A nighttime, candlelit Shiola Hotel proposal on a rooftop with the Detroit skyline in the background.

Shinola Hotel Proposal

Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

It has been our busiest month (and year!) ever for proposals and we finished off the year with a very, very special one. When Ajith contacted me to tell me he was planning a Shinola Hotel proposal for his girlfriend Ruchi, I was wondering what he had in mind. The more we discussed his options, the more he liked the idea of proposing in one of their beautiful rooms. Luckily, I have photographed in all of their suites and had photos to show him his various options. He decided on the Argonite Suite, located on the east side of the hotel. Standing in the lobby, a small team of family members arrived, ready to start setting up. Once we got the keys, we headed up to the suite and started to work. Originally, we discussed proposing in the living room of the suite; however, it was an unseasonably warm day in December and the rooftop patio would offer a perfect, intimate setting for their Shinola Hotel proposal. Having decided that, the family got to work, setting up candles, a backdrop, and a rose petal path to the proposal spot. All we needed was Ruchi.

Ruchi’s friends were also in on the Shinola Hotel proposal, dropping her off at the hotel and escorting her upstairs. Waiting patiently in the room was Ajith. She was surprised to see him, but didn’t expect anything until she turned the corner and saw the beautiful proposal site set up outside. The rest, as they say, is history. Ruchi couldn’t believe what she saw and was in tears as Ajith escorted her into position. Soon after talking to her, he got down on a knee and asked for her hand in marriage. She easily said “yes” and continued, looking around at her surroundings and then again at the ring, saying “It is so pretty. It is all so pretty.” She was in a beautiful state of disbelief.

The backdrop of a Shinola Hotel proposal in teh Argonite Suite.
A gentleman takes a knee and pulls out an engagement ring at a rooftop Shinola Hotel proposal.
A gentleman takes a knee and puts a ring on his fiancee during their rooftop Shinola Hotel proposal.
A fiancee looks at her new engagement ring following her Shinola Hotel proposal.
A fiancee reacts to her rooftop Shinola Hotel propsoal.

After giving them time to soak it all in, and enjoy the cheers from the nearby Monarch Club rooftop patrons, we decided to take some photos to remember this life changing moment.

Showing off her engagement ring, a couple poses for a portrait at the spot of their rooftop Shinola Hotel proposal.
A couple poses for a portrait at the spot of their rooftop Shinola Hotel proposal.
A couple hugs at the spot of their rooftop Shinola Hotel proposal.

What seemed to be nearly 30 minutes later, Ruchi still couldn’t believe everything that was happening. It was such a blessing to be in the presence of such joy!

A couple pops a bottle of champagne on a rooftop after their Shinola Hotel proposal.

One of the many special touches Ajith had planned was bringing a special outfit for Ruchi. She had a special outfit she wanted for when she got engaged. Ajith knew it would tip her hand and let her in on the surprise if she wore it to the actual proposal, so he brought it and had it waiting for her to change into.

After their Shinola Hotel proposal, we headed downstairs and captured a few engagement photos in Parker’s Alley.

An Indian couple embraces in Parker's Alley following their Shinola Hotel proposal.
An Indian couple embraces in Parker's Alley following their Shinola Hotel proposal.
Wintertime engagement session in Parker's Alley.

As we wrapped up our shoot, Ajith took Ruchi back up stairs to the room, allowing us a few minute head start to meet their family and friends at the nearby San Morello restaurant, where Ajith had one last surprise waiting for Ruchi.

An engagement party at San Morello Restaurant.