The 66 Most Romantic Ways to Propose

Stumped on how to pop the question? Put your own spin on one of these cute and creative marriage proposal ideas.
by Simone Hill

We know how nerve-wracking planning a wedding proposal can be. If all those jitters are making it hard to decide on how to propose, we've got your back. Try putting your own spin on one these romantic and creative proposal ideas. Whether you want to pop the question in a cute but simple way or you're ready to organize a super unique surprise, there's something here for you. Whatever the case, remember that the best proposal ideas are those that truly capture the couple's relationship. Really want to go the extra mile to make the moment even more memorable? Consider investing in a proposal photographer. We love the pros over at Flytographer. Need additional inspiration? Head on over to HowTheyAsked.com.  

In this article:


Public Marriage Proposal Ideas

  1. Surprise marriage proposal
    Marta in Venice for Flytographer

    1. Choose a favorite place—whether it's a fountain, hotel rooftop, monument or national park—that has personal significance to the two of you. Once you're there, ask someone nearby to take a picture of you together. Instead of posing, drop down on one knee.

    2. Have a choir, brass band or drum line show up for a surprise performance of your fiance-to-be's favorite love song in a park or public location for your proposal. For a really personal touch, ask the performers if they can incorporate your fiance's name into the lyrics.

    3. Get in touch with the stage manager of your favorite production and propose after the cast's curtain call. Call ahead and see if you can have a special note or ad placement added into the playbill so you have a keepsake of the proposal.

    4. Arrange a surprise proposal with a street caricaturist. Have the caricaturist sketch a picture of you two with word bubbles that say, "Will you marry me?" and "Yes!"

    5. Ask the divers at an aquarium to put on a proposal show inside their biggest fish tank. Give them a (waterproof) sign that says, "Will you marry me?" to hold up against the glass and then position yourselves for what will, at first, seem like feeding time.

    6. Send your unsuspecting fiance-to-be on a treasure hunt that ends with your marriage proposal. Start with a clue at home (a handwritten note or text message) that leads to a tour of your favorite spots all over town.

    7. Go out for a night of dancing and ask the DJ or bandleader to pass you the mic so you can dedicate a song and propose on the dance floor.

    8. Hire a skywriter to spell out your proposal for everyone around to see.

    9. Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper then pick the perfect spot to have a relaxing morning of catching up on current events.

    10. Call into a radio station, make sure your fiance-to-be is listening then propose on the air.

    Destination Marriage Proposal Ideas

  2. Beach proposal idea
    Whitney in Portland for Flytographer

    11. Plan a romantic destination getaway for two. When you're on the plane, use the loudspeaker system (of course, run your plan by the flight attendants first) and propose at 35,000 feet.

    12. Rent a Vespa, scooter or bikes to tour the city and invite your soon-to-be fiance for a ride, but remind them to be safe and wear a helmet. Hand over the helmet (with the ring box already in it) then zip around town to celebrate.

    13. Searching for beach proposal ideas? Go to the shore and build a sandcastle together (at a safe distance from the ocean).When your partner isn't looking, put the ring on the highest tower.

    14. After a long day of sightseeing, have a drink in the hotel bar. When it's time to go, have roses, candles and champagne all set up in your hotel room—everything for a perfect surprise proposal.

    15. Add this to the list of outdoor proposal ideas: Go on a hike and pop the question once you've reached the top of your climb. (But please be careful not to lose or damage the precious proposal piece in the wilderness.)

    Homemade Marriage Proposal Ideas

  3. Graffiti outdoor marriage proposal
    Jaclyn Marie Photography

    16. Gather a bunch of your friends and family for a party and have everyone put on a T-shirt or carry balloons filled with helium (otherwise they won't float) bearing one of the letters in the phrase, "Will you marry me?" Then during the party suggest a group picture to reveal the message.

    17. Spell your proposal out in glow-in-the-dark star stickers on your ceiling. Get into bed, turn the lights off and wait for the gasp.

    18. Or, use refrigerator magnet letters to write out your marriage proposal. They'll never be so happy to have gone to grab a snack.

    19. Throwback to your childhood with a proposal written in sidewalk chalk on your street or driveway.

    20. Create makeshift letters that spell out, "Will you marry me?" using anything from colored duct tape (against a wall or a piece of poster board) to scrapbooking materials. Surprise your partner with your creation at work, home or the park. (Not crafty? Hire a graffiti artist to write out an artistic marriage proposal in huge letters. While you're at it, hire a proposal photographer to snap you two in front of the masterpiece.)

