Surprise Marriage Proposal at The Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, CA and How to Plan the Perfect Proposal

Boy oh boy, I sure love being sneaky… These two love birds are already celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary, I can’t believe it!! Happy anniversary you two, I loved being a part of your story and thank you for such a wonderful review ❤❤❤

“Angie was absolutely wonderful! I was planning a very special wedding proposal for my fiancee at The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, CA and Angie was referred to me by the Claremont’s concierge service. They told me that Angie would be just the right person, and boy were they right! From the start Angie’s burst of positive energy combined with her diligent attention to small details helped make for a perfect proposal. She arrived early to help me decorate the proposal site. She also walked through the entire proposal with me to make sure all of the bases were covered – a true professional!

After the suspenseful proposal, my fiance and I had a great time with Angie taking pictures of us in different parts of the beautiful Claremont Hotel! The overall experience was truly magical and Angie did an amazing job capturing the countless special moments.

I would definitely recommend Angie to family and friends. She is very professional and she takes the time to get to know her clients on a more personal level. She is also very easy-going and flexible, which is always a great plus! Finally, and most importantly, Angie’s loving personality helped me and my fiancee feel comfortable to be “us” both in front of Angie and in front of the camera – this in turn helped Angie capture our genuine happiness and excitement in the moment. Thanks Angie!” – Sam and Daphne

Read our interview with Sam (below gallery) to find out his tips on choosing the perfect location, how to plan the most meaningful surprise wedding proposal and hear what was going through Daphne’s mind as the whole thing was unfolding before her eyes…

Sam, tell us more about the inspiration behind your surprise wedding proposal, how you choose the perfect location and how you kept the whole thing a secret from Daphne:

The location of the proposal was the most important part of the day.  I wanted to take both of us back to the Bay Area, and specifically to Berkeley, where we first met.  We also both love nature so I knew that a proposal on a balcony overlooking beautiful nature and views of the East Bay and San Francisco was going to be perfect.

An interesting part of our story was that Daphne thought that I had been in Berkeley for a few nights for a work-related event, when in reality I flew into Berkeley first thing in the morning on the morning of the proposal and I was setting up and putting finishing touches on everything until the last moment.  The rush of the day was great!

Sam, what is your advice and tips for those planning their own unique and meaningful wedding proposal?

The best advice I can give to someone else planning is (1) really consider the type of public/private setting you and your partner would like to be in at that special moment, and (2) plan, plan, plan.  I cannot say enough great things about each of the vendors that I worked (flowers, photo, hotel), but it all took time, planning, and communication to get it all just right the way I wanted.

Finally, take a few moments before the “big moment,” appreciate the significance of what you are about to do and take it all in – it really is a beautiful experience and you should take a moment to make sure you are fully present before you pop the question.

Daphne, explain what was going through your mind as the most romantic surprise wedding proposal began unraveling when you arrived:

It was the most magical day. I flew in from LA early in the morning thinking I was going to some boring law event with Sam only to find a beautiful note at the door to meet him on the patio! I got so nervous I couldn’t even open the door! My heart was racing and I quickly got dressed to meet my Sam.

I was taken aback by the music that was playing which was all our favorite songs, the pictures of the last 7 years that he had printed and put all around the room and the flower arrangements that included all my favorite flowers. Everything about the proposal was perfect. It was a moment that continues to bring a smile on my face when I think back.

We spent the whole weekend in the bay area, just the two of us, taking it ALL in… Then Sunday night we met with our family back in LA for a toast. Seeing the happiness in his smile and eyes made me feel so excited to live the rest of my life with him.

The Team: Photographer: Angie Capri Photography // Venue: Claremont Club & Spa, Berkeley, CA