Secrets Unfold In A Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal

I have quite the treat for you guys, so steal a moment and maybe grab a Kleenex or 2!  When the time came for Christopher Galis to ask his love {Kelsie Tietjen} to marry him, a master plan was set into motion.  Christopher, along with the aide from various members of Kelsie’s family, carefully crafted a plan which not only involved Christopher flying in early {they currently are not in the same town} by setting up a surprise seaside proposal AND engagement session with Karen Harrison Photography, capturing all the wonderful raw emotions that embody a proposal, on film!  Cleverly so, knowing girls would love to be dolled up for such a thing, Kelsie was told by her family that a portrait session {for the family} was going to be occurring!  As you most certainly will see, Kelsie is hit with a number of emotions ranging from the pure shock of seeing Christopher on a beach he shouldnt have been on to being asked to spend forever with him.  The sweetness is all around them & the emotions rolling over like tides in the sea.

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

On a scale of 1 to ‘Butterflies don’t even describe what’s going on in my stomach now’ were you feeling while waiting for Kelsie to appear?

Christopher: “It was a pretty surreal thing to be at the end of months of planning, with Kelsie being completely in the dark about the ring, my surprise early arrival and the proposal. I was as careful and prepared as I could be, but I started to feel the gravity of the moment and I could not concentrate or focus on anything besides the nervous excitement! It was definitely on another level!”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

We see quite the note that you wrote to Kelsie, expressing how you felt & what you wanted to say in your proposal.  Tell the truth, how many times did you re-write it & do you feel you ended up getting it all out successfully?

Christopher: “I definitely went through a couple sheets of paper trying to perfect my wording. But I am pretty sure I stumbled through half of what I wanted to say! I was glad to be able to use our wedding vows as another chance to say everything I wanted to say!”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

On a scale of 1 to ‘Holy crap is this actually happening right now?!’ Were you when you saw Christopher?

Kelsie: “I was actually just overwhelmed with excitement to see him there at all, because he wasn’t supposed to be in Florida until the next morning. It didn’t hit me that he was proposing until after we hugged- and then I’d definitely say it was a ‘Holy crap is this actually happening right now?!”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

When you look through the photos from the proposal/session, which one is one that captures your heart the most and why?

Kelsie: “”It’s so hard to pick just one, there are so many great moments Karen was able to capture! I think my favorite picture was the first one we saw Karen post. It was right after Chris put the ring on my finger, and he pulled me in close with a huge smile on his face. I don’t even remember her taking it because I was so overwhelmed with shock/excitement/happiness!”

Christopher: “I would have to say the one where her hand is on her face and I am holding her close. She was shaking a little from all the adrenaline/excitement and the picture helps to capture the joy of the moment, knowing we will be together forever.”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

So the whole setup was under the guise of a family photo session.  Is this something your family typically does or did it make you think that something might be up?

Kelsie: “No! Not at all! They are usually horrible secret keepers! haha That’s what threw me off so much. Anything that might have hinted at the proposal (like my sister taking me to get my nails done that morning) was played off so well, I never saw it coming.”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

We hear you flew in unknown to Kelsie for this secret proposal, where were you hiding & how hard was it to pull off the surprise?

Christopher: “Well that was a whole other adventure. My connecting flight was delayed and would have made me come the day after I was supposed to propose! I ended up buying a separate ticket from my connecting airport and thankfully, I arrived in Tampa only an hour later than planned. As far as hiding goes, we were lucky enough to have the proposal at a place that had plenty of trees and bushes to stand behind. Pulling off the surprise was very difficult because usually me and Kelsie tell everything to each other and here I was basically planning a small-scale party without being able to tell her or do any planning around her.”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

How special & meaningful was it to you to have Kelsie’s family involved in the proposal?

Christopher: “Besides not being able to pull it off without them (e.g. Kristin, her sister, selling the “family” photoshoot idea and getting her nails manicured, etc. Laurie, her mom, video taping the entire proposal and Bryan shooting some awesome extra pictures! along with all of them being secretive!), it helped make it a very special and joyous day to have loved ones celebrate with us!”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

Tell us a bit about what makes you & Christopher who you guys are as a couple.

Kelsie: “We’re both pretty laid back and I think we compliment each other really well. The best part of our relationship is that we can have just as much fun going on an adventure or doing something really exciting as we are doing nothing. We both have the same kind of humor, so we are always laughing- which I love. Even when we fight, we usually end up laughing somehow- its pretty awesome and keeps things light hearted.”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

When was the moment you know that Kelsie/Christopher was the one that you wanted to spend forever with?

Kelsie: “From the moment we met, we had instant chemistry, and everything just grew quickly from that point on. It only took about two weeks to know for sure that Christopher was the man I wanted to marry. As romantic as that sounds, it was actually a little scary to feel that for the first time, knowing that he might not feel the same way. Lucky for me, he did!”

Christopher: “This is a pretty simple question? Day 1. You somehow always know when something important happens in your life, and after I met her I knew something was different about this girl! She was the most beautiful, lively and sweetest girl I ever met!” {SBW Note: Mega Swoon!!}

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

The lengths that Christopher went to put together this wonderful surprise proposal is pretty amazing.  How special do you feel right now?!

Kelsie: “I can’t even put into words how special he made me feel that day- and STILL makes me feel. This is the kind of thing every girl dreams of growing up. He is such an amazing person, I can’t even believe I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Without a doubt- the perfect guy for me :)”

Honeymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison PhotographyHoneymoon Island State Park Seaside Surprise Proposal | Photograph by Karen Harrison Photography

Vendor Love

Venue: Honeymoon Island State Park | Rentals/Styling: A Tailored Event | Photographer: Karen Harrison Photography

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  1. cleve

    This is just amazing!!!… Really great pictures