Inspiration » Proposal Ideas » 64 Proposal Ideas That Are Memorable and Romantic 

64 Proposal Ideas That Are Memorable and Romantic 

by Joy Editors
Man sitting at outdoor patio table surprised by his partner kneeling down and proposing while holding his hand

Asking someone to marry you is a huge moment in your life. It marks the point where the rest of your lives together begins. But with so many incredible ways to pop the question, choosing the perfect proposal idea can feel both thrilling and overwhelming. 

Fear not! We’ve gathered 64 of the most unforgettable proposal ideas to spark your creativity, no matter who’s proposing to whom. We even threw in a few bonus ideas from wedding industry experts. 

From the coziness of your own home to the grandeur of the great outdoors, from heartwarming family-assisted proposals to breathtaking adventures, you’ll find inspiration for every kind of love story. This list of proposal ideas will help you ask the most important question to one of the most important person in your life.

Table of contents

At-Home Proposals

Man holding ring box out to surprised woman during a candlelit dinner at home

Sometimes, the most meaningful moments unfold within the comforting walls of a home. Whether you’re surrounded by the coziness of your living room, the warmth of your kitchen, or the serenity of your backyard, an at-home proposal may be the perfect fit for you and your partner.

1. With a romantic meal at home

Transform your home into a romantic haven by preparing a special meal for your proposal. Share a delicious dinner you’ve prepared yourself or, if you’re not an expert in the kitchen, order dinner from your favorite restaurant. Then add candlelight, soft music, and flowers to create a cozy atmosphere and an ideal setting for the big question.

2. Involve your pets

If you’re a pet-loving couple, involving your furry family members may be a no-brainer when the time comes to ask that special question. Tie the engagement ring to your pet’s collar or include them meaningfully in your proposal, making it a moment you’ll cherish together.

3. With breakfast in bed

Surprise your partner with breakfast in bed to set the stage for a sweet and intimate proposal. You can hide the ring in a fluffy croissant or display the ring box on a tray alongside fresh flowers, hot coffee, and a delicious meal for your love.

4. With a photo montage

Compile your best memories into a heartfelt photo montage leading up to the moment you pop the question. Whether you create a temporary gallery wall in your living room or hang photos from trees in your backyard, a proposal surrounded by all those special memories will feel incredibly romantic.

What’s the best marriage proposal idea you’ve ever heard? 

“I love proposals that are personal and out of the box. My favorite proposals happen at home, spontaneously, like  during a breakfast in bed.”

Kirsten Rezek
 Principal Planner & Designer, Nóbl Events

5. With their favorite food

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 desserts, why not propose with a tray of personalized cupcakes or a box of custom chocolates? The same goes for just about any food — we think a pizza proposal would be especially fun.

6. Create a special space in your home

Take the time to design a unique space in your home where your partner will find a surprise proposal waiting. Consider using candles, fairy lights, and piles of blankets and pillows to create a cozy and intimate setting. Or use rose petals to lead to a bubble-filled bathtub for two with Champagne at the ready.

7. Make a 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 of favorite songs that tell your love story through music. You can play it as a backdrop to your proposal or record a personalized proposal as the surprise final track.

8. Say it with your favorite game

For game night enthusiasts, plan a proposal using your favorite game. Spell out your love with Scrabble’s iconic letter tiles, write out the words on the Queen of Hearts in a deck of cards, or slip the ring onto the Luxury Tax square on a Monopoly board. No matter what game you prefer, this will add a fun and playful twist to your engagement moment.

Outdoor Proposals

Couple standing in front of beautiful outdoor landscape hugging while man kisses woman's forehead

There are endless proposal possibilities amidst nature’s beauty. Whether it’s beneath a canopy of stars, beside a tranquil lake, or among the scenic rooftop garden views above a busy city, these outdoor proposals will help you create unforgettable moments in the heart of Mother Nature.

9. At a historic landmark

With options ranging from the Grand Canyon to the Lincoln Memorial, a historic monument or landmark can make for a lovely place to propose. There are over 2,600 national historic landmarks across the United States alone, so there’s sure to be one near you. Propose amidst the grandeur of history, adding your own chapter to the legacy of the place you choose.

10. 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, grab a bottle of wine, pack a picnic blanket, and head to a park, lake, or beach that you both love. Then, let the natural surroundings set the scene for your heartfelt question.

11. 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 on one knee.

