It wasn’t until they waved me over to come say hello that I realised how hard my heart had been pounding! Surprise proposal = declared a success. Time to celebrate!

Marriage proposal and engagement celebration at Sydney Opera House

After some bubbles and giggles with their friends who had been watching, Ryan revealed that there was more photo-taking in store, just for the two of them.

Photography of American vacation in Sydney

One of my favourites of the happy couple! How gorgeous is Lacey?!

Sydney holiday photographer, vacation photographers

Speaking of gorgeous, how about that amazing ring? Wowzah! :)

Diamong engagement ring, Sydney wedding photographers

I could tell right from the start that Ryan and Lacey are a super fun, energetic couple, and that this was going to be a super fun afternoon!

Sydney Luna Park pre-wedding photo sessionSydney Luna Park surprise marriage proposal pictures

You guys just look so in love!

Pre-wedding photo session with Australian wedding photographersWedding proposal under Sydney Harbour Bridge

A ferry ride is of course a must for any first-time visitor to Sydney.

Pre-wedding photos on Milsons Point to Circular Quay ferryEngagement pictures on Milsons Point ferry

Call me a big cheese ball, but something about this photo makes me smile. Rather than let my own words form into a big lump of mozzarella, I’ll just say it reminds me of a quote that I love:

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other,
but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Romantic engagement session around Sydney Harbour

After the ferry ride, we took a romp through The Rocks, where this lucky duo happened to be staying! An outfit change was in order. Lacey said this look was more “them” and after meeting them I see what she meant. They were both looking so relaxed and happy!

Pre-wedding pictures in The Rocks, SydneyEngagement photos by Australian Wedding photographers The Wong CoupleWedding proposal photography in Sydney, Australia

American vacation photos in The Rocks, Sydney

Love these! Ryan looking very cool and Lacey looking just beautiful!

Australia holiday photographySurprise engagement session at The Rocks, Sydney

Such a cute couple!!

Surprise pre-wedding photography session in AustraliaAustralian surprise marriage proposal and photo session

The Rocks marriage proposal and engagement photography

I must say I just love this photo here looking up the stair railing (yes, this one was taken by yours truly). ;)

The Rocks marriage proposal and engagement photography

Here was Jeff’s angle, which I also love. :)

Pre-wedding pictures in The Rocks, Sydney

Engagement photos by Australian Wedding photographers The Wong Couple

Wedding proposal photography in Sydney, AustraliaAmerican vacation photos in The Rocks, Sydney

Here’s another that brings me back to that Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote.

Reflection of Sydney Opera House Australia after surprise marriage proposalReflection of Sydney Opera House Australia after surprise marriage proposal

It’s that time of year again in Sydney, for one of my favourite things… purple trees!

Sydney marriage proposal and engagement photography

Sunset at the Opera House was definitely a must for our American couple.

Australian holiday photographers, Sydney Opera HouseAustralian pre-wedding photographers

We love the light of golden hour! I just can’t get enough of the beautiful warm hues.

Australian pre-wedding photographers

Pre-wedding photos at the Sydney Opera HouseAustralian engagement session, Sydney photographersCreative pre-wedding engagement photography at Sydney Opera HousePhotography for Americans vacationing in Australia

Ryan is a bit of a photographer himself with some pretty cool travel and landscape photos and a nice following on Instagram! It’s always really flattering when other photographers and photography enthusiasts like our work enough have us be their photographers. We especially love doing fancy things like our panoramas for those who love and appreciate them.  Click this one to view it bigger!

Panoramic view of Sydney Skyline and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Marriage proposal session at Sydney Harbour Bridge

A last panorama at twilight. You can click this one to view it big as well!

Beautiful panorama of Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Ryan and Lacey, a huge congratulations to you as you begin this new chapter as fiancé and fiancée! We’re so happy we could be a part of this wonderful day for you both. You guys seem so very well suited to one another.  You also seem to have some amazing friends, and we’re sure you’re going to have one heck of an amazing wedding!  Please keep in touch (and don’t hesitate to call if you need a wedding photographer)!  ;) You guys rock!

Friends and family of Ryan and Lacey, let us know what you think or leave a congratulatory note for the couple in the comments below, and leave your email address to be notified when the full gallery of images is online.

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Erika - Gorgeous colors and fantastic light!!

Ellen - Ryan and Lacey,

Once again Congratulations! The photos look amazing, I just don’t know how you are going to choose a few for your walls. I can’t wait to hear about the wedding plans.

Biju Photography - Beautiful moments captured. Breathtaking images. Congratulations to the new couple.

Connie Richard - Congratulations Lacey and Ryan. What an amazing proposal. Amazing photographs also. Ryan must be a hopeless romantic and very much in love! Huck and I wish you love, luck, and happiness…always!
Our love,
Huck and Connie Richard

Jeff & Susan Gandee - As the parents of the fiance/groom/husband/father (yeah, getting ahead but that’s ok), we just want to tell you what a wonderful job you did! We are thrilled with their engagement and very happy for both of them.

The pictures are great!

Congratulations and our love, Ryan and Lacey!

Fiona King Celebrant - What a fantastic story and you captured it so well!

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