5 Steps to the Perfect NYC Proposal

Congratulations! You’ve chosen to propose to your partner, and you’re doing it in the most iconic city in the world. It’s an exciting time! But if you want to make sure that this proposal is as perfect as can be, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Luckily for you, this guide will provide all of the steps necessary for planning and executing a great NYC proposal:

5 Steps to the Perfect NYC Proposal

  1. Have a good cover story for why you’re going to the proposal location (and need to be there around a specific time)
  2. Don’t forget the ring!
  3. Make sure your photographer is in position!
  4. Take a deep breath!
  5. Tell your partner all the sweet things, get on one knee, and propose!

Before we jump in, inquire here if you’re looking for a NYC Proposal Photographer!

1. Have a Good Cover Story For Why You’re Going to the Proposal Location (and need to be there around a specific time).

If you’re going to be taking your partner to a specific spot in the city for your proposal, then you’ll need a good reason why, or else they may be suspicious! The most important thing is that your cover story makes sense and isn’t too far from the truth. Think about where you’d like to propose and if there’s anything nearby that might make sense for your cover story. For example, maybe you work in an office near Central Park (true) and say you want your partner to come have lunch with you (cover story). From there it’ll be pretty easy to say you just want to grab street cart food and walk through the park! Then you can just stroll straight to the spot you’re looking to propose at. Another tip is to incorporate a location you’d dress up nice for into your cover story. The last thing your partner wants is to be proposed to while wearing super casual clothing they don’t love! You can go with any cover story as long as it seems reasonable.

2. Don’t Forget the Ring!

If you’re not careful, you can get so caught up in the planning of your proposal that you forget to actually buy the engagement ring. (just kidding, I’m sure that wouldn’t happen!) But, you might get so busy with your cover story and planning the proposal that you forget to put it and/or the ring box in your pocket before you head out for the day! Maybe this seems crazy, but we’ve had more run-ins with people forgetting rings than you might guess. Try making a reminder on your phone for right before the time you’re supposed to leave saying “remember phone charger” or something like that, as a way to jog your memory into thinking about things you shouldn’t leave!

3. Make Sure Your Photographer is in Position

  • Text your photographer to make sure they’re in position.
  • They should communicate any last-minute changes to the exact spot you should stand based off the lighting and crowds on the day. And you should let them know if you’re running early or late.
  • They should have a good angle to photograph you proposing – especially one where there’s no risk of random people walking through the frame!
  • After you propose, plan on taking a few minutes of portraits to share with friends and family!

4. Take a Deep Breath!

You’ve been planning this moment for ages and now it is finally here. Take a deep breath! I know, you’re probably worried that you won’t say the right words, or will fumble with the ring, or something else. But relax! The perfect proposal isn’t about the location or timing or having an elaborate set-up—it’s about being authentic to yourself and your partner. So take a deep breath, inhale for four seconds then hold for four seconds before exhaling slowly for another four seconds. This will help you stay calm and focused as you get down on one knee in front of them with whatever words come from your heart.

After all these years of dreaming about popping the question, don’t let nerves ruin what should be one of the happiest moments of your life!

5. Tell Your Partner All the Sweet Things, Get on One Knee, and Propose!

Once you’ve told your partner all the sweet things, get on one knee, and propose! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. If you want to be a little more creative with your proposal, check out these suggestions:

  • Write or commission a poem for them
  • Hire a musician to play while you propose
  • Make it personal. Consider customizing whatever ring you choose with engraving such as your anniversary, your soon to be shared last name, or even just “Marry Me?” Engraving is offered by many jewelers and is an affordable option that should make anyone smile!

(bonus tips) If you take your time and plan ahead, you’re sure to have a memorable proposal in NYC!

To ensure that you have the best possible experience, I’ve put together some more quick tips for you!

  • Plan out the location and timeframe for the proposal
  • Book anything that needs to be booked in advance
  • Think about what you want to say well in advance of the day of the proposal
  • Have your partner get their nails done ahead of when you plan to propose, so they don’t see it coming
  • Communicate the cover story
  • Hire an epic photographer to help you put everything together! This is probably your first time planning a proposal in NYC so go to an expert who knows the city inside out. Above all else, don’t stress too much! The important thing is you ask the question and they say yes – the rest is all just gravy


I hope that these tips have helped you out—and if not, maybe they’ve at least given you a place to start from! There’s nothing more important than planning a proposal that will make your partner feel special and loved on this momentous occasion. So long as you go into it with a positive and flexible attitude, I know you can have the best proposal in New York City ever!

Click here to see some of our favorite NYC proposal locations!!


The greens Photo

My process with couples is to work hard, have fun, & be ourselves. Getting amazing photos should be—and is— that easy. 

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