Your Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Perfect Engagement

The Perfect Engagement: Your Ultimate Guide To Plan Your Unique Proposal


Engagement Shoot - The Ultimate Guide - Cornwall Wedding Photographer

This is the guide you never knew you needed …


Planning the perfect engagement is easy right? Here’s your guide so you can plan an epic engagement

So you’ve taken the leap of faith and you’re wanting to propose to your best friends! You want to get hitched. Hear the words – I do. Tie the knot. Whatever you want to call it, the process of getting engaged can feel quite daunting and overwhelming at times. If you’re like me you’ll be there overthinking every little scenario and panicking it’s not going to go right. But it will, you’ve just got to trust in yourself.

Also as a little helping hand I’m here to guide you along your engagement adventure. From understanding the signs (or just doing it because you want to) that your partner is ready to be asked, to knowing when the right moment to propose is. I’m here to ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.  

Whether you are being traditional and asking your partners father or family for their permission, deciding to propose in front of your family and friends or doing it much more intimately in a setting special to the two of you, this guide is here to help even the most clueless proposer get it right.

So why should you trust me? I recently decided to get down on one knee to my amazing partner Layla. I was panicking for months when I thought this was the right time to pop the question (was I right though?). At the beginning of 2022 I decided this was the year so I began hunting for the perfect ring. One problem my partner doesn’t really wear any jewellery.

She had no rings to get a finger measurements and there was no way I could get her to go ring shopping without suspicions rising. I found Taylor & Hart amazing here – they guessed her ring size by looking at photos. And they got it spot on! At the time I was like how on earth could this be right so I decided to try and measure her ring finger. Never did I know this was going to be the hardest thing to do ever. A few sleepless nights later I got so close when all of a sudden she woke up with me holding her hand. I thought I was busted, luckily for me I managed to get away with this. I gave up trying to measure her finger after this and had faith in Taylor & Hart.

Something people don’t tell you is how hard it is to simply hide the ring leading up to the engagement. Just find somewhere your partner rarely ever looks.

The Engagement Plan – we were to jet off from Newquay Airport to Portugal to enjoy a “normal holiday” with her family. Before flying out I booked a photographer to take some epic photos of the proposal, so we had a date sorted … it was at the end of the holiday. How was I going to wait till then! But I decided this would be best incase the answer wasn’t the one I wanted to hear.

Proposal day. I planned to go on a tour with VTours (Pedro) around the Algarve. He was amazing and we had the best experience – so knowledgable and caring. He picked us up at our hotel and the tour began around coast stopping off at so many epic locations, from beautiful seascapes to trying the local liqueur. We finally reached the proposal location (nerves and jitters were high right now). Before we left for the tour I told my partner that we were going to end the at a posh restaurant so needing nice clothes will be needed. I was thinking how on earth is this all coming together.

Vale Dos Homens was the right choice – breathtaking views from the clifftop path. The restaurant was definitely right around the corner haha. We stopped to take in the view on the cliffs edge. The sun setting over the beach was just magical and it really felt like the right place to get down on one knee. Meanwhile in my head I was going over what I was going to say – I had it all set out, it was time.

I said to my partner that she should take a photo of how beautiful this place was on her phone, whilst her back was turned I got down on one knee. She turned round with a shocked expression all over her face! I gave the most epic speech (neither of us can actually remember what I said) and she said yes!!! I was so happy to have a photographer snapping away in the background little to her knowledge. Having an engagement shoot right there and then was one of the best experiences I have done.

We then went back to celebrate the rest of the night with my partners family back in Vilamoura. What a holiday!!!



The Perfect Engagement: Your Ultimate Guide To Plan Your Unique Proposal

(this ph0to is from my engagement shoot in Portugal)


Check out the links to these fantastic people that helped me throw the most epic proposal at the bottom of the blog.


Should you ask your future father in law’s permission before popping the question?

It’s something that every traditionalist (me, so I might be a bit biased) will tell you is a definite requirement for an engagement to happen – asking the parent permission for your partners hand in marriage. Others will tell you that it’s simply not necessary in today’s modern world – but trust me when I say: they’re expecting it! I feel personally both parents should be asked. Plus if you overlook this step it could cause some tension and an awkward conversation down the line. Plus they can help make your celebrations that much better


Tips to help it go smoothly:

  • Meet at a common place you both love.
  • Reassure your partner’s parents that you love their child more than anyone else in this world and that marriage is important to you.
  • Meet in person – this is not something to be done over the phone or worse – in a text message! If meeting in person isn’t an option then at the very least have a video call with your partners parents.
  • Yes it’s tradition to ask the father in law for permission but it’s nice to include Mum too!
  • Be on time and under no circumstances cancel or reschedule your meeting. It doesn’t exactly scream ‘dependable and reliable’ if you keep flaking!



