If you’re reading this then it seems you’re looking for the best vacation proposal ideas – congrats! What an exciting time in your life! The folks here at Local Lens love to capture marriage proposals; they’re always so romantic and beautiful. Whether you’re planning a private sunset beach engagement, a proposal among family and friends, or something else entirely, we can help to make sure everything goes perfectly for your big day!

There is nothing more romantic than planning the perfect trip with your loved one and then taking it on yourself to make a surprise side plan and making it more special… by proposing on vacation! While some may say it is cliche, there are so many ways you can tailor it for your relationship and make it your special moment.

Here are some ways you can pop the question.

How to Propose on Vacation

We probably don’t need to tell you BUT a proposal is a big deal and it’s something you both will remember for the rest of your lives. On top of it all, planning an engagement in a different city can be a challenge. Over the past few years, we have helped capture the question for so many love birds. Therefore, we decided to put together this guide with all our favorite tips & suggestions. Whether you’re looking for surprise vacation proposal ideas on a private beach or a simple engagement among family and friends, we’ve got you covered.

Propose at the Beginning or Towards the End?

So should you propose at the beginning or the end? Is the plan to make the vacation all about the engagement or do you want to make the memories and then end the time away on a high?

Normally proposing (even if you know it is a guaranteed yes) can be nerve-wracking. Imagine feeling like this for your whole engagement trip? This is why it is best to propose early in your trip. Then you can relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation. And an added bonus is that the ring won’t get found in your luggage!

Rehearse what you are going to say before you get there.

Don’t run the risk of being caught out mumbling to yourself or rehearsing over the phone to a friend while on vacation. As you would have been planning this for a while, it is best to practice what you are going to say when you are on your own before you leave. And don’t write it down! You may run the risk of it being found and ruining the surprise.

Thoroughly research your location

The best way to propose on vacation is by not feeling rushed, so do your research and plan ahead. From making sure your photographer has the correct time and location to dressing the part and securing the ring, the details are crucial! Will you need any props, special lighting, etc? Your engagement can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like– but being unprepared is a sure recipe for disaster! Don’t underestimate everything that can go into the perfect proposal– but also remember to relax and have fun with it!

It is also good to know ahead of time if there are events in town or something that may overshadow your proposal, like your significant other finding something they really want to attend – AT THE SAME TIME. Also by researching before you leave, you can ensure your partner packs an appropriate outfit for the location. You would hate to have to cancel at the last minute because they didn’t pack the right clothes to attend the fancy restaurant.

The K.I.S.S. Principle

We really like the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it Simple, Soulmate. Many simple yet extraordinary proposals are truly surprising and probably even more memorable. Also, the simpler the plan, the fewer things that can go wrong, and you will be much less stressed. So how does one go about creating a simple plan to propose?

Surprise proposal ideas can include things such as inviting them to a party that you are throwing, inviting them to celebrate your anniversary, or even just telling them that you know that you will make them happy. Having fun is key when it comes to creating successful vacation proposal ideas. Make sure that you keep in mind that when your future wife or husband gets a bit excited, they will become very emotional, and they may or may not like the idea of being surrounded by other people.

Dress for the Occasion

You want your sweetie to already be dressed to impress, right? Or maybe you can do a themed proposal, like the couple below who did a Harry Potter proposal in Central Park!

You can make some fake plans that will require the kind of look you’re going for. However, do not try to show off, or try to be anything that you are not. It is also worthwhile to study some simple poses for the engagement photoshoot so that you two lovebirds look amazing in the photos.

Keep it a Secret

Try putting into google: “signs he is going to propose on vacation“. You’ll see tons of blogs filled with the possible signs that their boyfriend or girlfriend will be proposing on their vacation. You don’t want them to suspect anything, so you’ll have to be extra careful!

Do you want to propose in a restaurant or somewhere private? Maybe the beach or forest? Thoroughly research your proposal location with the location or a specialist like a proposal photographer. Call ahead to the restaurant and check there are no large groups or reserve a quieter table so your future fiance can hear you. If you end up hiring a local photographer, you can get the inside scoop of that city and they’ll be able to suggest some great locations!

Vacation Proposal Ideas

When planning your proposal, consider your partner’s loves and hobbies. Not only will you be able to tailor your proposal location and words easily but it will be more meaningful too. You have already planned a wonderful vacation that is exactly what you are interested in so adding in a proposal should be a piece of cake.

Destination Marriage Proposal

What’s your boyfriend or girlfriend’s favorite place in the world? If you know they’re in love with New York City or that they’re a beach bum through and through, maybe the best way to propose on vacation is by getting engaged in one of these destinations. Picking a spot that’s special to them will only make your marriage proposal that more memorable and will leave you with eye-catching photos.

