Home/Get Advice/Instagram Star Tonya Michelle's Surprise Engagement Is The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Instagram Star Tonya Michelle's Surprise Engagement Is The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Updated October 1, 2022
by caitlin@lovestoriestv.com

Instagram Star Tonya Michelle's Surprise Engagement Is The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Power Instagram users will likely recognize Virginia-based blogger Tonya Michelle, aka @tonyamichelle26. I'm a hug fan of Tonya's account (stalk her for style inspo, amazing product recs, and career motivation) and was obviously so excited to learn about about her SURPRISE ENGAGEMENT. Jarrett Juran, the founder of Films by J, worked with Tonya's boyfriend fiancé Carl to film the sweetest surprise proposal at Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia. Watch the full film below and then read on for our interviews with both Tonya and Jarrett for more on what it's like to pull of an epic surprise engagement.

How did you and Carl meet and fall in love?

We met in South Beach Miami at a bar I worked at. I was the bartender and one night he walked in… when he walked in honestly it was love at first sight. As crazy as that might sound, it's 100% true. I told my co-workers I was going to marry him! The next day we went out on a date and haven't left each other since. We've been together for almost five years now and in those years we've moved across the country together, built our dream home and truly have helped each other grow into being a better person. I fall in love with him more everyday.

Your engagement film did such a great job of capturing your reaction! What was going through your head when you realized Carl was proposing?

I was so happy and in total shock. Not in shock that he was asking me but in shock that it was happening at that moment and being filmed. He's my world! I'm so happy he wants me to be his as well.

The location of your engagement video is so beautiful. Is there any special significance behind it? How did Carl decide on it?

Great Falls is a gorgeous place to begin with, we've hiked it a few times and it's always been one of our places to be. I feel like we will be spending a lot of time there this spring and summer!

What would you say to a couple who is on the fence about having an engagement film, now that you have one? It's an amazing way to capture the memory. It happened so fast and I almost feel like I blacked out, haha. I would highly recommend planning and making it happen with a videographer. It's something we now get to show our future kids and grandkids.

Lastly, are their any details you can share about your upcoming wedding?! Any planning resources you'd recommend to our community of brides-to-be?

I haven't put much thought into it just yet, it's only been a week and I feel like it's been a blur of excitement. I'm a full-time social media influencer so I am hoping to find some amazing brands to partner with for the planning of our wedding and as well as everything that goes into putting one together.

Meet Jarrett Juran, founder of Films by J.

Are there any common challenges filmmakers face when they're helping to coordinate surprise engagement videos?

LOL, yes, a million. The end goal no matter what, is to make sure whoever is being surprised, is surprised and it is not ruined or jeopardized in any way. Luckily in this situation, Carl is/was very calm and cool and did great with everything we planned out together. I have shot content with Tonya before and I made sure to not bring too many cameras or people with me that may set off an alarm. I hired a friend of mine who she has never met to stand out of the way like he was taking pictures of the waterfalls which is pretty normal there. Once you pull off the surprise, the next challenge is to make sure you get enough of the raw emotion, which I think we did. Tony threw us off a few times with plans and ideas but we just kept going along with the flow as if it were normal and it seemed to all come together.

What should clients know ahead of time if they want to shoot a surprise engagement film?

To not stress out while planning and try to make it as special and significant as possible for the person being surprised. With that said, it is extremely nerve racking. I was more nervous for this, than I am for actual weddings.

What are some ways you’ve seen couples (or you recommend couples use) their engagement videos?

I guess that would depend on what the individual couples end goal was for putting the video out. I think most people just want to share that moment with their friends and family and that’s the main goal. I don’t have any specific recommendations or a right or wrong way to do or use the video. Whatever feels best for the couple and/or the person planning, is the best way to go about it.

What elements make a good engagement video? For example, what time of day or locations do you usually recommend?

Again, I think it comes down to the type of people you’re shooting. I think making a video that fits the couple is far more important then any specific scenery or time of day. When Carl and I arranged everything, he recommended Great Falls and I have shot time lapses there before so I knew it was beautiful so I just said ‘yes let’s do that.’ I also knew in NoVa, the sunsets do produce cool colors in the sky most nights so I did ask if he thought around sunset fit their vibe and he said yes so we went with that.

Watch more films from Films By J here.

