Portrait Photography, Wedding Advice

Best Ways To Propose, According to a Proposal Photographer in 2024

an engaged couple pose together for their engagement session

Proposing is a huge deal. For some, it is the absolute most important and happiest day of their lives. Enter the nerves. We get it–it’s a huge decision to make, and you want everything to go as smoothly as possible!

With this step-by-step guide from a top-notch proposal photographer, we will easily guide you throughout the planning process, everything down to rings, what to wear, and most importantly, what to say! Or if you should think about hiring a professional proposal planner.

We also sprinkled in a few common questions about marriage proposals that you may have never thought of before, like, what knee do you get down on anyways? We also give you our five best tips on what to do before proposing–it’s not the normal talk to the father’s guidance either. You have the questions on planning a proposal, and we have the answers. Now, let’s dive in. 

couple kissing near a beautiful old world style venue

An engagement ring is by no means an inexpensive item to go and pick out, especially with today’s economics. Is it necessary to propose something as significant as marriage without it?

The quick answer? Absolutely, yes. You do not need to have an engagement ring in order to propose to that special someone. In all honesty, you can propose in any way, shape, or form your heart desires.

Some proposals are a bit more spontaneous, which wouldn’t require a ring to be present. Some may want to propose in the water while on a boat, kayak, or even a paddle board (by the way, yes to all of these adventure-seeking couples). This kind of proposal could be risky if you had a ring since the chances of dropping it or losing it would be great.

What else could be a memento of this grand event? There are many options for those who don’t particularly want to wear an engagement ring and those who may not be financially able to purchase one right now.

Write a love letter. You don’t need to get sappy, but something heartfelt and expressing your deep connection is oh-so-romantic.

Plan a romantic trip. Now, we are not talking Paris (unless you have the option, well, then, bon voyage), but this could be to a small Airbnb oasis the next town over. The time and thought you put into the planning process already make it special.

Make a scrapbook. Who doesn’t love getting a gift that is already so sentimental? The movie tickets, the receipts, the endless amounts of photos taken together. These things can be even more symbolic than gold or silver.

When planning the perfect marriage proposal, what to wear is one of the top questions asked. To keep it simple, there are a few rules to abide by and tips to keep in mind.

Weather. Are you planning on an indoor proposal? Outdoor location? On the beach? In the snow? Depending on your location and the weather, it may give you a base from where to start.

Indoor proposal. If you’re planning an indoor proposal, for example, you’re a favorite restaurant, wear a slightly fancier outfit than you normally would.

Good place to hide the ring box. Make sure the outfit you choose has nice pockets to hide the ring in. Make sure it is comfortable and easy enough for you to get it out, too!

Choose solid colors or minimal prints. Coming from a professional photographer, you’ll want to choose something that isn’t super distracting when getting proposal photos. Even if your budget only allows a family member to be hiding close by, you and your partner will be glad there is no other distraction from your love.

Now that it’s time to get down on one knee–wait–what knee is it supposed to be anyway?

Traditionally speaking, the left knee. This is how a proper knight would do it. It’s also because most people are right-hand dominant, so your right leg is more sturdy, ensuring no one is toppling over during the proposal.

A marriage proposal is important because it shows your love and commitment to your partner. This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion that will hold significance for the rest of your life.

Of course, big, huge, expensive surprise proposals are not hugely important. The exact way you decide to propose isn’t what is holding on to importance. It’s the fact you’re confessing your undying love and that you’re committed to your partner forever.

LGBTQ couple embrace in a grass fiel

Sometimes, when thinking to pop the question, you may start wondering if this really is the right decision. After all, this is a real-life moment that can determine your and your partner’s future. Here are a few top tips to ease those nerves.

Don’t let society (or family members) push you into marriage. It’s easier said than done for some, but make sure you propose because of the right intentions. If there is any thought in your mind, you may have other motives or feel pressured–it may not be the right time.

Consider your partner’s feelings. If you have been together for quite some time, the topic of marriage probably has come up–that being said–consider their feelings. If your partner has mentioned the future being a better time, or if they wanted to be at the courthouse yesterday, take time to test the waters.

Think about what would make them the happiest. When you are in love with the person you want to spend the rest of all time with, you desire to make them happy. Ask yourself what their dream proposal would be. This will guide you in the right direction for the perfect proposal.

If you have been in your relationship for quite some time, it’s safe to say that marriage has been spoken of at least once or twice. This is a conversation most couples will have before any thought of an actual proposal.

Before thinking about proposal ideas, talk with your partner about where they see their future heading. It’s also a good time to ask about other plans like having children, changing careers, or traveling. If you and your special someone have different life goals, you may need to have another type of talk.

Before planning a trip to the jewelry store to make that ever-so-big purchase, it’s a great idea to get your partner’s insight on their ring tastes. Because let’s be real, the last thing you want to do is buy something your partner may potentially not even like.

Check out rings online. While scrolling on your phone in the evening while on the couch, pop up a few pics of some rings and ask your partner if they like that style. Trust me, this won’t ruin the surprise of a proposal. It just makes it more heartfelt that you took the time to care.

Don’t forget the ring size. If you want to keep it more of a surprise, you can always borrow a ring from their jewelry box and bring it to the jewelers to check the right size, and if that is too suspicious, draw a line on your finger where their ring sits. When you visit the jeweler, they can size the ring that way. 

