7 Vendors You Need to Pull Off the Perfect Proposal

I’ve got a secret for you: planning the perfect marriage proposal is all about timing. The timing of the sunset, the moment she sees a path lined with rose petals, or the minute her favorite acoustic song starts playing in the background.

No matter how you choose to propose, it’s helpful to work with vendors who have expertise in specific areas. They can help you think through every step of the proposal so the timing is just as flawless as the diamond in your pocket. 

1. Proposal Planner--The Heart Bandits specialize in planning romantic proposals that come from the heart. Whether you’re an outdoorsy couple, animal lovers, foodies, accomplished athletes, or classical musicians, we know how to help you plan the proposal that matches your interests. With us by your side, you don’t have to worry about the little details–we’ll take care of them.

2. Photographer–After you find a proposal planner, work together to find other vendors that can make your engagement special. Photography is one of the best ways to capture the magic of the moment! Browse the portfolios of several photographers in your area to see who has experience taking pictures in a similar setting to where you plan to propose.

3. Videographer–Want to replay the moment she says “yes” over and over again? A professional video that shows off the romance and giddiness you’re both feeling is a must–especially if she’s sentimental and loves to relive her favorite memories!

4. The Perfect Venue–One of the most important steps is finding the ideal venue for your proposal. You may want to propose in a public place, whether it’s along the beach or in the middle of Times Square. For other couples, you may have a private space in mind–such as your favorite art gallery or restaurant–to make the proposal intimate and special. The Heart Bandits can help you decide on a venue that will make both of you comfortable.

5. Entertainment–Does she have a favorite band or song? Even better, do you have a song that symbolizes your relationship? Hiring a live musician to play in the background as you propose can make the moment extra magical.

6. Extra Touches–Who can resist flowers, champagne and chocolate? If you know the secret to her heart, consider surprising her with a bouquet of her favorite flowers or a bottle of the first wine you had together.

7. Slim Ring Box–Keeping the engagement ring safe and out of sight is one of the most important parts of your surprise proposal. One of our personal favorites is a slim engagement ring box from Ring Stash–it helps you keep the secret while protecting the diamond!

Ready to start planning a customized proposal she won’t forget? Contact The Heart Bandits today!

Emily Barge
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Should You Include Dogs or Kids in Your Proposal?

As you prepare the perfect marriage proposal, you may be brainstorming creative ways to pronounce your love. And if you have pets or children in your lives, why shouldn’t they be part of your engagement festivities? They can add some extra emotion to an already special day!

The Heart Bandits have planned dozens of romantic proposals featuring dogs, cats, children, and other loved ones. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of our tried-and-true suggestions for including dogs and kids in your proposal.

Give Them the Message

How adorable is it to attach a “Will you marry my dad?” sign around your dog’s collar? She won’t be able to resist–especially if you’re down on one knee and your dog is gazing up at her with puppy dog eyes!

If you have a baby, consider ordering a onesie screen-printed with your message. If you have older children, you can also ask them to hold signs. No matter what you choose, asking them to help you pop the question will only make it more sentimental for your entire family.

Ring Bearer

If your dog is going to have a role in your wedding and you want to start training him early, designate him as the ring bearer for your proposal! Gently attach the ring box to his collar and train him to walk it over once you’re down on one knee.

With young children, get them excited for the event by helping them get dressed up. They can deliver the ring when the moment’s right–and they’ll be excited to have such an important duty!

Let Them Lead the Way

To pull off a surprise proposal, consider leaving a trail of treats in your yard that guide your dog to you. When she gets home, she’ll find a note asking her to take the dog for a walk. As they lead the way, consider laying flower petals along the trail for a romantic touch.

Hoping to include older kids in your proposal? Ask them to drive her to your favorite restaurant where you’ll be waiting with roses and a live musician. She’ll be happy when she finds out you worked together with your teenager to surprise her!

If you want to plan a proposal she won’t forget–and you’re looking for creative ways to include your pets and children–The Heart Bandits can help! We’ll listen to your ideas and help you create a memorable engagement your family will talk about forever.

Don’t forget to consider the type of box you’ll need for your diamond. A skinny engagement ring box from Ring Stash can help you keep it hidden and safe, especially if you have tiny hands touching it!

