Capture your wedding proposal by hiring a photographer. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Capture your wedding proposal by hiring a photographer. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

It all starts with a ring. But planning a heartfelt and memorable wedding proposal is the best way to offer it to the love of your life. Photographer Jentry Dryden of Fifth & Chestnut Photo Co. has been a part of many proposal photo sessions and comes to us with 5 helpful tips for planning a wedding proposal:

The breathtaking view at 6600 feet overlooking Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay is a majestic setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

A majestic setting for a wedding proposal is the breathtaking view at 6600 feet overlooking Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

When I first started shooting weddings, proposal photography wasn’t even on my radar. In the last couple of years, though, things have been changing…from something I see once in a while, to a true trend. And I’m actually really excited to see that people are asking photographers to capture that special moment more often.

Proposals happen so fast, and it’s often such a shock to the person being proposed to. Having a photographer on site to document those amazing moments will give you and your spouse-to-be a way to remember each other’s emotions and reactions for all time. (I mean, how cool is that?)

Tahoe wedding proposal overlooking Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Tahoe wedding proposal overlooking Emerald Bay. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #1: Go somewhere special

Maybe it’s the place where you first met. Or perhaps where you had your favorite vacation together. But choose a location that is special to you and your main squeeze. For instance, a weekend in Lake Tahoe makes for the perfect getaway — and perfect proposal setting. If you’re thinking about actually getting married in Tahoe South, it’s an even better idea. Not only will your wedding be in one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., you’ll also have fond memories of your engagement here, too. (If we’ve piqued your interest, here’s our top five places to propose in Tahoe.)

Wedding Proposal Tip #2: Consider your future spouse’s personality

Some people love attention and would be thrilled if you proposed at a huge dinner party in front of all of their friends. Some people, on the other hand, would die of embarrassment in such a center-of-attention situation. Think deeply about your future spouse’s personality. Would he/she prefer a public or private proposal? Then plan your wedding proposal accordingly.

An intimate Tahoe wedding proposal surrounded by tall pines. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

An intimate Tahoe wedding proposal surrounded by tall pines. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #3: Pick an activity that you both enjoy

If beer tasting and boat rides are your idea of a fun afternoon, by all means, plan something that fits with your interests! Maybe you like cozying up to the fire with some tasty cocktails. In our  neck of the woods, driving around Lake Tahoe to soak in the scenery is a popular activity. Or go on a hike or hit the slopes during the winter. Tahoe South has options for pretty much anything, at any time of year.

One of my proposal couples, Trevor and Jordan, started with a drive around the lake, and then stopped at Eagle Falls in Emerald Bay to check out the view. After walking down to the edge of the mountain to see Fannette Island in the middle of Emerald Bay, Trevor got down on one knee and surprised Jordon with the question of a lifetime.

If you like the great outdoors, Tahoe is a beautiful setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

If you like the great outdoors, Tahoe is a beautiful setting for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #4: Choose the moment carefully

Timing is everything. Try to relax. Select a moment where things are more quiet, and you’re more able to tell your future spouse your feelings freely and without interruption. Suppose you want to take a hike and pop the question when you see the view to end all views. Don’t get too nervous and ask before you two even get started up the trail! Think of your proposal like a movie: Start the day out slowly, build up to the proposal and then ask for your partner’s hand in marriage at the climax. Then wind down, basking in the afterglow of the excitement!

I think she said yes. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

I think she said yes. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Wedding Proposal Tip #5: Definitely hire a photographer!

As I discussed at the forefront of this post, proposal photography is becoming a MUST. Wouldn’t you LOVE to capture the look on your future spouse’s face the moment you proposed? This is surely a moment to be documented.

I shoot proposals in one of two ways. One way is incognito. I hang back with a 70-200mm lens, blending into crowds or the scenery and wait for the moment to happen. The other way is a planned portrait session. You tell your fiancé-to-be that you want to do a portrait session together (maybe to commemorate your dating anniversary, the celebration of buying your first house or moving in together, etc.) and you and I will plan ahead of time a particular setting or moment for you to pop the question. The second way is easy in Lake Tahoe — just tell your partner you might as well get your portraits taken with such a beautiful place as your backdrop!

When having your wedding proposal photographed, the best time of day is approximately 1.5 hours before sunset. Spend 20 minutes getting into place, pop the question and rejoice with one another for about 15-20 minutes, and then we take portraits for 20 minutes or so. Afterward, you and your fiancé watch the sun set (behind the mountains if you’re in Lake Tahoe) and start daydreaming about the wedding!

(And because we all know you can’t wait to change your relationship status, here’s a list of five unique ways to announce your engagement!)

Solid as a rock. Emerald Bay is the perfect place for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut

Solid as a rock. Emerald Bay is the perfect place for a wedding proposal. Photo Credit: Fifth & Chestnut