Eleven Ways to Pull Off Proposing on New Year's Eve

A new engagement ring to ring in the New Year? Yes, please.
Couple at new year's eve party
Photo: AleksandarNakic / Getty Images
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by
Lauren Nowack
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Lauren Nowack
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a freelance writer for The Knot Worldwide.
  • While Lauren has been writing her whole life, she began her career by travel writing and reviewing outdoor gear.
  • Lauren is passionate about encouraging people planning a wedding to make it exactly what they want and need it to be.
Updated Nov 09, 2023

So, you're getting ready to pop the biggest question you can think of: "Will you marry me?" If you're here, you're also figuring out how to pull off proposing on New Year's Eve without getting overshadowed by parties and fireworks. Thankfully, we've compiled almost a dozen New Year's proposal ideas and spoken with proposal expert Claire Durán, Owner and Creative Director of Claire Durán Weddings & Events since 2014, for NYE proposal tips.

For more help planning the perfect proposal on New Year's Eve, you can head to The Knot Vendor Marketplace where there are hundreds of vendors, from planners and florists to photographers and videographers, ready to help make your perfect wintry engagement come to life.

11 Ideas for Proposing on New Year's Eve

Thoroughly planning your New Year proposal is essential to pulling it off without a hitch. To get you started, here are eleven ideas to help you brainstorm just how you want to propose on New Year's Eve.

1. While Planning the Year Together

    As the busy holiday season comes to a close, most people look back over the past twelve months and take note of life's highs and lows while dreaming up what the next year may hold. As a couple, you may spend some time working on resolutions together or planning a few trips. This discussion, where you two look forward to future adventures, may be the perfect time to ask your partner to marry you, so you can plan not just a few months ahead but for a lifetime.

    2. Pop the Question at a Party

      For those who thrive as the center of attention or come alive around crowds, consider popping the question at a New Year's Eve party. Not only will there be plenty of people to help celebrate and cheer on the proposal, but your significant other will already be dressed up, making this a picture-perfect scene without needing to do much legwork. If it's a private party, make sure to check with the host ahead of time that a marriage proposal won't be a distraction. If it's a public venue, try and seek out a quieter spot to ensure your partner can hear everything you want to say.

      3. During a New Year's Eve Toast

        Whether you're at a family dinner, a quaint New Year's Eve party or just plan on doing a private toast in the comfort of your home, a small speech with a glass of champagne can be a great time to ask the big question. For a bit of spunk, you can tie the ring on the champagne flute, put it at the bottom of the glass (make sure they don't drink it) or personalize the bottle to commemorate the occasion.

        4. Surrounded by Holiday Decor

          While some people keep holiday decor solely for display between Thanksgiving and Christmas, others thrive on the extra lights, snowflakes and festive flair around town during the winter months. If your partner loves this season, head to your town square or take a trip to an iconic spot, like the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City, to drop to one knee. If you pick this New Year's Eve proposal idea, make sure to pick a photographer from The Knot Vendor Marketplace to capture the stunning shot.

          5. Right Before the Fireworks

            Pulling off a full fireworks display after asking the love of your life to marry you is not an easy feat - unless it's New Year's Eve. Head to your local fireworks show and get ready to propose right before the first rocket goes off. This way, you two can enjoy the bright lights knowing you'll get to do it together year after year.

            6. Seek Out the Snow

              There are few things as romantic as a crisp snowfall without any tracks in it yet. If you're hoping for a little extra something to make proposing on New Year's Eve just right, find somewhere it is going to snow. Turn the time into a getaway trip, and when the flakes start falling, take your partner on a walk to a pretty spot where you will propose. Just make sure to bundle up so no one gets cold feet (or fingers) when you go to slip on the ring!

              7. With Friends, Family and Sparklers

                Sparklers aren't just for kids; they're also perfect for family and friends to celebrate your engagement! If you have an intimate gathering of those you love most on New Year's Eve, ask everyone attending to light up some sparklers after you propose. If you have a photographer and are feeling creative, you can ask the sparkler-holders to draw engagement rings, hearts and other fun shapes around you as the professional grabs a long-exposure shot.

                8. Wait Until the Morning After

                  New Year's Eve can be an incredible night with friends, fireworks and wondering what the next year may hold. Perhaps fitting a proposal into the late night feels a bit too much? If so, propose the morning after. Use a coffee mug printed with the big question or simply get to one knee as you roll out of bed. This way, you can enjoy a huge party on NYE but also get engaged in a private, intimate spot shortly after. Bonus points if you play Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day" right after they say "yes!"

                  9. At the End of a Year in Review Video or Photo Montage

                    What better way to start the future together than reminiscing about all the wonderful things you've already accomplished as a couple? If this sounds enticing, put together a video or photo montage that shows the highlights from the past year. At the end, you can either put the words, "Will you marry me?", have a video asking the question for you or simply tell your love that you have a question for them. Whatever you pick, this is one of the best New Year's Eve proposal ideas because of its sentimental flair.

                    10. Out on the Ice

                      If you're hoping for a fun New Year's Eve proposal idea that won't put you over budget, take your date out to the ice rink. Skating around on the ice is a fun, wintry activity that just happens to make for adorable engagement photos. Just make sure your almost-fiance dresses up both cute and warm for this date.

                      11. Propose With Dessert

                        Staying up till midnight might sound a little daunting to those who like to tuck into bed early. So, go out for a late dinner and make sure to grab dessert. Propose as you two enjoy the sweet treat and have your waiter prepared to bring out some celebratory drinks after you hear, "Yes!"

                        Couple having fun at a new year's eve party
                        Photo: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

                        Four Expert Tips for Proposing on New Year's Eve

                        Claire Durán, Owner and Creative Director of Claire Durán Weddings & Events, has helped countless couples plan their perfect days, including both engagements and weddings. Using her expertise, she shared four tips that will help proposals on New Year's Eve go smoothly.

                        Propose Privately on the 30th

                        If your significant other doesn't enjoy being put on the spot in public, you may be wondering, "Should I propose on New Year's Eve?" Knowing some people don't like major life decisions being made in front of a crowd, Claire Durán recommends some couples try "proposing on the 30th, and then breaking the news in public to your family and friends on NYE." You can even re-do the proposal for everyone on NYE, ring and all, knowing they will say "yes" (again) when you ask. Durán emphasizes that this route "will just add to the celebrations."

                        Pop the Question Right Before Midnight

                        Whether you're at a private party or out on the town, it gets noisy when the clock strikes midnight. Claire Durán encourages you to "think of whether the place will be quiet enough in case you wanted to squeeze in some words to your loved one before the ring." She reminds couples to remember, "No matter where you are, when the clock strikes 12, everyone starts cheering, so just plan ahead!" Consider proposing a few minutes before midnight or right after the midnight cheering settles down.

                        Budget for Holiday Upcharges From Vendors

                        Durán also tells clients that "if you plan to involve any artists or vendors in your proposal (say a florist, a photographer, a musician), just remember that it's a holiday so everyone will charge extra." Make sure your proposal budget can include all the vendors you want and their upcharge.

                        Scope Out Your Location a Few Days Before

                        Claire Durán wisely shared that places often take on a different atmosphere on New Year's Eve. So, double-check that "the location where you're popping the question has the level of privacy you're looking for" for a New Year's Eve proposal. In addition, the spot you've chosen may be decorated for the holidays on December 31. Durán reminds us that "some people love the whole holiday spirit, others do not as much. So, always make sure to take a look at the location a few days before and make sure that the way it looks will be of your and your future spouse's liking."

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