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man proposing in front of cathedral rock in sedona

If you’re planning a proposal, Sedona is the perfect place to pop the question! Not only are the red rocks and sandstone formations absolutely stunning, but the town is actually known for being a spiritual vortex! Even if you aren’t into the spirituality aspect, you have to admit that just being surrounded by such gorgeous scenery can bring a positive energy of peace, clarity, and meditation. Planning an adventurous trip (daytrip, roadtrip, weekend getaway, whatever works for you!) can make the surprise engagement all the more special, so if you’re planning a Sedona proposal, here are my tips to make it happen!

Places to Propose in Sedona

One of the biggest reasons you chose Sedona for your proposal was probably the scenery! Here are some recommendations for places that would make a gorgeous backdrop for when you pop the question.

Devil’s Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is a 4 mile round trip hike, so it’s short, but there is a steep climb at the end. Once you arrive, you’ll see a rocky sandstone arch – the largest arch in Sedona! You can actually walk across the “bridge,” and while it’s not advisable for those afraid of heights, the walkway is pretty wide and sees a lot of foot traffic, so it’s safe, despite the large drop offs on either side. If you want to propose at this spot, be sure to get there early – but even if you do, there’s often a wait to take photos on the arch.

Red Rock Crossing

Red Rock Crossing offers some of the best views of Sedona’s red rocks, and while the hike is about 2 miles long, the best view is just a few minutes from the parking lot. There’s a stream flowing through the valley, with the towering sandstone formations in the background, making this a peaceful, beautiful place for your Sedona proposal.

Cathedral Rock

This is one of the most iconic spots in Sedona. The hike is only a mile long, but it is pretty steep, and will require you to scale some rock walls. While the view from the top is breathtaking, Cathedral Rock is a really popular place – so you’ll have to get here early and even then you might have trouble parking.
I recommend planning your proposal somewhere a little quieter – like Harrison did for this Sedona proposal! At this location, you can see Cathedral Rock in the background, and you get some incredible views, without all the crowds. As a photographer who specializes in capturing adventurous couples, I’ve got some secret locations up my sleeve!

Tips for Your Sedona Proposal

Aside from the beautiful background, there are a few other things to think about when it comes to choosing your location, and putting together your plan for the day.

Find a Secret Spot

One of the most important things when it comes to choosing a location for your Sedona proposal is finding a private spot to pop the question! This moment is one that you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives – so while the excited “congratulations!” from strangers who witnessed the proposal can be fun, you don’t want to be flooded with people walking by, chattering around you, and taking away from the moment. 

But, choosing a private location is often easier said than done! Those “most beautiful spots in Sedona” posts are filled with popular locations that see tons of visitors every day. While they are beautiful, it’s often hard to get a moment to yourself!

Finding those off the beaten path locations can be hard, especially if you’re traveling to propose in Sedona and you aren’t a local – but that’s what I’m here for!

 What to Wear

Since your Sedona proposal is a surprise, it can be hard to coordinate with your partner when it comes to what to wear! If you’re hiking to your spot, you might have a hard time explaining why they should get a little more dressed up.

You know your partner best, so decide if you think they’ll be happiest with proposal photos in their hiking attire, or if you should come up with a different scheme. This will also depend on how difficult it is to get to your location – if you’re hiking, you probably won’t be in heels and a three piece suit. If you’re going to an overlook that’s more easily accessible, you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to choosing your outfits. Either way, make sure you’re both comfortable and can walk around easily!

What to Tell Them

One of the most nerve wracking parts of planning this Sedona proposal will be making sure your partner doesn’t catch on! But, how do you get them to that beautiful location without letting them in on the plans?

One way you could do it is to tell them that you’ve booked a couple’s session – just some photos together in Sedona. This way, you won’t have to convince them to dress up for your hike!

Another option is to tell them you’re taking them for a date night at a nice restaurant. This one works best if you want to propose at a spot that’s more easily accessible and doesn’t require hiking, as you can tell them after dinner that you want to go catch the sunset!

Hire a Photographer for the Proposal

You’re going to want photos of this moment! Getting engaged is one of the most exciting steps you’ll take as a couple, and your partner will thank you for getting the proposal documented. There are two approaches you can take – so talk to your photographer about what will work best. 

You can tell your partner that you’re doing a couple’s session, and then propose while you’re getting photos taken! Make sure to keep your photographer in the loop about your plans, so they can give you suggestions on the best way to make it happen.

