Tina & Michael | Marin Headlands Surprise Proposal Photography


A huge congratulations to Tina and Michael on their engagement! Michael proposed in the Marin Headlands where they had their first hike together, and I was honored to be on hand to capture the occasion. I love hearing the story from my couples themselves, so I’ll let them take it away!

From Michael: I knew early on that I wanted to do the proposal in one of two places: Land’s End or Marin Headlands. Both of them were places we visited in our first couple dates. I ended up going with Marin Headlands. So now the challenge was to get Tina to go there without being too suspicious. I did this in multiple parts. The first was to just go on hikes whenever we had time, that way it seemed normal. The next was to find a date that worked, thankfully that was not that difficult because our photographer (Anna) was flexible. During that time, I started to throw out reminders of the good times we had at Marin Headlands (this is important for later). Once that was set, I had my friends act as decoys. They made fake dinner plans for a restaurant in Sausalito and agreed to play along if Tina asked any questions. Once these plans were set, then I suggested that we make the most of our day in the area and asked what she wanted to do. I was hoping that she would suggest hiking in Marin Headlands, and she did! Now all that was left was to work out a meeting spot with Anna. On the day of, when I got there I shared my location with Anna so that she knew where I was. At first we had some technical difficulties, but we eventually worked them out. Since we got there a little earlier than expected, we started wandering around since I did not want to go to the meeting spot too early. Once Anna was at the location, I nudged Tina towards that direction. As we were walking to the meeting spot, I saw Anna and tried to find a good location in which she could get a good picture. I found a spot, but Tina was not too excited going that direction due to how narrow it was and how sandy the trail was. Eventually she did and we walked to this nice plateau. Once we got there, I gave her a short speech, took out the ring, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. Of course she said yes, otherwise we wouldn’t have this story :P.

From Tina: For me, it started with our friends planning a dinner double date in Sausalito. I was under the impression that it was a regular hangout with friends in a nice area of the bay. Since we were in the area, we decided to make the most of the day by going hiking nearby in Marin Headlands. When we reached Marin Headlands, we first went toward the lighthouse because I’ve never been there before. Although we found out it was closing in about 15 minutes, so we decided to go the opposite route. I noticed that he wasn’t keen on going on certain routes, which I thought was odd, but I didn’t think too much about it. We walked a bit and reached this little hill that overlooked an cove. It was a nice scenery despite it being a cloudy day. Then out of the blue, he said I need to tell you something, that we’ve been together for a while now, and that he thought I was the most amazing woman he ever met. It was slowly dawning on me what was happening and he got on one knee asking me to marry him. I was in shock, so much that I didn’t exactly know how to react, except tear up a bit and say yes. =)

So sweet! Congratulations again, Tina & Michael! Such a lovely setting for a proposal.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She has become quite adept at hiding in unexpected spots during surprise proposals. Contact her to inquire about your own proposal plans.