Asking someone to marry you is a huge moment in your life. It’s a date that will forever be in your memory as the start of a new chapter. Even if you’ve known for a while that you’d like to propose, you might be wondering how to make it happen. Well, wonder no more. This list of 33 romantic ways to propose will help inspire you to ask the most important question to the most important person in your life.
Outdoor Proposal Ideas
There are so many beautiful places to stage romantic wedding proposals. Forests, woodlands, mountains, lakes, and beaches make up just a few of the scenic, natural spaces to consider. Here are some outdoor spaces that would serve as a beautiful backdrop for asking the love of your life to marry you.
On the Beach
Beach proposals are always beautiful and one of the most romantic ways to propose. Make the moment your own by taking your partner for a romantic walk along the beach, or stage a sunset picnic for the two of you to enjoy before popping the question.
In the Mountains
There’s something about a mountain view that takes your breath away. Whether you make it to the top of a mountain or not, the scenery makes for a perfect spot to propose to your true love in a romantic way.
On a Boat
For water lovers, a proposal on a boat can be really special. You can plan a private boat trip with a romantic meal and live music, or keep it simple and sweet by hiring a canoe at your favorite lake. Plus, the symbolism of being on a boat as you ask your partner to embark on a new life-long journey with you is priceless.
During a Picnic
If you’ve been graced with a beautiful sunny day, a picnic in a scenic spot makes for a lovely place to propose. Prepare your favorite foods, pack a picnic blanket, and head to a park, lake, or beach that you both love. Then, pop the question with a stunning engagement ring.
On a Romantic Walk
If you and your partner love going for walks, why not include one in your proposal? Whether you plan a public proposal with music and a photographer or quietly get down on one knee in your favorite spot, a romantic walk makes for a sweet start to a new chapter.
On a Visit to Botanical Gardens
Flowers are often thought of as a romantic gift, so a proposal with a gorgeous backdrop of flowers and nature could be one of the most romantic ways to propose. Not sure where to find the right garden? Try this list of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the U.S. for inspiration.
At an Historic Monument
Whether you and your beloved are history buffs or not, a traditional or historic monument can make for a lovely place to propose. There are over 2,000 national historic landmarks across the United States alone, so there’s sure to be one nearby.
In a Park
If you can’t or don’t want to make the trek to a botanical garden or historic landmark, a local park can be a beautiful alternative. A simple, in-the-moment proposal in your neighborhood park is a romantic and memorable way to start the next phase of your life together.
Under the Stars
There’s something so romantic about an evening under the stars. Whether relaxing on a blanket by a lake or enjoying the night sky in your backyard, the view above is always magical. If your partner’s eyes light up at stargazing, just imagine the smile on their face as they look down to see you down on one knee.
Indoor Proposal Ideas
Don’t fancy a grand proposal outdoors? There are plenty of romantic ways to propose to your special someone without worrying about the weather. Here are some marriage proposal ideas that take place indoors.
At a Party
If you’re both outgoing or you want friends and family present, why not propose at a party? You can throw a surprise party for your other half or pop the question at a holiday party — find an occasion or celebration that suits you both.
There’s no better reason to book a romantic dinner for two than to propose. If it’s been a while since you last enjoyed a fancy meal together, why not make it extra memorable? You don’t have to make it a grand gesture, either — it’s the words and intentions that matter. Try adding in a nod to something special to your partner, like Taylor’s proposal to Jade.
At a Museum or Art Gallery
A surprise proposal at a gallery or museum is a popular choice for art and culture lovers. Get down on one knee in front of their favorite exhibit or rent the space for a more elaborate and private proposal.
In a Hotel Room
A hotel room decked out in rose petals and keepsakes of your time together can make for a romantic and elegant setting to ask the big question. It’s private, luxurious, and you can enjoy the special moment longer without being interrupted by well-meaning passers-by.
Over a Romantic Meal at Home
If the idea of proposing marriage at a busy restaurant isn’t your thing, why not recreate the moment in the comfort of your home? You can go all-out on romance with flowers, scented candles, and a playlist of your favorite songs.
Seasonal and Date-Based Romantic Ways to Propose
There’s something very romantic about proposing on a date that’s special to you and your partner. It could be the anniversary of your first date, or during a vacation that you’ve talked about and planned for what feels like forever. If you’re looking for a special date or seasonal romantic proposal ideas, here’s some inspiration for you.
On Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can be a beautiful day to get engaged if your partner loves this holiday. Whether you ramp up the romance or opt for a simple proposal at home, you can make February 14th the day that your partner becomes your fiancé or fiancée.
Over the Festive Season
The holidays are a time for friends, family members, and loved ones. It’s no surprise then that Christmas remains a popular time of year for couples to get engaged. Looking for inspiration? Wrap their engagement ring as their final gift to open or get down on one knee under some carefully placed mistletoe. Or, why not propose on New Year’s Eve like Konnor did in this Joy proposal story?
On Your Anniversary
One of the most romantic ways to pop the question is on the anniversary of your first date or the date you became a couple. Turn up the “awww” factor even further and set the scene with photographs of the two of you, tickets from concerts you’ve seen, and souvenirs from trips and getaways together.