12. At the beach

The beach offers a picturesque backdrop for a romantic proposal. Make the moment your own by taking your partner for a romantic walk along the beach or stage a sunset picnic for two before popping the question. You can even have your friends help by writing out “Will you marry me?” in the sand before you get there. Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, or a moonlit night, the serene shores create an idyllic atmosphere for a beachside engagement

13. In a treehouse

Thanks to apps like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Hipcamp, you can fulfill your childhood dreams with a treehouse proposal. Rent a whimsical small house among the trees to create a magical moment for a playful way to pop the question.

14. At a rooftop bar during sunset

Watching the sun disappear along the horizon from a rooftop bar provides a picturesque and timeless moment for a proposal. The breathtaking view, flowing cocktails, and happy atmosphere will help the celebrations continue once you’re officially engaged.

15. A hike 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 breathtaking vistas and seclusion make a hike in the mountains a perfect time and place to propose to your true love in a romantic way.

16. At a local park

Your local park can easily become the canvas for a romantic engagement. You could start off with a slow stroll to enjoy the natural environment, feed the ducks, or just sit and enjoy the fresh air. Then, a simple, in-the-moment proposal makes for a sweet and memorable way to start the next phase of your life together.

Romantic Proposals

Overhead close-up of a man sitting with his legs crossed and holding an open ring box in his hands

Lean into celebrating your love with this array of intimate and heartwarming proposal ideas that are destined to sweep your partner off their feet. From rose petal bubble baths to scenic sunset moments, these proposals will help you bring the romance to your big moment.

17. 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.

18. In a fancy hotel room

A hotel room decked out in rose petals, soft lighting, and keepsakes of your time together can make for a romantic and elegant setting to ask the big question. It’s private and luxurious, and you can enjoy the special moment longer without being interrupted by well-meaning passersby.

19. On a romantic walk

Craft a poem that reveals the depth of your feelings so you can propose with the power of words. Or choose your favorite from a beloved poet and ask your partner to read it aloud while you go down on one knee. Poetry can express love in a way that’s uniquely tender and romantic, making your proposal a beautiful declaration of your love.

20. With a poem

Craft a poem that reveals the depth of your feelings so you can propose with the power of words. Or choose your favorite from a beloved poet and ask your partner to read it aloud while you go down on one knee. Poetry can express love in a way that’s uniquely tender and romantic, making your proposal a beautiful declaration of your love.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when planning a proposal? 

“Always keep your partner at the center of your plans. Do they want family in attendance? Do they want friends involved? What would mean the most to your partner? Spend time thoughtfully curating an experience that exhibits their values and the love you feel to the fullest!”

Kirsten Rezek
 Principal Planner & Designer, Nóbl Events

21. On a special vacation

If you have a once-in-a-lifetime trip coming up, why not use it as the perfect excuse to propose? Whether it’s Paris, Hawaii, the Poconos, or anywhere special to you two, you can bring romance to any vacation to create the perfect proposal moment. Surrounded by new experiences and adventure, a far-off locale will add a sense of grandeur to your engagement story.

22. During a couple’s photoshoot

Capture the big moment of your proposal with a couple’s photoshoot, preserving the experience for a lifetime. Plan a special day to have your favorite photographer take romantic photos of you and your love. Surprise them with the question during the session to have both of your reactions documented in real time.

23. Write some love letters or love notes

Write a series of heartfelt love letters or love notes, each revealing a piece of your heart, and propose as your partner reads the last one. You could aim to write one each month for a year or perhaps one for every month or year you’ve been together. Or you could focus on writing one perfect love letter for this big moment. The personal touch of handwritten letters can make your proposal intimate and unforgettable.

24. Create a special sign

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. You could also consider renting marquee lights to spell out “marry me” or highlight both of your initials. As a bonus, the visual impact of a romantic sign looks amazing on social media.

Fun Proposals

Female couple sitting in bed, surrounded by red balloons, while one woman slips a ring on the finger of the other woman

Add some joy to your proposal moment with these creative ideas guaranteed to deliver unforgettable moments filled with laughter and delight. From playful puzzles to love notes in the sky, these proposals add joy and excitement to the most special question you’ll ever ask.

25. Say it with balloons

Go for a playful and colorful approach by expressing your love with balloons. It’s fun, very Instagram-worthy, and adds a lighthearted element of surprise to your proposal. 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?”

