7 Perfect Proposal Ideas | Plus, A Surprise Proposal at Cedar Creek Ranch

May 31, 2021

historic locations NC; engagement photographer


I first met Jenna and Drew at a styled shoot in partnership with ACE Weddings and Events in Charlotte, NC. Amanda, the owner and executive planner at ACE, was in a sorority with Jenna, and she suggested Jenna and Drew model for our shoot (they were just dating at the time). We made an instant connection, and they were a blast to work with. I loved everything about that shoot and the way they photographed so easily together. 

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Dawn Marie Photography
proposal photography
best proposal ideas
proposal ideas

Capture the Moment | Best Proposal Ideas

Even then, it was pretty obvious that these two had an in-it-for-the-long-haul kind of relationship. So, when Drew reached back out to me to document his surprise proposal, I was ecstatic!

proposal ideas
Dawn Marie Photography
proposal ideas
proposal ideas
proposal ideas

Drew had the idea of heading back out to Cedar Creek Ranch for another “styled shoot,” which would actually be his proposal. The idea was perfect because Jenna would have her clothes picked out, plus hair, nails, and makeup done. He knew she’d want flawless photos, so this was a great way to do it without her suspecting anything. And he was right. She had no idea! She came totally prepared to model for a photoshoot. 

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romantic proposal ideas

However, we did run into an unexpected hiccup: Just before the shoot/proposal, a school bus ran over Drew’s foot while he was on a run! (What?!) I thought he was kidding at first, but sure enough, he had the boot and all. Amazingly, he didn’t let the accident get in the way of an epic proposal. He sucked it up and wore shoes for her! 

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best proposal ideas
Dawn Marie Photography
Dawn Marie Photography

To keep the ruse going, we began with a few staged poses for the “styled shoot.” Then, I gave him the signal. He delivered his sweet and romantic speech beautifully! Needless to say, she was blown away and responded with a wholehearted, “Yes!” 

Dawn Marie Photography
best proposal ideas
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7 proposal ideas
Dawn Marie Photography

Their wedding is planned for next fall, and there’s no doubt their big day will be a dream. These two have never met a stranger, and they’re loved by all. Congratulations, Jenna and Drew!

Dawn Marie Photography
proposal portraits
romantic proposal portraits
Dawn Marie Photography
Dawn Marie Photography

Dreamy Proposal Ideas that Will Guarantee Memories

Hoping for a proposal as dreamy as Drew’s? Whether you’re the one proposing or just hoping to drop a few hints (😉 😉), I’ve got a few proposal ideas up my sleeve—and they all photograph beautifully:

Dawn Marie Photography
sunset proposal
Dawn Marie Photography
Dawn Marie Photography
perfect proposal
romantic engagement photos
Dawn Marie Photography

7 Romantic Proposal Ideas 

1. Rooftop Proposal

Charlotte has a couple rooftops with amazing views. Get in touch to learn more.

2. Downtown Date Night Proposal

Dress up and head downtown (or uptown), and surprise your honey. We can pre-select a great backdrop for you to stop and get down on one knee.

3. Propose Where You Met or Had Your First Date 

Hoping for happy tears? This will do it!

4. “Will You Marry Me?” Custom Etched Wine Bottle

Check out Mano’s! Pack a picnic for the park, and take out a personalized bottle of wine and glasses for the proposal.

5. Nostalgic Scavenger Hunt

Write sweet notes and share photographs to guide your sweetie down memory lane. Then, pop the question at the end.

6. Propose on a Hike

The Blue Ridge Mountains paint a beautiful proposal backdrop! Take a scenic drive across Blue Ridge Parkway and pick your favorite spot to get out, explore–and propose.

7. Propose at a Family Dinner, Gathering, or Event

If you want to celebrate with friends and family, having them there for the proposal will make it extra memorable. Just make sure to get everyone on board first to avoid overshadowing someone else’s big day (such as an anniversary celebration).

Need More Proposal Ideas?

Get in touch with me here for more proposal ideas. I’d love to help you document your love story from proposal to happily ever after!


dawn walsh

Dawn started her career in fine art wedding photography in 2012 on the foundation of genuine connection. She provides comfort for her clients through her down to earth personality and playfulness that allows them to show genuine interactions and emotions with one another in front of the camera. Capturing the essence of their relationship and the love they have for each other, with an editorial composition.

At home, Dawn is a wife and mother, living on a ranch in North Carolina. Spending quality time with family and dear friends, traveling, and having experiences is what drives her. Her family also fosters children and is active in fighting for all foster kids and their needs. 
Being able to have fun with her family, travel and share experiences is all because of the blessings God has given her and never taken for granted.







© dawn marie photography 2022

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