Best Locations for an Engagement Photoshoot in Cornwall | Cornwall Wedding Photographer | Couple at Kynance Cove, Cornwall



Should you propose in front of family and friends?

Is it appropriate for you to propose in front of your entire family and friends? Actually, is it a good idea? This is going to be personal to you, as a couple, and what kind of people you are. Proposals are a pretty big deal, are you someone who is confident with their words, feels comfortable in front of a crowd. Or do you both prefer your own company.

You’ll also want to consider how your partner is likely to feel being proposed to in front of everybody. Think about it carefully, does your partner like a big fuss of their birthday? Are they super close to their family and constantly sharing every detail of their life? Even if they are the type of person who likes to be the centre of attention they may not want to have their proposal in front of everyone. 

There is of course a happy medium, you can arrange a post engagement celebration with all you loved ones. It’ll give you a chance to break the news in one place and answer all of the questions too. It is also a great way of making sure the families feel involved and gives everybody a nice opportunity to meet before the wedding planning starts too. 

How to pop the question

Time to take a knee. Let’s get down to it, the sheer fact you are reading this and researching your proposal means you probably want it to be special and ‘just right.’ Yes I know popping the question can feel a little overwhelming, however try and stay calm, composed, and collected. 

Have you had any thoughts about how you’d like to propose? Or maybe your partner has been dropping hints about their perfect proposal. Maybe it could be a romantic dinner, you plan an epic trip to a country you both love, or you could get down on one knee on your sofa after an episode of Bake off. Whatever you choose to do it’s going to be personal to you two. These are just ideas not the solution to the perfect proposal.



The Perfect Engagement: Your Ultimate Guide To Plan Your Unique Proposal



However, I do have some pointers though for you to consider. So you can make your proposal extra special and ensure you are as prepared as possible: 


1 – Bring the Bling

Have something – whether it’s a diamond, a stone that your partner loves, a family heirloom or a token ring with the plan to choose an engagement ring together – make sure you propose with something (even a hairdo ring but it might not go down well).

2 – Get down on one knee

Here’s a pretty important tradition and one if you don’t do you’ll never hear the end of. So save yourself explaining yourself for the rest of your life and just get down on one knee. If you are wondering where the tradition comes from getting down on one knee was a sign of respect and loyalty for your master or Lord in days gone by.

3 – Make it memorable

You are asking your partner to become your wife or husband. Show them why they would want to spend the rest of their life with you. Surely they already know…. but a little reminder never hurt anyone! Book their favourite restaurant, sort a night away in a far off place, order their favourite flowers for the room, surprise them with a thoughtful gift as a start to the evening, there are lots of ways you can show your partner how much they mean to you.

Try to incorporate a part of your relationship into your proposal. Something as simple as proposing at the place of your first date or arranging lots of photographs of your relationship together are thoughtful touches that won’t go unnoticed. There’s also no need to propose in the evening, you can make a day of it…. planning all of your favourite activities and culminating in the proposal!

Some activities for a daytime experience could be a spa day with a surprise manicure for your other half – ready for them to show off that bling, a sporting event, a hot air balloon ride, going on a picnic or going for a nice walk.

Remember to include activities that mean something to the two of you. 



Best Locations for an Engagement Photoshoot in Cornwall | Cornwall Wedding Photographer | Godrevy | Engagement Ring



Still nervous?

Relax, grab a drink and take a moment to think it over. The fact you have been together long enough to be thinking about proposing probably means they are going to say yes! They wouldn’t have been with you this long, right? If you weren’t going to spend the rest of your lives together. And I bet if you thought about it, you’ve talked about marriage or growing old together at some point. 


Whatever way you ask her will be perfect! Be confident. You’ve got this! 


Thank you for reading this blog post – The Perfect Engagement: Your Ultimate Guide To Plan Your Unique Proposal


Now that you’re thinking about proposing here are a few blogs that you’ll find useful:


The Perfect Engagement: Your Ultimate Guide To Plan Your Unique Proposal


Here are the links to the fantastic suppliers I mentioned earlier that helped plan my engagement –