26. Make a handmade ring box

If crafting is your thing, you can achieve a unique and heartfelt moment with a handmade ring box that you create yourself. This personal touch transforms the proposal experience into a truly one-of-a-kind event and provides another keepsake for your partner besides the ring itself.

27. Create a personalized jigsaw puzzle

Add a touch of mystery and adventure with a custom puzzle proposal. Let your partner piece together the story of your love, building anticipation until the final reveal. You can hide the question somewhere within the puzzle or let your loved one turn over the right piece to find a special question on the reverse side.

28. Karaoke night

Whisk your partner off to your favorite karaoke bar to sing your hearts out to your special song. Then surprise them with a heartfelt serenade and the ultimate proposal moment. It’s a sweet and entertaining way to pop the question, made even more fun with your friends and family there to cheer you on. 

29. Build a website or computer game

If you’re handy with coding or your partner is always online, creating your very own digital proposal will certainly rank high in the “unforgettable” department. Build a website or develop a computer game dedicated to your love story, culminating in a surprise proposal. It’s an innovative approach combining technology and romance, creating a proposal experience like no other.

30. Write it in the sky

Keep their eyes looking up as a plane writes your love in the sky with a skywriting proposal that’s sure to leave your partner in awe. The grand gesture and the vastness of the sky will surely create a breathtaking and memorable moment.

31. Hidden inside

Add an element of surprise with a hidden proposal, whether it’s tucked inside a candy treat, a favorite toy, or a fortune cookie. The sudden and unexpected reveal adds a layer of excitement and creativity to your engagement.

32. With a celebrity Cameo

Make your partner’s day with a celebrity Cameo from their favorite artist, where a famous personality delivers your heartfelt proposal over video while you get down on one knee. This unique and star-studded approach adds an extra layer of magic and fun to your special moment.

Adventurous Proposals

A couple sits with their backs to the camera atop a large rock by a lake surrounded by large mountains

When you mix adrenaline with romance, you get a heart-pounding proposal. From declarations of love at 2,000 feet to elaborate scavenger hunts, these ideas are not for the faint of heart, but they’re sure to create stories you’ll tell for a lifetime.

33. On a road trip

Hop on the open road to adventure by embarking on a memorable road trip together. You can pop the question at a breathtaking location along the way, creating a proposal that’s as much about the journey as the destination.

34. Plan a scavenger hunt

You can create an exciting and interactive experience for your partner by planning a scavenger hunt proposal. Each clue or location should hold a special meaning (perhaps your first date location and other spots you’ve visited together), building anticipation for the final, heartfelt reveal. As a twist, try arranging a themed treasure hunt that ties in something your partner loves, like movies, pets, or hobbies. 

35. On a boat

For water lovers, a proposal on a boat can be thrilling. You can plan a private boat trip with a romantic meal and live music, or keep it simple and sweet by taking a canoe out on your favorite lake. Plus, the symbolism of being on a boat as you ask your partner to embark on a new lifelong journey with you is priceless.

What’s the best marriage proposal idea you’ve ever heard? 

“I’ve seen a pilot pretend that their engine was failing and had his panicked partner read the manual out loud on what to do and it ended up being his lines of asking her to marry him! It was so intense but the perfect surprise I’m sure she will never forget.”

Alyssa Alvarez
Founder and Lead Planner, All The Deets

36. With a flash mob

Add a burst of energy and a lot of fun with a flash mob proposal, turning your engagement into a lively and entertaining dance spectacle. You’ll definitely want a few people recording the impromptu show and capturing your partner’s reactions as they happen.

37. On a zipline

Take your love story to new heights with a zipline proposal, a thrilling adventure that will add an adrenaline rush to your engagement moment. For inspiration, check out the Joy proposal story of Amy and Pi, where Amy proposed to Pi atop a zipline after helping them conquer their fear of heights!

38. During a TikTok challenge video

Whether it’s a viral TikTok dance challenge or a popular duet, you can add your own proposal twist by incorporating moments from your relationship. For instance, share snippets of your first date or include messages from loved ones, making it a shared memory. By merging this modern trend with your unique love story, you’ll create a proposal that’s on trend — with the video to prove it for years to come.

39. In a hot air balloon

You will soar to romantic heights with a hot air balloon proposal by taking your love to the sky for an enchanting and picturesque engagement. Since hot air balloons often launch at sunrise, you’ll find a stunning and colorful backdrop for your big moment as you float in the sky. 

