Hope Nguyen

August 29, 2022

How to Propose: Proposal Ideas From a Montreal Proposal Photographer

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So you found the love of your life, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Congratulations! I am so happy for you! Now comes the hard part… how to propose. Don’t worry too hard, though. I have you covered in this blog with endless tips + tricks + proposal ideas! I’m a Montreal proposal photographer, so I know a few things about how to plan the perfect proposal for your love.

Keep reading for more inspiration and proposal ideas on things like location, timeline, decorations, activities for during and after, and more! If you plan on proposing in Canada and are looking for a Montreal proposal photographer to help you plan the perfect proposal and capture it, let’s chat! If you’re just here for the proposal info then keep scrolling, my friend.

Proposal Location Ideas

Finding the perfect location to pop the question can seem daunting. Before we chat about a few specific proposal locations I love around the Montreal area, let’s chat some specifics to think about and maybe even ask your lover (or their friends!) their thoughts and feelings around them.

First off, you’ll want a location with some sort of nice view. They may say they don’t care about the view, but they’ll be looking at these photos for the rest of their life. So let’s give the view a little thought, even if it’s not of top importance. The view matters!

Now let’s think about some locations that may mean something to either or both of you. Is there a place you have always wanted to go or maybe your favorite spot as a couple? Are there things you both enjoy doing that would make the day and the proposal more memorable? Another main thing to think about is how your partner does with large crowds? If they feel super uncomfortable in crowds or they are always talking about you proposing in a more intimate area with just you two, that’s definitely a main factor.

Whether you are thinking a more crowded location or a more intimate location, it all comes down to budget at the end of the day! Will you have to rent this space? Will you have to decorate it? You’ll want to think about all the extra things that would go into each location to decide which one is best for you.

Rooftop in Old Port

Old Port is a touristy place so expect a large crowd waiting for the proposal to happen. A tip from a local Montrealer (aka me), would be to go to the rooftop beside Alexandra Pier. Alexandra Pier is still in Old Port, but tourists don’t really know where to walk to get to this roof. Yes, it’s still a public place, but you can expect a smaller crowd than walking in the streets of the heart of Old Port. For more general info on Old Port as a whole, head here.

Montreal World’s Trade Center

For this location we’re still in Old Port however, a nickname that local Montrealers call this place is the “Underground City”. It looks like it’s outside but it is completely indoors! This place is perfect in case it rains. The vibe of this place is so dreamy and romantic. One BIG tip would be for the photographer or planner to call and reserve any spot for decorations. The downside of this location is that it often gets crowded with other photoshoots and weddings. Many photographers in Montreal don’t know about this reservation list, so having your name on the list will give you peace of mind that you’ll have a designated spot. Another plus is that because this place isn’t outside, decorating it is a lot easier. For more general info on the Montreal World’s Trade Center, head here.

Photo Studios

Photo studios is another option for your proposal. You can rent out the space and then decorate it as you please. There are plenty of photo studios that are already decorated with furniture, so you wont have to sped tons to make it look like you’re not in a studio. This would be the best option if you are afraid that it will rain, you don’t like crowds and you want a space to decorate. One con to this is that you can normally only rent them out for an hour or so. So you’ll have to stick to the timeline to make sure you maximize your time there, if you wanted a mini engagement shoot after.

Outdoor Mornings

If you really want to do your proposal outside but want to avoid large crowds, propose in the morning! Although this is an unpopular opinion because you want the surprise to be at the end, but this would be the perfect way to enjoy scenic views with just the two of you. Think of it this way, you get the whole day to celebrate together then!

How to Propose: Engagement Proposal Ideas From a Montreal Proposal Photographer

Proposing at Golden Hour

A lot couples think that they want to propose at golden hour. I tell all my couples to avoid it, if they can. I personally think the ideal time to propose is right before golden hour. Then we’ll do a mini engagement shoot right after during golden hour! I want you to avoid any unnecessary mistakes for your proposal so it can be the best possible. That’s why I’m here to tell you not to propose during golden hour. Here’s why you should avoid doing your proposal right at golden hour:

Why add another thing to be nervous about?

You’ll be so nervous already. Why add the pressure of figuring out where to kneel? Should you face the sun or have your back to it? You can always rely on your photographer for angles and ask them the best way to position yourself. But when everything is happening: you’re nervous, you want to make sure she’ll say “Yes”, you’re second guessing all your decisions, and practicing your little speech in your head you’ll forget something. What won’t be top of mind is what direction you’re supposed to kneel. It’s so much better to watch the sun set relaxed with your new fiance after you propose.

