Alex Paul Photography
The Ultimate Proposal Guide
29 Nov 2023 •4 min read
A proposal is such a special moment, and when you’re the one proposing or being proposed to, it can go by really really fast. Make the memory last by documenting it!
There’s more than one way to document a proposal, some that are obvious, and some that are a little more creative to suit different personality types and budgets.
Here are a few ways to make sure you don't forget a minute of how it all goes down:
1Hire a Photographer
Pictures are amazing keepsakes because they catch joy and surprise in an intimate moment. Plus, you can use them later for engagement party invites, save-the-dates, your wedding website, and so much more.
These days, there are photographers who specialize in just proposals. The pros are good at laying low so your partner doesn’t expect a thing — in fact, some will stay in hiding the whole time so you can later surprise your new fiancé with the photos! We’ve also heard stories of couples or families going on what they think will be an ordinary photo shoot that turns into something special.
Not sure you want to splurge on a photographer?
Ask a talented friend to snap a few pictures in hiding. Or, if your friend is in on the plan, make it seem like a normal picture, then surprise your partner by getting down on one knee.
2Catch it On Video
A picture’s worth a thousand words, but why not take it to the next level with a video? A video makes sure you capture every word (you’ve been practicing your proposal speech, right?).
We've heard of plenty of couples who sort of forget all the sweet things their partner say just before popping the question — don't let that be you! Just like pro photographers, skilled videographers can stay out of the way so your unsuspecting love won’t know the proposal is coming.
Not a Planner?
To some, the idea of planning a moment like a proposal doesn’t make much sense for you because you're someone who'd rather live in the moment. If this sounds like you then talk to your partner about creating a spontaneous proposal experience that will better suit your preferences.
3Take Your Own Pictures
This is a great option if you are not excited about having someone hiding in the bushes. We LOVE proposal selfies, and be sure to get both of you in the photo — as well as the ring! You can even ask passerbyers to take pictures for you.
4Write it All Down
You know how those special moments that you think you’ll remember slowly start to fade away over time? Do not let your proposal be one of them! The day it happens (or the day after) write down everything you can remember — what you said, what your partner said, both of your reactions, what you did right after.
It could be a Facebook update, a blog post or just in your personal journal. You’ll cherish your writing years later! If you’re the one planning the proposal, don’t let documenting the event be a last-minute thought. And if you’re the one who’s expecting a proposal? Bring your phone and prepare for some pictures.
Another way to document, if you are feeling very personal, is for each of you to share your excitement on a voice note. They are just a little more intimate than recording on video and are quick and easy to do. Consider creating two separate voice recordings before doing one together that way you can capture the emotion of the day. You’ll be able to listen to them as often as you pick up your phone.
6Save a Souvenir
Whether you get engaged on an exotic vacation, at your favorite local spot or your own backyard, you can remember the special location by saving some memorabilia. While traditional souvenirs — Christmas ornaments, magnets, mugs, even postcards — are absolutely perfect, they might not be available. So get creative! Take a jar full of sand from the beach and use it in your unity sand ceremony on the wedding.
Are You an Introvert?
If you are a more introverted person, you may need a different kind of encounter all together. In fact, the less fanfare, the better. You may want your proposal moment to be deeply personal, intimate and private. You may prefer to document the moment between you and your partner without a third party taking pictures or videos. Make sure to express this to your partner in advance to avoid an uncomfortable proposal experience.
7Make the moment last
When it comes to popping the question, it's not just about the ask and the answer – it's about soaking in the entire love-filled vibe. Forget the external documentation and focus on being completely present; let the moment carve its place into your memory and heart for eternity. Remember those precious moments that led you here – the ones not caught on camera – and think about what made them unforgettable. Those high-sensory experiences are the ones etched in our minds forever, and that's the kind of day you're aiming for. So, engage fully (no pun intended) without distractions, and create a proposal day that becomes an unforgettable peak in your shared journey.
8Create a piece of memorabilia together
What if the proposal day included creating something together to mark the moment? You and your partner can make a scrapbook filled with pictures, writing and anything else that symbolizes your love. If you are creative you can make a collage, a painting, a playlist, or even a song together! You could even plant your favorite tree in honor of your life together.
Whatever it is you do best as a couple can be utilized to make something wonderful, documenting the day that changed the rest of your life!
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