Wedding Photographer Blog

Planning Your Surprise Marriage Proposal

Katie Kennedy - Friday, December 11, 2015
Planning Your Surprise Marriage Proposal


Planning Your Surprise Marriage Proposal

So you have gotten the courage to ask the big question – no not how are babies made… hopefully you know that already, I mean the BIG question, asking your girlfriend of many years to marry you. Before you just drop to your knees and burst at the seams, consider asking a professional or even your best friend or her best friend, somebody’s best friend to capture this candidly for you. I suggest the former, a professional, they are best equipped to handle this situation and not fuck it up! So here are some tips to make your surprise marriage proposal a dream come true for HER and you and all her friends and family.

girl surprised when boy proposed to her

Hire a professional wedding and engagement photographer.

Meet with them in advance, go over your plan, walk through it and work out the timing, the location and the sequence of events. Chances are the professional wedding photographer you hire has done this a few times before and should be able to offer some insights and advice to make your candid scenario even better. Trust us, the planning and diligence you put into this now, will come back to you in spades as she fondly reminisces about how romantic you are while looking at her candid engagement photos forever!

rooftop candid marriage proposal

woman starts crying when her boyfriend proposes to her
Come up with a believable distraction for her.

The photographer will take amazing candid marriage proposal photographs no doubt, but dressing up a little for the occasion will make it even better. Get her a day at the spa or a mani/pedi. Invite her best friend to take her out (You’ll earn even more bonus points). After the spa day, take her out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, or at least tell her that she needs to get a little dressed up… better yet, YOU dress up, she will see that you are over dressing and will most likely do the same. While sweatpants and t-shirts are comfortable, they don’t look as good in a photograph as pants and a button down.

candid marriage proposal at the park

Plan for scenarios and locations that will afford the best lighting and situational opportunities.

I get it, blasting your fiance’s name all over the marquee at the Charlotte Hornets game is pretty cool, but do you really want thousands of people photobombing your candid marriage proposal? Do you really want to share this moment with all of them? What happens after you propose at halftime, will you stay the rest of the game? Or would you rather bask in the after effects of organizing the most romantic thing you ever did and the ensuing“gratitude” she will express later that night? I’m just saying, if I were to propose, it would be somewhere relatively private without a lot of unnecessary distractions so that my photographer could take cool candid marriage proposal photographs and then she/he and I could spend the rest of the night enjoying each other “basking in that special moment”.

woman proposes to her girlfriend is a complete surprise

Be smart, hide the ring!

Listen, women have an intuition that exceeds our own. They have this uncanny ability to sniff out situations that are out of the ordinary. If for one moment she thinks you are acting funny, she will start sniffing around like the best hound dog on the planet – women I am not inferring you are hound dogs, just making a point. Ask your mom or your dad or your best friend to keep the ring until you are ready – wait better yet, take out a safety deposit box at your bank, keep it there. Pick it up while she is getting her mani – remember banks close early on Saturdays and are not open on Sundays. Whatever you do, keep the ring hidden.

indian woman and her boyfriend play in the water after he proposes

Personally, I think including her bestie or her mother on this is a good idea.

You will earn major points with her family and if she comes from a traditional upbringing, asking her father if you can do this, will earn you major likability points. Trust me on this, I did not have the blessing of my ex-father in law when I asked my ex-wife to marry me (may be part of the reason she is an “ex”). Plus they can help with the planning. Nothing makes a mother in law happier than being part of the plan. Think of the stores she will tell about you. Just make sure she keeps her trap shut with the stories until AFTER it all goes down!

elaborate candid marriage proposal on a rooftop


Inform the important people about your plan

If you are planning on doing this someplace public, i.e. a restaurant, an event, someplace that will require others involvement, make sure you ask/tell them in advance. Nothing says “candid marriage proposal buzz-kill” more than the security team escorting you both out, because you jumped the fence at Charlotte Knight Stadium to propose to your lover!


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