Pin this photo to save it for later!

Home/Get Advice/Instagram Star Tonya Michelle's Surprise Engagement Is The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Instagram Star Tonya Michelle's Surprise Engagement Is The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Updated October 1, 2022
by caitlin@lovestoriestv.com

Power Instagram users will likely recognize Virginia-based blogger Tonya Michelle, aka @tonyamichelle26. I'm a hug fan of Tonya's account (stalk her for style inspo, amazing product recs, and career motivation) and was obviously so excited to learn about about her SURPRISE ENGAGEMENT. Jarrett Juran, the founder of Films by J, worked with Tonya's boyfriend fiancé Carl to film the sweetest surprise proposal at Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia. Watch the full film below and then read on for our interviews with both Tonya and Jarrett for more on what it's like to pull of an epic surprise engagement.

How did you and Carl meet and fall in love?

We met in South Beach Miami at a bar I worked at. I was the bartender and one night he walked in… when he walked in honestly it was love at first sight. As crazy as that might sound, it's 100% true. I told my co-workers I was going to marry him! The next day we went out on a date and haven't left each other since. We've been together for almost five years now and in those years we've moved across the country together, built our dream home and truly have helped each other grow into being a better person. I fall in love with him more everyday.

Your engagement film did such a great job of capturing your reaction! What was going through your head when you realized Carl was proposing?

I was so happy and in total shock. Not in shock that he was asking me but in shock that it was happening at that moment and being filmed. He's my world! I'm so happy he wants me to be his as well.

The location of your engagement video is so beautiful. Is there any special significance behind it? How did Carl decide on it?

Great Falls is a gorgeous place to begin with, we've hiked it a few times and it's always been one of our places to be. I feel like we will be spending a lot of time there this spring and summer!

What would you say to a couple who is on the fence about having an engagement film, now that you have one? It's an amazing way to capture the memory. It happened so fast and I almost feel like I blacked out, haha. I would highly recommend planning and making it happen with a videographer. It's something we now get to show our future kids and grandkids.

Lastly, are their any details you can share about your upcoming wedding?! Any planning resources you'd recommend to our community of brides-to-be?

I haven't put much thought into it just yet, it's only been a week and I feel like it's been a blur of excitement. I'm a full-time social media influencer so I am hoping to find some amazing brands to partner with for the planning of our wedding and as well as everything that goes into putting one together.

Meet Jarrett Juran, founder of Films by J.

Are there any common challenges filmmakers face when they're helping to coordinate surprise engagement videos?

LOL, yes, a million. The end goal no matter what, is to make sure whoever is being surprised, is surprised and it is not ruined or jeopardized in any way. Luckily in this situation, Carl is/was very calm and cool and did great with everything we planned out together. I have shot content with Tonya before and I made sure to not bring too many cameras or people with me that may set off an alarm. I hired a friend of mine who she has never met to stand out of the way like he was taking pictures of the waterfalls which is pretty normal there. Once you pull off the surprise, the next challenge is to make sure you get enough of the raw emotion, which I think we did. Tony threw us off a few times with plans and ideas but we just kept going along with the flow as if it were normal and it seemed to all come together.

What should clients know ahead of time if they want to shoot a surprise engagement film?

To not stress out while planning and try to make it as special and significant as possible for the person being surprised. With that said, it is extremely nerve racking. I was more nervous for this, than I am for actual weddings.

What are some ways you’ve seen couples (or you recommend couples use) their engagement videos?

I guess that would depend on what the individual couples end goal was for putting the video out. I think most people just want to share that moment with their friends and family and that’s the main goal. I don’t have any specific recommendations or a right or wrong way to do or use the video. Whatever feels best for the couple and/or the person planning, is the best way to go about it.

What elements make a good engagement video? For example, what time of day or locations do you usually recommend?

Again, I think it comes down to the type of people you’re shooting. I think making a video that fits the couple is far more important then any specific scenery or time of day. When Carl and I arranged everything, he recommended Great Falls and I have shot time lapses there before so I knew it was beautiful so I just said ‘yes let’s do that.’ I also knew in NoVa, the sunsets do produce cool colors in the sky most nights so I did ask if he thought around sunset fit their vibe and he said yes so we went with that.

Watch more films from Films By J here.

Pin this photo to save it for later!