Ask about it. More often than not, your partner would love to discuss potential engagement rings with you. So, ask! That way, you know you’re picking out the right ring that your future finance will be proud to rock!

an LGBT couple poses for their surprise proposal engagement session

With so many different proposal ideas, your head can start swimming at all the planning and arrangements that need to be made on top of your already busy work and life schedule.

Here is where hiring a professional proposal planner comes into play. This is a huge moment– sometimes you need more help than family and friends. So, what does a planner do?

They actually do a lot. They will draw up proposal ideas that match you and your special someone’s vibes. They will scout out locations, draw up contracts with other vendors, sprinkle the rose petals, and hire the photographer!

That way, all you need to do is tell your partner where and when to be so you can get down on one knee with a perfectly planned proposal.

One of the most important things to do before the proposal is to hire a proposal photographer. If you’re deciding whether or not to have this memorable moment captured in photographs–let me tell you–you do.

Once you have the date set, your photographer will be on location, ready to capture the moment you and your partner become officially engaged. Your new finance will be so happy to have these little mementos for the rest of your lives.

It’s something you can use for your wedding invitations, to put in frames around your home, and to show your future children the beginning of your love story.

couple holding hands on a nature walk, woman looks back at the camera and smiles

You know your partner better than anyone. What kinds of things do they like? Are they into adventure, or are they the type that enjoys a nice meal and a walk about town? These things can help you determine what kind of proposal you should plan.

As mentioned, make sure you are keeping your future fiance comfortable during the big moment. If your partner doesn’t like crowds or being the center of attention, maybe it’s a good idea to opt for a more private proposal.

On the other hand, if you have a thrill-seeking partner who doesn’t mind all eyes on them, they may love a public proposal where people will clap and cheer once they accept. This also makes for some amazing photo opportunities!

This can mean many different things, from the place you had your first date, the first kiss, a favorite restaurant, or even a favorite park! The list goes on with different locations that can be deemed meaningful.

Here are a few tips we think you may appreciate.

Choose a location with a view. Something that feels comforting could be a city skyline or a beach proposal.

Choose an iconic landmark. You could take a day hike to your favorite spot in a national park.

Take a special trip. Plan a romantic getaway to one of your favorite towns or hotels for just the two of you.

Before you pop the question, you should pump the brakes and take a look at your finances. While planning an overly expensive proposal is not necessary, you want to take into account what the flowers, dinner, photographer, and anything you like to incorporate to make it even more memorable could cost.

a sunset silhouette of a man lifting his fiance in their air

You made all the plans, bought the ring, and are finally at the proposal location. What are you supposed to say?

The most important tip is to keep it natural. Start by saying how it’s so nice to be with one another that there is no other person in the world you’d want to be with at this very moment. This is a very natural way to lead into the second part of the proposal.

In the second phase of the proposal, this is the time to get those emotions flowing. Start by sharing some of your favorite memories together. Reminisce about the past only for a bit. It is, after all, how you got here today in the first place.

Share how you feel about your partner and let them know just how much you love them and that no one else makes you feel the way they do. Once you have shared your true feelings, it’s time for the main event.

It’s time. Get down on one knee and say those four little words that pack so much meaning–will you marry me–you must say the M word because you do not want the other person to be confused about what exactly is being proposed.

If you have taken our advice, talked with your significant other, taken them ring shopping, carefully planned what to say, and picked the perfect location, you will surely get a joyful, maybe a happy, tear-filled yes in response.

a LGBTQ couple dancing in front of a stone cabin

After weeks or months of planning a special surprise proposal, you’ll be surprised how quickly the moment will come and go. After all, it’s really only four words! Hiring a proposal photographer will cost money, but what it leaves you with is priceless.

Memories. Not only will these photographs be cherished for years to come, but they will also make wonderful save-the-dates or wedding invitations.

Epic ring photo. You may not think getting a photo of a ring is a big deal, but to the person receiving it, it is. It’s time to flaunt their new title and show how much they are loved. 

Involves family and friends who weren’t there. No one has to feel left out on the proposal. With stunning photographs, you’ll be happy to share them with everyone.

Helps with the planning process. Did you know your proposal photographer can also double as a planner? Well, they can and will be happy to do so. After seeing so many successful proposals, they will be there to give you all the tips and tricks you need.

Priceless Mementos. One of the most important things you can do is to find ways to create keepsakes of your memories for years to come. Beautiful albums and legacy-worthy prints is a perfect way to do just that! 

A couple's engagement photo, woman wears a dramatic flowing red dress while looking at fiance

Make sure to keep the ring box in a secure and safe location. Especially from any prying eyes and fingers!

Be yourself. Take a breath. This is a joyous occasion! As stressful as it can feel, it’s best to go with the flow and keep calm.

After you hear those loving words back after you proposed, it is time to celebrate! Go out and grab a drink, book that fancy dinner reservation, or pick up a bottle of wine and head back home. However you choose to celebrate, you’ll remember it forever.

close up of couple holding hands

There is no one-size-fits-all plan when thinking of proposal ideas. Make it personalized to who you are as a couple, and it will be a moment you’ll never forget. And when you’re ready to plan your wedding day, make sure to reach out to me to hire the best wedding photographer in Austin!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Choose luxury  |  Choose your dreams  |  Choose you.

Really, you are choosing you here. You have exceptional taste. You know exactly what you want on your wedding day. And it includes someone who is as dedicated to your story as you are. That’s Michael T. Davis Photography.  Your wedding photographer in Austin and worldwide.

work with a photographer you can trust

© 2011- 2024 Michael T. Davis Photography | Site Design Credit | Privacy Policy | Terms + Conditions