40. Create an escape room

Challenge your partner’s wits by crafting a unique escape room storyline that centers around your relationship, creating a narrative that intertwines your journey together with cryptic clues and riddles. For instance, a locked box could hold mementos from significant dates or places in your love story, with each puzzle revealing a new chapter. 

Proposals in Public

Male couple stands in garden holding hands and both looking at the engagement ring on one of their hands

Proposing in a public space means sharing your moment with the people around you — in the most romantic way possible. From rooftop bars to sporting events, these proposal ideas will show how you can create beautiful memories with the world as your witness.

41. On a visit to a botanical garden

A proposal with a gorgeous backdrop of flowers and nature could possibly be one of the most romantic ways to propose. The stunning colors and fragrant blooms create a charming atmosphere for your Instagram-worthy moment. Not sure where to find the right garden? Try this list of the top 20 botanical gardens in the U.S. for inspiration.

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 that transforms your love story into a piece of art.

43. At a favorite sporting event

Whether it’s football, baseball, hockey, or something else, amid the excitement of your favorite sporting event, your proposal actually becomes part of the game. The roar and energy of the crowd is your cheering section, making for a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

44. At a concert

Proposing at a concert elevates your love to a symphony of emotions! If it’s too loud at the show, try proposing with a sign or banner — or wait until the noise level dips between sets so your partner doesn’t miss a word of the big moment.

45. In a photo booth

A winery proposal provides a perfect environment, helping you paint your picture of romance amid the grapevines. As you raise your glasses once they’ve said yes, you can celebrate the promise of a beautiful future together.

46. At a winery

A winery proposal provides a perfect environment, helping you paint your picture of romance amid the grapevines. As you raise your glasses once they’ve said yes, you can celebrate the promise of a beautiful future together.

47. At a theme park

Whether you’re a Disney fanatic or want to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, planning a proposal at a theme park injects thrill and a touch of magic into your love story. The adrenaline-pumping rides and joyful atmosphere mirror the adventure that lies ahead in your journey together.

48. At a favorite restaurant

There’s no better reason to book a romantic dinner for two than to propose. Or perhaps your favorite spot is a dive that doesn’t even take reservations. Either way, picking a cherished restaurant for your proposal adds an extra layer of love to the experience since each dish and corner of the eatery may hold a memory for you both.

Family-Assisted Proposals

Woman showing her engagement ring to family with her fiancee next to her

For those who want to make it a family affair and include their loved ones in one of the most significant moments of their lives, we have a variety of ideas, from adorable moments with your kids to heartwarming gatherings with friends and family, to help you plan the perfect proposal. Cue the tears of joy!

49. At a party

If you’re both outgoing and want your 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. Proposing in the midst of a lively party surrounded by your loved ones amplifies the joy of the moment. 

50. Make a proposal video

Creating a proposal video is a heartfelt way to involve friends and family, even if they can’t be present in person. Weave together a collection of video clips from your loved ones, as well as your vacations, holidays, and the two of you relaxing at home to create a montage. Then, at the end of the video, you can ask them to marry you. Be sure to share the final video with the family and friends who contributed as a way to include them in your special moment.

51. Include your kids

If you have children, including them in your proposal builds a beautiful family memory and strengthens your new family’s bond. This special moment of unity marks the beginning of a beautiful chapter together.

52. Incorporate family traditions

Weaving family traditions into your proposal is a heartfelt nod to your roots. You may have an engagement ring that’s been passed down for generations or a particular proposal spot significant to your family. Being mindful of such traditions allows you to share your love story with friends and family by connecting your past and future. 

What advice would you give to someone asking for a marriage proposal idea?

“Don’t feel like you have to do it alone! Feel free to use a family member, friend, or even a hired professional to help you with the logistics. Whether it be an intimate moment, or a party surrounded by family or friends, using your support system will create a seamless experience for you to not have to worry about anything but asking the big question!”

Alyssa Alvarez
Founder and Lead Planner, All The Deets

53. Surprise signage assistance

With a little help from friends or family, you can surprise your partner with heartwarming signs that lead to your proposal spot or ask the big question for you. Their involvement makes this important moment even more memorable.

54. Host an after-party

If you’re looking for an intimate proposal with just you and your partner but also want to celebrate with your loved ones, consider planning an after-party. It will give friends and family the opportunity to shower you with love and congratulations right after the big moment.

