In the grand scheme of Western existence, it wasn’t that long ago that a man in tights would get down on one knee and ask a woman to marry him. She would say yes (probably because what else was she going to do?) and that was that.
Fast-forward to now, and we have a whole lot more freedom regarding how, when and to whom we decide to propose. But with freedom comes options, and options can be overwhelming: Public or private proposal? The beach or a restaurant? Intimate proposal at home or adventurous proposal abroad? It could go on like this for hours.
Though relationships are complex and nuanced and most certainly can’t be boiled down into one moment, how you propose to your partner inevitably serves as an expression of what your relationship is like and who you both are within it. And, let’s be honest, if you’re about to take each other off the market, might as well go out with a bang.
In light of all this, here is a list of twenty five wedding proposal ideas that are not only romantic, but incredibly moldable. There are no rules. Each idea is just a frame or lens you can use to outline your incredibly unique love story, so feel free to take an idea, flip it around, and make it your own.
Now let’s get to the fun stuff.
25.) Roll the dice…
Does your ideal date night include board games, a bottle of wine, and perhaps a pizza? If so, then consider having a customized board game created to help you pop the big question. We recommend taking it a step further by renting out this board game themed Airbnb in Clermont, Florida and popping the question there. Bonus: it sleeps 43, so your best friends and family can join in on the fun!
24.) Get your answer 30,000 feet up in the air
Are you and your partner frequent fliers who love to travel? If so, consider proposing mid-flight. You can get the entire crew and fellow passengers involved too if you’d like. After, celebrate with some mid-air bubbly!
23.) Make your love flip out with a customized flip book
Does your significant other love books, comic books, and/or cartoons? What better a way to pop the question than with a personalized flip book?! Companies such as the Flippist and Etsy enable you to customize hand-drawn flipbooks professing your love and popping the question. These books even have a secret compartment where you can hide the engagement ring!
Do you and your partner share a love of pounding the pavement? Maybe you’re training for a marathon, a triathlon, or just like to run to stay in shape and de-stress. If so, and if you use a GPS tracking system, why not run “marry me”? We suggest telling your partner you’ll be running a new, unique path – and at the end, show her or him the route which will spell out ‘marry me.’ Or – if you want to get some more steps in – write out the full ‘will you marry me.” Bonus points if your run can end at the spot where you first met or place of your first date.
21.) Make it a rollercoaster of emotion
If you and your loved one bonded over a shared love of theme parks and thrilling rides, why not propose at your favorite theme park? Better yet – how about on your favorite ride the moment the camera snaps your pic?
20.) Get it on the kiss cam!
If your significant other is a sports fan (and doesn’t mind being the center of attention), then why not pop the question when one of his or her favorite teams is playing? Just make sure not to drop the ring, spill your beer on anyone in your moment of elation, and be confident she (or he) will say yes. Otherwise, you may end up on our next list of kiss cam fails!
19.) Mow it out
This one is for you farm boys and farm girls. Or, at least those with very large backyards. You’ll likely need access to a private plane as well to get the full effect. We didn’t say these would all be easy, but they are creative!
Step one: Mow your question into the grass or field.
Step two: Hire a private plane
Step three: Fly over your ‘big question’ and pop the question – mid-air!
We recommend celebrating with champagne upon landing, followed by dinner at a romantic restaurant.
18.) Ask for a little help
Dolphins are friendly, affectionate creatures with a history of helping humans. If you and your sig other have always dreamed of swimming with these majestic mammals, what better a time than proposal time!
17.) Share a Coke
In the summer of 2013, Coca-Cola launched its ‘share a coke’ campaign and people have been coming up with creative uses for these quasi-personalized bottles and cans ever since. If your true love also loves coke, why not ask her or him to share a coke with you for all eternity?
16.) Get inspired by the movies
Do you and your significant other have a favorite movie? If so, consider theming your proposal around that film like this man who recreated the set of Pixar’s Up and popped the question. We can only hope he took her on an actual hot air balloon post-proposal.
We also loved this Frozen themed proposal.
15.) Say it with literature
If your partner is a voracious reader, consider hiding a ring inside of her or his favorite book. Present your darling with the book, and say something along the lines of “I saw it and thought of you” and “I’d love for you to read aloud the opening paragraph.” Once the novel is open, up will shine the ring you had previously embedded. At that point, get down on one knee and ask those four magical words.
When it comes to wedding and honeymoon planning, check out some of the most beautiful libraries in Europe. Several host weddings and the others will be perfect to visit during your honeymoon.
14.) Say it with street art
Is there anything more romantic than tagging your love across the city streets? If you happen to be skilled with a can of spray paint, why not use your skills to both add an artistic flair to your city’s streets and ask the biggest question of your life at the same time? Just make sure you get permission first, otherwise, you may be spending your first night as fiances behind bars.
Don’t consider yourself artistic, but still love the idea? Consider planning a trip to one of the top cities for street art lovers and see if any strike your fancy for a proposal backdrop.