You could also have your photographer hide for the proposal so your partner won’t know what’s up! It’s not uncommon to see people with cameras at these gorgeous locations, so your partner won’t be suspicious if they do spot them. The photographer will take photos from a distance until you pop the question, then get some photos of you two after!
But hiring a photographer for your Sedona proposal isn’t just about the photos. It’s also about having someone who will be able to help you plan everything – from finding a private location, to figuring out when the best lighting is, to deciding how to capture the moment while keeping it a surprise, you’ll need someone who has your back! If you’re ready to propose to the love of your life, contact me!

How to Plan a Surprise Sedona Proposal

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four-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 1.jpgSurprise proposals are definitely one of my favorite things to photograph! James reached out to me and was so excited to propose to his girlfriend Sarah at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. They were both traveling from out of town and James made some amazing plans to make their trip memorable! He started with a private dining experience on the Ironwood Terrace in addition to popping the question by the fireplace with a gorgeous sunset view of Pinnacle Peak.four-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 2.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 3.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 4.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 5.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 6.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 7.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 8.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 9.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 10.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 11.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 12.jpgfour-seasons-scottsdale-proposal 13.jpgSend us a message to schedule a proposal and take a look at some more blog posts!

Sarah + James | Surprise Proposal

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flagstaff-elopement-photographer 1.jpgCassidy and Katelyn eloped in Flagstaff, Arizona with their closest friends and family as witnesses. It was one of those days that seemed like a scene from a movie. It had poured rain early in the morning and the clouds were barreling across the sky dropping snow on the mountain behind them. There were excited jitters, happy tears and snuggles under blankets between photos to hide from the wind. I am so ecstatic for these two beautiful brides and the adventures they will have together.

Check out their wedding video HERE!

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Cassidy + Katelyn | Flagstaff, AZ Elopement

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I have officially found my new favorite location for Sedona engagement sessions! Cathedral Rock has been in high demand lately so I’ve been doing some location scouting for great views in Sedona. Don’t get me wrong, Cathedral Rock is absolutely stunning, but unless you’re planning on hiking before sunrise on a week day it is going to be PACKED with people. Good luck getting that view without waiting in a line or for that matter even finding a parking spot! I did some research and found this awesome trail with an incredible view of Sedona. Most of the trail is an easy walk and there’s a spot to do a little bit of climbing for the best view ever!

Click HERE for more blog posts! Click HERE for information on engagement sessions!

Mariah + Johnny | Sedona Engagement Session

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Chloe and Andrew started hiking at 5:30 in the morning for an epic Cathedral Rock engagement session and sunrise! Hiking in the dark is so worth avoiding the crowds an getting to the top of the mountain to watch the sun come up.

For more blog posts click HERE! For engagement session info click HERE!

Cathedral Rock Engagement Session

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Nichelle and Brandon got married on October 10th, 2020 at Page Springs Cellars. They pulled off a classy, romantic, vineyard wedding and it was absolutely magical!

Vendors:

Photography: Makayla McGarvey Photography // Makeup: Sedona Beauty Team // Hair: Kara Knaresboro // Venue: Page Springs Cellars // Getting Ready Location: Airbnb

Fore more blog posts click HERE! For more info on weddings click HERE!

Nichelle + Brandon | Page Springs Cellars Wedding

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Mark and Monica had an intimate wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was held in a family member’s living room and their day was so special! Even though covid prevented some family members from attending, they live streamed the ceremony to everyone who was not present. They were able to include all of their friends and family in an unconventional and meaningful way.

Click HERE for more blog posts! Click HERE to get more information on weddings!

Scottsdale, Arizona Intimate Wedding

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Caitlyn and Evan had a gorgeous intimate wedding at Halvorson’s Upstreet Cafe in Burlington, Vermont. They got ready in the morning at Hotel Vermont and walked across the street to the Waterfront Park for some photos and a little alone time before their ceremony. They had to change their plans a few times but did not let covid stop them from having the wedding of their dreams!

To see more blog posts click HERE! To get more information on wedding photography click HERE!

Halvorson’s Upstreet Cafe Wedding | Caitlyn + Evan

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Who else is ready for Halloween?! This spooky skeleton shoot has me so excited to start decorating and carving pumpkins!

Click HERE to see more blog posts! Click HERE to book a session!

Makeup by DolledupLux | Design by Life of Megs

It’s Spooky Season! | Halloween Couples Session

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Specializing in Elopement & destination wedding photography

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