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So you’ve decided to propose in Austin and you’ve been looking at Mt. Bonnell or Zilker Park but the idea of hiking and/or possible crowds are turning you off. You want somewhere semi-private, peaceful, romantic and outdoors because you love Austin and all the nature. Laguna Gloria looks promising, so here’s what you need to know from an Austin proposal photographer.

What was once a private summer home to Austin’s original families in the 1930s; Laguna Gloria is now under the Austin Museum of Art umbrella and is a super popular venue for weddings because of its central location, views of the water and the unique art sculptures. It’s a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. This is my favorite wedding venue on the water.

A lot of greenery is available year-round and the string lights above as you walk to the Temple of Love make it feel incredibly dreamy. Laguna Gloria is a beautiful place to propose with lots of photo opportunity locations.

Here’s how to have the best proposal at Laguna Gloria.

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Laguna Gloria on a spring morning
Some of the sculptures that can be seen at Laguna Gloria

Step 1: Buy a photography permit

please contact the Site Rentals Department at rent@thecontemporaryaustin.org for proposals

Having your proposal inside is an option, making Golden Hour not totally required. This also a good option for a rain plan. Thursday night is free night and will have a larger chance of people walking around enjoying the grounds.

For maximum beautiful light, I recommend the 2 hours closest to sunset. That’s ~4:00pm in the winter and ~5-7:30 in the late spring/summer.


When you work with me, I always encourage color and texture that goes well with your location. Laguna Gloria is mostly greens and tans, so wearing pops of pinks or reds would definitely stand out. Or look like a classic painting in blue/navy/dark grey and cream. Just make sure your partner is of equal formality!

Step 2: Arrival Notes

Once you walk through the gates, you’re on the art museum grounds. Walk slowly and take a minute to enjoy the views and the sculptural art.

Step 3: The Proposal Location

The Temple of Love is a gorgeous location. To get there, walk into the Laguna Gloria grounds and follow the string lights down the stairs to the gravel path. Keep going till you dead end to the Temple. This walk is the moment before you propose! Take your time and enjoy nature. Try not to rush down just to get it over with (I know you’re nervous). I will be “hiding” in plain sight ready to jump out and capture the moment.

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It rained ALL DAY and blessedly stopped just in time for Adrian’s surprise proposal with Erinn at the Temple of Love.
Laguna Gloria proposal photographer
Kyle had friends place rose petals around the outside of the gazebo. It’s a bit tricky to get your partner’s exact reaction if you go inside.
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For that reason, I recommend popping the question out from under the gazebo!

After I capture the moment she said “YES!” (or just lots of crying and nodding), we’ll move into a few cute, casual portraits. We’ll use a portion of our time at Laguna Gloria to take a few proposal celebratory photos since there are so many gorgeous locations there. After about 20 minutes I’ll let you enjoy your time at Laguna Gloria or head to your surprise afterparty and enjoy your night! 

The versatility, privacy and possibly included indoor locations of Laguna Gloria is ideal for proposal, engagement, bridal and wedding photos.

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3a: If your plan involves surprising your partner with friends and/or family this is when we can meet them. They should arrive separately, secretly and when we walk back up the path to the entrance they can be waiting there to surprise you!

Optional decor

A super sweet exclusive Temple of Love set up can be booked through the team at Amore Austin.

Final Notes:

  • If the gate is open, parking is available and limited but free. If the few spots inside the gate are full, there are some street spots down the hill. Visitors are to check in at the gate to be confirmed entrance to the Museum grounds.
  • Laguna Gloria is an art museum and not a park, if you choose to decorate AT ALL please consider the time and effort required for clean up after.
  • All photographers are required to check in with Visitor Services in the Moody Pavilions.
  • There will likely be people milling about also enjoying the sculpture and nature during our session and I will try to keep people away from the proposal location if you aren’t decorating but nothing is 100% guaranteed. :)
  • Thursday night is free night and will have a larger chance of people walking around. They are open later on Thursdays as well. We’ll have a better timing chance of golden hour on Thursdays.

I hope this helps with your Laguna Gloria / The Contemporary Austin proposal plans. If you’re planning on making this your Austin proposal location – email me and let’s chat!