Helpful tips from your photographer to keep in mind while you plan your surprise proposal in Santa Barbara.


Congratulations! Hopefully, if you are reading this blog, it is because you are preparing to propose! That is so exciting, and I want to help you prepare as much as possible. I have compiled my favorite tips for planning a surprise proposal. Use these to plan a personalized, meaningful surprise proposal in Santa Barbara!

Incorporate their favorite things

The first step in planning a surprise proposal is planning a surprise proposal specifically for your partner. For example, if you were to propose on the big screen at a baseball game, and your future fiancé hates baseball and isn’t thrilled to be there, you haven’t considered their favorite things. However, if your future fiancé is a diehard Dodgers fan and doesn’t miss a game, that would be a great proposal!  

Take some time and create a list of all their favorite things; drinks, hobbies, pets, etc. Get it all down, every last one. Then, consider a few ways to incorporate those things into your proposal.  For example, could you have it written in the foam for those coffee lovers? Or have “Will you marry me?”  written on the cup rather than their name. Maybe it is renting out their favorite coffee shop and having it decorated. These personalized details make your proposal even more special.

Talk to their friends


One of the most significant sources of information you have with planning your proposal is your partner’s friends. Chances are they have talked about every little detail before. They’ve discussed what, if any, rings they have favored, any ideas on how they want the proposal to go, and those friends will be able to give you any other nuggets of information they’ve collected.  Even if your partner hasn’t discussed this with their friends, getting them talking won’t be hard.  


An added bonus, these friends could be able to help you in the days leading up. Taking your partner to a nail appointment, helping with setup, or being a point person for the events after are all great jobs for your partner’s friends!

Hire a photographer


Trust me when I say they will want to remember this day. What better way to remember this momentous occasion than by having not only the moment captured but a few images after to announce your engagement is the cherry on top! I can’t speak for all photographers, but I can speak for myself when I say I will be there to capture each step of the way. Even better, I am great at blending in and can stay hidden until after the moment is over.

Plan your location and the details


Once you have a list of your partner’s favorite things, including their friends, and have talked with your photographer, you’ll be ready to plan your location. Each of these will be an additional help in planning your location. Your photographer knows all the best spots in Santa Barbara, your partner’s friends have an added insight into what they will or won’t love, and the list of favorite things is a perfect starting point for finding a great place. You have so many resources available to help plan your location. Use them!


As you piece together your plan, you’ll also gain an understanding of any other items you may need. For example, are you going to line a walkway with candles? Who will be responsible for getting those candles and lighting them at the right time? Ask a friend of your partner!

What happens next


Pending on your partner, you may want to plan a celebration after you propose. One thing to remember, have someone make sure that they actually want a celebration after. There are a few unicorns out there that would rather keep the moment just between the two of you. If that is the case, make a reservation at their favorite restaurant or have a bottle of champagne at your location.

If your partner is someone who would prefer a larger celebration, enlist a few friends to help you plan this celebration. Inviting family and friends, what food and drinks will be served, and where this will be held are all extra details to plan, but trust me when I say it will be worth it. Ask your photographer if they can also come to this celebration as well to capture everyone’s reactions, especially your surprised fiancé, as the big news is shared.

I know proposals don’t seem like they require much planning, especially compared to the wedding you’ll be planning soon. However, the more details you incorporate into your proposal, the more special this occasion will be. Don’t forget to use all the resources available to you, like me!  I would be thrilled to photograph your surprise proposal! If you’re ready to plan, click the link below and let me know!