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Planning for Your Proposal

What to Consider When Asking the Question

So you've decided to propose? Congratulations! That is the necessary first step towards getting married. Hopefully by this point, you've already picked out a ring, but if you haven't, that would make a great second step. 😉 Say you've decided to propose and you have a ring, what should you do now? Proposing can be as simple as popping the question while the two of you are watching your favorite show. On the other hand, it can be as complex as putting together a surprise picnic on a mountainside, surrounded by family and friends!

Assuming you've never done this before, the whole proposal process may seem a bit daunting. There are a handful of things to consider when curating this amazing moment where you have to be open and vulnerable in hopes of spending the rest of your life with the person you love. But no pressure! 😜 That's why you're here, right? To prepare yourself for all of the questions you might have. From when, where, why, who, and what, here are five helpful questions to think about when planning for your proposal!

When will you propose?

This question isn't meant to reference the time of day, but rather when the moment is right. Will you propose in a crowded city so that your partner feels like the star that they are? Maybe when you're walking alone during an evening stroll. There are many proposal opportunities, all of which would make amazing stories. However, not every story fits every person.

Plan your proposal around your partner's personality. If your partner loves being the center of attention or loves grand romantic gestures, then plan for a time when you'll be surrounded by a crowd. If your partner is more low key and prefers to avoid the spotlight, something intimate and private will make them feel more comfortable. If your partner's friends and family are the most important thing, then perhaps propose during a gathering of all your loved ones! Whatever you do, make sure it's what your partner would want. Make them feel comfortable, understood, and appreciated!

Where will it take place?

This question goes hand-in-hand with when you will propose. The environment and location in which you propose aren't quite as important as the publicity of the event (in my opinion), but they are details that you can use to personalize your proposal. Think about your favorite activities or places that have a special meaning to you. Do you have local spot that you both love or somewhere you said "I love you" for the first time? It's okay if you don't have any go-to spots! Research your favorite activities and find a location that suits your personalities and keeps an appropriate intimacy level. Do keep in mind the lighting and openness if you're planning to hire a photographer to capture the moment (more on this below)!

Why do you love your partner?

This one should be easy! Once you have the details of when and where down, you can start thinking about how you're going to propose and what you're going to say. Think about why you love your partner, what qualities you admire about them, or when you knew they were the one. You don't have to write a script, but you should be able to put into words, your feelings and why you want to spend the rest of your life with this person.

Who will take the pictures?

A proposal is a big moment, whether you're being proposed to or doing the proposing! It's a moment that you'll want to share with friends and family, which likely means you'll want lots of pictures. Pictures of the two of you, the ring, anything and everything to document this time. Hiring a photographer allows you to stay present with one another. You won't have to worry about taking the pictures or recreating the proposal to capture the shot. You can focus on your partner, your love for one another, and this very special time!

If you hire a professional photographer, you can use their knowledge to your advantage! They'll know how to deal with the lighting and will help you find the best location. Proposals generally don't take very long, so it's important that your photographer knows how to work quickly under the circumstances. Blurry pictures of your partner's expression just won't do! Likewise, a professional photographer will be able to capture the moment from a flattering angle. You think putting your phone on the ground will work until you look back at the recording...😯 Since you're already looking for a professional, try to find someone who also offers wedding photography. You can use your proposal as a trial run for your big day to see how you work together and if you get along!

Worried that a photographer will give away the surprise? Don't be! There are a few ways to handle the situation so that your partner won't be suspicious. If you need an excuse to dress nicely and you or your partner enjoy having pictures taken of yourselves, you can plan your proposal under the guise of a content shoot. One of my favorite ideas is for the photographer to create a fake model call looking for a couple. You just have to convince your partner that it could be fun, then the photographer will just happen to choose you. Photoshoots are less suspicious if it looks like you didn't set it up!

Perhaps your partner won't be fooled with a regular photoshoot or the two of you don't have your picture taken very often, so the very act of the photo session would give it up. Don't fret! There's a second option to keep your intuitive partner unaware. Have your photographer blend into the crowd...or a bush! This option is a bit trickier than having a photographer already directing you. However, if you do a walk through of the plan with your photographer before the proposal, you can nail down all of the details like where the photographer will hide or what they'll be pretending to photograph. The number one thing to remember is that you and your photographer must be on the same page!

What happens after the proposal?

Although it's not necessary that you plan something for after your proposal, it is a nice way to celebrate and mark the occasion! It could be anything from a small dinner at your favorite restaurant to a huge surprise party with your families. Having an activity planned after popping the question also gives you somewhere to direct your energy from that emotional high you'll be riding. If you've hired a professional photographer to document the proposal, check to see if they include engagement portraits as well. For my surprise proposal sessions, we start out by warming up with some prompts and poses. After your partner says yes, we jump straight into engagement pictures to capture the entirety of the proposal story!


I hope that these questions and tips help you feel comfortable and confident when proposing to the love of your life! If you have any more questions or need someone to brainstorm with, feel free to send me a message. I love planning and helping in any way that I can! 😇

Good luck and go get that yes!


Helping you feel comfortable and confident


Hi, I'm Katy!

I'm your travel loving, board and video game playing, show binging photographer! I'm based in Boise, Idaho, traveling anywhere and everywhere. Thank you so much for visiting! Here I share various tips and tricks related to photography, weddings, and so much more. You can also find some of my recent sessions to see a more complete gallery of my work!

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