Emily Barge
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Golden Gate Bridge View Proposal

This proposal was sooooo much fun to plan. Jesse contacted us because he wanted us to help him plan a super romantic San Francisco proposal idea. Jesse and Katie shared their first date in San Francisco so he thought it would be the perfect place to propose.  When Jesse shared with us that their special song was Fields of Gold by Sting, the saxophone version, we knew that had to be the theme.  We presented the idea to have a saxophonist surrounded by gold candles playing the Fields of Gold song in an area with dramatic views of the Golden Gate bridge.  Jesse loved the idea so we immediately started planning and brining the vision to life.  Jesse also mentioned that Katie loved red roses so we had a couple of arrangements by the saxophonist as well as a bouquet of 100 red roses that Jesse could hand her after she said yes.  When Katie arrived at the setup, the saxophonist began playing for her and she was so extremely surprised.

Jesse proposed and Katie accepted!  Then the two enjoyed the most beautiful sunset.  If you want to plan the best marriage proposal contact us today.  We have planned over 2,000 successful proposals and will definitely get you your next “YES!” Don’t forget to think ahead and buy a flat engagement ring box at www.ringstash.com.  The last thing you want is her spotting the bulky engagement ring box in your pocket before you arrive at your proposal setup.  EEK!

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits

Photography: Bryan Tan Photography

Flowers: Plumweed


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How to Tell Him What You Want in a Proposal

Have you been daydreaming about the day you get engaged? He might be dreaming about it too, but he may be unsure about what you’re envisioning. Telling him what you want in a marriage proposal is different for every couple, but it doesn’t have to suck the fun out of your future engagement! Giving him an idea of what you envision can actually eliminate the guesswork while giving him a spark of inspiration so he can be extra creative.

How to Bring It Up

Not sure how to tell him what you want? There are ways to share your ideas while still giving him the freedom to surprise you! Start with your communication style as a couple. If you’re frank and honest and always tell each other how you feel, come out and tell him what you envision in a marriage proposal. If he’s as blunt as you, he’ll probably be grateful you didn’t make him guess.

If you and your partner are more subtle with your communication style, use other couples as examples. The next time a friend or distant relative gets engaged, subtly mention what you did and didn’t like about their proposal. He may start making mental notes as he picks up your cues, so he can give you the perfect proposal when the time comes!

Public or Private

After you’ve had the initial conversation, the next step is expressing your opinion on whether you get engaged in a public or private setting. Many people envision a group of people clapping, while others get embarrassed just thinking about a crowd gathering around them.

If you genuinely don’t have a preference, make sure he knows that you’re comfortable with a surprise!

Friends and Family

Do you want to celebrate your proposal with friends and family, or keep the celebration between the two of you on the day of your engagement? You might be looking for any excuse to party and celebrate your love, or you might prefer a quiet night celebrating your romance before you announce it to your inner circle. Let him know the type of celebration you envision!


Engagement and wedding photos are already popular, but what about photographing your proposal? Many couples want to look back on the magical day and keep the memory alive with romantic photos. If he works with The Heart Bandits to plan your proposal, capturing your engagement through professional photography is one of our top priorities.

As you talk about what you want in a proposal, let him know how important photography is to you, or if it’s something you don’t want in your proposal.

Getting engaged is one of the biggest days of your life as a couple! Don’t be afraid to tell him your hopes and dreams for the proposal. After all, he may be looking for some guidance or an idea of what you like. As he gets started planning, The Heart Bandits is here to help plan a creative marriage proposal that’s personalized to both of you. Get started today!

And if you want to keep the ring safe and hidden throughout the entire proposal, try this slim engagement ring box from Ring Stash.

Emily Barge
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5 Celebrity Proposal Ideas You Can Make Your Own

When it comes to planning a meaningful marriage proposal, there’s no right or wrong way to pop the question. Whether she’s into private jets, roses, and champagne or a home-cooked meal in her pajamas, it’s important to make her feel special. Looking for inspiration? Check out some of our favorite celebrity proposals and the most creative ways to make them your own.

On a Holiday

Matthew McConaughey proposed to Camila Alves on Christmas in 2011. Not only did he pick a sentimental day when they were surrounded by family, but he added a fun twist by wrapping the engagement ring in eight boxes.

How to make it your own: Proposing on a major holiday doesn’t have to take away from other festivities if you make it unexpected and fun. And if you want your families to be present for your engagement, you can’t go wrong with a day when you’re already together.

In Nature

In 2010, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton during a 10-day trip in Africa at a wildlife conservancy. For a high-class couple, his proposal was surprisingly laidback and outdoorsy–and romantic!

