Ready to pop the big question in a fun and special way but aren't quite sure how to do it? You came to the right place. This is a 4-step guide on how to plan surprise person for that special someone in your life. Without further ado -

4-steps to planning a surprise proposal:

1. Involve a photographer

Seriously, even if you only follow one step from this guide, make it this one. Hopefully, this is the only proposal you'll ever have to plan so you definitely want it to be documented, plus many photographers can also help you with executing your surprise proposal. I highly recommend reaching out to a few and find one that you really connect with. This can make the process so much easier. Photographer's often have countless location suggestions and may be able to provide additional ideas on how to make your proposal extra special. So for real - hire a photographer.

2. CHoose a location

Are there any places that have special meaning to the two of you? The location of your first date or "I love you" can often be a cute place to propose, just keep in mind that if you haven't visited locations since said "special event" happened, your person may start to suspect something. Other great places to propose include places that you guys like to visit together often such as a park, museum, grocery store (dying to see a Trader Joe's proposal), restaurant/bar or a local trail. Just keep in mind that certain locations may have restrictions on photography, outside props, and/or flowers (state parks may not allow you to bring in roses or other non-native plants) so be sure to do your research before settling on a location - if you hire a good photographer they should be able to inform you of such restrictions.

3. Decide when to propose

First things first, if the person you are proposing to gets their nails done on a regular basis, I'm going to go ahead and tell you that you should probably plan your proposal around that schedule. If you know they get their nails done on the second Tuesday of every month, plan your proposal that week. Just trust me on that one. People who care about their nails will probably want to have them looking nice for proposal pictures. Secondly, if possible, I would try to plan your proposal around either sunrise or sunset. This simply allows you to have the best light possible for your pictures. Other than those two things, when you propose is totally up to you. If you want to have a party with friends and family afterward, you may want to consider planning it on a weekend. If the location you plan to propose is known for being crowded, you may want to plan it for a weekday for the most privacy. Again, I highly recommend hiring a photographer to help you with your proposal as they can often help you decide when the best time to propose would be based on your location.

4. Execute your proposal plan!

After you've decided when and where you want to propose, it's time to actually do the thing! If you don't already have an idea of what you want to do, check out the following "surprise proposals" for inspiration (the green text is a link to the proposal galleries) -

You can also check out this cool "Proposal Idea Generator"

Need more help planning your surprise proposal?

Feel free to reach out to me! I've helped a number of my clients come with proposal ideas and then helped execute them seamlessly. I'd love to help you too! Click the button below to send me a message and we can start dreaming up the perfect proposal.

A man wearing a blue suit proposes to a woman wearing a black dress at sunset.
A couple holding champagne smiles for their proposal photographer after a surprise proposal.
A couple kisses on top of a mountain after their surprise proposal captured by engagement photographer Sarah Swainson.