There’s been a FLOOD of proposals, engagement rings, and giddy fiances all over my Instagram and Facebook feeds the past few months! While people get engaged literally all year, November through February are the most popular months of the year and I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the love, surprises, and sparkling rings popping up lately. Just last month, I got to join in on an absolutely beautiful day when Garrett planned to propose at Chateau Elan to Lauren. I was SO excited leading up to the day and man did it go well! I reached out to Garrett afterward to get some tips from him on how to plan a proposal! There’s so much to take into consideration, but here are a few great ideas.
1. Know What’s Important To Her
I’m going to assume you know your girlfriend pretty well, whether you’ve been together a few months or a few years. This means you probably know what she values, what makes her emotional, what she loves most about life, and what she couldn’t care less about. Does she like being the center of attention or does she prefer things low key? Would she want an extravagant surprise or a simple gesture of love? Is she the type to always have a fresh manicure or is she more low-maintenance? Has she been hinting at anything in particular? Is there a certain spot she’s always been wanting to go or is there somewhere that’s super special to the two of you? There’s a lot to think about, but the beauty of it is that you already know her so well that these answers are probably easy! Whether you keep it simple or go all out, remember to stay true to who she is and who you are as a couple.
For Garrett, he knew that Lauren was really big on thoughtful gifts and experiences, so he planned to propose at Chateau Elan, a gorgeous and popular winery north of Atlanta. The two of them had gone to Chateau Elan for Lauren’s birthday the year before and made some great memories together there, so it was already a special place to them. Not to mention how the ambiance and scenery are really ideal for a proposal! They also had amazing weather for a December day! It was around 70 degrees with clear skies and an absolutely beautiful sunset.
2. Hire A Photographer
You knew I had to throw this one in there 🙂 While plenty of people propose without hiring a photographer, my (somewhat biased) suggestion is that you do hire one–and a good one at that! This is such a huge memory in your love story, and it deserves to be captured in the most beautiful way, especially if you’re putting a lot of planning, time, and effort into it all. Having a professional photographer there who knows where to be, what lenses to use, and how to capture everything in the best light is crucial. There will be LOTS of emotions and little things that the two of you probably won’t remember, so having a photographer there to document it all will make it even more unforgettable.
Garrett knew that Lauren loves pictures, especially those capturing happy and romantic moments. He also knew that Lauren loved my work (thanks Lauren!!!), so he reached out to me in advance. We talked about his vision for the proposal, timing, and locations, and I arrived to Chateau Elan before they did so that I was ready (behind some bushes) to photograph it all! We took advantage of the golden sunset and had time to walk around taking pictures of the two of them in that “we’re engaged!!” bliss.
3. Invite Others To Join
With this being such an important event in your lives, it’s likely that there are friends and family members who you both would appreciate being there to celebrate with you. Some couples want their proposal to be intimate but have their loved ones nearby to hug and kiss right afterward, and some want everyone there right as you go down on one knee. Either way works, so think about who you & your girlfriend would like to share this memory with and invite them along. Oh, and definitely make sure they don’t spoil the surprise. Yikes.
4. Plan For Alone Time
Make sure you have quality time with just each other amidst all the excitement and craziness of the day. If you don’t plan to have friends and family (or strangers) with you during the proposal, then that’s perfect! Your alone time is given. If you’re planning to be surrounded by people, make sure you also plan to get away from everyone for a good amount of time to be able to hug, kiss, and talk alone. You’re both going to treasure that alone time so much!
5. Expect The Unexpected
Life happens and things go wrong regardless of how well you plan! And that’s perfectly fine, so be ready for the unexpected and be flexible with what may or may not happen. Luckily for Garrett, pretty much everything went according to plan! On the other hand, for one of my other couples, things didn’t go as planned. Ryan & Megan are getting married this spring and when he proposed, he planned for a hot air balloon ride as the big surprise! But, Megan didn’t want to go, so everything changed. Of course, Ryan’s proposal was still amazing and Megan said yes, so even with Plan B, all is well.
Read about more proposal stories here: