Looking for the best places to get engaged in the greater Houston area? Thinking about having your proposal captured professionally? You’ve come to the right place to consider all your options. Houston and it’s surrounding towns are incredibly beautiful and offer endless possibilities when it comes to getting down on one knee in front of the love of your life.
Why hire a photographer for your proposal?
Memories, memories, memories! This moment will be one of the bigger ones of your life and it will go by super fast. Having professional photos ensures that you and your partner will not only remember the actual moment forever but everything around it as well. The cry, the smiles, the hugs, the kisses, and the storytelling details of your proposal. I always capture the entire story, which includes all the moments around your proposal, in addition to portraits and close-up shots afterward.
Multiple uses out of your photos. They’ll be perfect for your albums, and you can post them on your social media channel(s) of choice. You can also totally use them for invites and save-the-date cards down the road. #weddingplanninghack
You’ll also get that epic ring shot. I can say without a doubt, that everyone will want to see the ring once they know you’re engaged. This is likely to be very important to your partner, so having a perfectly lit professional photo of the ring guarantees you’ll not have to worry about that.
Your family and friends can feel like they were there. Your partner’s parents and yours are probably going to appreciate seeing the photos, especially if they are out of state and can’t celebrate with you on the day/week of. (Psst….sharing the images is likely to score points with your future in-laws!)
Get some experience in front of the camera. Engagement and wedding photos will be just around the corner. Having your portraits done professionally following your proposal will help you feel much more comfortable later on the wedding day.
How to plan a proposal with a photographer
Planning a proposal can weigh a lot on you, so let me help! There are many things to consider, especially if you want everything to run super smoothly and the moment to be perfectly documented. Typically, I offer two ways to capture your proposal:
Immediately after your booking, we’ll set up a strategy call to discuss all the details, decide on a location, and make a bulletproof plan. On the day of your proposal, I will be completely available for a phone call or text, and will arrive early to set up, do light tests and capture your proposal in secret from a reasonable distance. This plan works best in locations with a known meeting point.
A photoshoot that turns into a proposal
You tell your partner that you’ve booked a photographer for that date (or any excuse for a photoshoot*) that you have been planning and about 10 minutes into the photo session, you get on one knee and propose! This way works really well in more remote areas or if you’d like more privacy. The photos from this plan will be more intimate and in the moment than in the first one as I will be closer to you two.
Need excuses for a photoshoot?
- Find empty space in your house and say you want a photo of you to hang there
- Tell them you want to start making relationship photo yearbooks and this shoot will be the start of it
- Holiday cards are the perfect excuse for a shoot.
- You can gift them (or yourself) a shoot as a birthday present, or any type of present.
- If it’s your dating anniversary, a photo shoot is ideal. Also, super romantic to propose on that day.
- Include your family or families, and disguise it as a family photo shoot. Say your parents are organizing it.
Try to book a manicure for your partner the day before, and have friends or family be in on it to make it less suspicious. All to make sure everything is sparkling and spotless in the ring shots.
Keep your pockets empty during the photo shoot and proposal. Leave your phone in the car or ask me to hold on to your stuff during your shoot. Your photos will look slightly better with no rectangular phone outline on your pants.
Prepare and practice what you are going to say. Even if you don’t plan on giving a long speech. Knowing what you are going to say and what words you are going to use will only make you feel better, less stressed, and more confident.
Stay on your knee a little bit longer than you feel is normal. I will first capture you two from a 90-degree angle and then move to get your partner’s reaction by photographing over your shoulder. (see the example photos below)
Where to Propose in the Greater Houston Area...
PARKS AND ARBORETUMS
There are so many nature areas to name, but Mercer Arboretum and the McGovern Centennial Gardens are two of my favorites. Both are expansive and have numerous gardens within the park, all fantastic for a proposal.
It’s impossible to find an unpleasant angle! Stroll with your sweetheart through the paved garden paths, or enjoy a picnic lunch together as I quietly snap away. No matter the season, you will have texture and color. From the pops of pinks in the spring, to golden fall hues, you can’t go wrong with a garden.
Houston offers a variety of options to propose with a view. There are restaurants and bars with soaring views of the city, but maybe you know someone whose apartment building has a rooftop pool and a bird's-eye view of the Houston skyline (like the one pictured here.)