It’s all about the angles!

Proposal photos rely on a few angles. You know those pictures you want to have to cherish forever of you on one knee? Those are all about the angles! Proposing during golden hour makes it a bit difficult to get those specific angles unless you stick exactly to the plan. The main issue here is we want both of your faces to be illuminated so we can see all of that emotion. If you happen to miss the exact spot we talked about or kneel the wrong direction during golden hour, one person with be perfectly lit and glowing and the other will be dark. It’s almost impossible to edit these photos in a way you could see both faces clearly. So you end up with photos you wished were better.

Why rush it?

On the day of the proposal, you want to try to feel as relaxed as possible. Putting a strict timeline around golden hour makes that a little harder. You’ll have to be watching the clock all day and restrict yourself in activities you do throughout the day. You won’t want to feel rushed to propose at an exact moment during Golden Hour. Let’s not set you up to fail, and give your day as much free space as possible instead.

How to Propose: Engagement Proposal Ideas From a Montreal Proposal Photographer

Proposal Decoration Ideas

When it comes to decorations for your proposal it really depends on your vibe as a couple. I’m here to give you some ideas, but for the most part you just have to think about your partner and what they love. Do they want that “WOW’ factor or do they not care? Do they like flowers and want rose petals all around or do they just want you with a ring on your knee? Sit down and think about what your partner truly wants for their proposal and then come back and read some of these ideas!

  • Champagne and champagne glasses are very cute for photos!
  • Rose petals on the ground: This is simple yet elegant.
  • Have candles illuminating the path to your proposal spot.
  • Have a sign that says “Marry Me”.
  • Bonus: Hire a musician to serenade to you while you walk towards your proposal spot.

You’ll find versions of all of these decorations below to help your imagination flow even more!

Proposal Outfit Ideas

So how do you trick them into dressing up for the proposal? My first answer to that would be question. Do they care if they’re dressed up for the proposal? If you’re going on a hike and proposing at the top of the mountain, they’re going to be wearing hiking gear. So it all depends on your plans for the day how to get them dressed appropriately.

If they have expressed they want to be looking nice or if you just know they’ll care then you have some options to trick them. The easiest is to just say you’re going to dinner. Other options could include going to a formal music concert or going to a museum. Think of a fancier place or activity that wouldn’t be weird for you two and run with that.

As far as the outfits themselves, try to keep them simple, solid, and neutral colors. If you have decorations or flowers try not to wear that same color to overpower and over do that color. No need to insist your partner wear a certain color, but if you can steer them in the neutral and solid direction, they’ll thank you later!

Bringing It All Together

Planning a whole proposal yourself can be a lot. If you are feeling just totally overwhelmed with how and what to plan or you just want to create that “WOW” factor, then I would suggest hiring a planner. They are going to be able to plan your proposal exactly like you want it with little to no effort from you. There are also decoration companies who will do set up and take down for you, but conceptualization is on you for those. As a photographer, I can help with a few simple things for set up, but there is an additional service fee (you’ll find this to be true with all photographers). So if you’re struggling to bring it all together and you have the budget, I would suggest considering hiring! If you need a place to start looking, a planner I work with on a lot of my proposals is Vintage Luxe Events! We actually worked together on a lot of these proposals you see in this blog.

Bonus Proposal Idea: After the Proposal

After the proposal is when you get to have fun with it! Schedule a romantic dinner or a stay at a nice hotel and just enjoy your time with your new fiance. My couples do always ask if they should eat before or after the proposal. Schedule your dinner after your proposal! Eating after is always the best because you don’t want to look bloated in photos and you’ll be able to enjoy even more without the added pressure of the proposal.

A couple of my favorite restaurants in Montreal for after the proposal are William Grey Rooftop and Jardin Nelson Garden. I also love when couples book a hotel room and make a whole date night out of it. If you do book a hotel, you’ll want some good breakfast options after! OR maybe you’re planning your proposal for the morning to avoid the crowds. A couple of my favorite breakfast options in Montreal are Arthur’s Noche Bar and L’avenue.

How to Propose: Engagement Proposal Ideas From a Montreal Proposal Photographer

Proposing to the love of your life can seem like a huge task! I hope this blog on how to propose and proposal ideas helps a little with your planning process. If you read this whole thing and are still feeling lost, that’s where I come in. I’ve helped tons of people propose to their love so I have a few things up me sleeve. If you’re looking for a Montreal Proposal Photographer or just struggling to plan your proposal or come up with proposal ideas, I’m your girl! Let’s chat about your love story and how to make your proposal perfect.

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