Completely Surprised

Haleigh was the one who actually inquired about a Big Sur Adventure Couple's session. She said that she and her boyfriend Daniel, were coming from Texas on a work trip and she wanted to have photos done while they were here. Now here's the funny part. Even though they weren't engaged yet, Haleigh knew that Daniel was going to propose soon, so she was planning on using these photos for their engagement photos once he finally decided to pop the question. Little did she know, Daniel had secretly contacted me on the side to tell me that he was planning to propose this trip! We worked together to keep it a secret from Haleigh and I guided on him on exactly how he would know the right time and location to get down on one knee. It couldn't have gone any better! Haleigh was 100% surprised when he proposed and with the most gorgeous ring!

tips for planning a proposal in big sur

Planning a proposal in Big Sur requires careful consideration of the stunning natural surroundings and the preferences of you and your partner. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you plan a memorable proposal in this beautiful coastal region:

Know Your Partner's Preferences:

  • Consider your partner's personality and preferences. Are they more inclined toward private, intimate moments or grand gestures? Tailor your proposal plans accordingly.

Select a Location:

  • Choose a specific location in Big Sur that holds significance or captures the essence of your relationship. Popular spots include scenic overlooks, waterfalls, beaches, or redwood groves. Definitely talk to your photographer about this one - each scenic location has its pros and cons.

Timing is Key:

  • Plan your proposal during a time that suits your partner and offers the best lighting. Sunset and sunrise are often ideal for a romantic atmosphere and stunning visuals.

Check Weather Conditions:

  • Big Sur's weather can be unpredictable. Check the weather forecast leading up to your proposal date to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Secure Permits (if necessary):

  • Some locations in Big Sur may require permits for events or photography. Check local regulations and secure any necessary permits in advance. (Your photographer should also be able to lend you guidance with permits).

Arrange Accommodations:

  • If you're planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, book accommodations in advance. Big Sur offers a range of options, from luxury resorts to cozy cabins. If my couple's are interested in staying overnight, I include a whole guide about the best places to stay in Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey.

Coordinate with a Photographer or Videographer:

  • Consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture the moment. Big Sur provides a stunning backdrop, and having a visual record of the proposal will be a cherished keepsake. Of course, I highly recommend this tip! And actually, I think it should probably be at the top of the list! When my couple's decide to work with me, not only are they getting a photographer, but they are also getting a guide! I will send you local vendor referrals, a location guide, an interactive may of the area, a detailed questionnaire, and a guide on what to wear for your session.

Plan a Romantic Activity:

  • Consider incorporating a romantic activity into your proposal, such as a private picnic, a hike to a scenic spot, or a motorcyle ride along the coast.

Engagement Ring:

  • Ensure you have the engagement ring ready and safely stored. If you're uncertain about your partner's ring preferences, you can choose a temporary ring for the proposal and shop for the actual engagement ring together afterward.

Practice Your Words:

  • Plan what you want to say during the proposal. Speak from the heart and express your feelings genuinely. Practice beforehand if it helps you feel more confident.

Create a Plan B:

  • Be prepared for unexpected circumstances, such as weather changes or unforeseen events. Have a backup plan or alternative location just in case. Again, this is kinda my job. You never know if there's going to be traffic, a construction stop, or if a group of people might be already at the exact spot we planned on!! That's why I will always have a backup plan that me and at least one of the clients (whomever is proposing) are aware of.

Celebrate Afterward:

  • Plan a special way to celebrate the engagement afterward, whether it's a romantic dinner, a champagne toast, or a quiet moment together.

Inform Friends and Family (Optional):

  • Decide whether you want to share the news with friends and family immediately after the proposal. If so, have a plan in place to make those announcements special as well.

Remember, the most important thing is to make the proposal personal and meaningful to both of you. Whether it's a grand gesture or an intimate moment, Big Sur's natural beauty will undoubtedly add a touch of magic to your special day.

some of my favorite Big Sur locations for a proposal

  1. Garrapata State Beach
  2. Garrapata Cliffs
  3. Rocky Point
  4. Bixby Bridge
  5. Pfeiffer Beach
  6. Cala Lilly Valley
  7. Ventana Redwoods
  8. Glen Oaks

Some of these locations require that you be a registered guest in order to use their property, so make sure to check that out!

best places to eat in big sur

Believe me, you will definitely be hungry after your Adventure Session! These Big Sur sessions typically last about two hours and we are moving the whole time! If you want to plan a special dinner to celebrate your engagement - I definitely recommend going to eat somewhere in Big Sur. The restaurants are all so unique and some of them have the most amazing views you will ever see! Just count on being with me until about 20 minutes after sunset, so don't make your reservation too early!

  1. Nepenthe
  2. The Sur House at Ventana
  3. Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn
  4. Big Sur Taphouse
  5. Big Sur River Inn