On a Special Vacation
There are some vacations and trips that you plan for months. You carefully choose a destination, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll see and do. If you have a once-in-a-lifetime trip coming up, why not use it as the perfect excuse to propose?
On Your Loved One’s Favorite Holiday
Does your partner love Halloween? Are they a huge fan of the fireworks on the Fourth of July? If you know there’s a holiday or season that your loved one adores, make it extra special this year with a surprise proposal.
Creative Proposal Ideas
Are you super crafty? Great at DIY? Why not use your talents to pull off a creative proposal for the special person in your life? If you want to get inventive, here are some marriage proposal ideas.
Make a Homemade Banner
If you plan to set the scene for your big moment, a lovingly made banner or sign can make it all the more personal. Wooden signs are popular, as are canvas banners adorned with ‘Will you marry me?’ or something similar.
Surround Yourselves With Photos
Now might be the perfect time to get some of your favorite photos printed. Whether you create a temporary gallery wall at home or hang photos from trees in a woodland, a proposal surrounded by all those special memories can feel incredibly romantic.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Proposals don’t need to look like they do in the movies. Scavenger hunts are becoming popular with couples — with the unsuspecting half sent on an adventure before the final surprise is revealed. For a twist on this, try arranging a themed treasure hunt that ties in something your partner loves like movies, pets, or hobbies. You could also make it extra special by using clues that lead them to places that you’ve been on dates at together in your city.
With a Personalized Jigsaw Puzzle
For another creative way to propose, try crafting a personalized jigsaw puzzle. You can hide the question somewhere within the puzzle, or ask your loved one to turn over a certain piece to find a special question on the reverse side.
In a Photo Booth
Who doesn’t love an impromptu photo booth photoshoot? Work out where your nearest booth is — or if you’ll have access to one at an upcoming party — and suggest you pop inside to capture some fun pics together. Surprise your loved one with the ring and catch their reaction on film.
With a Poem
If you’re a talented writer, or just passionate about staging a creative proposal, why not ask your partner to marry you with a poem? You can suggest they open and read the poem in front of you, have it printed and framed, or perform it as spoken word. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to write a love poem.
Make a Proposal Video
We use video to capture and relive big family moments like birthdays, weddings, and holidays. Why not start right at the beginning and make a video about your relationship? With a collection of video clips from vacations, holidays, and the two of you relaxing at home, you can create a montage video to share with your loved one. Then, at the end of the video, ask them to marry you.
In recent years, there’s been a trend to spell out words and phrases with balloons at parties and events. It’s fun and very Instagrammable, if that’s something that you or your partner enjoy. If you’re going to propose somewhere that you can set up ahead of time, stage your balloons to spell out your partner’s name or “Will you marry me?”
Make a Mixtape or Playlist
For most of us, there are songs that remind us of a moment, person, or feeling. Many couples have special songs that have become “theirs.” Make a playlist or mixtape of your other half’s favorite songs and play it as a backdrop to your proposal, or record a personalized proposal as the final track.
Create a Website
If you’re handy with coding or your partner is always online, creating your very own website to propose will certainly rank high in the “unforgettable” department. You could build something simple with a video message on the homepage, or develop an interactive website where they can scroll the story of your relationship together before the big question appears on screen.
Personality Themed Proposal Ideas
Often, our partner is the person who knows us best and indulges our hobbies and interests with love. Knowing your loved one’s personality and creating a moment that’s very ‘them’ is incredibly romantic. From foodies to animal lovers, we have a few themed and unique marriage proposal ideas here for you.
At a Concert
For music lovers, there’s nothing better than watching your favorite performer on stage. Why not make your partner’s night extra special with a surprise proposal? If it’s too loud at the show, try proposing with a board or banner — or wait until the noise level dips between sets.
It’s often said that food is the way to one’s heart, so a proposal with food makes total sense. If your partner loves cake, why not propose with a tray of personalized cupcakes? The same goes for just about any food — we think a pizza proposal would be especially fun.
On a Hike
If you both enjoy hiking, a walk to a beautiful spot could be among the most romantic ways to propose. Whether you choose a view that you’ve seen and loved before, or try a new hike, it’s sure to be a moment that you both treasure forever.
With Your Pet
People consider pets members of the family, so it’d make for a memorable moment to include them in your proposal. Imagine your beloved pet dog with the ring tied to his collar — sounds adorable, right? Not all pets are as cooperative as others, so if your ferret, cat, or parrot are a bit more unpredictable, consider including them as part of a photo or video montage you create. Or simply have them present while you’re proposing.
Be Inspired By Proposal Stories From Our Joy Couples
You could plan a big, elaborate proposal with music, lights, and food — or ask your loved one to marry you while watching your favorite TV show at home. However you choose to propose, the moment will feel like magic and it will become yet another memory in your journey together.
We love hearing from Joy couples about how their proposal story unfolded. They’re all beautiful stories, like how Amy used a zip wire to creatively propose to Pi. To read more, head to our Proposal Stories for inspiring ideas.