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Couple holding champagne glasses after getting engaged

Planning your proposal? Don’t miss these tips!

As a true romantic one of my favorite things in the world is witnessing and capturing proposals!  So if you are planning a proposal, please consider this your guide to planning the best surprise proposal! 

We will cover proposal planning tips, the steps to choosing an engagement ring, whether to choose a ring together, planning a proposal without raising suspicions and how to celebrate afterwards. Let’s dive in!

Couple holding champagne glasses after getting engaged

Proposal planning tips

Proposing to your partner is one of the most significant and memorable moments in your life and there is a certain amount of underlying pressure to ensure it all goes well!   So let’s go over some tips to help you plan and execute a successful proposal. 

Choosing the style 

When choosing the style of the proposal, consider your partners preferences, personality and what would make them happy. Are they more comfortable with private, intimate settings or grand gestures and public displays of affection and attention? Tailor the proposal to their comfort level, tastes and interests. Do they want something grand or something more simple and meaningful?

Find a location 

Select a location and time that holds special meaning for both of you or is significant in your relationship. If you are looking for some unique proposal ideas, I have some suggestions for where to propose in Minneapolis or St Paul here. Be aware that proposals do require some amount of planning and preparation. Consider if you need reservations, permits or permissions and if there are any additional arrangements needed that would make the moment perfect. 

Hire a photographer

Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment you may want to consider hiring us as your professional surprise proposal photographer to discreetly capture the proposal. We will capture the raw emotion, the joy, the tears, the kisses and the laughs and having photos or videos will allow you to relive the special moment and share it with others.

As an expert in proposals, I can also help you coordinate and plan the proposal with my proposal team.  We can give you the  inside scoop on the best proposal locations, and suggest the best time for the proposal to happen and make prop/decor recommendations.

Plan what to say!

Making a speech and planning what special words you will want to say. It doesn’t have to be too long and you also just speak fro your heart, but think about what your partner will want to hear in this special moment.

Add some personalized touches

Are they in love with sunflowers? Consider having someone bring a bouquet of flowers afterwards, as well as some champagne to celebrate! Laying a little picnic proposal with flowers would also be a great idea if they really loves spending time on picnics.

Marriage proposal on the beach with a picnic

Should you pick an engagement ring together or separately?

Ultimately this is a personal choice that depends on your relationship dynamics and preferences. Some individuals may have specific ideas or strong opinions about the ring they want to wear for the rest of their lives. They may even have a ring in mind that has been passed down through generations that holds significant sentimental value. For some couples, choosing the ring together can enhance the symbolism and be a joint decision that represents the beginning of your journey together.

The decision should be based on what feels right for you and your partner. You can discuss the idea together and see if you both prefer the surprise element or if you’d like to make it a joint endeavor. There’s no right or wrong way to choose an engagement ring, as long as it aligns with you as a couple and ensures that you find a ring that you both truly love, is comfortable to wear and one that holds meaning for both of you.

If you get the ring and are unsure of their size, try to find other rings they wear! You can always err in the size and resize it after the proposal if the element of surprise is important to you! 

a marriage proposal on a bridge in a city in Minnesota

Planning a proposal without raising suspicions

To avoid raising suspicions, try to maintain your regular routine leading up to the proposal. Nervousness or acting differently may raise suspicions so try to keep your behavior consistent and avoid any significant changes in your habits or patterns. 

If you’ve purchased an engagement ring in advance, find a secure hiding spot where your partner is unlikely to stumble upon it accidentally. Keep it safely hidden until the proposal day.

Include some family members or friends

Other things I like to suggest is to include their family, or someone in their family or friend. You will be able to get help from them on whatever your plan is. Maybe they are meeting their mom for ice cream and you show up in the perfect location? Their best friend can casually bring them to do their nails so they are ready to show off the ring? 

If you need assistance with the planning or execution of the proposal, reach out to close friends or family members who can be trusted to keep the secret. They can provide valuable support and help ensure that the surprise remains intact or help to distract your partner and keep them occupied while you make any necessary preparations. 

Dress up options

Planning other events or activities around the proposal could help to divert your partner’s attention and also ensure that they dress nicely for the occasion. For example, you could plan a weekend getaway, a special date night, or a celebration for another occasion to create a plausible reason for the proposal setting or activity. You could also casually mention that you’d love to take some nice photos together or that the location you’re visiting would look great in pictures. This can subtly encourage your partner to consider dressing up without raising suspicion about a proposal.

Or you could surprise your partner with an impromptu outing or day trip, without mentioning the specific reason. Let them know that you have something special planned, but keep the details a secret. This will create an element of anticipation and excitement, and prompt them to dress their best.

a proposal captured by Laura Alpizar photography amongst beautiful gardens

Fun ways to celebrate your engagement!

Now you are engaged (congratulations!) It’s time to celebrate like crazy! Here’s a few suggestions if you are stuck for ideas:

Opt for an intimate celebration

If you want more of a private intimate celebration with just the two of you, you could cook a special dinner together at home, open a bottle of champagne, and have a romantic evening reminiscing about your journey as a couple and discussing your future plans.  Or even opt for a romantic weekend getaway. Choose a destination that holds special meaning for both of you or explore a new place together. Enjoy quality time, relaxation, and create memories to mark this milestone in your relationship. 

Host an engagement party

Hosting an engagement party right after the proposal is a great way to share the news with your close family and friends. You can choose a venue, such as a restaurant, a rented space, or even your own home, decorate the space, have a cake, and create a festive atmosphere to share the joy of your engagement with family and friends.

Engagement photoshoot

Mark the occasion with an engagement photo shoot. Choose a meaningful location or a spot that holds significance for your relationship. This is a great opportunity to choose a photographer you love and to get relaxed in front of the camera in preparation for the wedding day. These photos can also be used to officially announce your engagement as well as save the dates, invitations, or simply as cherished memories.

Enjoy the moment!

Take time to enjoy this special time before you dive right into the wedding planning process. Get used to calling each other “fiance” and fully celebrate the engagement season before embarking on the next chapter of your lives

Couple celebrating with champagne on the beach after getting engaged

Do you need help with planning a proposal?

One of the best ways to make a proposal special for your spouse is by capturing the moment with photos. As a romantic, doing Surprise Proposal photography in Minneapolis, St Paul and all over Minnesota is one of my all time favorite! I also love helping you plan and come up with ideas for the proposal. Photographing this unique moment is a wonderful way to save it and make it a gift for your soon to be spouse! Learn more about this service here.

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