So you’re planning a proposal, but you want it to be a total surprise for bae and make sure everything is perfect. While this might sound hard to pull off initially, with the right plan in place and some guidance from your photographer (yours truly!) it’s much more doable than you might first think! That’s why we’re going to go over exactly how to plan your own perfect surprise proposal so you’re ready to pop the question without giving anything away.
When it comes to a surprise proposal the majority of its success and execution comes down to the planning. Planning out the location is the first step and honestly one of the most important. You want to decide on a location that is beautiful for both the experience and your photos, somewhere believable that you can go to without causing suspicion, and ideally somewhere without a ton of people around. When it comes to beautiful locations Chicago is home to PLENTY, I actually have a blog with my top 10 locations in the Windy City for a proposal you can reference! Bonus points if the location already has some sentimental value in your relationship.
Making the location believable mostly depends on your relationship and what it looks like day to day. If you guys have never done yoga together before deciding to do a sunrise yoga session at North Avenue Beach as your ruse might be just a tad suspicious. We’ll go over creating a successful ruse in the next section, but try to keep your location realistic to your relationship and what you usually do. Lastly, finding somewhere without a ton of people around isn’t a must, but it is ideal for a number of reasons. Having the moment of your surprise proposal all to yourselves is such an incredible experience. It also makes it easier for your photographer to capture the moment as they don’t have to worry about passersby as much.
Probably the most important part of making your surprise proposal a success in planning a ruse to get you both in front of the camera with zero suspicion. The difficulty of this varies heavily from couple to couple, and depending on what you do in your relationship coming up with a believable ruse can be very easy or quite the challenge.
Once you decide on a location, say Ping Tom Memorial Park for example, come up with a plan to get you both there casually. Maybe you’re both meeting up with your brother and his partner for dinner in the city, but they’re “running late”. Since you’re already out and about you might as well head over to the park and spend some time taking in the beauty of the city before they get there. There are so many different ways to get you and your partner to your desired proposal location, so get creative with it! You can also ask your photographer for their input, since they’ve been a part of surprise proposals already they’ll know what parts of a plan will and won’t work.
A great way to add in some extra believability for your proposal is to actually enlist the help of some family members. Let them in on your plans for “dinner in the city” so they’re aware of the plan. You can then have them reach out to your partner with questions like “what are you wearing”, and “what time are we meeting up again?” to add to the believability of the plan. Make sure you can trust them to keep the secret and make the surprise believable, every family has the member(s) that can’t keep a secret so maybe don’t involve them in the proposal plans!
Once you have your location set and your plan in place to get there without suspicion the last part of the surprise proposal is the proposal itself. It is crucial that you and your photographer decide on a signal so they know when things are about to happen and are ready for it. One pro tip is to rename your photographer in your phone to a friend or family member, maybe the one you’re “meeting up with”, so that as you text them updates it isn’t a dead giveaway. Keep them in the loop as the moment approaches so they know when you’re close, if there are any delays, or if anything else comes up that would delay the proposal.
Now that you popped the question and they said yes you are going to be feeling a TON of emotions. You pulled off the successful surprise proposal! Now it is time to celebrate. We’ll take some photos immediately after the proposal while you’re both on cloud nine and then I’ll let you both go and enjoy the day with one another.
Before the proposal happens, plan out a celebration after. Either breakfast, dinner, drinks and apps, really whatever you’d both like! You’ll want to spend some time together after this huge occasion to celebrate, enjoy each other’s company, and start to daydream about your future together. If your family is in town for the proposal, invite them along to celebrate as well!
Planning a surprise proposal is a lot of work but also a lot of fun! There’s so much excitement and anticipation that goes into it and it ends up being such an incredible moment in your relationship that kick starts your next chapter together. To book me for your own surprise proposal head to my contact page here and we can start planning!