Think Your Proposal Will Be Caught on Camera? Here's How to Prepare

With surprise proposal pictures on the rise, it never hurts to plan ahead.
Woman proposing to man with dog
Sarah in Prague for Flytographer
Emily Platt - The Knot Senior Manager, Commerce Content Strategy
Emily Platt
Emily Platt - The Knot Senior Manager, Commerce Content Strategy
Emily Platt
Senior Manager, Commerce Content Strategy
  • Emily is a strategist and editor who specializes in shopping content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily wrote for Martha Stewart Weddings
  • Emily has a bachelor's degree from Vassar College
Updated Oct 19, 2020
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Have a hunch your partner's about to propose? There's a good chance the moment will be caught on camera. And while your love is picture-perfect on its own, we don't blame you if you want to plan ahead—everyone will want to see your proposal pictures, after all. Whether you're set on scoring the perfect Instagram selfie or anticipating that your future fiancé might have hired a proposal photographer, these tips will help you feel totally prepared when the question is popped.

Consider Different Scenarios

With surprise proposal photo shoots on the rise thanks to companies like Flytographer, it's not unreasonable to think you might be snapped saying "yes." Even if your partner hasn't commissioned a photographer to capture your proposal pictures, there might be other onlookers ready to snap you two in action. Sometimes friends and family members are invited to witness the engagement; sometimes strangers take it upon themselves to capture public proposals. So, whether you think you're getting engaged on vacation, at a party or on the street, you could realistically be photographed from any angle. What does that mean? Whatever you make of it—like we said, your love is what matters most, and it's the thing that'll really shine in proposal pictures. But you may choose to pay extra attention to your look—from your hairdo to your shoes—just in case.

On the other hand, maybe you're expecting a private proposal, à la Meghan Markle and Prince Harry roasting chicken at home. Even if there won't be someone else taking your proposal pictures, you'll probably want to document the event yourselves. In most cases, this takes the form of impromptu selfies. Your full outfit may not be visible, but your face and your hands likely will be. If you love makeup and manicures, go forth and glam up. If you're more into a bare face and bare nails, that's also totally okay.

Other factors that may impact your look? The time of day (will the flash be on or will you be basking in natural light?) and the weather (do you want to avoid sweating or shivering?). If you're expecting to get engaged in the near future, here are some things to consider for your proposal pictures.

Schedule Some Appointments

If you want to do some primping beforehand, make any appointments ASAP. Now's the perfect time to book that haircut you've been putting off, hit the nail salon consistently with a friend (to gossip about the impending proposal, of course), or even relax at the spa or hit the facialist for a little extra glow.

Get Your Chores Done

Going on a couple's trip? Pack thoughtfully. Is all your favorite clothing dirty? Run a load (or two) of laundry. Think you'll be taking proposal pictures at home? Consider tidying up to prevent a stray pair of underwear from making a cameo. (Though honestly, that would be hilarious if it captures your relationship perfectly.) Whatever the case, you get the gist: Buy or prep whatever you need to feel your best in proposal pictures.

Have an Essentials Kit On-Hand

Channel Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner and start to carry some small essentials if you're expecting a proposal. You'll be overcome with emotion in the moment (whether you're totally caught off-guard or if you had a hunch it was coming), so it might be helpful to have some tissues and makeup on hand if you'd like to touch-up for your proposal pictures. Whether you're snapping selfies or posing for photos by a proposal photographer, you'll thank yourself for taking an extra step to be prepared.

Don't Overthink It

You can't always predict the when and where—that's the beauty of a surprise engagement. At the end of the day, your joy (and shock) will make your proposal pictures priceless. So be yourself, live in the moment and know that your photos are, first and foremost, for you and your soon-to-be fiancé. (But if you do care about the Insta likes—we get it—it's a proposal photographer's job to take share-worthy images. Trust the process.)

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