NYC Proposal Photographers | How to Pull Off an Epic Surprise Proposal

Kratika thought he booked a romantic NYC couple’s session for them. Little did she know, these would be memorable engagement photos, too! To say she was surprised when Himanshu got down on one knee at the Top of the Rock is an understatement! She was blown away in the best way. Their engagement/surprise proposal was a photo shoot I’ll never forget. Kratika and Himanshu were both so much fun to be around. They were up for anything—sitting on the shore, dancing down the sidewalk, posing near the carousel, and running through the fountain. It was a romantic day from beginning to end. Based on how Himanshu was beaming, I think he would say it was a huge success! A surprise proposal is much easier to pull off with the right crew to help you, and our team of NYC proposal photographers is happy to help!

Planning a surprise proposal can be more challenging than it sounds. When you do life together, keeping something so big a secret is hard! But Himanshu wanted this to be an epic surprise proposal, and he made it happen with the help of some friends and his photography team at Sasha Chou Photography.

How to Pull Off an Epic Surprise Proposal

Step 1: Book Your Proposal Photographer

One of the first steps in planning your surprise proposal is to contact your proposal photographer. A photographer specializing in proposals and weddings will be able to steer you in the right direction regarding location, angles, timing, and even what to wear. Himanshu wanted to gift Kratika with breathtaking proposal portraits with a view of the NYC skyline, and the Top of the Rock is just the place to do that! 

However, to cover all your bases and ensure your other half doesn’t find out while you’re planning, you might want to set up a phone call or FaceTime chat instead of a text thread that’s easy to read. (You could rename the number with something like Pizza Delivery, but you still risk them seeing the thread…)

Step 2: Determine Your Location & Time

As a proposal photographer, this experience was flawlessly executed. Planning a photo session is one of the easiest (and sneakiest) ways to ensure you’re both in the appropriate attire and on time. For this surprise proposal, we didn’t have to worry about people “getting in place” on time because it was halfway through our session. We were already on-location. 

Plus, hinting to your other half that they need to wear something nice and have makeup and hair done without sounding bossy or giving the proposal away can be tricky. If you plan a photo session, that’s all taken care of without them picking up on the plan (hopefully). Consider throwing in professional hair and makeup as a surprise pampering gift.

Step 3: Plan the Date

Whether your proposal involves a couple’s photo session or a date, get all the details squared away with your photographer. Be sure to make reservations and let the establishment know your plan if you are proposing at a restaurant or something similar so they can make arrangements.

Don’t forget to decide how to store and keep the ring hidden. You may also want to draft what you want to say and practice out loud with a friend if you’re nervous.

Step 4: Invite Friends or Family

If you want friends and family there, invite them about a month in advance. Let them know the plan, where to be, and when so they don’t blow your cover.

Step 5: Make Celebration Reservations

If you’re planning to celebrate afterward—either just the two of you or with friends and family—don’t forget to make reservations for your party at the restaurant. Again, let them know the occasion so they can arrange an extra special evening together.

Step 6: Day of Preparation & Placement

If you’ve gotten this far, way to go! But you aren’t out of the woods yet. The day of is the most challenging part to keep under wraps. You will probably feel excited and maybe a bit nervous as the time gets closer. If you can’t hide it, consider planning your proposal on a work day (fewer crowds at popular proposal locations, too!). Or, plan an activity beforehand to keep you occupied so you don’t give it away.

However, make sure you both have plenty of time to get ready so you don’t feel rushed and you’re able to put the finishing touches on everything.

(Tip: you might even tell your partner you’ll pick them up/meet them/leave for the date about 30 minutes before you need to go to allow for extra time—you don’t want to argue over the time or feel frustrated right before you propose!)

Step 7: Touch Base with Your Photographer & Have Fun!

After making sure everyone is ready, just relax and have fun. Take time to soak it all in and enjoy the experience as it unfolds. Don’t worry if something doesn’t go EXACTLY as planned. They probably won’t even notice, and as your proposal photographers, we’re pretty good at improvising to make it work!

NYC Proposal Photographers | Sasha Chou Photography

As long-time NYC residents and photographers, we’re happy to help you plan an extraordinary surprise proposal from beginning to end so you have a magical experience and photos to cherish forever! This is the start of your love story—document it beautifully!

Get in touch with us here to start planning your unforgettable NYC surprise proposal.