We love a good outdoor marriage proposal. In fact, a good majority of our proposals take place on the beach, on a rooftop, in a garden, or at a park. While being in the great outdoors provides an undeniable romance that only nature can provide, it can also prove to be tricky to plan a proposal. If you’re using The Yes Girls for your proposal, you really have nothing to worry about. No, we can’t change the weather, but we DO always have a back up plan should the weather not behave on the day of your proposal. If you’re not using a proposal planner, however, there are a few things to keep an eye out for if your planning an outdoor proposal.
1. Watch the weather. And then watch it again.
Here’s a fun fact about weather- it changes by the hour. We’ve had proposals where the weather is supposed to downpour all day, and on the day of, there isn’t a cloud in the sky (and vice versa!) We typically tell our clients to not start looking at the weather until a week out, but to really start checking in about three days before. This will give you enough time to come up with a Plan B if it looks like there’s a chance of rain, snow, or any bad weather on the day of your proposal. The day before and the day of the proposal, check in every few hours, because there are certain to be changes in the forecast at some point throughout the day.
2. Be prepared for wind.
There’s one weather factor that many people don’t consider, and that’s wind. If you’re planning on having decor at your proposal (especially if it’s on the beach or a rooftop) then it’s important to keep wind in mind when deciding what to bring. If you can’t visit the proposal location before the day of, there are a few keys to play it safe while picking out decor. First, keep it low to the ground; the taller the item, the more the wind will effect how it’s standing (or not standing!) Secondly, have everything tied or taped down in case of a sudden gust of wind. If you’re planning on having rose petals, it’s a good idea to spray them with water to help weigh them down so they don’t blow away. Lastly, for large items like Boxwood Hedges or other rentals, make sure to mention where they will be used. Many times rental places will provide extra weights to keep them in place during windy conditions.
3. Timing is everything.
If you’ve read some of our previous posts, you know that timing is key with proposals, but especially when they’re taking place outdoors. All of our clients, give or take a handful, request a photographer for their proposal, so we recommend having the proposal take place about an hour and a half before sunset. When timing out your proposal, this ensures the best light for photos, but also gives the florist or coordinator that’s helping with the set up enough time to clean up the decor before the sun goes down completely. Take it from us- it’s not easy cleaning up in the dark, and no one wants to have to worry about that on such a celebratory day!
4. Have a backup location.
…And we’re not just talking about for weather! If you’re planning to propose in a public space that you can’t rent out beforehand such as a beautiful park by a fountain, a public gazebo, etc. (please keep in mind that some of these locations may require a permit) it’s a good idea to have a backup location just in case you show up and that spot is already being used. She may get suspicious if you keep dragging her back to the same fountain three days in a row, only to head home immediately after seeing a crowd gathered around it. If the location is meaningful to you but always seems to be crowded, we suggest proposing in a different spot, and then heading back to that location to take your engagement photos (people tend to clear the way when they see a camera coming through!)
5. Know that you can’t control the weather, and that’s okay.
Just recently, we had a proposal where the client was dreading the thought of rain on the day of the proposal. When the day finally came around, there was a 70% chance of rain and a flash flood warning in the area. The proposal was outside and, while we did have a covered gazebo as a back up just in case, I suggested embracing the rain and having a super romantic “The Notebook” moment in the boat while it’s raining (if you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene we’re talking about!) Sure, her hair might not be perfectly in place, and her makeup might smudge just a bit, but we can guarantee that the photos will be stunning! Also- if rain on your wedding day is good luck, then we think it’s pretty safe to say that’s true for marriage proposals, too!