I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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Engagement at Neuschwanstein Castle

There is nothing more romantic or picturesque than asking your partner to stand by you forever than on a rugged hill above a Bavarian village overlooking a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace. Not to mention being surrounded by forest-green trees, picturesque mountains, thundering waterfalls and babbling brooks.

Planning to propose to the love of your life? Look no further than Neuschwanstein Castle. This is a Disney fairtytale inspired castle, afterall!

This has “romantic” written ALL OVER IT, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon this proposal and photograph a joyously in love couple – Sylvia and K.C.

How I Met Sylvia and K.C.

I met them by a chance of FATE! By total synchronicity, I had just finished photographing the Neuschwanstein Castle on the crowded bridge – the famously long-wait of a bridge connected by two massive cliffs – and was hiking up a path to locate a beautifully framed picturesque spot of the castle that I had heard about on a travel blog. Searching for a tree or two to frame the castle’s fairy-tale facade, I was starting to feel frustrated, unaligned and not connected to what really brought me joy.

It’s crazy to think how just a few minutes prior to stumbling upon this proposal, I was complaining to my husband, Alex, that what really brought me passion and fulfillment was photographing people and joyful human connection..,.that travel and landscape photography just was not my thing. As I was getting more and more frustrated, I looked up from the dirt path and saw a proposal….right in front of my very eyes.

Talk about magic.

Neuschwanstein Castle Engagement Session and Proposal with Destination Portrait Photographer Helena Woods

Their Proposal Story

K.C. and Sylvia have been together for 9 years after having met each other at work in California. While on a 2 week Euro-trip, which included a visit to Oktoberfest – hence the spirited Lederhosen Shorts with the braces top and hat – K.C. chose the fairytale castle that inspired Walt Disney’s theme – Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Germany as the spot to propose marriage to Sylvia. On a secluded path surrounded by lush, Autumn-turned leaves and trees, he pulled out a traditional Oktoberfest gingerbread Heart cookie with the cursive icing lettering asking her the magical words, “will you marry me?”

I was a second too late, too much in wonder before I realized – wait a second, I’m a portrait photographer – I should capture this moment for them so they could have it to look back on!!

I was only able to capture the moment after she embraced him. She and him looked at the ring and as she asked questions on how he did it, the planning , etc- I stood off to the side until I heard some silence.

Then I went in. 

Neuschwanstein Castle Engagement Session and Proposal with Destination Portrait Photographer Helena Woods

Photographing My First Proposal

I gleefully congratulated them and asked them if I could take a few portraits of them, after telling them how inspired I was by their moment of connection. They joyfully agreed and they told me their story, of how they met, and their excitement for Oktoberfest in Munich. I was able to capture my first proposal shots – just by asking them if I could! I was in amazement and walked away on cloud nine – filled with joy and excitement and pure LOVE after having met, witnessed and photographed their joy and love for one another. While I rarely rarely photograph engagements, since I specialize in family and children’s portraiture, I was inspired.

Feeling unfulfilled by taking photographs of my travels and landscapes, I silently have been asking the Universe to bring me people to photograph, for portraits are my greatest interest and passion. It’s what I most gravitate towards at museums, art galleries and photography exhibits. I love people, emotions, expression and human connection – it’s what gives me purpose, fulfillment and LIFE. Specifically joyful and emotive connection and expression.

I asked and the Universe delivered…right in front of me.

Ask and It Shall Be Delivered

While I was looking for some trees to frame my landscape shot, the Universe gave me – easily with no effort, struggle or force – what I desired most.

Sometimes, you just have to ask. You just want to silently tell yourself, write about it, tell a friend or exclaim to life itself that you desire something! It’s really that simple and easy to do. But then you must wait…and take easy, aligned and actionable steps towards doing that.

I put it out there, I wrote about it, I talked about it with people. And then I booked a bus ticket, traveled and brought my camera along with me – just in case, something appeared before me. And there it was – just like that. That is the power of manifestation. 

Want to Plan a Romantic Proposal at Neuschwanstein Castle?

Here are some tips for planning a romantic proposal for your lovely partner – ladies and gents! (Hey – I proposed marriage to my boyfriend, and you can too ladies!)

Neuschwanstein Castle Engagement Session and Proposal with Destination Portrait Photographer Helena Woods

Get there Early or at Golden Hour Sunset

To avoid the massive crowds and long wait times, get their early in the morning around 8 or 9am or go an hour prior to sunset to pop the question to get that rich, golden soft light. If you’re planning on hiring a photographer for the proposal, definitely make sure to go at golden hour for the most flattering light!

Dress Accordingly

Like K.C., you can make it more memorable and special by dressing in a traditional Oktoberfest outfit! Or you can wear a nice blazer, button down and pants (or a dress or some nice pants – if you’re a lady!)

Find Some Privacy Surrounded by Nature

The crowds are big at this popular, Instagram-able spot so be sure to find some privacy tucked away in the Bavarian forest or on a quiet footpath, where the selfie-sticks and iPhones aren’t crammed in your voice. This is a life-changing moment afterall! If, however, you would find it more exciting and special to ask your partner in front of large crowd, then by all means, skip this step.

Get Creative

K.C. was brilliantly creative (and sticking to their trip’s theme) by using a traditional Oktoberfest gingerbread cookie to the pop the question! Get creative and think of ways that you could ask your partner without the typical getting-down-on-one-knee part.

Way to go K.C.!

Pin this for me!

Engagement Session and Proposal at Neuschwanstein Castle | Destination Family Photographer Helena Woods

Engagement Proposal at Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle

October 5, 2018

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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