How to Plan Surprise Proposal

How to Plan a Surprise Proposal

So you’ve been thinking about this for awhile now, you know he or she is the one and you even have the ring of their dreams. But you want this moment to be absolutely perfect! You don’t want to ask her while chilling at Buffalo Wild Wings (no, seriously, you will be in trouble). So where? How? Well lucky you, here’s a blog all about how to plan a surprise proposal for your girlfriend or boyfriend.

  1. First, you know her (or him) so well, so you probably know if they are a private person or extrovert. If they are a private person, I’ll bet you that ring they aren’t going to want the jumbo-tron or Flash mob at the park to ask for their hand. Which also means maybe they won’t want it in front of everyone they know at Christmas. So maybe instead plan a more private, intimate and secluded plan for the proposal like a hiking trip, a picnic, or even a quiet romantic evening at home. Now, if your better half is a social butterfly, then, by all means, plan to propose on Let’s Make a Deal, at college graduation, or on stage at a Red Rocks Concert. Knowing this first will be key to the perfect setting. Maybe propose at the place of your first date, where you met, or where you see your future. Make it personal to you and your partner.
  2. Get a photographer. Yes now. Why? Because they are an incredible resource to help you plan this. They know the best locations, the perfect accessories to include and all the pitfalls ahead of you. A lot of people that contact me give me a general idea and let me help them with the logistics of it all. Then they have to worry about the important things, like what they are going to say. It’s very popular and really surprising to pop the question on vacation. My husband actually did this to me. I wasn’t even expecting it because I was engulfed in all the fun we were having. However, I will tell you that my proposal is super memorable but actually wasn’t photographed, which is fine. But maybe if my husband had dug a little deeper, he might have found out that there weren’t any sunset tours like he planned, and that the private island he took me to didn’t allow boats to dock so we had to jump in the ocean and swim to the island. HAHAHAHA! A photographer would have helped him avoid all of that!
  3. Plan the logistics. Figure out not just where, but where she will stand, where you will stand (or kneel) and how you’ll get there. Make sure you know the hours of the location (if they are open). Make sure you have a plan B if tourists are in the way or if there’s construction. Plan for after the moment, maybe champagne, dinner or maybe even a change of clothes so that after the proposal you can take a few engagement photos with your photographer.
  4. Don’t get stressed out if it doesn’t go according to plan. They can tell when you’re stressed. If they don’t know, they will just think you’re being a dick, which isn’t a great thought right before you ask them if they want to spend the rest of their life with this jackass? Lol!
  5. Write down what you want to say but keep it simple because you’ll forget it all probably. Make about 3 to 5 bullet points to help you remember what you wanted to say and focus on that. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just from the heart. But you don’t want to freeze on one knee like a deer in the headlights.

Jonathon and Breanna’s Epic Surprise Proposal

How do I know all of this? I’ve been there! I’ve photographed surprise proposals and heard countless proposal stories from my couples. Good and bad! This is one of the stories I got to be there for! This surprise proposal is one I just photographed a few weeks ago with Jonathon and Breanna. At first, Jonathon wanted to propose at Seven Falls but this would require a shuttle drive from the Broadmoor and logistically, it would have been too complicated. So, instead, we decided on Siamese Twins at Garden of the Gods.

I gave him instructions on where the parking lot was, what I was driving and where to hike up. I arrived about 45 minutes before they were supposed to arrive. Lol, yeah, supposed to. Well, things didn’t quite go according to plan and they ended up 45 mins late and lost. So I quickly found out where they were, RAN LIKE A GAZELLE down the trail, threw everything in my car and got to the other location within 10 minutes and JUST before sunset. WHEW! Every session is a learning experience and I learned a LOT from this one. So with that, here are a few other tips.

    1. ALWAYS listen to your photographer’s tips for location, time, and details.
    2. Give yourself plenty of time for light or any other time-sensitive details.
    3. Have a plan A, B, C, D, etc. Just in case.
    4. If things don’t go the way you think, don’t get angry or agitated! That will become part of the story and she will notice.Surprise proposal at Garden of the Gods in Colorado


  1. Just remember, as long as she says yes, you are a success! Lol!

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