    Marriage Proposal Ideas at Home

  4. Marriage proposal idea at home
    Melissa Green Photography

    21. Fill a favorite room in your home with photo memories from your relationship; you can hang them from balloons or cover the walls with them for a jaw-dropping surprise.

    22. Turn off all the lights in your apartment and make a trail of candles that leads to a circle of votives positioned around the ring. (But use extra caution when dealing with flames.)

    23. Slip the ring on while your soon-to-be fiance is sleeping then do a romantic morning wake-up call with champagne and strawberries.

    24. Tie a red velvet ribbon from one spot in your home to another. Attach little notes recalling perfect moments in your relationship along the way. Wait for your partner at the end of the ribbon with the ring in hand.

    25. Cook a five-star-worthy meal of all your fiance-to-be's favorite foods, or hire a personal chef for the night. Propose over dessert.

    26. Have a custom jigsaw puzzle made with your picture and the words "Marry me?" On a rainy day, suggest this activity. When you've finished enough that you can clearly see the photo and read the words, it's time for the marriage proposal. (Hint: This works well with Scrabble too.)

    Techie Marriage Proposal Ideas

  5. 27. Add a custom proposal "song" to his or her go-to playlist on Spotify, or record an unexpected proposal podcast.

    28. Have a friend take photos of you with posters that say, "will," "you," "marry" and "me?" Then make plans to meet up in a special spot and before you arrive, text the photos in order. When the last message goes through, show up and get down on one knee.

    29. Create a web page declaring your love and wedding proposal then leave a clue with the web address written on it—don't say a word. After the proposal, announce the good news by sending the link to family and friends.

    30. Set up a live-stream channel and invite all your friends and family to watch the proposal in real time from wherever you choose to pop the question.

    31. Update a social media profile (like Instagram) with "fiance" in your bio. Ask your partner what they think of your feed and savour the confusion on their face before they realize what's happening.

    Foodie Marriage Proposal Ideas

  6. Romantic dinner marriage proposal idea
    Jess Barfield Photography

    32. Make the box holding the ring as a selection on the dessert tray at your favorite restaurant.

    33. Put together a gift basket of yummy treats—like dark chocolate, coffee or fresh fruit—and hide the ring among the presents (in its box, so it doesn't get lost in the goodies).

    34. Ask the pastry chef to write, "Will you marry me?" in chocolate sauce around the rim of a dessert plate.

    35. Ask a baker to make a custom cake with the proposal written in frosting. Have the cake displayed in the storefront and take your partner window-shopping. Bring the cake home to share and celebrate afterward.

    36. Print a custom label with your engagement proposal written on it then place it on a fancy bottle of vino to toast with after they say "yes."

    37. Go to a restaurant and ask for the "specials" menu. The waiter will come back with a sheet of paper you've planted that reads your marriage proposal message.

    Marriage Proposal Ideas at Work

  7. Firefighter marriage proposal to teacher
    Adam Deierling

    38. Sneak (with the proper permission, of course) into your soon-to-be fiance's office or classroom before they arrive in the morning. Write your proposal on their desk or blackboard then stay hidden from sight until they show up.

    39. Before your partner leaves for work, offer to heat up their car and scrape the ice and snow off their windows. Then scratch your proposal into the ice.

    40. With the help of your soon-to-be fiance's coworkers, schedule a last-minute meeting toward the end of the day. Then whisk them away to a romantic spot to propose.

    Marriage Proposal Ideas Caught on Camera

  8. Surprise engagement proposal
    Orsi in Lisbon for Flytographer

    41. Hire a Flytographer to capture your proposal, but tell your partner you've won a romantic couple's photo shoot. Get dressed up then propose mid-shoot. Follow it up with a romantic engagement session.

    42. Pick the perfect spot to propose and have a photographer hide somewhere discreet. After your proposal, your photographer can snap some posed photos too.

    43. Tell your fiance-to-be that you've been selected for a couple's "casting call" at a studio then propose in front of the cameras.

    Playful Marriage Proposal Ideas

  9. Kinder Egg marriage proposal
    Lori Richmond

    44. Looking for funny proposal ideas? Pull off a tiny fake-out by asking for your partner's ring size in obvious ways (bringing home a ring chart is one). When they accuse you of ruining the surprise that you're shopping for a ring, say, "Okay, try this one instead."

