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June 7, 2017

Tips for Surprise Proposals

Surprise Proposals are hands down one of our favorite moments to photograph. There is something so surreal about being right there for THE moment that just warms our hearts. We get so excited and gitty just thinking about it, and we aren’t even the ones proposing! 😀

Not only do we photograph the proposal but we help with the planning process too! There is a lot of planning involved, and in many ways, it is a lot like weddings! But don’t worry, here are some tips to help you plan a surprise proposal for the one you love!

Planning Well Ahead of Time

Making preparations well ahead of time is very important in order to pull off an unforgettable surprise. One of the first things to plan for when planning a surprise proposal is picking the perfect spot! There are many places in Washington DC, such as historic parks or sites that require a permit. Usually a 2-3 week advanced notice is needed to give adequate time for the permit application to process, and for the permit fees to be applied. It can be quite the process!

 With vineyards, manor houses, plantations and other beautiful wedding venues as potential proposals spots, keep in mind that they can be booked in advance due to a wedding occurring on their premises. If your heart is set on a particular location, try to give yourself plenty of time to consider any permit/application processes and fees, as well as any possible events that may be occurring for your proposal date. Luckily, we have gotten quite good at refining the planning and scheduling details and we take care of it all for our couples!

Planning for the Golden Hour

If you know us, you know we love good light! And typically the best light will happen about 1 hour before sunset, or 1 hour after sunrise. We have found that sunset time is by far the most popular time for proposals. This gives couples in love a chance to head off for a romantic dinner and celebrate the evening!

When timing your surprise proposal, the time of year is an important factor to keep in mind. Summer days last quite a bit longer than in the colder part of the year. In the peak of summer, the sun will typically set around 8pm. During the winter month, the sun will set closer to 5pm.

This is important to remember, because locations may be closed before sunset, which might mean losing out on the Golden Hour! If the site you have in mind happens to close at an earlier time, make sure to contact their staff. Many times, they have offered to keep one of their staff members to stay after their closing hours so that we can capture those beautiful sunset hours! Sometimes it does incur an additional cost. However, this is something we help our couples with during the proposal planning process!

Planning the Spot

One of the best tips we have is to know EXACTLY where you will be when it comes time to propose. We’ll help to mark out spots in advance and to map out where we will be when you propose, so that there is no guessing as to what is going to happen. That way all you have to do is pop the question and ask your best friend to marry you! 🙂

How to Pull it Off

We get the question asked a lot on how to pull off a successful proposal. But that’s the beauty of it, there is no one way to do it! In the past we have helped to pull off proposals by reaching out in advance by asking for “models” for a marketing shoot. We have even photographed a proposal where the bride-to-be didn’t know we were even there photographing until after she said “Yes!” Our equipment allows us to be as close or as far away as needed in order to capture the shots in any situation.

The most important thing is to be in the moment and to not get lost in the little details.

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  1. Shawna

    June 8th, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Such great tips!! Capturing a proposal is on my bucket list!! <3

  2. Ben and Sophia Photography | DC Wedding PhotographersSurprise Proposal in Washington D.C.

    September 4th, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    […] Tips for Surprise Proposals […]

  3. Ben and Sophia Photography | DC Wedding PhotographersWashington DC Jefferson Memorial Night Time Proposal

    December 11th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    […] in the past year, our couples have planned proposals from as far as Canada, Maryland and Florida! We are amazed at the commitment and the love that […]

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