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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, semi-private 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

Reserve a 1 hour photography session Link to purchase

Buying the photo session first, in advance, guarantees that we will have the preferred golden hour/sunset (or sunrise) time slot before it sells out. I also recommend choosing a weekday, since they will likely be booked with weddings or other events on the weekends.

If your reservation includes access inside the villa, having your proposal inside is an option, making golden hour not *totally required.* But, for maximum beautiful light, I recommend the 2 hours closest to sunset. That’s ~4:00pm in the winter and ~6-7:30 in the late spring/summer.

INTERMISSION: WHAT TO WEAR?

When you work with me, I always encourage color and texture that go well with your location. Laguna Gloria is mostly greens and tans, so wearing a sundress with pops of pinks or reds would definitely stand out. Or look ethereal in soft pastels like lavender, blue and cream.

Step 2: Arrival Notes

You’ll meet a staff member at the front gate who will grant you admission. I’ll have arrived early to make sure it’s all good to go and hopefully they won’t give away your surprise when you check in.

If the Temple of Love is your chosen spot, head into the Laguna Gloria grounds and follow the string lights down the path. Take your time walking down. This is the moment before you propose! Try and hype up this art museum to your partner. I will be “hiding” in plain sight ready to capture the moment.

Step 3: The Proposal

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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 wedding locations
Luke decided to propose to his girlfriend Lauren along the pathway with views of the water. This is a beautiful choice for a “non surprise” proposal.
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 our time at Laguna Gloria to take a few “first engagement” photos since there are so many gorgeous locations there.  The versatility, privacy and guaranteed rain plan of this location is honestly ideal for proposal, engagement and wedding photos.

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!

After we take a few portraits you’ll be free to go to dinner and enjoy your night! 

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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. Rideshare is always an option!
  • Laguna Gloria is an art museum and not a park, if you choose to decorate with rose petals, please consider the clean up that will be required after.
  • Champagne is allowed but BYO glasses. (or just drink straight from the bottle!)
  • Well-behaved dogs on a leash are also allowed, but bring poop bags for accidents. Also, try to tire them out beforehand (if they’re in the excitable puppy stage) or have a friend be your designated dog babysitter.
  • Outside props must be approved in advance (if you are bringing any large decorations this is what they mean) Depending on the day, other photo shoots may be happening during our reserved time.

I hope this helps with your Laguna Gloria proposal plans. If you’re planning on making this your Austin proposal location – email me and let’s chat! I would love to be a part of the surprise.

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