When I first meet couples to chat about their wedding plans, I always ask them about their story – how they met, their favorite things to do together, who hogs the remote, and of course – which one of them proposed and how they asked! And that’s how I’ve learned over the years that most couples do not actually remember the finer details of their proposal! It makes sense – emotions are running so high it all sort of just blurs together. They rarely remember what they said – and even have trouble explaining it to their loved ones – all of whom are dying to know every detail of course! Thankfully, more and more “proposers” are choosing to have their surprise proposal captured by a photographer! So while you might not remember exactly who said what, hiring me as your San Diego Proposal Photographer ensures you’ll be transported right back to those moments. And more importantly – to all the feelings you felt experiencing them! (Bonus: You get a more private, intimate proposal but all your friends and family still get to feel like they were right there too).
So just how, exactly, do you plan a proposal with the added element of having it photographed? Planning a proposal is nerve-wracking enough, right? Now you have to make it picture-perfect too? Don’t worry, boo…I got you. I have captured various proposals throughout San Diego and to help you out, I’ve compiled some tried and true tips for planning your picture-perfect proposal.
Trust your proposal photographer. If you want the photos to look their best, we can advise you on a myriad of factors. If you don’t have the perfect proposal location picked out yet – ask us! We have our favorites of course, but we can also advise you on the pros and cons of the locations you’re considering. For example – you’ll probably want a location that isn’t swarmed with other people or it will be hard to get a clear shot. I have gently asked strangers to please make space for my couple who would arrive shortly. I will also suggest where, exactly (and in which direction you should face) when you get down on your knee. All so we can capture the best light for your photos!
And you can trust me to help pull off the logistics too – I can bring a blanket, champagne, flutes, and an ice bucket if you want. And as a San Diego Wedding Photographer I have local industry colleagues I can reach out to for help if you want a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, or a more elaborate setup with a floral arch, for example. I can be as involved or uninvolved as you want. I have hid in the bushes for proposals, or stood in the wide open 50 feet away, pretending to be photographing nearby scenery. Once I was even part of a staged “fashion blogger” photoshoot – all part of the rouse. (My history in drama and musical theatre definitely pay off in this regard).
Don’t worry too much about ruining the surprise. Chances are you’ve had at least some conversations about a future together and this proposal isn’t going to come totally out of left field. So don’t get too hung up on whether this detail or that detail will “give it away” – it’s never as much of a surprise as you think it will be (trust me). Plus, by the time you’ve busted out that ring, the surprise factor won’t even matter anyways. Your new fiancee will be so thrilled to have just been proposed to it will not matter *one iota* how surprised they were or weren’t by any of it.
Whatever plan it is you decide on – stick to it the day-of. This might mean convincing your better half that you REALLY need to do xyz in that moment – even if they seem disagreeable to it for some reason. (And don’t worry – any bad vibes will go right out the window once you pop that magic question!) Of course we’ll have contingency plans in place for rain (not that it rains much here in San Diego), but it generally helps if you stick to the plan we design as much as possible. That said, as a wedding photographer I am adept at navigating unexpected changes and sudden unanticipated moments and have the skills required to remain flexible. So if things are running a bit late – no worries. Just don’t miss the setting sun!
No, not size of the stone – silly! The FIT! Fit matters. So do some homework and make sure you get the right size! Whether you do some window shopping (and trying on) together at a local jeweler or simply borrow a favorite ring to have it measured first – make sure you know which size to get. Your new fiancee is going to want nothing more than to slide that ring on immediately and if it doesn’t fit that will be rather disappointing for both of you. Especially since I’ll be there photographing it all! You’ll want to grab a nice ring shot, right?
And while we’re on the topic – may want to upgrade the ring box. You can still keep the one it came with, of course, but upgrading to a velvet ring box can make your proposal feel so much more personalized. There are so many colors and designs to choose from so choose their favorite! Whether you choose a sleek and modern design from Eselle, a romantic petite design from Amonie, or the iconic velvet classic, Mrs. Box, a personalized ring box is the picture-perfect accessory for your proposal.
Consider adding on a sweet bouquet and/or some Champagne. I am happy to make these arrangements for you – it’s so nice to have some celebratory bubbly on hand (sparkling wine or even sparkling apple cider works too!) . You’re going to want to celebrate!
While you both will be thrilled to have this proposal memorialized for eternity, it’s not quite the same as having an Engagement Session. Chances are your fiancee might have worn a different outfit or styled their hair differently had they known they would be photographed. Maybe they would have put on more makeup, or shaved, or any number of things they likely didn’t do in preparation. Trust me – you’re going to want some proper engagement photos taken with whomever you book for your wedding (hint: ME!). So make sure to leave some funds in the budget for that, mmmmkay?
Welp, there ya have it! This San Diego Proposal Photographer’s pro tips and tricks for planning your picture-perfect proposal! So tell me – Did you have your proposal photographed? Do you wish you had? Have any tips to add to my list? Drop them in the comments below – would love to hear about your experience!