    45. Cut out the bottom of a huge refrigerator box, wrap it with pretty paper and ribbon and attach a card that says, "What's inside the box is a gift to last a lifetime." Then "deliver" yourself to your soon-to-be fiance's doorstep.

    46. Make the ring the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks or in a Kinder Egg.

    47. Reenact the scene of their favorite romantic movie. If it's Pretty Woman, go for the ending of the movie: Rent a white limo and climb through the sunroof with flowers in hand to proclaim your love as you arrive at their place.

    Fall and Winter Marriage Proposal Ideas

  10. Fall marriage proposal idea
    Carmen Salazar Photography

    48. Rake the leaves in their yard to spell out your outdoor proposal.

    49. During the holiday season, use outdoor string lights to write out, "Will you marry me?" on the front of your house, apartment or lawn. Station your friends and family secretly inside and come up with an excuse to linger out front. Then have someone flip the switch to reveal the message.

    50. Build a scene of a snowman proposing then tell your soon-to-be-fiance to look outside. When they see the snowman, get down on one knee.

    51. Write, "Will you marry me?" on the underside of a kite and take flight on a breezy autumn afternoon.

    Spring and Summer Marriage Proposal Ideas

  11. Marriage proposal during the spring
    Ash Fox Photography

    52. Propose in a flower or botanical garden when everything is beautifully in bloom.

    53. Have a friend or family member set up a picnic—complete with wine and cheese, of course—for you in a park. Then come up with an excuse for taking a trip there where you'll stumble upon this surprise proposal.

    54. How’s this for a dreamy outdoor proposal idea? Pick a spot for some summer stargazing (it's even more perfect if there's a meteor shower or lunar eclipse expected) and propose under the night sky.

    55. Suggest a berry-picking excursion to make some fresh summer pies. Once you're out there, tell your partner you've found the most perfect berry they have to see. Instead of ripe fruit, they'll find you and the ring. (This also works in the fall with apple or pumpkin picking.)

    56. Want more beach proposal ideas? On the night before a seaside day you've planned, write a love poem on a piece of parchment paper, roll it into an antique bottle with a cork and bury it in a well-marked spot in the sand near your towels. Be sure you "find" the bottle as you dig together—and be ready with the ring.

    Marriage Proposal Ideas With Surprise Parties

  12. Newspaper marriage proposal with surprise family guests
    Moss & Isaac

    57. On your partner's birthday, plan a "surprise party" then pretend to ruin the surprise by having them get there early. The real shock will be when you propose and all your friends and family show up afterward to celebrate.

    58. Plan a party filled with friends and family at a bar near where you'll propose then suggest a celebratory drink after your partner says "yes."

    59. Have your proposal in a park with friends and family a safe distance away. Once you've proposed, have everyone show up for an impromptu celebration.

    Holiday Marriage Proposal Ideas

  13. Fourth of July marriage proposal idea
    Rob Korb Photography

    60. On New Year's Eve, sneak away to a romantic spot just before midnight and propose as the perfect start to the new year. Then celebrate with a kiss and plenty of champagne.

    61. Surprise your fiance with a pet you've always wanted to get together (bunny, kitten, puppy) under the Christmas tree and tie the ring around its neck. Or substitute a stuffed animal—still cute, but less maintenance.

    62. On the days leading up to February 14, plant Valentine's Day cards (like the ones you used to give out to classmates in third grade) with sweet messages written inside around the house. Then on Valentine's Day, present them with a box of chocolates containing, you guessed it, the ring.

    63. Propose during your local fireworks show on the Fourth of July. Work with a professional to set up a private message in sparklers that spells out "Marry me?"

    64. Throw a Halloween jack-o'-lantern carving contest for friends and family where everyone reveals their designs. Unveil your pumpkin carved with your proposal last.

    65. Build up anticipation for the last day of Hanukkah by dropping eight hints that you’re about to propose.

    66. Hide Easter eggs (somewhere they won’t get lost or taken by kids) with notes that explain why you love your partner. Then, present them with a golden egg with your marriage proposal and ring inside.

    We hope that now that you've read through our proposal ideas, you have a better sense of how you're going to propose. Know it's going to be the best proposal ever? Don't forget to share your happy-tears-inducing story on How They Asked after your partner say "yes" (to the question and to sharing the deets).

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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