Before you start looking for the actual location, it may be a good idea to do some research into places that you and your significant other have visited or would like to visit someday. You might also be interested in a certain place that you know that they have only dreamed about, or at least wanted to go there. Is it going to be something exciting like a trip, tickets to a concert or a theater performance? Or perhaps you want to surprise him with a special gift.

Better yet, plan a surprise weekend away at a destination your partner will love such as a wine region, waterfall, or recreate a special moment or place you have already experienced together. Be careful that your other half doesn’t catch on though, so consider getting a friend or family member in on the surprise to act as a decoy.

Photo-Worthy Events or Opportunities

Consider planning it around another photo-worthy event. This is a great idea if you’re nervous about spoiling the surprise proposal idea. Perhaps you’re already planning a nice vacation with your soon-to-be fiance; use this as an opportunity to hire a photographer and then – SURPRISE – you can pop the question under the guise of a fun vacation photoshoot!

Surprise Engagement Ideas

Sometimes significant moments can be hard for our fiance-to-be, especially if a cherished loved one won’t be there to celebrate the excitement. Think about ways those family members can be there. One photographer was asked to capture the bittersweet moment for a future bride when she was proposed to by her mother’s memorial bench, whom she lost to cancer when she was 16. This is an example of a perfectly planned engagement for this couple.

You may possibly want to have family and friends involved so consider proposing on vacation at another significant event (with the permission of the other party of course). Your bride or groom will be surprised when their grandparents’ anniversary party turns out to be the moment of their engagement – and you know the photographer won’t look out of place when they capture that moment.

Staycation Proposal Ideas

After more than a year of lockdowns and staying local, more and more people have had to become very creative with staycation proposals. While some of these ideas may take some additional planning and hiring, they will create a proposal that will never be forgotten.

  • Hire a billboard near your favourite coffee shop or boardwalk and propose on the go.
  • Get your pets involved. TIe the ring around your pup’s collar and get them to do the hard work.
  • Hire a flash mob to distract your loved one from seeing you get down on one knee.
  • See if your local community cinema will show footage of you proposing before a feature film that you have gone on a date too. Whatever you decide, ensure you work with your photographer on the finer details beforehand to ensure the moment is perfectly captured in a way that suits you both.

Hiring a Vacation Proposal Photographer

Everyone hires a professional photographer to shoot their wedding ceremony and reception, but nowadays more and more people are hiring photographers to capture the moment of their marriage proposal. Your marriage proposal is a story you will never tire of telling, so it definitely deserves better than selfies! Capture it with vacation proposal photography that you’ll look back on for years to come.

Adrenaline will start to rush the moment you reach for that ring, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with emotions… so much so, that some people can’t even remember their engagement moment. Hiring a secret photographer for your proposal will allow you to capture and relive that moment again and again.

Do I really need a photographer for my vacation proposal?

Still deciding whether or not you should hire a photographer? While you may be tempted to cut costs and set up a self-timer, a tripod, or get a friend to record it, things can (and do) go wrong at the worst moments. A stranger could walk in front of the camera, you may forget to press “on,” or your partner may become suspicious if you’re acting strangely! You’ll want to hold onto these engagement photos for life; don’t risk having them ruined.

  • A local photographer can provide expert advice and the best vacation proposal ideas for great photo spots, timing, and lighting.
  • Use your proposal photos for your save-the-date cards or even at your wedding ceremony and reception.
  • Even if your closest family and friends were not present for the actual moment, they can still share in the excitement by seeing the beautiful photos from that day.

How does a proposal photoshoot work?

Before choosing a photographer, we recommend having some vacation proposal ideas in mind first! There are two ways a proposal photoshoot usually happens:

  1. Hire the photographer for a “normal” photoshoot with your partner, but let the photographer in on your secret proposal plan! This is the best way to ensure the photographer captures the moment perfectly, usually at a closer distance and better positioned.
  2. The photographer can be waiting at the designated spot to secretly capture the moment, paparazzi-style. After the big moment, the photographer can introduce themselves and proceed to capture that post-engagement glow.

After your photoshoot is booked, you will be able to plan and coordinate with your photographer directly.

What’s included in a vacation proposal package?

With every proposal photography package, you’ll get high-resolution engagement photos that are professionally edited and delivered by email in a private online gallery within 5 business days. In your gallery, you will be able to see all the photos from your proposal photoshoot and get to download a certain number of your favorites, depending on your package. It also includes:

  • one-on-one planning with your proposal photographer
  • photos of the big moment and post-engagement
  • private online gallery
  • high-resolution photos that are professionally edited
  • photos delivered within 5 days

How much does a vacation proposal photographer cost?

We have photographers on our team that specialize in capturing proposals and engagement photoshoots. Check out our list of the best proposal photographers to see pricing, compare portfolios, read customer reviews, and check date availability.