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Austin Proposal Ideas during COVID

July 20, 2020

If you remember back in March when we were postponing everything we thought we might be in the free in clear by May or early June.

Well here we are in July, looking at the rest of the year possibly masked and socially distancing.

Many of my proposals and weddings got indefinitely postponed when the restaurants shut down so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on how you can still propose should this happen again.

If you’re planning on proposing to your partner in crime during the COVID pandemic- I’ve brainstormed and polled my local vendor group and put together a few ideas.

My advice? Plan for an outdoor location with plenty of space.

Outdoors has been proven to be a safe bet, as long as we all maintain a distance of 6′ or more from other groups, which can be difficult if the place you’re considering is open to the public. For this reason, I’m listing places that are publicly accessible but with wide open spaces and/or reservation-based and have shown me that they’re taking COVID seriously.

**Some locations might have a session fee but I feel this is part of the privilege for having more privacy and the ability to set up some decor beforehand.**

These proposal location ideas are a mix of restaurants, wedding venues, resorts and nature areas. After shooting over 20 weddings in 2 years I consider myself an expert and hope this guide helps narrow down your location search.

Contigo Ranch Fredricksburg

photo courtesy of Contigo Ranch

Way out west, on the way to the cute town of Fredricksburg (another awesome place to propose) is a beautiful ranch getaway perfect for a “let’s escape the news” retreat. They have 3 locations dedicated for weddings which are perfect for setting up your surprise – rose petals, candles, all the romantic details that win brownie points forever.


Barr Mansion

barr mansion wedding in spring
Just look at that beautiful porch!

Now, you probably know how much I love the Barr Mansion, given how many weddings a year I shoot there. It’s such a gorgeous house and the big old tree in the middle of the lawn is a statement centerpiece. They have an impressive organically grown veggie garden and really delicious pizza to boot.

Book a time with the coordinators so you can decorate a spot – I recommend either the big tree or inside the ballroom at sunset – and tell your partner it’s a historical mansion with a special private ghost tour.


The Barr Mansion looks good in all seasons. Winter, spring or fall, you can’t pick a bad day when the light looks this good.

Paramount Theater

What rom-com loving person could say no to seeing “WILL YOU MARRY ME” in big ol’ marquee letters?

The Paramount Theater in downtown Austin is the easiest way to propose during a pandemic. Take your partner for an evening stroll through downtown, stop at the marquee, point, and get down on one knee. ETA: I think this might cost $$$. I still recommend calling and pleading your case.

Laguna Gloria

If you’ve read my How to Propose in Austin article, you’ve probably seen my work at Laguna Gloria. At this point, after 4 -6 proposals there, I practically live there. They should let me set up a cot inside the Villa with all the sessions I do there. While they are now open to the public without reservations, you still need to pay the a photo session fee on their website before we go. (about $100).

The Temple of Love is the most romantic spot, but it is kind of tucked into the end of the pathway and can bottleneck if others are walking by.

morning proposal at Laguna Gloria temple of love
Morning proposals are guaranteed to have little foot traffic at the Temple of Love
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Evenings are easier to convince your partner with, but choose your date wisely.

Wildflower Center

luminarias at the wildflower center

They have an after hours fee of $250 but we have so much room to explore their grounds. The main gardens are seasonal, and may not have a lot of color during the winter but the back Family Gardens are cactus green year round. Plus string lights and a semi-private location = a win.

pricing begins at $500

I have been shooting proposals along side my wedding business since 2014 and consider myself an expert problem solver when it comes to creative proposal ideas. If you’re even considering proposing and want an expert photographer for your proposal in Austin – get in touch and let’s start collaborating!