6 Steps For A Perfect Proposal

Today is National Proposal Day (yes, there really is a holiday for everything) so we partnered with James Ambler, owner of Paparazzi Proposals, to help you pop the question. Paparazzi Proposals helps people plan, execute and photograph their Insta picture-perfect engagement proposal in 26 cities. They’ve been featured on Shark Tank, The Today Show, The Insider, Pix 11 Morning News, CBS Sunday Mornings, and more, and they’ve helped out with over three thousand proposals.
Regardless of who you are, wherever you are in the world, or whatever generation you belong to (millennials, this includes you), no one is immune to falling in love. So, you’ve finally found the one? The good news is, you’ve accomplished the hardest part. Although I would not call it bad news, the work is still not over. Before getting them to say “I do,” they have to say “Yes!” first. There is no set formula to executing the “perfect” proposal, but the goal should be to make it as special and meaningful as possible. Planning and capturing hundreds of proposals has taught me that each one is different but specific elements remain the same. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when planning a proposal.

1. Budget

Yes, this might not be the most romantic topic to discuss, but it’s important to consider and prepare for. An engagement is definitely an investment in your partner, but it should not become a financial burden. (That’s what the wedding is for… kidding, mostly.) There is this misconception that romance is synonymous with luxury and expensive. It’s not! The ring is only the beginning of the expenses to come, so I always try explaining to clients that there is no pressure to max out a credit card in order to make it special. Some of the most incredible proposals I’ve witness have been the most simple. The best things in life really are free, and your partner is going to be blown away the moment you get down on one knee. Everything else is extra.

2. Location

Deciding where to propose is probably one of the most difficult decisions when it comes to planning a proposal. You really have to remove yourself from the equation for this one and think: What does your partner love? Nature? Skyline views? An intimate dinner at home? Have they been dying to go on a weekend vacation? I’ve noticed that it’s easy for people to sometimes project how they would personally like to be proposed to. This moment belongs to both of you, but it’s important to choose something that will speak to your partner. The place should let them know just how well you know them.

3. Keep It Simple

Do Less

This applies different to each person. I am not advocating to be lazy with the engagement (please, do not be lazy with your engagement!) but don’t go in over your head. People often want to plan these elaborate schemes and feel a need that it has to be complicated for their partner to know how much effort they put into it. You don’t have to send them on a scavenger hunt around the city or fly in their family from all over the world for this moment, unless these are things that would come easy to you. A recent proposal I’ve captured was just a couple taking a stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the guy stopped midway to get down on one knee. It was beautiful and picture-perfect and something that was special to both of them.

4. You Are Not Alone

You are not the only person who wants to make this moment amazing. Your family and friends are all rooting for you. We’re all rooting for you! Don’t be shy to ask for help. Whether it’s parents, siblings or your BFF, find someone you can confide in. Another trick (if you trust they can keep the secret) is getting someone close to your partner involved in the proposal. The stress is significantly reduced when you have an extra set of hands, especially if you need to get your partner to a specific location or you want to coordinate a party to surprise them with after. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you have to do everything alone.

5. Enjoy The Moment

Enjoy the moment

Ok, so this seems obvious, but I don’t just mean the big kneeling moment. Enjoy every moment. Planning a proposal is work, but it shouldn’t feel like homework. They might be the one getting the ring, but you are the one putting it on. It’s a big day for both of you, and you have every reason to be excited. After all, it’s once-in-a-lifetime experience (fingers crossed), so don’t forget to take a step back and take it all in. You are getting engaged!

6. Hire A Photographer

If pictures are important to you (or them), arranging to have the proposal captured might be one of the best surprises you can give them. Social media has taken over, and there is an obsession with having every occasion captured to post online. But your engagement is not just another moment, and the last thing you want your partner worrying about is taking pictures. Hiring a photographer lets you fully be present with the assurance that you will be able to relive it later on in life and share it with family and friends. Also, you avoid possibly ruining a friendship because your friend captured a blurry iPhone photo. And, if you coordinate with your photographer for an impromptu engagement portrait session after, you kill two birds with one camera.
Images: Giphy (6)