One week ago today, David asked Ashley to spend forever with him. He held her hand as he led her down Pier A on a sunny Saturday morning. They stopped at the end of the pier, where incredible views of the Manhattan skyline surrounded them. David took Ashley's hands, looked her in the eyes, and said a few sweet sentences to her before he dropped down on one knee and popped the question. Of course, she said yes! Then David slipped a beautiful new piece of jewelry on her left ring finger and kissed her. Pretty perfect, right?
This proposal went so smoothly thanks to some prep & planning! After shooting several proposals in the Mile Square City, I'm writing to share my six tips for planning the perfect proposal and capturing that classic 'OMG, I'm engaged!' reaction from your future fiancé:
1. Start planning early: My grooms-to-be normally reach out to me about two months before they're planning to propose, which is just enough time to choose the location, visit the location, plan the details and finalize the timing. I recommend reaching out to your photographer at least two months ahead of time, if not before, to ensure you've thought through every piece of your proposal!
2. Choose the location: Every proposal is unique, and the location usually has a lot to do with this. Your location can be anything you want -- somewhere that's special to you and your future bride, somewhere you both have always wanted to visit together, or anywhere you think would be meaningful to you both. In David's case, he chose Pier A in Hoboken because when he and Ashley first started dating, he lived in Hoboken and she lived in New York City, so they always passed Pier A on their way back and forth across the Hudson River.
3. Think through the details: Once we've locked in the date, time, & location, I normally run through this checklist with my future grooms to ensure they've thought through everything that might matter to their lady when popping the question:
- Wardrobe & manicure: Will she want to be dressed up? Does she care if her nails are done?
- Props: Should you plan any proposal props? i.e. champagne & champagne glasses :)
- Alibi: What's your story for getting her to the proposal location while keeping the element of surprise?
4. Meet your photographer: I like to meet with my guys 1-2 weeks before the proposal date at the exact time and location of the proposal for what I call the 'Proposal Prep'. A few crucial things happen here...
- Scope the location and designate where the proposal will take place as well as the perfect vantage point for me to hide and capture all the 'just engaged!' feelings
- Get an idea of what the lighting will be like during the proposal in order to get the best shots
- Plan a cue for when the groom-to-be is about to drop down and pop the question so I am ready to start clicking away
5. Make a back up plan: In David's case, the weather forecast was calling for rain during his proposal up until the night before he popped the question. So, to be ready, we scoped out another location in Hoboken that was sheltered as well as another believable alibi to get Ashley to go along with the plan of events.
6. Pop the question! All the planning is done and you're ready to pop the question! Relax, breathe, and take your time, because these moments will fly by. Luckily, you'll have some pretty awesome photographs to look back on to remind you of everything you experienced and felt on this incredibly special day. :)
Here's to happily ever after! <3