How to make it your own: If you want to disconnect and propose in a place where the focus is truly on you, plan a getaway to a cozy cabin and propose under the stars or in a meadow with the sun shining on your shoulders.

Dinner at Home

Not every celebrity plans fancy proposals on a private plane. In 2014, George Clooney took a simpler route when he proposed to Amal Alamuddin at home after making her a romantic dinner.

How to make it your own: An at-home proposal can be just as romantic as a public display of affection. You can’t go wrong with candles (lots of them), wine, and a meal you made with your heart.

Where You First Met

David Burtka surprised Neil Patrick Harris by asking him to pull over and proposing on the street corner where they first met. What a great way to celebrate their history while embarking on a new adventure!

How to make it your own: Whether it’s the place you first met or the place you first told her you loved her, think of a place that’s meaningful for both of you. The Heart Bandits can help you turn any location into a magical proposal spot!

Learn a New Language

In 2014, Joe Manganiello proposed to Sofia Vergara in her native language of Spanish. He took the time to learn the language and propose in a way that was traditional to her and her family.

How to make it your own: Even if your partner doesn’t speak a different language, she most likely has different hobbies and interests than you. Think of something she’s always asked you to do, and surprise her during the proposal by showing that you care about her passions!

As you consider your marriage proposal, The Heart Bandits can help make your day romantic, stress-free, and most importantly, personalized to what you care about most. Contact us today!

Don’t forget to consider how you’re going to hide the engagement ring. A flat engagement ring box from Ring Stash can help you keep it safe!

Emily Barge
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Beautiful Beach Proposal

A sign of a great love is the ability to overcome distance.  Raul contacted us in April of last year to help him plan his beach proposal idea in Santa Monica.  When we interviewed him in order to come up with proposal ideas, we learned a lot about his relationship with Adilene.  Though he first saw her when she was just 15 years old, they didn’t reconnect until 5 years ago.  For the last 4 years, they had been in a long distance relationship, committed to making it work while he lived in California, she in Mexico.  We knew we definitely wanted to highlight the distance in the proposal idea but we wanted to do so in a glamorous, beachy setting.  We presented the idea of a gorgeous gazebo with orchids, her favorite flower, hanging down.  Raul loved it the idea so we started proposal planning.

During the most perfect sunset, our team set up the gazebo and strung the orchids.  Inside the gazebo we displayed a map highlighting the distance that they had overcome.  On the other side of the gazebo, we set up a costal theme blanket and pillow area where they could watch the sunset.

When Raul and Adilene arrived, he immediately dropped to his knee and proposed.  She said YES!!!  After the proposal, they watched the sunset and then enjoyed dinner at a restaurant we reserved for them.

Raul was one of the nicest clients we have ever worked with.  We are so honored to have been a part of their special day and we wish them all the best.  If you want to create a dream proposal for your partner, contact The Heart Bandits today!  We can execute the idea you already have or come up with a creative proposal idea for you.  Don’t forget to think about the moment you propose, how will you hide your engagement ring in the bulky box that comes with it?  Get a flat engagement ring box way smaller than your wallet at www.ringstash.com

Proposal Planning: The Heart Bandits

Photography: Alissa Noelle Photography

Event Decor: Butterfly Floral Event & Design


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Scavenger Hunt Proposal Ideas for the Adventurous Couple

As an adventurous couple, you may be brainstorming out-of-the-box ways to make your marriage proposal special. A scavenger hunt is the perfect way to create a proposal she’ll always remember with the places and people she treasures. Want to plan an exciting scavenger hunt proposal but aren’t sure where to start? Try these tips!

Lead to a Meaningful Spot

As you plan the scavenger hunt, determine how long you want it to take. Two hours? Four hours? The entire day? If you decide to hold your scavenger hunt in a public place, fill in your desired timeline with some of her favorite destinations.

These could be clues leading to her favorite restaurant, the bench along the river where you had your first date, or the coffee shop where you first met. Design clues and puzzles that recreate some of her favorite memories while forming new ones at the same time!

Do It at Home

A creative twist on the classic scavenger hunt is doing it at home. Start by waking her up with a clue on her pillow leading to the breakfast table where her next clue may be hidden on the stack of pancakes you made her. Don’t forget to include inside jokes, childhood photos, and anything else that represents you as a couple. Add as many romantic gestures and clues as you’d like until she makes it to the grand reveal: your proposal!

