How to Plan Your Los Angeles Proposal


Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of capturing proposals all around Los Angeles. Being invited into that special moment between a couple is an honor I don’t take for granted! As you begin planning your proposal, there are several factors you should take into consideration. In addition to photography, I often assist the partner proposing with some of the planning. Today, I’m sharing my top four tips on how to plan your Los Angeles proposal!

Surprise Proposal in Manhattan Beach

Before we get into the tips, let’s talk about Taylor and Alex’s surprise proposal in Manhattan Beach! This sweet couple resides in Austin, Texas. When Alex decided it was time to pop the question, he found me on Google, and we began dreaming up the perfect proposal for Taylor. Her family is from Manhattan Beach, and it’s a special place for her, so Alex decided to propose there.

When the big day finally arrived, both partner’s families were in town to view the proposal and celebrate with the couple afterward. Alex’s family spent Thanksgiving alone at a hotel because Taylor couldn’t know they were in California! After Alex surprised Taylor with a beautiful diamond solitaire ring, their families joined them on the beach to pop a bottle of champagne and snap portraits. The couple posed for photos with their families before I whisked them away for their sunset engagement session!

How to Plan Your Los Angeles Proposal

Know The Rules At Your Location

One of the most popular spots in Los Angeles for a proposal is on the beach. However, most beaches in Los Angeles require a permit for photography! For example, commercial photographers are required for all Malibu beaches. As a proposal photographer, I do require the correct permits to be secured by the client prior to the proposal. Keep in mind these permits may take weeks or month to secure! You can learn more about the process here!

Most parks also require permits, including Griffith Park and Observatory, Arboretum of Los Angeles, as well as all of the State Parks.

Choose a Meaningful Location

Think of a location that has meaning for your partner. Doing this will make the proposal even more special! For example, Alex proposed to Taylor in Manhattan Beach because she grew up there. Need some inspiration? Check out The Best Proposal Spots in Los Angeles.

Consider Your Partner’s Wants (And The Weather!)

Before you get carried away with planning, consider what type of proposal your partner wants. Do they want a grand public gesture or something quiet and intimate? Do they want their family there for the big moment? Do they like surprises? Considering these questions will help you plan your partner’s idea of a perfect proposal, not someone else’s. 

Because you will be getting a photoshoot after the proposal, keep in mind what your partner would want for those images. For example, if you plan on proposing on a hike, your outfits will be casual, and sometimes, your partner may want more formal pictures taken.

And don’t forget to check the weather and location! Beach and cliffside proposals are always beautiful, but it also means strong winds and lots of sand. So make sure everyone is dressed appropriately!

Set the Stage

Consider hiring a professional planner to help you plan your proposal or renting décor to create a sweet, romantic setup for the moment to unfold. This Pacific Palisades Ocean View Proposal and this Picnic Proposal at the Bluffs are great examples of what this can look like.

Hire a Professional Photographer

Finally, my best advice to plan your Los Angeles proposal is to hire a professional photographer. When you propose, the last thing on your mind will be asking a family member (or, worse, a random stranger) to document it. Having high-quality images of the moment to cherish forever will ensure you and your partner don’t forget a single detail!

Your proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, so don’t let it go by without capturing it. If you’re planning a Los Angeles proposal, let’s connect! Helping you and your partner turn the page on this next exciting chapter of your love story would be my honor.

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