Caroline + Clay: A Memphis Proposal

Let me tell you, Clay and Caroline are the perfect match, the most amazing couple, and two of the kindest souls I have ever met. They have been dating 6 YEARS (!!!), and Clay knew he wanted Caroline’s proposal to be perfect. April 18, Shelby (22 Magnolias.. if you haven’t seen her proposal video from the day… go watch, like now.) texted me saying a friend of hers was planning to propose to his girlfriend in June. Of course, I am always a sucker for proposals so I immediately said yes. When she told me it was Clay… I did a happy dance. Caroline, his now FIANCEE, was a bridesmaid in a wedding I shot in 2015, and I loved her. She was so sweet, funny, and nice, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving person for an amazing proposal.

So, June 11, Shelby and I met Clay at Martyr Park in downtown Memphis to figure out exactly how we were going to pull this off and make it the surprise of Caroline’s life. Luckily, Clay had told her for weeks that there was a work lunch he had to attend downtown, and that Caroline never pays attention to directions, so we would be in the clear.

Cue the nerves. Clay pulled up with Caroline a bit later, and she saw the amazing photos he had put up in a pathway- their first Easter, a photo for every year that they had been together, and his favorite photo of them. Then, after walking her to each photo, he proposed to her under a tree along the Mississippi, while all her friends and family cheered (they’d been hiding down the way). After tears, hugs, and some family and friend photos, Clay then took Caroline over to the river, where he had set up a table and chairs and chilled a bottle of champagne for them to share (SWOON YALL).


I am SO BLESSED in my job that I get to be part of special moments in my friends and clients lives, and I could not be more grateful for each and every one of them. Cheers to the future Mr. and Mrs. Hillyard!