Of course she said yes!
EASTERN GLADES MEMORIAL PARK
This park has so many options when it comes to proposals. You can keep it super simple and get down on one knee in the main area of the park or venture into the woods, to a super remote place where it is just you and your partner.
FAVE COFFEE SHOP, BAR, RESTAURANT
Proposing at a your favorite establishment is one of the all time classics – and Houston has multiple options to choose from.
BLVD OAKS - RICE UNIVERSITY
The canopy of giants oak trees are definitely the main attraction but there are also brick sidewalks and stately homes.
WG JONES STATE PARK
Surrounded by Conroe, The Woodlands, and Montgomery County, WG Jones State Forest is one of the largest working urban forests in the country, sitting on 1722 acres. It’s open all year round during daylight hours and there’s so much to explore for your engagement session!
ELEANOR TINSLEY PARK
Buffalo Bayou / Eleanor Tinsley Park serve as the perfect combination of nature and city. Its jaw-dropping fields and downtown Houston peaking just overhead truly give you the best of both worlds!
The Woodlands is home to so many beautiful and unique locations that would make the perfect spot to pop the question.
PUNDT PARK - SPRING, TX
On the outskirts of Spring, TX, north of Houston, lies Pundt Park, a 380-acre oasis. My favorite location to shoot here is the breathtaking Spring Creek! Surrounded by white sand and beach grass, no one would ever guess just how close you are to the city. Meanwhile, tall pines provide a dramatic backdrop that feels distinctly Texan. This location is even more stunning before sunset, during Golden Hour! I suggest doing your session 1.5-2 hours prior to sunset to get the best light.
Downtown is a premier location for anything photo-related in the city-center of Houston. Whether it is for proposal pictures or anything else, it just always works!
I swear that sometimes the simplest locations can make for the prettiest photos!
Memorial Park caters to both those that would like some privacy and those that don’t mind a crowd. Propose on any of the common areas and you’re bound to have a walker or runner speed past congratulating you two!
Rice University’s expansive campus is an exceptional setting for your engagement. The 300-acre campus is lined with 4,300 trees, making it as whimsical as it is historical. Rice’s decorative columns and inviting archways make it a dreamy landscape to showcase your love.
Don’t forget to get some lovely shots of your sparkly, new diamond ring.
Wait! There's more...
Holiday Lighting Events - there are lightings all over the greater Houston area from around mid-November until the beginning of January. Consider pairing your proposal where there are beautiful lights, followed by a restaurant reservation or tickets to the theater.
The Woodlands Waterway - this area is beautiful year-round and is a wonderful spot for proposal photos, during the day or prior to dinner. Speaking of which, there are so many spectacular restaurants in The Woodlands for a post-proposal dinner. Check out TRIS, Hearsay, and Morton's for out-of-this-world dining experiences or keep it casual and hop across the street at Mahoney's.
Southshore Park Pavilion - Southshore Park on Lake Woodlands is one of the oldest landmarks in The Woodlands. It's also home to the famous Woodlands Dragon that can be seen from Woodlands Parkway. For anyone who has grown up in The Woodlands, this landmark holds a special place in their heart. Plan a picnic on the second story of the pavilion and pop the question on Lake Woodlands.
Riva Row Boathouse - Riva Row Boat House is a beautiful amenity in The Woodlands that's perfect for many occasions.
Market Street - Market Street is a great location to enjoy a bit of shopping and a drink before your surprise proposal! Celebrate with a dinner at Mastro's or Uni Sushi. The Visitor Information Center (located in the North Commons) can help make reservations and offer up other suggestions!
Rob Fleming Park - The park often has rows of beautiful Azaleas blooming during the spring months and is also home to a beautiful stone pavilion area. It’s the perfect place to catch a romantic sunset and enjoy the beautiful nature of the area. The nearby fishing docks stretch out over the water, so if you are into fishing you could put the ring on a fishing line and get her to “catch” the surprise!
Town Green Park - The walkway bridge that connects Town Green Park to the Riva Row Boat House is a great choice because of the views of The Woodlands Waterway. As another Town Center location, this could also be a great place for an after dinner or shopping stroll. The water and wildlife also make for a tranquil place that can easily be visited on date nights to come.
