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How to Plan the Perfect Surprise Proposal

Giving you the best tips and tricks on how to have the perfect surprise proposal from a professional photographer's perspective.


Surprise proposal in the foothills


Have you found that you’ve fallen madly in love and you’re thinking about popping the question soon, but you have no idea how to pull off the perfect surprise proposal?


Or have you been waiting very patiently for your partner to pop the question, but don’t know how to subtly hint that it's time? (Feel free to send your partner a link to this blog to drop a hint that it’s time they put a ring on your finger.)


A photographer holding her camera and smiling



I'm Maddie, a traveling wedding and couples photographer based in Utah.


I have had the privilege of not only capturing many surprise proposals, but am also very experienced with helping plan surprise proposals.


If you need some tricks to execute the perfect surprise proposal, thankfully you came to the right spot!


I am going to share all my best tips and advice to pull off the perfect surprise proposal.





Planning the perfect surprise proposal requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you:


Tip #1 - Know what your partner desires


This first tip is key to executing the perfect surprise proposal.

Is your partner adventurous? Shy? Extroverted? Private? Bold? Reserved? Silly?


The characteristics you and your partner have play a big role in when, where, and how you will propose.


Keep in mind the things you and your partner love and integrate that into your proposal.


Surprise proposal in the foothills

Tip #2 - Choose the location and setting


After you have figured out what you and your partner's ideal proposal might look like, you can then decide on a time, location, and setting.


Locations to propose to a more reserved partner:

-A family member's backyard

-Private beach

-Cozy cabin or Airbnb

-Private dinner at home

-Botanical garden

-Private boat ride

-Favorite cafe or coffee shop

-Art gallery or museum


Locations to propose to a more outgoing partner:

-Adventure park or theme park

-Hot air balloon ride

-At their favorite bar or restaurant

-Scenic helicopter tour

-Rock climbing or hiking

-Outdoor concert or festival

-Paragliding, hang gliding, or skydiving

-During a firework show


Plan the proposal for a time when your partner least expects it but when they're likely to be in a good mood. Avoid choosing a date with conflicting events or stressful situations.




Tip #3 - Make it personal


Add touches that make the surprise proposal feel more personal. Plan out the little and big details. You can buy them their favorite drink or food beforehand or get them their favorite flowers.

Engagement ring

Tip #4 - Ring selection


If you're planning to surprise your partner with a ring, make sure you know their ring size and style preferences. If you're unsure, consider asking a close friend or family member for advice.


If you want to play it safe, look online for a cheaper ring to propose with, then take your partner shopping for a real ring afterwards.


Hot tip: Amazon has a ton of stunning, cheap rings that look real. These are a perfect temporary option.


Tip #5 - Plan a cover story


To maintain the element of surprise, come up with a believable cover story to explain any unusual behavior or activities leading up to the proposal.




Surprise proposal in the foothills

Tip #6 - Capture the moment

You will want to relive the moment you propose. Trust me.


Arrange to have the proposal captured on camera. Hire a professional photographer to capture that moment.

A professional will know how to help you plan your surprise proposal, they will know where to hide, and will capture the moment perfectly.


This will allow you to cherish the moment forever and share it with others.


Reach out to a professional photographer here.




Tip #7 - Celebrate!

After your partner says yes (fingers crossed!), celebrate your engagement together. Whether it's a quiet dinner for two or a big party with friends and family, make sure to enjoy this special moment together.




Now do you feel a little more prepared to pull off the perfect surprise proposal?


Remember, the most important thing is to make the proposal personal and meaningful to your relationship. Put thought and effort into every detail, and your partner is sure to be impressed and touched by your gesture of love.


Book a photography session here.


Follow Maddie on Instagram


Leave a comment down below with your proposal story.

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