A man surprises a woman with a proposal in a bar.

Surprise Proposal

Surprise Proposal

This surprise proposal comes straight to you from Downtown La Crosse, WI.  The groom to be decided that he wanted to propose to the girl of his dreams at the same place that he met her.  They met in a bar downtown La Crosse called Sawtooth Sams.  The bar has some of the largest space in the downtown area with its connection to Coconut Joes (owned by the same people).  Coconut Joes is a top 40 music bar with a beach theme with underwater murals and even a large shark jetting out of a corner.  The Sawtooth Sams side is the country side of the bar and at the time of writing this was the biggest Country bar downtown La Crosse until they closed for renovations.  The groom had all his and her mutual friends line up from the door all the way to the main stage area.  Her friends had her meeting them all there to her surprise.  As she walked through the group of people who gave her roses to hold she finally met him at the end on one knee.  As you can see…she said yes.  Lets face it…I probably wouldn’t be posting this if it didn’t have a happy ending.  They took a few moments to dance as the guys had silly inside jokes that had to get a shot or two of.  We finished with a group photo before I took the bride and groom outside to take a few intimate pictures with just the bride and groom.

For all of you camera nerds, I shot this with a 70d because this was planned literally last minute and thankfully it was what I had on me that day.  The ceiling was black with a lot of reflective neon which can be a photographers nightmare if you dont know how to work with these situations.  Its a great example that it is not what equipment you use, but how you use it. Enjoy!

How to Surprise Your Future Partner with a Perfect Proposal

A proposal is one of the most memorable moments in a relationship. Planning a surprise proposal adds an extra layer of excitement and romance, making the occasion unforgettable for both you and your partner. Here are some creative and heartfelt ideas to surprise your future partner with the perfect proposal, including tips on capturing the moment with a professional photographer.

1. Plan a Sentimental Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt can be a fun and intimate way to propose. Create a series of clues that lead your partner to locations significant to your relationship, such as where you first met, your favorite date spot, or a place where you shared a special moment. At the final location, be there waiting with the ring and a heartfelt proposal.


  • Write clues and hide them at each location.
  • Enlist friends or family to help guide your partner.
  • Make the final spot extra special with decorations or a favorite song playing in the background.

2. A Romantic Getaway

Surprise your partner with a trip to a beautiful destination. It could be a place they’ve always wanted to visit or somewhere that holds sentimental value for both of you. Propose at a scenic spot during a sunset, a secluded beach, or a charming café.


  • Plan the trip secretly, ensuring your partner’s availability.
  • Choose a location that sets the mood for romance.
  • Have a photographer or videographer (discreetly) capture the moment.

3. Memory Lane Proposal

Create a scrapbook or a video montage of your relationship milestones. This can include photos, mementos, and little notes. End it with a page or a frame that asks the big question. Present it to your partner in a quiet, intimate setting.


  • Collect photos and items from your relationship.
  • Arrange them chronologically, telling your love story.
  • Leave a space at the end for the proposal.

4. Involving Family and Friends

If your partner is close to their family and friends, involve them in the proposal. Organize a surprise gathering where everyone holds signs or balloons that spell out “Will You Marry Me?” This can take place at a family dinner, a casual get-together, or even a holiday celebration.


  • Coordinate with loved ones in advance.
  • Choose a location where everyone can gather comfortably.
  • Have someone ready to capture the moment.

5. Public Proposal at a Favorite Spot

If your partner enjoys being the center of attention, consider a public proposal. This could be at a concert, a sports event, or even during a flash mob in a favorite park or plaza. Ensure it’s a place that holds significance or joy for your partner.


  • Plan the proposal at an event or location they love.
  • Coordinate with event organizers or performers if necessary.
  • Make sure there’s a clear view for capturing the moment.

6. Personalized Home Proposal

Turn your home into a romantic setting. Decorate with candles, flowers, and photos of your time together. Cook a special dinner or order their favorite takeout. Propose in a setting where they feel most comfortable and loved.


  • Plan the decorations and ambiance.
  • Prepare a heartfelt speech or letter.
  • Capture the moment discreetly with a camera set up.

7. Adventure Proposal

If your partner loves adventure, plan a proposal during a hike, a hot air balloon ride, or even while skydiving. Choose an activity that you both enjoy and that adds a thrill to the proposal.


  • Choose an adventurous activity you both enjoy.
  • Ensure safety measures are in place.
  • Have a plan for how to capture the moment.

Book a Session to Capture the Proposal

One of the best ways to ensure your proposal is perfectly captured is by booking a session with a professional photographer. You can stage it as a couples’ photo shoot, making it a complete surprise for your partner. Use a code word in the middle of the session to signal when you are about to propose. This not only keeps the surprise intact but also ensures the photographer is ready to capture every moment.


  • Communicate with the photographer about your plan and the code word.
  • Discuss the best backdrops and positions for the proposal photos.
  • Two ideal positions are: the reaction shot, capturing your partner’s face straight on, and a side angle of you on one knee.

Importance of Having a Skilled Photographer

Having a photographer who knows how to position you is crucial. The backdrop can make a significant difference in your proposal photos. You want to communicate what backdrop you find best to your photographer. The two ideal positions mentioned earlier ensure that you capture both the emotional reaction and the intimate moment of the proposal itself.

Final Tips

  1. Know Your Partner: Consider their personality and preferences. Some people love grand gestures, while others prefer intimate moments.
  2. Be Authentic: The proposal should reflect your relationship and personal style. Authenticity makes the moment special.
  3. Capture the Moment: Hire a photographer or videographer to discreetly document the proposal. These memories will be cherished forever.
  4. Plan Ahead: Ensure all logistics are well thought out. This reduces stress and allows you to enjoy the moment fully.


A surprise proposal is a beautiful way to start your journey towards marriage. By planning a thoughtful and meaningful proposal, you create a moment that you and your partner will treasure for a lifetime. Whether it’s an intimate setting or a grand public display, the key is to make it personal and reflective of your unique love story. And remember, capturing this special moment with a professional photographer ensures that you can relive the joy and emotion for years to come.

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