13.) Mime it or sign it below the surface
While you won’t be able to actually ask the question underground, a sign and some hand gestures will get the question across just as well! Whether it’s your first dive or your hundredth, it will be the most memorable for sure.
12.) Make your loved one work for it
If your partner is a crossword aficionado like Marlowe Epstein, consider having a customized crossword puzzle created with the words ‘will you marry me’ embedded. Just make sure to make it easy enough so your love actually finishes it rather than tossing it aside in frustration!
11.) The cheesier the better
If cheese is your partner’s favorite food, why not use a block of the goodness to ask the big question? Safely hide the ring in a section of the cheese, protected by a bottle cap, or another container so it doesn’t get damaged. Ask your partner to do the honor of cutting the cheese, and act just as surprised when the knife hits something hard.
We recommend having a good bottle of wine and some prosciutto paired with the cheese as well.
10.) Photobomb it
Photo booths are always fun. You never know what your fellow participants will pull for the camera. Consider ‘pulling a proposal’! Not only is the small space immediately romantic, you’ll have an adorable photo to capture the moment.
9.) Add it to the morning (or afternoon) ritual
If your significant other is a coffee aficionado, why not incorporate the big question into a cup of their favorite java? Surprise her or him with coffee in bed one morning in a brand new mug. Stay put until every last drop has been consumed and the question at the bottom of the mug is revealed.
If your bae is more of a latte lover, consider taking them to a new coffee shop and having the barista incorporate the big question atop a latte! Here’s some amazing latte art to help inspire you.
8.) Ask atop the slopes
Are you and your better half avid skiers? Consider planning a trip to your favorite ski resort and popping the question on the mountaintop – then watch as she or he skis down the hill admiring her new bling.
Not a skier, but love the snow? Use the elements around you! Book a romantic weekend getaway somewhere cold and snowy and write your question in the snow! Make sure to have a warm fire going to cozy up to afterward.
7.) Make it sky high
If you really want to wow your sweetheart, consider hiring a skywriter to pen the question among the clouds, or a trail it behind their plane.
This is an adorable way to tell your sweetie (and the entire world) you want to spend the rest of your lives together.
6.) Write it on a billboard
Does your true love love NYC almost as much as she or he loves you? If so, there’s no better place to pop the question than the Big Apple. Particularly, Times Square. It’s easier than you’d imagine too, as various companies specialize in coordinating the big ask.
5.) Keep your partner on their toes with a scavenger hunt
This might elicit some eye rolls, but I encourage you not to write this one off so quickly. A scavenger hunt is a great way to turn a proposal into a collaboration, and it helps stretch the romantic moment and build anticipation for where the day is headed.
There may be a chance that your partner knows from the beginning where this “hunt” is headed (like this woman did), but that doesn’t make it any less special. Just the opposite, in fact. By setting out clues that include the places and people who have been a part of your relationship, your partner will get to take in all the awesome moments you two have shared, making your one and only even more excited to say “Yes!” once they reach the end.
4.) Plant the seeds for a future together
This one is for all you metaphor-lovers out there. You can decide to plant a whole garden or maybe just talk about how you want some homegrown basil in the kitchen. However big or small the plant, this proposal will definitely surprise. Especially if you hide the ring in a bag of seeds before passing it to your partner to “plant.”
This idea is also customizable in terms of what you decide to grow. Maybe your loved one enjoys a particular kind of flower or tree, or a certain type of vegetable. You can up the romance by incorporating that plant into the process, thereby making the metaphor even more meaningful and personal. Once the wedding date comes around, packets of seeds make great wedding favors too!
3.) Get your furry friends involved
A lot of couples live together before getting married nowadays, and many of those people share pets. For a private proposal at home, without seeming boring or cliched, why not let your favorite animal add a little cute-factor to the day?
You can attach a ring to your dog or cat’s collar, or a note to your goldfish bowl, or you can even teach your parrot how to say “Will you marry me?” The adorable pet world is your oyster!
2.) Recreate your first date (and feel free to dress it up too!)
What is more dreamy than reliving the first moments you began falling in love? To take a note out of The Parent Trap’s book, nostalgia is a pretty solid secret weapon when doling out romantic overtures.
But things can always be taken up a notch. Let’s say you went to a particular restaurant or coffee shop on your first date. Why not find a beautiful setting, like the beach or a meadow, and decorate it to look like the place you first met? It adds a personal touch and makes a typical “nature proposal” into something a little more unique.
1.) Turn your dating history into Oscar-bait
Let’s be real, the guy in this video went all out when it came to proposing to his girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from the film medium altogether.
Adding in old photos, funny comments from your friends and family, and maybe even a small skit if you want to get creative with it, are all ways to get others involved in the proposal without sacrificing the intimacy of the moment.
Which of these wedding proposal ideas would make you swoon? Let us know in the comments below!