A Fairytale Proposal | Fairbanks Ice Park | Sean Kurdziolek Photography

A Fairytale Proposal

Friends, you’re going to love this fairytale proposal! We recently got a call from a young gentleman, who was staying at our friends cabin, The Moose Walk Cabin. He was in need of someone to capture a very special moment. He was going to propose to his girlfriend and he needed help! So help we did. Between Rod and Terri Pangborn (Moose Walk Cabin owners) and us we secretly set up a surprise proposal at the Fairbanks Ice Park.

A few details needed to be set up behind our soon to be bride’s back. We needed permission from Fairbanks Ice Park and we needed to be set up ready for the soon-to-be newly engaged couple. All of this happened while Cody, our romantic groom, snuck away to the bathroom to text us the details. In the end the proposal all took place in front of the cinderella carriage ice sculpture. A real fairy tale proposal.

We asked Cody and Beth some questions about their amazing moment and here is what they had to say. Enjoy!

Why did you want to visit Fairbanks, Alaska?
Beth and I chose Fairbanks primarily to see the Northern Lights.  We both had time off for a spring break, but we didn’t want to go to the traditional spring break locations with sand and sun.  We prefer deep snow and plenty of stars filling the sky.  We are also working on checking off items on our bucket lists, and the Northern Lights was one that we shared.  Fairbanks was just as beautiful as we’d imagined it, and the Northern Lights were life changing.

Why did you choose to capture this moment?
I wanted to have the surprise on Beth’s face and the pureness of our love captured forever.  I knew it would be a memory to last a lifetime; they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case it is absolutely true.  These images will remain close to our hearts for the rest of our lives.

What were your favorite moments during the session?
Cody (groom): My favorite moment was easily when she said yes (of course!).  But other than that, I really enjoyed how amazing the backdrop was and how perfect the plan came together.  Sean played his role perfectly and really helped me keep the element of surprise.  So seeing her face once she realized what was happening was just simply amazing.
Beth (bride): My favorite moment was when I realized what was happening (Cody was down on one knee!) and putting all the pieces together from the night. I was decidedly unsuspicious that night, which is unusual for me, so actually being surprised was the best!

Tell us how the surprise happened.
We went to the ice carving championship in Fairbanks.  We’d never even heard of such a thing before, so the intricacy of some of the work was mind-boggling.  We worked our way through the park admiring the works of all the different artists from around the world.  The last piece that we got to was an incredible life-sized sculpture of the scene from Cinderella where she’s running down the staircase to Prince Charming as the clock strikes midnight.  As we approach the sculpture, Sean bumps into us pretending to be a photographer working for the park.  He asks us to pose for some photos for the park catalog.  Unbeknownst to Beth, he’s setting the stage for the surprise.  As he sets us up for the picture, I turn around behind her and get her attention.  And that’s when it happened!  Surprising Beth is a monumental challenge that no words can accurately describe, so seeing her so surprised that she couldn’t even get the word out of her mouth at first was a huge success.

Cody, tell us what you were thinking throughout the whole process.
Truth be told, I can’t remember what I was thinking exactly.  I must’ve blacked out from anxiety!  The predominant thought was “don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up!”  I had a general idea of where the Cinderella sculpture was, but it definitely snuck up on me.  So when we happened upon it, my heart rate doubled and all at once I started feeling every emotion known to man.  I could barely contain myself by the time Sean had us positioned for me to make my move.  I’m a very verbose person, so I didn’t think asking the question and making the perfect proposal speech would be very difficult.  However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth!  I was barely able to squeak out six words, “Hey Beth, will you marry me?”  Beth can tell you more about that, but thankfully that was enough!  She said yes, and from that point on I was on cloud nine!

Beth, give us your side of the story.
I was convinced that Cody was going to propose the next day, so I was completely relaxed as we were walking around the ice sculptures. We were taking a bunch of pictures, just having fun and I was babbling on and on about life (which made me not even notice Cody’s nerves). We walked up to the Cinderella scene and I was pointing out all the little details—the clock, the pumpkin, all the details on the stairs. Then I almost ran into a photographer, who looked at me and Cody as if he was debating something in his head. Then he asked us to go up to the sculpture to get an interactive picture for the park catalog. I totally fell for it, and jumped right in. Cody took off his hat and gloves (which should have been the first sign!), but I decided not to take mine off. Sean posed me facing Cinderella and Cody facing Prince Charming. I waited a few seconds and then I wanted to do a goofy pose. As I was about to ask Sean if we could get a fun photo, I heard Cody say, “Hey Beth…” So I turned around and he was down on one knee asking if I would marry him. I was completely shocked! It took a few seconds to fully realize that I had been completely surprised and then recover from that surprise, but of course I said yes! Sean took some amazing photos during the whole thing. It was a very positive experience and I’m so happy to have as a lifelong memory.

How was your experience working with Sean Kurdziolek Photography?
Working with Sean was awesome.  He played a pivotal role in the proposal, so he was part photographer, part actor in our shoot!  He really made us feel at home and comfortable as he was taking our pictures!

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park on one knee

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park cinderella

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park first kiss

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park she said yes

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park ring she's happy

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park ring  look at the ring

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park fiances ring

Fairytale Proposal engagement Fairbanks Alaska Ice Park ring

Engagements are not usually our forte but giving a young couple this experience to treasure for the rest of their lives was something we couldn’t pass up and as night photography experts we were pleased they chose us to capture their Fairy Tale Proposal.

As always we are open for creativity. Schedule your session with us today and capture your moments forever!
Call 253-254-3271


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Living the life with my wife and children in North Pole, Alaska. Getting out in the Alaskan wilderness and being with God is my favorite past time. Capturing heirloom portraits for clients is my passion. 

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