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4 Tips to Film Your Picture-Perfect Proposal

02/10/2015 02:08 pm ET | Updated Apr 12, 2015

This post is republished with permission from the Man Registry - your go-to resource for wedding planning and registry ideas from the man's point of view.

The pressure's on. Your girlfriend has been pinning this wedding and the proposal hasn't even happened yet. Then there are all those YouTube proposal videos! You want to live up to her hopes, but not sure how to film the big question to share with her friends and family later? Here a few quick tips to get the engagement kicked off in high gear:

  • Location, location, location
  • Line up your paparazzi ahead of time
  • Know your equipment
  • How to edit the clips/photos

Location, location, location

helicopter proposal video

Keep in mind where you are proposing, so you have your personal paparazzi in the right spot. In this video, Lawrence proposed in a helicopter. As family and friends waited on the beach, he had the pilot set up a GoPro on the dashboard and the rest is history. Read more about their proposal story here.

Pro tip: Try to include video from as many angles as possible (including friends' smartphones) when at a gorgeous location. You can cut it together later.

Line Up Your Paparazzi


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In this video, Kwaku told Kiana that they were going to the beach with friends to practice shooting sunset shots on her brand new camera. Of course, her friend convinced Kiana that she needed to borrow the camera to get shots of Kiana (and so she could video the proposal)! Read more about their proposal story here.

Pro tip: Make sure to hold the camera sideways to avoid the black bars.

Know Your Equipment

Whether you film on a GoPro, DSLR or smartphone, know your equipment. Some things to look out for:
  • Don't put your hand over the microphone
  • Hold the camera/phone with two hands to get a steady shot
  • Unless you want a silhouette shot, make sure the light is in front of the proposal. If it's behind the couple, they'll appear in darkness.

Editing the Video

James proposed at his firehouse during a special banquet. One of his buddies filmed the proposal from the audience. Even the city Mayor was in on this special presentation! See her full proposal story here. Jennifer used the proposal video clip in her highlight video of the wedding:

Pro tips for editing:

  • Try to keep the video under 3 minutes so more of your friends and family will watch it
  • Photos look great with the video and can tell more of the story in a shorter time period
  • If possible, include scenes from when you were dating all the way through the honeymoon in one short video
  • Get photos and full resolution video clips from your friends' phones. Low resolution videos (like texted, emailed, or many photo apps) will make you look like a lego mini-figure in an edited video
For your proposal video, just line up your paparazzi and equipment ahead of time, know where they will stand, and the rest should work itself out. Oh, and don't forget the ring! For more proposal tips, head on over to the Man Registry. Got questions about editing it together? Love to hear from you in the comments below.

Ariane Fisher writes at the WeddingMix blog about wedding photo and video ideas. To get useful tips for turning those photos and videos from your wedding planning, big day and honeymoon into a fun memento, follow her...