What better place to pop the big question than in the Big Apple? There is so much life and love coursing through the city and makes your proposal and photos magical (especially Brooklyn proposal photos). 

I had the absolute honor of heading up to Brooklyn to photograph my brother and sister-in-laws engagement in DUMBO and it was so special. He surprised her and it made for such an incredible day for everyone. 

So, if you are looking for some tips on how to get the perfect Brooklyn proposal photos (and make it a surprise), here are a few of my top tips!  

How to Plan for the Perfect Brooklyn Proposal Photos 

Find the perfect location 

First and foremost, you want to find the perfect location. Where this is throughout the city really depends on you and your partner. If you live in New York City, this may be your favorite cafe, pizza shop, or the park you walk in every date night. 

If you’re headed to NYC as a surprise and are looking for the best place to pop the question, DUMBO is one of the most beautiful places you could do that. There is so much character to this area and the waterfront is just stunning. 

This is where Tanner decided to propose and not only were the two of them beautiful together, but you also had the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, which just made the photos even more special. 

If you don’t want to go to the waterfront, there are also so many unique neighborhoods throughout the city that have their own charm to them. Or, you can go the classic route and take a stroll through Central Park before getting down on one knee. 

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a place that is special to you and your partner. This doesn’t have to be somewhere you have been before, especially if you are taking a trip to NYC for your proposal. 

If you’re always outside in parks, you can go to one of the parks here. Or if you love the water, you can head down along the water to propose. Maybe there is a place you two have always dreamed of visiting together and you go there for your proposal! 

Coordinate with your photographer 

Wherever you choose to pop the question, you want to make sure you coordinate that with your photographer. Generally when you are having a photographer capture your proposal one two things are going to happen: 

  1. You are going to tell your partner you are getting a couples session and propose during it. 
  2. You are going to have the photographer hidden and propose without your partner seeing them. 

Either way you do this, coordinating with your photographer is crucial. If you do plan to do it during a session and surprise your partner, you and your photographer can come up with a plan or a signal to make sure they know when you are going to pop the question. 

This can be you saying something specific, a certain location you are at, or a unique pose you plan on doing during the session. Whatever it is, you both want to be on the same page so they don’t miss the big moment! 

If you are going to have the photographer hidden and surprise your partner, it is really important to be on the same page with your photographer (and it may even be helpful to have a friend in it who can communicate with them throughout the day). 

You want to make sure they know where they need to be and when they need to be there. Your photographer may also be able to scope out the area beforehand and let you know where they will be able to subtly capture the moment and where the perfect place to propose is. 

With a moment like this, it is only going to happen once so you really want to make sure you are communicating and know what is going to happen so they can be there at the perfect moment to help you remember this day forever! 

Decide how big (or small) you want to go with the proposal 

When it comes to a surprise proposal, you also want to think about how big or small you want to go with it. Are we talking flash mob level or an intimate moment with just you and your partner? 

Generally, in my experience, it is good to have at least one or two other people in on the surprise. You’d be shocked at how hard it can be to pull off a surprise sometimes and even just one other person helping you can make all of the difference. 

How big you want your proposal to be may also help you figure out where to have it. If you are planning to have a bunch of people involved in the proposal, somewhere like DUMBO where there is a ton of open space may be a good idea. This way you don’t feel like everyone is on top of you when you finally do pop the question. 

If you want something a bit more intimate, you can go for a smaller location (a cafe, a walk down the street, at your favorite restaurant). It can also be a bit easier to put together a smaller engagement. 

Just remember, the more people that are in on it, the more people you have to coordinate and the more people who have to keep a secret! 

Plan for time before and after the proposal 

When it comes to the timing of your proposal, it’s a good idea to give yourself a bit of time before and after the proposal. What I mean by this is that if you do have any other plans that day, give yourself enough padding in your schedule to actually enjoy this moment. 

For Tanner and Molly’s engagement, we actually went out to dinner after their proposal, but we still had plenty of time to take pictures, celebrate with each other, and enjoy this amazing moment in their lives before we actually left. 

You are probably going to have a ton of nerves going into this day so keep your schedule a bit more relaxed and don’t book yourself back to back! 

Make it a whole family event 

Finally, you can make the surprise proposal a whole family event. Instead of it being just the two of you, you can invite the most important people in both of your lives to be a part of this day. 

This, however, doesn’t mean that they need to be part of the engagement. You can have them hanging out behind the scenes or waiting for you somewhere else to give you and your partner that perfect moment alone. 

This can be a really great way to surprise your partner even more during your proposal. I mean, imagine how excited they will be to call their parents or their friends to tell them you are engaged. Now think about how amazing that moment would be if they were actually just right there with them! 

I loved that Tanner and Molly did this and it made for some incredible moments for all of us. He had family from both sides fly in for the proposal and, while they were all behind the scenes as he was popping the question, they were close by to celebrate right after. 

Now, not only do they have some amazing Brookly proposal photos of the two of them right on the water, but they also have the candid moments of hugging their closest friends and family right after getting engaged.

You can also plan a gathering after the proposal and have a nice dinner or go do your favorite activities together to celebrate all together! 

Final Thoughts on Proposal Photos in Brooklyn

Hopefully these tips help you plan the perfect Brooklyn proposal photos! New York is such a magical place to start this next chapter in your life and it is a moment that you and your partner will always remember. 

If you are ready to plan your own surprise proposal, I’d love to be a part of it! You can click here to get in touch and talk about the amazing plan you have to surprise your partner and how we can make sure to capture every moment for you forever! 


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