Fort Collins Proposal & Engagement Guide

Posted On | June 18, 2024

Congratulations on making the huge decision to propose! Planning a surprise proposal can be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences, but we’re here to help make the process a bit easier. Here’s everything you need to know about planning your Fort Collins proposal! 

Best Places to Propose in Fort Collins

A couple kisses during blue hour after their Fort Collins proposal at Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir Proposal 

Horsetooth Reservoir is one of the most popular locations to propose in Fort Collins, and for good reason! Just a 15 minute drive from downtown Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir has stunning views of the foothills, as well as overlooking town! 

Old Town Fort Collins Proposal 

Fun fact: Disneyland’s Main Street USA was inspired by Old Town Fort Collins! With charming alleyways, historic buildings, and lots of murals, Old Town is a great spot to propose! 

A couple laughs as they kiss each other after their Fort Collins proposal along the Poudre River

Cache la Poudre River Proposal 

If you want to feel like you’re in nature while still being close to town, consider proposing along the Cache la Poudre River! This scenic spot is gorgeous year-round, featuring mature, leafy trees, a charming bridge, and the river, of course! 

The Oval at CSU Proposal 

Century-old trees line CSU’s Oval creating an impressive view. This scenic location is great year-round. The spring brings cherry blossoms, while summer has a lush leafy canopy. In fall the leaves turn different shades of vibrant golds and reds, while in winter snow often creates a cozy backdrop. 

CSU Flower Trial Garden Proposal 

If you’re considering proposing in the warmer months, the CSU Flower Trial Gardens is the perfect spot if you’re looking for vibrant colors and lots of greenery! 

Best Places to Propose in Northern Colorado (outside Fort Collins)

Poudre Canyon Proposal 

Located about 20 minutes outside of downtown Fort Collins, Poudre Canyon has numerous locations that are perfect for popping the question!

Devil’s Backbone Proposal

Located in Loveland, Colorado, Devil’s Backbone is the perfect spot if you’re looking to go on a short hike! Depending on how far you hike you can expect dramatic red rocks, rolling hills of tall grasses, and even views of Long’s Peak! 

Rocky Mountain National Park Proposal 

If dramatic mountain vistas are what you imagine when you think about your proposal, Rocky Mountain National Park might be the perfect place. Located about and hour southwest of Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain National Park has several gorgeous options to choose from!

Hermit Park Open Space Proposal 

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly spot to hike to a beautiful overlook, consider Hermit Park Open Space! Located in Estes Park, it’s about an hour drive from Fort Collins, and then a 20-ish minute hike to this private view.

Real Colorado Proposals

The Proof Is In The Pudding! Check out a few of the Real Colorado Proposals We’ve Photographed

Bryson & Marisa

Leave No Trace Guide

Jacob & Ashley

Kelsey & Janelle

Will & Josie

Best Places to Celebrate Your Fort Collins Proposal

Best Romantic Dinner Locations in Fort Collins 

Best Engagement Party Locations in Fort Collins 

Best Cocktail Lounges in Fort Collins 

Tips for Planning the Perfect Surprise Engagement in Fort Collins

A man proposes as a woman says yes on the dock at Sprague Lake during their Fort Collins proposal

Know Your Partner’s Preferences

Understanding your partner’s tastes and preferences is crucial. Are they more of a private person or do they enjoy grand gestures? Some people might love a big, public proposal, while others might prefer something intimate and low-key. Think about what would make them happiest and most comfortable. If you’re unsure, subtlely ask questions or get insights from close friends or family.

Pick the Perfect Location

The location sets the stage for your magical moment. It could be a place that holds special meaning for both of you, like where you had your first date, a favorite park, or even a cozy spot at home. If your partner loves the outdoors, a beautiful spot in nature could be ideal. For city lovers, a rooftop with a stunning skyline view might be perfect. The key is to choose a place that resonates with both of you. If you’re unsure where the best spot might be, as Fort Collins locals we’re always happy to offer suggestions! 

