The top proposal locations in Sedona are pretty much the same as the best trails to hike in the area or the best elopement locations. The three most popular locations to propose are:
These locations are the most popular by far due to their epic views. Devil’s Bridge is a 4-mile hike that can be shorter if you off-road part of it. I suggest my couples propose here at sunrise to avoid the large crowds and lines to take photos on the bridge; this way you get privacy and good light. Cathedral Rock is a 1-mile hike/scramble up a popular vortex spot known for its sunset cliff view. I recommend my couples propose here at sunset just because the light is incredible. Merry Go Round is reachable by a Jeep ride or tour, or you can get there by hiking 6 miles. This location is also best at sunset! If you are proposing at any of these locations, I recommend considering a weekday for even less crowds (and for sure not a holiday!)
These locations are less crowded but also offer more options to kind of find your own quiet nook for the big moment! Many resorts also offer options for proposals that can be mostly 100% private like L’Auberge.
Horseshoe Bend is a large tourist attraction in Page, Arizona. It is a hot spot for proposals, and for good reason! It is a romantic place to catch the sunset and take in massive rock walls of the desert. It is a short walk with big rewards. The drive from Sedona is 3 hours one way so it is a great day trip to check out Flagstaff, see Lake Powell, and end at Horseshoe popping the big question! Sunset is for sure the best time here, and again, try for a weekday!
**keep scrolling for more planning tips and info**
Everything I am telling you here is based on working with us at Adventure & Vow for your proposal. I cannot speak on behalf of other photographers, but I can give some good advice 🙂 Capturing this moment is so much more worth it than having a by-chance phone photo you can’t print. Hiring a photographer for your proposal can be so helpful when it comes to planning, putting the plan into action the day of, and of course preserving this moment in time to share with your friends and family. So how getting your proposal photographed work? Here at Adventure & Vow we recommend a few different ways to go about it:
Maybe the two of you already have plans for a hike or to go to dinner? You can call us (AKA your photographer!) Basically this option works by you telling me where you want to propose and already having a plan in the works with your partner to go to this location. Then I let you know what time will the BEST time to propose there based on light, crowds, and more. Then you try to get your partner there for that time. Sometimes you can get a plan together and it all goes perfect! Sometimes the timing may be different than the ideal, but that doesn’t make the moment any less perfect! If this is your plan and you want your partner to dress nice, but don’t want to spoil the surprise, the best thing to do to is have a brunch or dinner plan set for right after the hike/proposal! Then they don’t suspect anything and you don’t have to give any direction on attire.
This is still a surprise in a way, but as soon as they see the setup the surprise is usually over. This is a little more involved than selecting a location and just making sure to be there at the same time. A great example of this is a recent proposal we shot where we hiked in prior to the couple and set up a blanket with a basket of fruit and pastries with champagne, orange juice, and string lights so the person proposing could easily spot the setup. Their sunrise picnic was set up right where all of the hot air balloons take off in Sedona for a great morning start before they headed to brunch and more hiking in Sedona. This could be an option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Other things that could be set up in Sedona are banners, music, lights, or flower petals as long as it is a location that is not super windy and all petals get picked up after the event.
This method is great if you are okay with there not being a huge element of surprise or if your partner will think nothing of doing a couples session together! Maybe you have been wanting to do pictures together for a while, or maybe it’s an anniversary, or maybe you’ve planned to go to Sedona for a long time and you can play the “no big deal, I booked us a couples session” card. If photos are a totally normal part of your relationship, like how Annie and John that I photographed at Cathedral Rock do couples sessions all the time with photographers back in their hometown, then they wont blink an eye! If you are going about it this way I suggest popping the question at the end of the session because at this point you are both comfortable with me (the photographer) and being in front of the camera. Also, they’re less likely to suspect anything if you do it at the very end. If you are feeling really nervous, I recommend proposing at the start of the session so you can both enjoy it!
Once you decide which way you want to go about getting the proposal photographed, leave the rest up to me to help you plan, navigate, and make sure everything goes perfect!
If you have any control over what you and your partner will be wearing for this big moment, here are some outfit tips! If you have no control don’t worry about it, this moment is about you two and your love, not about what you are wearing.
Sedona is mostly red rocks and juniper trees so colors like black, teal, tan, white, blush, navy, dark green, and burgundy all look great! If you are dressing casual, try to avoid any loud patterns or things with big bold words on them. No matter what, you’ll be able to control what you wear, so think solid, natural tones for your outfit. Avoid wearing a hat unless its a toboggan (beanie) so I don't lose your face to shadows when taking photos.
If you are planning to propose while on a couples session, or for some reason you plan to dress dressy for this moment, there are a few things you want to consider. If you are are a fella, make sure your pants aren’t too tight! Yes, this is a thing, I have seen someone rip their pants front-to-back, make sure you can get on one knee easily! If you are hiking to the location in your dressy clothes, make sure you can easily move around and make sure to still wear hiking shoes!!! You can always change into a different shoe once you are at the location if desired 🙂 The same colors apply here as the casual attire.
Ready to do the thing?! We are here for you and can’t wait to help bring your plans alive and capture this special moment for you to get to relive the rest of your lifetime together. Below are our package options!
This includes arriving prior to you and helping you plan timing and location. It includes capturing the moment and about 30 minutes of portraits after. Images are delivered same day with a sneak peek sent to your phone asap. You have rights to download all edited images with high resolution and printing rights.
1 mile or less of hiking - $500
2-4 miles of hiking - $700
5-6 miles of hiking - $1000
+picnic add on is $100
No hiking, just a short walk down pathway - $600If hiking is involved down into the canyon - $750
Starting at $650
Here at Adventure & Vow we believe adventure is a lifestyle and something two people can be deeply rooted in shaping their relationship and life. We are here to capture all moments of your relationship from dating, proposal, engagement to elopement! I am in your all-in planner, Bill is the all-in carry whatever you want up a mountain, spire, etc. We are about it. When it comes to photography here we believe it’s the most beautiful way to truly capture who you two are as a couple and preserve moments in time that tell your story throughout your life. If you have a dream we will make it happen, just reach out and let the planning begin!