Congratulations if you are getting engaged and planning your proposal! This is a very exciting time. I have lots of guys contact me asking for ideas and I thought I would put this blog post together to help you with the planning.
I have made a list like this before and had lots of people really get good use out of it, but I have photographed even more proposals and have come across some great ideas others have done and thought of some ideas myself. If you would like more ideas click below
Propose at your cabin or home
This guy went to great length to surprise his girlfriend. She went on vacation with his family to the Smokies. They decided to go out one night, just to get out of the house while his family and her family decorated the cabin with candles. She walked back in with a slideshow and a video of him asking for her hand in marriage. Her family was even there watching from up top and surprised her.
-If you get nervous or think you will forget what you are going to say, making a video is a great way to propose and she can rewatch it. You can always start with a slideshow of photos of you two. I have seen some guys add in clips of her family and friends saying they approve or telling her congratulations. Then ending the video of you telling her how much you love her.
You could have family and friend send you their video, even if they live out of state.
It is private and intimate.
Don’t have to worry about the weather.
Need some help with setting up the decorations
Making sure you have a place for me and my car to hide (If you hired a photographer)
Visit the Old Mill- Pigeon Forge
This is a very popular place to take photos. There is a beautiful man made waterfall beside the Old Mill Resturant. You could have her to dress up for dinner and then before you go in stop by the Mill to check out the area.
This guy booked me for photos, and we were sneaky as to position her to the right way for him to propose. Her family was up at the top watching.
Easy way for her to get dressed up
Located in Pigeon Forge so not much travel up in the mountains
You can propose in front of a waterfall without the hike 😉
Can be crowded
If there has been a heavy rainfall, the waterfall can look muddy and rough
Ogle Place- Gatlinburg
Ogle Place is a very cool area to check out. It is located on the Historic Nature Trail pretty close to downtown Gatlinburg. If you are looking for a more rustic look, this is a great stop. I personally like it because I blend in with crowds that visit.
This couple wanted to “visit” the farm. I spotted them and hid in the cabins and followed them until he was ready to pop the questions. I actually use this location a lot to take family photos so it is a fun place to take some posed photos afterward.
It’s close to downtown Gatlinburg
There is a little bit of covering if it rains
A photographer can blend in easily with the families that visit.
Typically, there aren’t too many families that visit. It can be a little crowded, but never terrible.
There has been SOME fire damage from our wildfires we had in 2016. Mostly in the woods, but the structures are still in great shape.
Parking is very limited, if all the spaces are full, you can park on the side of the roads and walk over. I always recommend coming early in the day.
The Sinks- Gatlinburg
The sinks area is so beautiful. It is known for picturesque spots along the Little River Road scenic drive. It is located 12 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. It is best to arrive early or late in the day. It has a beautiful waterfall you can get close to, or go on the other side of the road and view the heavy flowing river over there.
Very scenic area
Lots of variety in the area for photo opportunities.
Great water shots
Can be crowded as anywhere else
Kids jump in the swimming hole in the summer months
A Little hard to find but can use your GPS
Foothills Parkway- Townsend
This is a great scenic drive to view the Smoky Mountains. It is located in Townsend. You don’t have to go far down the road to see some stunning views! Weddings take place on lots of the pullovers all the time. I haven’t actually photographed a proposal here, but a wedding. This is at Overlook #10 on the Foothills Parkway west. It isn’t to far from the beginning of the road.
Depending on where you are coming from this could be a little bit of a drive, but worth it 😉
Chimney Tops Picnic Area- Gatlinburg
This is a favorite place of mine. It is very relaxing and beautiful. This area is known for the river and big boulder rocks all along the river. Lots of families come here to play in the river, fish and have a picnic.
If there are lots of people there, you can find a private area to propose.
Located close to the Sugarland visitor center
No cell phone service out there
Rocks can be very slippery
Playing Putt Putt
This was a special proposal. They went to play putt putt here last time they visited the Smokies and they went to play putt putt on their first date back home,so he knew this would be really special. She is really good at playing and always gets a hole in one. Once she made a hole in one, he was going to go down to get her ball and come up with the ring instead. She was blown away!!
You can catch her off guard
We have tons of putt putt locations and some have some great backgrounds
Crowds can be an issue but who wouldn’t love them cheering for you!
An Escape Room
This was an amazing idea! He contacted the manager months ahead of time and told him his idea, they agreed to help him plan the surprise. This was a great way to throw her off, even if she thought he might propose, she would never guess in an escape room. Who knew she was looking all around the room for clues to her engagement ring. It is kinda like a scavenger hunt.
To have me there to photograph this was sneaky. She was told I was getting ready to be hired and I had to play the game to learn it. I will say, next time I ever do this, I will bring a friend with me so I don’t play it with just us 3.
New Found Gap Overlook- North Carolina Border
If you are driving to Clingman’s Dome, you pass this beautiful overlook. It is an amazing spot to view the mountains.
Lots of parking available
Great view of the mountains
Even in the summer, it is cold and windy so dress warmly
Crowds are an issue here as anywhere else, but early in the day or late in the evening are the best to avoid crowds.
This is the only hike in the Smoky Mountains with a waterfall you can walk behind. It is a short hike at 2.6 miles round trip. and rated easy/ moderate. It was pretty easy to walk. It takes me an average 45 mins to go up and 45 mins back down.
-If you want to go without a crowd, plan on being there early
It is very beautiful
You can walk behind the waterfall, which is very cool.
A very popular trail- plan to go on a weekday and starting around 8am
Parking is very limited
If you go in the middle of the day, she would HATE to be sweaty as you propose.
She is usually not dressed up for this.
This is a very popular lake in our area, one thing that makes it so special is you get water and mountains. An idea I have for you is to “plan” on having dinner at Angelos At The Point. This restaurant is located overlooking the lake. It is a great reason for her to dress up. Proposing before or after dinner would be ideal right around sunset
Great way to have her to dress up
Food is yummy!
Could be a little drive for you, depending on where you are coming from.
Avoid weekends as lots of weddings take place out on the lawn.
If you are interested in having me photograph your proposal.
Please email me at email@example.com
Call/Text me at 423-341-1100
Thanks, Happy Planning!