Love has a way of weaving beautiful stories, and this one is no exception. Today I wanted to share D & J’s sweet proposal story on Folly Beach just before sunset. With her best friend M as the secret architect behind the plan, this proposal really became a beautiful moment of love, friendship, and perfect timing.
Every surprise proposal takes an immense amount of planning to make it perfect. From the location, to the timing, to “the cue”, each proposal is different because each relationship is different. Here is how D planned his proposal.
Choosing the perfect proposal spot takes a lot of thought. D knew he wanted to propose on or at least near the beach, but deciding WHERE was the biggest challenge. The beach’s tranquility and the enchanting sunset served as the perfect backdrop for D’s romantic proposal plan, and after going over all of the different options he chose to go with Folly Beach overlooking the Morris Island Lighthouse.
Timing plays a crucial role in proposal planning. D had a vision to propose during the sunset, while ensuring there was still ample daylight for post-proposal portraits. To achieve this, we meticulously planned every minute, allowing enough time for them to stroll from the parking area, down the graffiti road, and reach the spot on the beach where I was, pretending to capture the scenic beauty. Our designated “go” time was carefully set approximately two hours before the actual sunset.
M played an instrumental role in making the proposal unforgettable. As a close confidante, M understood D’s vision and helped execute every detail flawlessly. M was my main contact for the entire process, right up until the proposal. Both she and D knew that if D was my main contact J would somehow figure out the plan. They REALLY wanted to make sure it was a surprise for J, so M took the reins.
Timing and location are both huge details, but the next step is choosing “the approach” to the proposal. There are tons of options, but D already had an idea when he (actually M) reached out to me initially.
D had seen a surprise proposal idea involving a photographer on TikTok, so when M reached out initially she mentioned this and sent me the video.
The video M & D shared showed a strategy that would have them approach me (as I pretended to just be a beach-goer photographing the scenery) and ask if I would take a photo of their group. I would quickly agree, and then offer to take the photos with my camera and send them along after the fact. The next step was for me to pose them in a “creative” pose, and D took over from there.
Personally proposals with this type of strategy are my favorite for several reasons. Here are a few of the top:
After J said “YES!” to D’s sweet proposal I hung back to give them a few minutes together to celebrate together. J was COMPLETELY surprised (success!), so both D and M were thrilled that the plan went off without a hitch.
Once they’d shared a little bit of time (and J had the chance to look at her gorgeous ring for a few minutes), I officially introduced myself and we headed out on a little beach exploration to take a few engagement photos.
Capturing the moment of the proposal is so special, but so are the moments just afterwards. Most couples will plan an official engagement photo session after the proposal, but this session is an opportunity to laugh and celebrate together and capture the raw emotion of your relationship just post-proposal.
Having been together for a considerable time, D & J’s strong bond was beautifully evident in their photographs. I absolutely adored the way they radiated happiness, sharing genuine smiles that vividly portrayed their deep love for each other.
Here are some frequently asked questions about planning a surprise proposal on Folly Beach.
Yes, you can visit Folly Beach at any time of the day (between sunrise and sunset) for a proposal. We chose sunset because of the romantic ambiance it offers, but also it was perfectly timed for dinner reservations afterward.
Sunset time changes every day, but just searching “Sunset Folly Beach” plus your date will give you an exact sunset time. You’ll want to plan for more time than you think, because once the sun is down it’s gone and it gets dark quite quickly. For my style “blue light” (that time just post sunset) isn’t ideal, but it may be for other photographers.
Absolutely! Folly Beach provides a great backdrop for engagement photos! Just be aware that since it’s a public beach there are often going to be many other people around enjoying the space, so you’ll have to work around that.
Incorporate elements that hold sentimental value, such as shared memories, favorite locations, or meaningful items. Location is usually the easiest way to customize your proposal, and it doesn’t have to be a traditional spot! If you’re not “outdoorsy” people, plan your proposal for a spot that fits your relationship; it could be a coffee shop, a bar, a library, etc.
I’m biased when it comes to this question, but I absolutely recommend hiring a photographer. Having a professional ensures that the special moment is beautifully documented, plus you’ll have help in planning! If you have friends or family in attendance it also gives them freedom to just be in the moment and not worry about capturing it.
Communicate your plans with a close friend you can trust, like D did with M. They can assist in the planning without revealing the surprise to your partner. M and her boyfriend were at the beach with D & J, and they just stepped back during the proposal moment, but then were able to celebrate with the couple immediately afterward.
D’s surprise proposal to J on Folly Beach, masterminded by her best friend M, stands as a testament to the power of love and friendship. With the sun setting on the horizon, two hearts united, creating a memory that will forever be etched in their hearts. As we celebrate this beautiful love story, let it serve as a reminder that love knows no bounds, and with the support of cherished friends, anything is possible.