Incorporate Other People

What better way to make your proposal memorable than by including the people she loves? If she loves her dog, attach a clue to his collar. You could also create a clue that leads to her friend’s house who is waiting to direct her to the next place.

After she says “yes,” consider ending the engagement with a final clue that leads to a surprise party at her parents’ house to celebrate with everyone she loves!

Plan a Surprise Trip

If she loves to travel and appreciates spontaneity, try surprising her with an empty suitcase and a single clue telling her to pack for a certain temperature. Once she packs, take her somewhere special, whether it’s a romantic cabin in the woods, a house on the beach, a bed and breakfast overlooking your favorite winery, or a hotel with views of the city skyline. You can give her more clues as you travel, but don’t give the engagement away until you’re down on one knee!

Have the Clues Lead to YOU

For an extra special surprise, have her complete the scavenger hunt by herself or with a friend–with the final destination being YOU! Decorate the proposal spot with candles and rose petals for a romantic ambiance, and patiently wait for her to find you.

Need help planning your creative scavenger hunt proposal? The Heart Bandits can help you plan a marriage proposal she’ll remember forever. Contact us today!

If you want to keep the ring safe and hidden during your proposal, a slim engagement ring box from Ring Stash is the perfect addition.

Emily Barge
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Should You Have an Engagement Party?

As you’re planning a meaningful marriage proposal, you may decide to organize a surprise engagement party as well. This can be an exciting way to celebrate your engagement as a couple or with a group of family and friends.

Whether you want to go all out with sparklers and champagne, or have a cozy celebration under the stars with just the two of you, planning an engagement party depends on what’s important to you.  

The Spontaneous Couple

Are you an extroverted couple who’s used to celebrating romantic occasions with friends? If so, planning an engagement party directly after the proposal might be the perfect way for you to share your infectious energy with others. If your girlfriend is spontaneous and adventurous (and open to surprises), she’ll be ecstatic to show off her ring at a romantic party full of loved ones who are just as excited as you are!

The Couple Who Loves to Plan

If checklists and color-coded planners are your girlfriend’s specialty, she may feel more comfortable being part of the planning process. A lot of couples will wait and plan an engagement party a couple months down the road after you’ve already announced your engagement.

This is a great option if you want to get creative and have a themed engagement party–Great Gatsby or Mardi Gras themed, anyone? Your plan-loving fiance will also be thrilled to have a say in how you celebrate your engagement!

The Couple With a Huge Friend Circle

Maybe you have a lot of out-of-town friends and family, or your friend circle is too large to gather in one night. Consider having a small engagement party with your closest circle of friends the night of the engagement — the Heart Bandits can help you plan one that matches your proposal theme!

A few weeks later, it’s perfectly acceptable to plan a second (or third…or fourth) party when other friends are available or your family is in town. If you have a wide circle of friends, celebrating your engagement multiple times will keep the magic alive even longer.

The Couple Who Stays Out of the Spotlight

Whether you’re a homebody or simply want to celebrate your engagement with the two of you, your engagement party can be as simple and reclusive as you’d like. Not every couple wants to shout their engagement from the rooftops–you might be more comfortable sitting by the fire and enjoying a glass of wine at your favorite restaurant. If you and your girlfriend prefer to stay out of the spotlight, find creative ways to celebrate in ways that are meaningful to you.

Throughout the process, The Heart Bandits are here to help you plan a creative proposal idea and engagement party that matches your budget and taste. Whether you want a low-key celebration at sunset or a wild party with your closest friends, an engagement party is the first step in a long line of exciting wedding celebrations.

Make sure to keep your ring safe during the proposal and after-party with a slim engagement ring box from Ring Stash!

Emily Barge
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How to Ask for Her Father’s Blessing Before Proposing

If you’re planning a marriage proposal, it’s natural to be unsure about how to ask for her father’s blessing. While this tradition can be nerve-wracking, it doesn’t have to be.

Proposals are getting more creative, and the same goes for asking her dad for his blessing. There are ways to take the pressure off and make the conversation casual for both of you. After all, it’s a big moment for her father, too. Follow these tips to make the conversation as stress-free as possible!

Consider Your Relationship

For some couples, the tradition of asking for her father’s “permission” is made to be broken. A lot of modern brides are adamant about being the first to know about your engagement. For others, the thought of having to ask permission to make the biggest–and best–choice of your life seems outdated. She may feel like her blessing is the only one that matters.

