How to Plan a Proposal She Won't Expect

How do you pull off a surprise proposal without your lady suspecting a thing? It can be tricky, but we're here to help.

Photo: Greer Inez Photography

Pop the Question on a Random Day

This means avoiding any anniversaries or birthdays–two days that your girlfriend is on high alert for a potential proposal. Ashley Noack, owner and lead planner at Coastyle Events, says, "pick a 'normal' day or pre-planned activity and base it around something that you would do together." Your fiancée-to-be will be far more suspicious of a proposal on your anniversary than she will be during your usual Sunday morning pancakes and coffee ritual.

Plan to Propose When You're Doing Something You Both Love

Showing up with a box full of golden lab puppies with one of them wearing the ring around his collar is so sweet when it happens in the movies, but it's a rather unrealistic proposal idea for most guys. Noack says, "If you go on a walk every night together, then plan ahead and have a pop-up romantic dinner waiting in the park. Or if you both are big sports fans and every Sunday you go watch your favorite team together, then surprise her at your favorite sports bar." Not only will you have a sweet proposal story to tell your friends and family about, you start your engagement off doing something you both love to do.

Choose a Tech-Savvy Route for Your Proposal

Is your girlfriend a sucker for those viral videos of parents pretending to eat their kids' Halloween candy or celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves? If the answer is yes, then a homemade video proposal sounds right up her alley. Erika Darden of Erika Darden Events says, "Record a video (silent or music with no words) where you chronicle the history of your relationship with handwritten cards. On the last card of the video, ask your partner to turn around." Your girlfriend will think she's about to watch just another YouTube video until she realizes what's happening.

Hire a Photographer to Capture the Big Moment

Proposals-especially surprise proposals-can be quite stressful to execute. A major part of devising a successful surprise proposal is hiring a photographer to document the day so you have pictures that capture before, during, and after the proposal. Think about how precious it would be to send out a photo of your fiancée's surprised face to friends and family! Feeling extra fancy? Noack says, "If you want to be the ultimate rock star of a fiancé, then opt for a videographer who can create an engagement video for you!"

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