7 Steps for a Successful Proposal

Tis the season for engagements!

More proposals take place between November and February, than any other time of year, so as we embark into the thick of it, here are a few pointers for the proposer. As I recently had a hand in the proposal planning for my very first friend (Jessica) when arriving in New Orleans many years ago, Brian reached out to me for a number of reasons; mainly due to the fact that I could put a plan in place where Jessica would have no idea what was about to happen!

I put together a list; although it doesn’t need to be followed to a T, it can allow for some guidance and help to ease the stress that may surprisingly creep up on you for this momentous occasion.

1. Making the Plan - It seems obvious; but you will need to craft a story that won't tip off the proposee. Make it believable enough, but also not something that they would cause further investigation. Enlisting the help of friends or family is not a terrible idea, as long as they can keep a secret too!

Consider crafting a scenario where the level of attire will match the type of proposal you are executing, especially if you are documenting the event with either a photographer or videographer. Diaz NOLA Photography was abe to effortless capture the moment for Brian and Jessica and the timing was fantastic as the Omni had holiday decor throughout the hotel making it even more magical.

2. Selecting the Vendors - The top three vendors that I would consider including are; a photographer / videographer, music and rentals (for props); a candle lit balcony, a flower path entrance, a cued balloon drop or even firework display to celebrate the YES!

These vendors do not need to be those that you choose for the big day; just ones that know what you are working to accomplish and can have the flexibility to keep it simple or expand to as elaborate as your imagination can go!

“Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” on the violin filled the room as Harry Hardin from New Orleans Classical and Jazz played Brian and Jessica’s song.


Mallory & Cedric Felicity Church New Orleans Wedding Photography-12.jpg

3. Picking the Venue - Again, this does not have to be where you are going to get married or where anyone else has gotten married for that matter, and in fact does not need to be seen on the jumbotron, unless that’s your thing and you have an in at the Superdome!

To make this an extra special moment pick a location that is representation of your courtship; where was your first date, or first kiss? Is there a museum you frequent together or a shared secret that could translate into a venue.

Brian’s choice for location was the Omni Royal - New Orleans; as it overlooked the Mississippi River, where he and Jessica had their first date!

4. The Ring - You would be surprised how easily this can be overlooked! My suggestion is, keep the ring in a safe place; not in a coat pocket, as there it can easily be left in the closet when you pick another coat!

Also work with your jewelry to insure your ring is polished, cleaned and ready to role on the big day, as often I find that proposers select and purchase the ring a bit in advance of the actual proposal day. Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers will even hold your ring until you are ready to propose, then you know it’s safe!

5. Preparing your Statement - Do not hesitate to write it down! If you have something to say, and you want to be sure it is said, writing down your thoughts is exactly what you should do. I would strongly recommend practicing a time or two before the actual event, and remember to keep whatever you wrote down.

The most genuine thing you can say in these moments are exactly how you feel, and if it isn’t like you to make a speech, don’t. “I love you and I want to spend my life with you,” that’s all that needs to be said in a moment like this.

I set Brian up to already be on one knee for Jessica’s arrival; I wanted to make sure this step wasn’t missed and Brian was a bit nervous that I had my suspicions this step would be missed with all the excitement between the two of them.

Not one for sharing secret moments; however I happened to be tucked behind the corner for this proposal and the moment that melted my heart (you can see me hiding behind the violinist in the picture below), and that we pulled off the surprise, was knowing Jessica was coming off the elevator and coming into line of sight with Brian, and then hearing her exclaim; “IT’S HAPPENING!”

Mallory & Cedric Felicity Church New Orleans Wedding Photography-16.jpg

6. Including VIP’s - Weather you want special people to be present at the proposal, or waiting in the wings to come out after the “YES,” this is a detail that can make a proposal more of an event for the proposee.

Here are a few tips for including those VIPs:

  • Make sure VIPs know the plan for the proposal, and provide them with a signal for their entrance so you are able to either time it perfectly for a surprise, or to allow for enough time between you and your partner to enjoy your moment together.

  • Have your VIPs dress appropriately for either pictures or the after proposal plans that are in place.

  • You know the VIPs best, and there isn’t anything saying you can’t fib about the reason you are gathering them together as well, especially if they might spill the beans to the proposee!

7. After Proposal Plan - Most of the focus usually ends up on asking the big question; however there is a lot to celebrate after the main event! With after proposal plans in place you can easily continue the celebration and include more friends and family, or lead your partner on an adventure highlighting your courtship, the possibilities are endless, and this is usually the time when you the proposer can take a breath and enjoy the moment.

Brian and Jessica are two of my closest friends and I could not be more honored to not only assist with the proposal and be witness to the event; but also I get to begin planning their big day and the ideas I have are endless for this special couple. Stay tuned; that will be one you won’t want to miss!

Again, happy engagement season to all of you, it is a very special time of year!


Ring // Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers

Photographer // Diaz Nola Photography

Violinist // New Orleans Classical and Jazz

Venue // The Omni Royal



All smiles not only because of the gorgeous ring from  Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers  but also because Brian knew exactly what to say to fill her heart with happiness

All smiles not only because of the gorgeous ring from Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers but also because Brian knew exactly what to say to fill her heart with happiness