It’s time. You are ready to take your love relationship to the next level and you want to make it special, therefore, in order to make everything running as smoothly as possible, you need to plan ahead.
More likely this is your first (and only) proposal, so you want to make it right and I think that, as photographer who captured many secret proposal in her career, I could have some important informations to share and help you make this moment absolutely perfect.
I think there are 3 specific question you need to ask yourself once planning for the perfect proposal
You need to consider whether your partner is an introvert or an extrovert because, more likely, in the first case you will probably need to plan something more intimate, such as a walk in the park or somewhere isolated where you can actually enjoy the moment between the two of you. Obviously if your partner is an extroverted he or she will love to be int he spotlights and something maybe with family and friends altogether will be the best choice.
Note: If your partner is an introvert you may need to hire the photographer capturing the whole event from afar so “paparazzi” style. This could be very funny especially when you will get the photos back and see your partner asking “When did you get these photos?”
Think about of what your partner likes, even things she or he likes to do on a regular basis. This could create more surprise specifically if they have the feeling that a proposal in the air. This could either be at the theater or at the beach, or simply at the park where you normally go for walk during the weekend.
Note: Make sure your location will allow you having an external photographer capturing the event.
The final element should be thinking about your love story and incorporate something that really mattered to you both and you should consider re-creating a specific moment of your love story, such as your first date or a particular spot of your first vacation, as well as maybe involving your pet or play your favorite song. All these little things will help you out making your proposal a very romantic and one of a kind moment.
Whether you are trying to organize something simple and intimate or in a venue, is very important you plan as much as possible ahead in order to be sure to succeed with your plan.
You don’t have to break the bank or put together an intricate scheme, however you have to remember that you will need to consider different factor such as reservations, especially if you are planning to propose at a restaurant or a bar, a photographer (believe me: you want to capture the expression of your future spouse when you propose) and if you can have professional photography and videography in the premises, but also props, making sure everything arrives on time.
This could also be something good to have a confrontation with your photographer when deciding the right location because you could get important advice about which kind of table you need to reserve or at what time is better having the proposal if you are thinking to do it outdoor.
However if you don’t have a photographer yet the best way of choosing a location for you is definitely thinking about a place dear to you, such as the location of your first date or, if you’re planning to go for a destination proposal, you could do it returning at the same location of your first vacation or maybe choosing a place where your partner dream holiday.
This actually happened to a client of mine: he went into a big fight with her girlfriend on purpose, one week before the proposal. When they met she only thought he wanted to apologize and finally get the fight into an end, which obviously did, right before going down to one knee.
I captured the whole scene from afar hiding between trees and in the crowd and the outcome is pure emotions.
Another way of throwing your partner off the tracks, specifically if you don’t wish to risk a break up instead, could be take him or her out in a fancy dinner at some high end restaurant where she or he will expect the proposal right after the second course or at the dessert. Instead you could have the apartment decorated waiting for you to come back.
Your partner will probably feel a bit confused and disappointed at the beginning but only to be caught off guard later on.
There are thousands of people who could care less that they’re not properly dressed up and wearing sweatpants during the big moment, but if you did your homeworks well you will probably know if your partner is those kind of person or really needs the fancy stuff.
In that case think about a location where she or he can show off the best outfit for the occasion and won’t be too suspicious.
When I am talking about the details I’m not only talking about the location only but also about the time and how you present the ring or any props you will use.
Maybe you want to fill the room with petals, or maybe of flowers. Or what about a beautiful heirloom box to present the engagement ring? And a funky poke ball from your favorite cartoon Pokemon instead (yes, it did really happen, and made that proposal one of the most funny and unforgettable I have ever captured).
Thinking and choosing specific details could help you and your partner keep a fun keepsake you cherish forever remember to that moment.
Enlist a friend or a family member’s help which will widen your options since your ideas may need an extra hand, from the organization on the day (that extra person could actually give you the reason for your partner to meet in a specific place without expecting the proposal) but also would give you a second opinion on all the details, such as the location chosen or the type of ring your partner may like, or simply which kind of flowers would be the best one for the occasion.
Especially if you will decide to ask for the help of a member of the family, this could be an incredibly thoughtful way to make your engagement a family matter and they will feel more involved.
Last but not least, do not miss the opportunity to get a high quality record of this moment.
Firstly this could be the first chance for you and your fiance to pose in front of a camera and get used to it, after all you will have many cameras pointed at you on your wedding day, but also you will have already some great photos to announce your engagement and maybe even your save-the-date.
Secondly, if you put so much thought on this moment, maybe you planned every single detail carefully, why should you not deserve a proper coverage of your hard work?
You will get not only a great memory but also you will be able to relive such an amazing moment in the years to come simply looking at the photos of your partner’s natural reactions or your hug right before the “yes”.
Unfortunately at the moment the restaurants won’t be open for a good while and more likely you won’t be able to meet with your family and friends for either a celebration nor proposal organization.
Although this doesn’t mean a proposal can’t happen. If you were planning on getting engaged not even a pandemic should get in the way and below you will find some extra ideas for your secret proposal during this period.
Planning for an outdoor proposal, maybe surrounded by trees, you will be also able to have a photographer capturing your special moments socially distancing. You may be even able to find a perfect spot with a lovely view in order to get a fantastic scenery in your background.
This is for those couples who have great sense of humor. Think about it: you’re about to get out for grocery and you wear your mask on and… ta-daaa there you have your proposal and a great laugh.
Also in this case you would be able to have your event professionally captured because if you wait to wear it once you are outside the house on your doorstep.
Planning a secret proposal is not a piece of cake however there are so many ways to make it tailored just for you and if you want to grasp some cool ideas check out my Secret Proposal page for more inspiration or simply get in touch.