If  you know that you want to ask them in a big way, but you’re not sure how to plan your eNgagemEnt – start here.


This isn't the kind of question that you ask someone on a whim and it's not the kind of moment anyone really glazes over so  choosing the person helping you document and planning the event might be one of the more important choices. Surprise engagements today are meaningful, intentionally planned surprises for two people who really love each other toy rememeber for the rest of their lives. It's really the beginning of something really wonderful. I can help you plan this so that even the smallest detail is a consideration.


Still Deciding how to ask them?

First, think a little bit, or a lotta bit, this is your engagement day. Do a little reflection, pick out a notebook to keep track of your ideas. 

Think about your relationships with your partner, what do you both love? What do you hate? what can you take an infuse into your unique proposal?

How do you feel about  being up at sunrise or sunset and the stars  How would you like to propose?

Don't stop there, you can have it all, if you want to. You can have the intimate connection, you can have florals, music, and a celebration after. You can combine the things you like about your first date and the outdoors. You can have luxury and remote ruggedness in your surprise proposal day. 

You can propose with a small group of family and friends or in a quiet intimate private way. You can still share that  proposal experience with everyone because you will have the photography that shares that narrative.

So once you’ve decided to a little bit more about how you might like to propose and what details you want to include, it’s time to find that ring, write that speech, pick the accommodations.....and get just a little bit excited about it ;). 

Choose your adventure

step 1

step 2

An engagement doesn't have to be an adventure engagement You don't need to hike, climb or snuggle up together in a canoe (bucketlist for this photog),  have an intimate campout, share cake in a kayak, dance in the stars, dip into a hot spring, enjoy steamy coffee at sunrise, ski into the backcountry, explore a slot canyon, stand in the saguaros.....
but I wish that you would :)

In fact some of my bucket list ideas for engagements aren't really that adventurous. There might be a trend in hiking elopements but I'm also interested in your off-beat, strange, unique or bizarre requests. I'm dying to photograph a circus couple in love, I love performance art and theatre, If you want to propose in a little alleyway on your stilts or on your unicycle,bring it on.  Maybe a carnival atmosphere on the ferris wheel? 

Ok these might be sounding strange to you, but the thing is- your engagement can be ANYWHERE, with anyone and include anything that you have ever loved. Now you just need to decided the order of the events and what you might like to include on your engagement day.

Here are some questions to get you started;
1. Family and friends, just a few close people or only the two of you?
2.  Celebrate  the engagement with camping and a private chef?
3.  Have an adventure day with rad airbnb to celebrate the engagement proposal? 
4. urban or outdoor? Nature or sculpture garden/art venue?
5. USA or Iceland? Nice? Morocco? Sailboat? Houseboat? 
6. Activities? horseback riding, climbing, hiking, skiing, scuba, art installation, abandoned carnival, neon light graveyard, airplane grave yard, top of a skyscraper?

What is your dream engagement? It's a big adventure to set off on the commitment of a lifetime.

step 3

Choose your photographer &  planner

This is one of the most important decisions you can make for your engagement –   the photographer that you choose will be responsible for holding on to all of your memories. They will be the one to capture the story of your engagement day so that you can share it with the people who might not be born yet :) 

It has to be a good fit! I know that I am not the right photographer for everyone, and I don't want to be. I want to feel connected and invested in the people that I offer my services to. 

Choose your Location, Date & book travel

Maybe it doesn't really matter where your engagement takes place or maybe it does. Do you want a snowy mountain scape or a rugged ocean shoreline or is it a specific place or country that you have in mind. 

What are the rules associated with your location? Do you need a permit, to pay a fee, or a reservation request? 

I can help you navigate choosing an epic, private, legal location to get married – one that fits your vision and budget.

A lot of national parks are more crowded these days, but there are still opportunities to bypass the crowds and have a quiet engagement. Have you considered the off-season or getting married on a weekday? These kinds of considerations can help keep the tourists away from invading your day. 

Don't get too attached to your date early on, if you can stay flexible it will make the planning much easier.  What if there are no permits for  your dream date? 

But what if you have no idea where to start? Pick the kind of weather you might like to have on your day. Is it cold and snowing or mild with leaves changing, is it hot on the beach and you plan to stand in the waters edge?

I like Southwest's low fare calendar and I am often scheduling trips based on cheap flights and places that I've never been, but Southwest will only serve you well if you are planning on getting married in the states. For all else, I use google flights and priceline,

Lodging or camping? I love airbnb for unique little stays and experiences, I once stayed in a house made entirely of glass bottles, so amazing. 
Ask your photographer - traveling photographers are experts at traveling!

Rental car? or campervan? There are so many options. I usually use priceline if I am looking for an ordinary car. 


book your travel - flight, car rental,sleeping

Now, you just need to plan out the day itself. 

What do you like to do together? You don't have to hike but it's a great way to get in a little adventure on your wedding day. What details about the two of you can you incorporate into your event?

Champagne? picnic? cuddly blanket and pillows to snuggle with, cheese and crackers? Or maybe nada, because then they'll know the jig is up :o

planning your day

step 4


Her compositions were on point, and she lightly employs editing to enhance the images without looking overdone.

-Ryan M.

The final product she captured was priceless! The shots are phenomenal and the quality is impeccable. 

National Park proposal
 and Elopement

photography by Terri Attridge