Plan the Details

Details make the moment memorable. Think about how you can add personal touches to the proposal. Maybe you can incorporate your favorite song, bring along a bouquet of their favorite flowers, or write a heartfelt letter to read beforehand. Also, consider logistics: make sure the timing is right, and the setting is just how you envision it. If you’re planning a public proposal, it might be wise to have a plan B in case of unforeseen circumstances, like bad weather.

Capture the Moment

Having a photographer or videographer discreetly capture the proposal can be a wonderful way to preserve the memory. Professional engagement photographers know how to stay out of sight while capturing all the genuine emotions of the moment. These photos and videos will be something you and your partner can cherish forever. If hiring a professional isn’t in the budget, consider asking a trusted friend to help out.

A man proposes to his boyfriend at Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins

Stay Calm and Authentic

Nerves are natural, but try to stay calm and be yourself. Your partner loves you for who you are, and that’s who they want to see during this special moment. Speak from the heart and let your emotions guide you. Remember, the proposal is about your love and commitment to each other, not about perfection. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, it will still be perfect because it’s your unique story! 

Fort Collins Proposal and Engagement Photography Cost

The average cost of a proposal and engagement photographer in Fort Collins depends on several factors, including the photographer’s experience and skill level, as well as your plans for your proposal. For instance, if you plan on hiking to a location to propose you can likely expect to spend a bit more than if you were to propose at an easily accessible location. 

For an experienced professional photographer, you can expect anywhere from $500 to $1,600 on average.  

What to Ask When Hiring A Fort Collins Proposal and Engagement Photographer

How Much Experience Do They Have?

Proposals can require a bit more skill to document than other types of photography. They are often high-stress situations that require a photographer to hide out in the location you’ve selected for a while so as not to ruin the surprise. Due to the limited communication you’re likely to have with your photographer immediately leading up to the proposal, and the rapid pace that proposals typically unfold, it is worth working with someone who is experienced in shooting proposals to ensure they will be in the right spot at the right time, ready to candidly document the moment as it unfolds. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that you can’t re-do, so be sure whoever you hire is up for the task! 

Can You See A Few Sample Galleries? 

To get a feel for what to expect, it’s always a good idea to ask to see a few sample galleries from previous proposals the photographer has documented. This is a great way to better understand their skill level, style, how many images they include, and how you can expect them to document your big moment! 

How Much Planning Will They Help With?

Depending on who you work with, the level of help you will receive can vary. Some photographers offer little more than showing up to document the actual proposal itself, while others offer extensive help from start to finish, including finding the perfect location, helping you come up with a plan, suggesting what time of day will have the best lighting, offering suggestions for what to wear, and helping you plan a celebration after your partner says “yes!” Depending on how much help you want planning your proposal, it’s important to ask what will be your responsibility and what your photographer will help with. 

What Do Their Proposal Packages Include? 

Another thing to consider is what is included in each package. Some packages might include coverage of the proposal only, while other packages might include an engagement session immediately following the proposal while you’re both riding that newly-engaged high. 

It’s also important to ask if you will have access to all of the images in your gallery or if you will have to pay for additional images after a certain number, as well as if you have printing rights, as not all photographer automatically include these things. You might also consider asking how quickly you can expect to receive a sneak peek, and how long it will take to receive your full gallery. 

Fort Collins Proposal & Engagement Photography Packages

Meet Larissa and Bailey! We are two born and raised Coloradoans who specialize in planning and capturing epic proposals for our couples that feel authentic to who they are. If a Fort Collins proposal sounds right up your alley, we’d love to help you find THE perfect spot and make sure it’s a day you never forget with stunning pictures to remember it by.

What’s Included

Fort Collins Proposal Coverage + Engagement Session

We intentionally document your proposal on both digital and film. An engagement session immediately follows to captures all of those just-engaged feels! Includes high-resolution digital images, printing rights, a shareable online gallery, and access to our professional print shop.

Full Proposal Planning Assistance

When we say we help with it all, we mean it. Location scouting and ideas. Our exclusive What to Wear Guide. Recs for activities to do to celebrate. Stress-free timeline planning. Unlimited communication because we never leave you high and dry.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

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