55. Celebrate your cultures

For some couples, it’s especially important to celebrate both of their heritages during a proposal. If that’s true for you, this could lead you to seek approval from your partner’s parents in advance or select a very specific type of engagement ring. No matter what cultural traditions you follow, it’s a beautiful way to honor and include friends and family in your love story.

56. Play charades with the family

Engage in a game of charades with friends and family where your proposal becomes the ultimate guess. Slip a piece of paper with the words “Will you marry me?” into the bowl and wait for the clues to come. Having your loved ones participate just adds to the fun of this memorable moment.

Seasonal Proposals

Two women with Santa hats on sit beside a Christmas tree while looking at each other

Celebrate the magic of different times of the year with your upcoming proposal. Whether it’s under a blanket of snow, amid warm summer winds, or during the cozy fall season, these ideas embrace the unique charm of various holidays and seasons.

57. Winter holiday love

There’s something magical about proposing during the winter holidays, whether it’s amidst twinkling Christmas lights, the warmth of Hanukkah candles, or the cultural traditions of Kwanzaa. Looking for inspiration? Wrap their engagement ring as their final gift to open on the eighth night of Hanukkah, propose in front of your community during the Karamu feast, or get down on one knee under some carefully placed mistletoe.

58. Valentine’s Day romance

For some, Valentine’s Day is considered the quintessential day for romance. If your partner loves this holiday, it could be an ideal backdrop for your proposal. Whether you ramp up the romance for your big moment or opt for a simple proposal at home, you can make February 14 the day your partner officially becomes your fiancé(e).

59. Halloween surprise

Do you and your partner love Halloween? A proposal on October 31 is often unexpected and adds a dash of spooky fun to your love story. Imagine the thrill of finding a ring in a jack-o’-lantern or candy bowl. Or suggest a couple’s costume of a famous married duo so the engagement ring is needed to complete the look.

60. New Year’s Eve

What better way to start the year than with a proposal? Proposing at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve symbolizes a fresh start and the promise of a beautiful future together. The holiday pairs perfectly with an engagement when you’re both surrounded by Champagne and already dressed up to celebrate the new year.

61. Celebrate fall leaves

Fall’s stunning colors and crisp air provide a cozy and Instagram-worthy setting for your autumnal proposal. Take a walk through the falling leaves until the moment feels right. Or spell out the question using fallen leaves you’ve collected. No matter how you do it, you can expect a heartwarming moment that mirrors the beauty of the season.

62. Write it in the snow

A proposal written in the snow is a temporary ode to your enduring love that will live on in pictures. The snow makes for a romantic canvas where you can express your feelings in a way that’s uniquely yours. Bring a thermos of hot cocoa to warm you both up once the proposal adrenaline wears off.

63. Be extra thankful at Thanksgiving

Proposing on Thanksgiving brings a whole new layer of gratitude and love to this special day. With family typically coming together to celebrate, it makes for a wonderful time to pop the question. 

64. Fourth of July fireworks

Capitalize on the warm summer nights and fireworks that come with the Fourth of July for your proposal. It’s a dazzling way to make your moment stand out and create unforgettable memories. 

Your wedding registry, your way

From gifts, to cash funds, experiences or charitable causes, add any gift you want, from any online retailer, to your Joy registry.

These 64 memorable and romantic proposal ideas are a testament to the endless ways you can express your love and commitment, but what truly matters is the love and connection you share. Your proposal story will be the beginning of a lifelong adventure — and make for a fantastic highlight on your wedding website!

Marriage Proposal FAQ

The answers to these common questions about planning that perfect proposal may help ease your nerves.

Should I propose before or after dinner?

Either option works well, and the decision largely depends on the personal preferences of you and your partner. Some couples prefer a romantic proposal before dinner, setting the stage for a special evening. Others might enjoy the surprise at the end of a romantic meal. Consider what would make the moment special for both of you to determine the right time for your big moment.

Which knee do you propose on?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule about which knee to propose on, so don’t overthink it! It’s more about your personal comfort and your partner’s expectations. Many people propose by going down on their left knee, which is a common practice. However, you should choose the knee that feels most natural to you and suits the moment. Ultimately, it’s the love and sincerity behind the proposal that matters most.

What is the average length of an engagement?

The length of an engagement can vary widely and depends on the preferences and circumstances of each couple. While some choose a relatively short engagement, lasting six months to a year, others opt for longer engagements, spanning two years or more. It’s all about what suits your wedding planning timeline and the pace at which you and your partner are comfortable. 

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