Houston Zoo Reflection Pool - The Houston Zoo’s Reflection Pool takes on a mystical ‘secret garden’ sensation in the early evening, as its enveloping arch and lines of trees are further defined by mood-enhancing lighting.
Buffalo Bayou - Buffalo Bayou is a 16-acre park located along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou just west of downtown Houston. It features beautiful gardens, public art, and various spots to have a picnic date! It also features a handful of trails on the north and south banks of Buffalo Bayou, including routes that offer the loveliest views of the city skyscrapers.
Cy-Hope - Cy-Hope is a non-profit organization based in Cypress, featuring a gorgeous property that you can rent out for your engagement session. The Cypress Alamo has a modern rustic feel with breathtaking green scenery that looks like it came straight from a fairytale! For this engagement photo location, you’ll need to book a date, sign and bring along your release forms and also make a small donation (a minimum of $20) to the organization!
River Oaks Garden Club - Yes there is a fee. I promise you it’s worth every red cent! With five green arches and bustling flowers all around, River Oaks Garden Club is one of the best kept secrets in Houston. Established in 1942, the club features three formal gardens that were designed by J. Allen Myers, Jr. and Herbert Skogland. The informal gardens are spacious and gorgeous. The Forum is used for ceremonies, receptions, birthday parties, and photo sessions. I especially love all the sculptures around the garden. Top that off with a red brick patio, and you simply cannot beat this location! Although, there are a lot of trees, the sun will shine brightly on this location. You want to pray and hope for an overcast day on the day of your session. Other good times are in the morning or during sunset for the best results.
Your Home - A great way to personalize your engagement session is to do an in-home session! No need to worry about crowds or feeling overwhelmed by crowds of people. Just you and your love celebrating your engagement in the comfort of your own home.
Cuddle up on the couch, run around the backyard with the dogs or bake a cake in the kitchen together! There is no limit to the fun ways you can personalize an in-home session for your engagement photos!
--> There’s so many more places in Houston to list, and if you think of one we’ll love to hear about it. Don’t feel limited by this list at all, its just to help get you inspired.
What should I wear for the proposal?
This is a big question. You’ll definitely want to dress up for the occasion, but as this is a surprise, your partner will be dressing up for what they think is the occasion. The time of year and your location also play a big part in your what you should consider wearing.
- Formal attire - For men, this is a well-fitted dark suit with a tie and dress shoes. For women, it is a little bit looser but long gowns and heels definitely fit well. Formal attire is appropriate for upscale restaurants, balls, galas, and awards. But you certainly don’t need a formal occasion to dress formally.
- Semi-formal attire - For men, this might be a jacket, shirt, dress pants, and stylish shoes. For women, cocktail dresses, or flowy skirts are perfect. Semi-formal attire is great for summer events, outdoor parties, gallery openings, and more.
- Casual - This is not necessarily your everyday sweatpants and t-shirt casual. For men, this could be dark jeans and a nicely fitted shirt — and for women, a summer dress or a stylish jumpsuit, for example.
A quick note on colors, think about your location and what colors are mostly present there. You’ll definitely want to stand out in the environment and not blend completely in. If you are considering an outdoor proposal in fall, wearing lots of yellows, browns, and reds is probably not a great idea. Instead, opt for navy blue, light gray, and you can totally wear some blacks too. Do also consider coordinating your outfit with your partner, don’t try to match like twins, but complement each other. If they wear a lot of black outfits, maybe consider getting a fresh pair of black jeans.
My package goes beyond just capturing your proposal, it includes:
- One or two strategy calls to plan your proposal perfectly
- Advice and tips on locations, dates, and times to maximize your experience and get the best light for your photos
- I’ll take care of any necessary permits and/or photography fees on your behalf.
- And put you in contact with planners, coordinators, decorators, and florists in the area.
- Up to an hour-long photo session on your day. Your proposal is captured, then followed by portraits and ring shots.
- Sneak previews delivered as soon as possible for those who want to announce their engagement on social media.
- Full gallery delivered within 1-2 weeks (depending on the season).
- Access to my gallery store for customized framed prints, cards, albums, and more. Perfect for the save-the-dates 😉