Goodness, I have been looking forward to writing about planning a surprise proposal for SO long! There are so many little things to think about and remember, not to mention the actual proposing part (ahhhh nerves)! Lucky for you, I’ve helped plan and photograph quite a few surprise proposals and I’m going to share some of my biggest tips with you here today.

surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois

The Ring

At this point, you’ve probably already discussed the ring. Maybe you’ve even gone ring shopping! One of the most-asked questions I get as a photographer is how to hide the ring box. I know, it can be nerve-wracking to hide a ring box in the weeks and months leading up to the proposal. I recommend asking a close friend or family member to keep it for you, so your SO has no chance of finding it around your place!

Of course, there’s also the issue of hiding the ring box on proposal day… especially because you’ll probably need to hide it somewhere ON YOU! The last thing you want her to wonder is, “What’s that bulky thing in your pocket?” Trust me, it won’t take her long to figure it out and bust the surprise! My tip? Get a small sachet (it’s a little cloth bag) and use that to keep the ring safe in your pocket or your sock. I’ve had a few guys do this, and it works like a charm!

surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois

The Parents

If you’re here, you probably already know that a proposal is a VERY important thing. You and your partner may have already spoken about whether or not you’ll need to ask her parents. If this is important to your significant other, don’t skip over this step. Consider inviting them to the proposal, if you’d like to. This gesture goes a long way. If family is important to both of you, wouldn’t you want family around when you pop the big question?

surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois

The Setting (When & Where)

Deciding when and where you want to pop the question is SO important! If you’re trying to get your SO to go out to a special location, it might trigger their suspicions. I always recommend planning a “cover” event around the proposal so they don’t suspect anything! Want to get dressed up? Plan for a night out with friends or family, or event a date/double-date night! If you’re not sure what type of cover event to go for, I’ll help you out when we plan everything together. This can be (and should be) completely customized to your couple personality so it feels organic and natural.

If you’re planning on having the proposal photographed (I mean, why wouldn’t you), then timing is just as important as the location. Talk to your photographer ahead of time about what the optimal lighting is, and what time that would be. Make sure you visit the location with the photographer ahead of time, and plan out where you’ll need to stand to make sure you have the perfect lighting. The photographer will most likely capture both of you from the side to get your reactions, so do a practice run to ensure everything looks good! Of course, your photographer should go over all of this with you (if they don’t, find another photog)!

surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois
surprise proposal photographer in Illinois

Nervous about your Illinois surprise proposal?

It’s ok to be nervous! Every single proposal I’ve helped plan has been full of nerves beforehand. Here’s what I always say: “Remember to breathe!” It will all work out beautifully. Consider your’s and your partner’s preferences. If you’re both private people, maybe proposing in front of a crowd isn’t the best idea. Don’t put yourself in a situation which would add to your nerves!

My last pro tip: Don’t forget to ask! Yes, this sounds crazy but we all know how nerves can get the better of us. The second her shock hits, you might forget to say “Will you marry me?”

Looking for a photographer for your surprise proposal?

I have helped plan so many proposals, and I absolutely love it! From proposals while hiking, fake modeling sessions, and hijacked fall photos, every proposal has been totally unique. I’d love to hear from you about your proposal plans, and help you execute them perfectly! I make sure to plan everything ahead of time with you. You are NOT alone during this exciting time, and it’s nice to have someone with lots of experience to walk you through everything. Click here to inquire with your date, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! In the meantime, check out my gallery for more inspiration!

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