Photographing a surprise engagement at Heinz Hall was a treat! Here’s how we made it all work:

Planning the proposal surprise via phone call

When I received a phone call regarding an upcoming proposal at Heinz Hall, I was overcome with excitement! I immediately connected with Jonathan, and we delved into the details of his plans. He explained that he and Samantha had shared their first date at this beautiful symphony venue, and he wanted to create a memorable surprise by proposing to her there. Jonathan had diligently worked with the coordinator at Heinz Hall to secure access after the box office closed, ensuring a private and romantic setting for this special occasion. However, there was one challenge that remained: how could he bring Samantha to the venue without revealing the grand secret?

Arrival at Heinz Hall

Jonathan and I planned to tell Samantha that I was a new, budding photographer who really wanted some practice photographing couples and working in luxurious venues. She definitely had no idea that it was really a proposal in the making! When I arrived, I stumbled through my gear a bit to make it look as if I was not seasoned in this type of photography and honestly.. I gave them really awkward poses! She thought I was a total newbie.

Where to photograph the proposal photos

The Heinz Hall Engagement Proposal took place in the perfect spot, strategically chosen between the main floor foyer and the top landing of the first level of steps. Opting for the balcony level, adorned with tables and chairs, the scene was set for a truly memorable moment. With the lights carefully positioned and everything prepared, an unexpected phone call served as the cue for Jonathan to spring into action and pop the question. In the blink of an eye, I captured the breathtaking moment as he knelt down, asking Samantha to marry him. Without hesitation, she ecstatically responded with a joyful YES!

Engagement Photos inside of Heinz Hall

After he proposed, I captured her reaction and then we got into REAL portraits, where I actually seemed like I knew what I was doing! We made sure to really capture the beauty of Heinz Hall with it’s gorgeous staircases, marble columns, big chandeliers, and epic scenery. Their Pittsburgh proposal and engagement images really will mark the day in their minds for years to come!

Family celebration!

To make things even better, we then went outside and she was surprised by her sister who was waiting to celebrate – good job Jonathan! Samantha got lots of hugs from her little nieces and then we made sure to get a photo of them under the big Heinz Hall sign on the exterior of the building (all while I stopped traffic – just a part of the job!)

This Heinz Hall proposal was one to remember – it was an honor to photograph their engagement and be in on the big surprise!

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Leeann Marie Wedding Photographer
Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer, Leeann Marie Golish, has been photographing classic and contemporary weddings for over 16 years.
pittsburgh wedding photographer leeann marie in the fairmont hotel


Not only is your wedding a celebration of you two coming together, but it’s a memory of all of the good humans in your world.

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