How To Plan An Unforgettable Surprise Proposal In British Columbia

January 14, 2023

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photographer captures surprise proposal at a lake in Whistler

In British Columbia, natural beauty like dramatic mountains, stunning sunsets or sparkling lakes is just waiting to be discovered around every corner — so if you’re looking to plan a surprise proposal in British Columbia, there’s nowhere else better in the world!

Our majestic landscape is inspiring, no matter the season. Whether you crave the romance of falling snow or you love getting lost in the vibrant autumn foliage, the natural world of BC constantly impresses. If you’ve been thinking of popping the question, British Columbia is an ideal location, especially for couples who love the outdoors. 

Planning a proposal is something many people worry about, but you can’t get it wrong if you’re true to yourself! Here’s how to plan a surprise proposal in British Columbia that will mean the world to both you and your partner. 

How Do You Arrange A Surprise Proposal?

When considering proposal ideas in British Columbia, start by reflecting on your relationship. What sort of setting or environment would your partner be most comfortable in? By considering where you’ll both feel closest and connected, you can select the ideal location so the proposal is authentic to you!

Many people find it helps to draft their proposal lines in advance, jotting down a few notes of key points they want to be sure to include. That way, you feel more prepared and confident on the day!

You can organise your proposal on your own, or there are also proposal planning services that can bring your vision to life — it all comes down to your personal preference. A planning service can save you time, but some people also enjoy the fun of arranging everything on their own. 

Decide On Your Dream Location

If you’re wondering where to propose in Vancouver or BC, I know it’s a tough call! My best advice would be to decide on the type of location first, then nail down specifics. 

Do you dream of proposing deep in the woods, surrounded by nature? A romantic restaurant that’s special to both of you? Maybe you want to push the literal boat out with a sunset kayak? Once you work out the best environment, you can go from there. However, your photographer can also suggest ideas, whether you desire a rooftop proposal in Vancouver or a private cabin on a lake.

photographer captures surprise proposal at lake in Whistler

For The Outdoorsy Couple

For couples who thrive in nature — you are my jam! — and there are so many beautiful places in nature to pop the question! A few I love include Grouse Mountain, Lynn Canyon, Jericho Beach, White Rock Pier, Whistler Mountain or one of the many lakes in Whistler, Deep Cove or the Sea to Sky Gondola (which is also a great BC elopement venue). 

City Chic

A few of my top Vancouver engagement spots that can be so romantic include Stanley Park, Granville Island or maybe one of your favorite restaurants around Gastown or Yaletown! Indoor places to propose in Vancouver can include the Vancouver Art Gallery, Bloedel Conservatory or Vancouver Aquarium. And as an added bonus, Vancouver in general is just so photogenic!

Romantic Weekend Away

While you can’t go wrong with a sentimental location, you could also take your partner for a weekend away to somewhere they might not expect, starting your new chapter of life with a new adventure! Where can I propose in the Lower Mainland on a romantic weekend? The rustic Harrison Hot Springs Resort in the Fraser Valley offers five hot mineral spring pools and spa treatments to truly indulge! I also love the charms of the Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina on the Sunshine Coast and The Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island. Unwind in nature, immerse yourself in the outdoors and create a romantic and fun weekend away where you can pop the question. 

Wherever you decide, your surprise proposal is going to be a huge success! As long as you approach it with honesty, meaning and authenticity, it’s sure to be a beautiful and exciting day. 

Consider The Right Time Of Day 

After deciding on your location, think about the time of day you’ll propose. This is particularly key if you’re having a proposal photographer, as you want the right lighting for your images.  Right after sunrise or pre-sunset, known as the ‘golden hour,’ is always a winner for outdoor photos — with sunrise having the advantage of giving you more space, especially if you want to propose on a busy trail or park. 

The time of day also matters if you’re planning additional celebrations or activities after the proposal — a sunset toast is always a winner, but you might also plan a surprise get-together with family or friends. After all, knowing how to plan a surprise wedding proposal could include a bonus surprise — in addition to the proposal itself — making the experience just that much more special. 

Sprinkle In Some Meaning And Purpose

To add that little something extra to your proposal, think about elements to the day which will be meaningful and memorable to you both. This could include anything that holds purpose with you both, such as fresh flowers, music (even live music!), or props such as a family memento or a treasured book or photo that you both value. 

While there’s no wrong or right way to propose, many couples find sentimental items that make the day more meaningful and also help connect it to loved ones. 

And yes, it’s completely ok to include your pets in your proposal! Dogs are such a big part of the family, so bring your pup along to share in the celebrations! 

engaged couple sitting at a beach and playing guitar

Book A Photographer Offering Proposal Packages In Vancouver

Since a proposal is often over in a matter of minutes, a lot of couples find value in booking a photographer to capture the moment. You’ll both love having candid photos of that moment of elation, surprise and romance, and they’re so much fun to look back on! The laughter, the smiles and the raw emotion are just so powerful. 

I love shooting proposals and would be very glad to team up with you for the most amazing surprise proposal, capturing every little moment of your exciting day. I’m also very happy to recommend some fantastic locations in addition to the above!

Get in touch to start planning your proposal (and engagement!) photography — I can’t wait to hear from you. 

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I'm your photographer if you crave adventure, love spontaneity, and are passionate about finding beauty in the road less traveled. As a BC elopement and micro-wedding photographer who is constantly inspired by the outdoors and loves to travel all over the province (and the world!), I’m up for any adventure in the destination of your dreams!

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