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Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery | Santa Barbara


Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Intimate Proposal at Sunstone Winery

Jake's Sunstone Winery Proposal in Santa Ynez Valley, just outside Santa Barbara, was heartfelt and carefully thought out down to the inscription on the ring, "Love, Gorgeous." An ode to their romantic tradition of journaling to each other.


The couple visited Santa Barbara on a long weekend of wine tasting and family fun while traveling to his mom's favorite vineyards with Jake's family. Behind the scenes, Jake was planning the perfect proposal with several moving parts and a very intimate setting.


Jake booked a private tasting at Sunstone Winery in the private Villa on the hill, which featured breathtaking views of the rolling green hills, a gift of recent rainy season.


The group of eight people would slowly make their way into the Villa at Sunstone and marvel at the architecture, art, and sun shining through the storm clouds. As I hid in a bathroom closet, I heard their voices through the villa.


Soon Jake would lead Emily up a private staircase into the Provence Suite Terrace to partake in a special journaling session. Jake prepared a journal entry that he read privately to Emily as a I captured the moment watching from the reflection in the door. Jake would then walk Emily over to the scenic terrace overlooking the Santa Ynez rolling green hills, asking Emily to spend forever with him. Emily tearfully accepted his proposal.


After moments of emotional bliss, Emily and Jake worked their way through the Villa for more photos - Embracing the beautiful day and unique architecture of the Sunstone Villa. After exploring, Jake led Emily to one final surprise.


While proposing, two special guests, Emily's parents, arrived at the Villa to celebrate the engagement with both their families. Emily was ecstatic to share the proposal with the family and friends she knew were there until she was overtaken by emotion when she recognized two more familiar faces. She hugged her mom and shared her engagement in person just a few minutes after it happened.


The two families were able to begin their private tasting at Sunstone Winery and toast to the newly engaged couple, starting a new journey of celebrating the love of these two as they begin their journey towards husband and wife.



Outside the private villa at Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana



Exterior of Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana






Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Couple sharing intimate setting at Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Emotional couple after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Excitement after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana




Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana


Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Engagement photos after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana


Private tasting after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Private tasting after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Toast during Private tasting after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana

Private tasting after Surprise Proposal at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley by Proposal Photographer MacKenzie Rana


Behind The Scenes of Planning the Perfect Proposal

When Jake initially inquired about photography, he provided me with so much information on Emily, down to sharing her Pinterest board labeled "Future." He stressed the importance of an intimate moment and a little history of their relationship. I personally find this information incredibly valuable when getting to know clients, their stories, and really just to be part of such an intimate moment.


When studying Emily's Pinterest Board I got a sense of the type of images she would want in her gallery. It gave me more permission to explore my creativity and approach the moment with her sense of style and emotion filled images.


3 Things to Prepare for a Smooth Proposal

  1. Planning: I actually toured Sunstone Villa the day before to get a feel of the space. Since I would be tucked away in a bathroom/closet area I wanted to be sure I could hide. Some proposals this may include a map with landmarks instructing them where to park/walk so I have the best angle to capture the before moments!

  2. Communication: I prefer radio silence right before a proposal so that we are as discrete as possible. Nothing says something is about to happen like you checking your phone a lot before you go to a nice dinner or walk. Pre-planning is key to ensuring secrecy.

  3. Instruction: Hold the kneel! I always instruct my clients that adrenaline is pumping and the only thing they need to remember is pause that moment and embrace it. I will get the key shot and all the emotion inbetween. Just pretend I am not there!

To start planning your proposal, check out my page here and inquire!










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