5 Steps to the Perfect Proposal

This year we photographed more surprise marriage proposals than ever! And we learned so much about how to make sure it’s a really beautiful, fun, and smooth process. So we wanted to be able to share some of our tips & tricks as well as 5 steps to planning your proposal!

  • Pick a Date
    • After deciding to propose, this is probably the first step you need to do! Consider if you have any milestone events coming up like an anniversary or other important date in your relationship. If you don’t have anything like that then maybe look around for holidays! It’s very popular to propose around Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day. If none of those are coming up then you can just pick a date that feels good or coincides with a trip! There’s also a ton of people who propose while on vacation. But if all else fails or is inconvenient, you don’t have to propose around the time of something else. You can totally just pick a date and pop the question!

  • Hire a Photographer
    • Obviously we think any big event like this deserves to be photographed! Not only will you get some baller photos to share on social media and to use for your wedding invitations, but it’ll also provide another angle to relive and to remember your proposal from! I had someone photograph when I proposed to Madison (pictured below!) and I’m so glad I did. Memories fade quickly but photos last forever. Your photographer will also be a great source of knowledge for good locations, considerations such as time of day and lighting, and other tips and tricks to make sure you look your best while proposing.
Zac Green Proposing in Pensacola
This is our proposal!!!
  • Pick a Location
    • Just like picking a date to propose on you should spend some time thinking about where you’d like to propose! Do the two of you have a special date night spot you love to go to? Do you just love hanging out at home and maybe it’d be awesome to transform your living room with candles and balloons? If there’s no spot that’s super obvious for this or special to the two of you then look around for somewhere that could be pretty! Your photographer would be a great resource for this – they should know all the good spots in your area. Around Pensacola it’d be the beach, Fort Pickens, Downtown Pensacola, and a couple other spots that we gotta keep to ourselves 😉 (Here’s a proposal at Brooklyn Bridge!)
  • Devise a Plan
    • This is where you’ll figure out what time you’re going to propose and how you’re going to get the person you’re proposing to to the spot!! For instance – maybe you’re going to propose on your regular date night. So suggest you go to an earlier dinner or date than you might normally do. After that you can say “hey lets swing by X place and check it out”, or come up with some other reason you might go by the proposal spot! Then hop out and walk around and kinda mosey on over towards the specific location you and your photographer picked out. Maybe at this point you start going into the “we’ve been together for 2 years and there’s never been someone as awesome as you speech” and then get down on one knee! Another option might be using family photos as a cover. This way your photographer can be there and out in the open with the ability to direct people around and into position without seeming weird. This is also a good strategy because then you’re able to make sure that your future Fiance(e) is dressed up for photos! In the middle of the “family session” your photographer can ask to take photos of any couples there and can then position the two of you for you to be able to get on one knee. If you’re not full of ideas then contact us and we’ll help you plan something!!

  • Keep it a Secret!
    • This might be the hardest step!! If you want to keep this proposal secret you need to not tell anyone besides your photographer. Maybe your family will know you’re proposing soon, but if you really want the day to be a surprise you need to not tell anyone! This may seem obvious, but we get a lot of couples where the person being proposed to had an idea that it would be that day. Which is fine, but maybe a little less fun!
  • Do it!!!
    • Now everything’s ready and you just need to propose! Good luck!! 🙂

So that’s how you’ll plan the best surprise proposal ever! Follow these steps and everything should be smooth sailing. If you have any issues along the way reach out and we’ll steer you in the right direction!! And of course if you want to work with Pensacola’s most epic photographers then hit us up in the contact form! 🙂

Surprise Proposal on Pensacola Beach
Click the photo to check out just one of the many proposals we photographed in 2020!


  • If you’re going with a hidden photographer approach, be sure to discuss where each person should stand! For instance, “Proposer should have their back turned to the sun and the proposee with the light on their front” or “Stand sideways relative to the front of this gazebo”. This will make it where the photographer can plan their angle and won’t find out that they don’t have a good shot as the proposal is about to happen and they can’t move!

  • Dress up! This 1000% will be shared on social media (if not by you guys then by someone’s mom or aunt) and looked back on by you forever. Don’t just do shorts and a t-shirt, dress to look your best! 

  • Tell your photographer ASAP what the best way to communicate is. Do you live with your future Fiancé(e) and calling wouldn’t be the best? Do you need to keep conversations to email? Or do you guys live separately and you can generally talk fairly openly about it on the phone? Letting your photographer know these things will help make sure the secret isn’t accidentally let out! 


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