Joyful, fine art wedding photography for real couples. Serving Chicago, Washington DC and beyond.
Based in South Bend, Indiana. Available for travel.

Hiring a photographer for the perfect proposal – Sarah Sage Photography

You’ve decided that she’s the one! You’ve saved up and bought a ring that you know she’ll love. You’ve asked her family for permission and you’re in good with her best gal pals. Now it’s time to propose.

Scary but exciting, the proposal can be quite overwhelming when you decide to do something she’ll never forget. Whether it’s on the campus of Notre Dame where you both met as freshman, at her parent’s house surrounded by her family or in sky writing… the pressure is on.

After a little soul-searching, you pick the perfect place and construct the perfect plan. But after putting it all together, you realize that you want someone there to photograph this perfect moment. But who should it be? If it’s any of your family members or friends, that will be a dead give away to her that somethings up. And hiding in the bushes never works because the person will miss the moment thanks to the swarm of mosquitos pestering them over that particular tree branch their sitting on. So it’s got to be a pro.

Your best bet is to search for a wedding photographer in the area you want to purpose in. This can be done simply by googling ‘wedding photographer in [city]’. Find someone whose style you love then call/email them and explain your proposal vision. You’ll need to discuss location, amount of time, what you get from the shoot and how to keep it all a secret.

Okay now that I’ve just stressed you out, let me put your mind at ease with how we do proposals.

At first contact, usually email, we pick a time to talk on the phone so that I can fully understand your vision for how and where the proposal will happen. We discuss the location at length, the photos after you propose, your plans after the proposal is over (if there is one), the photos you’ll receive and how we’ll keep it a secret.

We discuss where all 3 of us will be during the proposal and how I’ll hide in plan sight. My usual go-to is to pretend to be photographing birds and landscapes… works every time. Then we’ll talk about the mini session after the proposal. I offer my couples a mini portrait session right after the massive hugging and tears. It’s kind of like a quick engagement session (15 minutes) and allows you to have more formal photos from the shoot.

From there, if you’ve planned more surprises, which most do, we’ll talk about how I will capture that. Most guys plan a special meal afterwards which just so happens to have his now fiancé’s family and closet friends waiting there too.

Here’s how it goes down after the mini portrait session… I say “Congratulations, it was so nice to meet the both of you!” and I wish you well as I leave for my car. You stale your gal for another 10 minutes so I can get to the restaurant/hotel and meet up with everyone. Then when she walks in to the next surprise, I capture her expression and excitement and do a few formal photos with everyone there. It’s like 2 for the price of 1.

So how do we keep it all a secret? Easy peezy. We only communicate via email so that your gal never picks up your phone and sees a text from me. We’ll have a plan in place so that you can ‘give me the signal’ that we’re all good to go and then I’ll head to my designated spot. No commutation after that so is not to give anything away. Lastly, we’ll have a secret tell for when you’re about to propose (scratch your arm, look at your watch, etc…) and then I’ll know you’re about to propose. I don’t want to start photographing you both to soon cause then she’ll know somethings up. And then the moment happens, it’s wonderful, it’s emotional, it’s perfect and it’s captured forever.

You’ll receive a digital gallery for downloading of your images. Most proposals are couples that don’t live in this area and are simply coming here, (Notre Dame), to propose so I make it super easy for you and put all your images online within a week.

I hope this helped you future grooms get an idea on how the perfect proposal can be pulled off without her ever knowing. I love photographing proposals and would be honored to capture yours.

More questions or want to discuss your proposal vision… send us a quick email and we’ll start planning your perfect proposal.



Photography: Sarah Sage Photography

Proposal Location: Grotto @ Notre Dame

Secondary Location: Tippecanoe Place Restaurant 

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