The next time the two of you start daydreaming about your future, casually ask if she envisions you asking for her father’s blessing. Not only will she be happy to hear you’re considering her family’s opinion, but it gives her a chance to examine the tradition and see if it matters to her.

Make It a Family Affair

If you’re nervous to sit down with her father and profess your feelings, save yourself the intimidation of a one-on-one meeting by making it a family affair!

Include her mother (who will be ecstatic to hear she’ll have a wedding to plan) and other important family members, including siblings or grandparents. Depending on how close she is with her family, it will be especially romantic for her to find out they’re all backing your relationship.

If her father has passed away, including a variety of family members can be especially sentimental and help you both realize how many people are in your corner–instead of focusing on the one who’s missing.

Pick His Favorite Hangout

It can sometimes feel overly formal and awkward to pop the question on her father’s overstuffed armchair. Want to ensure the meeting is relaxing for the both of you? Ask him to meet you at his favorite restaurant, bar or golf course!

If the two of you are enjoying an activity you’re used to doing together, it will be more casual when you bring up the ever-so-serious idea of proposing to his daughter. Make sure you consider his personality, too. If he’s easygoing, casually mention that you have a ring for his daughter and you’d love his support. If he’s more traditional and rough around the edges, it’s probably best to pose it as a question.

Ask for His Advice

No marriage proposal is complete without family and friends sharing their advice, hopes, and wishes for your future! Beat your family to the chase by asking her father for advice while you’re asking for his blessing. If you ask him the secret to a happy marriage or what he wishes he would have known before proposing, you’ll show him you respect his opinion and care about what he thinks–and he might share some romantic tips to include in your proposal!  

Whether you’ve asked for her father’s blessing, or are choosing to propose without it, let The Heart Bandits help you come up with the best proposal idea to make the day as special and unique as you both imagined. Contact us today!

Don’t forget to consider how you will hide your bulky engagement ring on the day of your proposal. Check out this slim engagement ring box and get yours today.

Emily Barge
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Balboa Park Surprise Marriage Proposal

This proposal was one of the most fun proposals to be a part of.  There was a gospel choir, real-time decorating as the proposee was watching, family anxiously hiding until their cue came, and one gorgeous woman getting the proposal of her dreams.  Dominic contacted The Heart Bandits to plan his very special marriage proposal to his girlfriend Ganina.  Like many of our clients, Dominic knew what he wanted, he just needed help with the execution and some suggestions to put it over the top.

He knew he wanted to propose in Balboa Park with their families watching.   His vision was to dress up a small section of it, get a church choir in position, and have her stumble on it as they were headed somewhere in the park. Ganina is a really big Motown fan so he knew that if the choir was singing one of their songs she would want to stop and listen.  He wanted decorations but didn’t want her to know something was up until he joined the choir to sing with them so we came up with the idea for the family to bring out the decor and place it as he was singing.  It turned out to be such an amazing proposal idea and the day was so memorable.

On a gorgeous day sunny day, Marvin and I arrived and met with Dominic and Ganina’s family.  We hid them out of Ganina’s view and handed them the decor that they would strategically need to place when the cue came.  Next, we positioned the choir and got them started singing Motown songs as crowds began to form.

Finally the moment came.  Dominic and Ganina approached the area and just as Dominic predicted, she stopped to watch.  Marvin gave the choir the signal that they were there so they wrapped up the song and started playing “Lucky Lucky Me.”  To Ganina’s complete surprise, Dominic joined the choir and began to serenade her.

Marvin placed the crates in position surrounding the choir and suddenly their family started coming out one by one.  Some had picture frames, others had bouquet of flowers, and they all placed the decor on the crates as practiced.  Once the decor was all set up, family was watching, and the song was over, Dominic called her up and dropped to his knee to propose.   She said yes!

We are so honored to have been a part of Dominic and Ganina’s marriage proposal.  If you want to plan the perfect proposal contact us today.  Whether you have your own idea or no idea, we can make sure the proposal is everything your partner has ever dreamed of.

You have the proposal covered, what about the engagement ring box?  Don’t settle for that huge, bulky free box that came with your ring.  Check out the flat engagement ring boxes at www.ringstash.com.

Proposal Planning & Decor: The Heart Bandits

Photography: Vaylia Photography


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