As the winter season approaches and temperatures continue to dip, how do you pop the question in a way that will warm up your love and leave them glowing from the inside? Not only is wintertime filled with some of the coziest traditions but it also offers a bevy of opportunities to propose, some involving the elements (snow, depending on where you live) and some involving the joyful holidays that loom over us around this time such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. To get your creative juices flowing as you plan your big ask, here are 5 of the sweetest and coziest winter proposal ideas that will surprise your special someone with the warmth of your love and delight them with the memory of this lifechanging moment.
1. Tree Farm
Take in the balsam-scented air as you and your sweetheart cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate while you pick this year’s Christmas tree, a holiday tradition that is as old as Kris Kringle himself. A perfect proposal opportunity for couples sharing their first holiday season together, a tree farm offers a Yuletide setting that will surely kick off a magical day.
Have your loved one choose a Christmas tree that catches their eye. Then, once the tree is securely in your home, bring out a variety of ornaments and family heirlooms so you can both decorate it. Hang the engagement ring where they can’t see it, and once you finish decorating the tree, take a step back and ask them about a particular ornament you don’t recognize. Quickly drop to one knee as they pull the ring off the tree, surprising them with a holiday engagement that will surely be as grand as the sparkling fir in your living room.
You could also wrap the ring and lay it underneath the tree in a box that isn’t too suspicious. Then, propose on Christmas morning and share how this proposal isn’t a present for them but rather their gift to you, making your love story one that will be told for many Christmases to come.
2. Skating Rink
Button up your flannel and put on your favorite winter hat as you and your love go ice skating, where you can hold hands and celebrate a timeless winter activity that’s as fun as it is romantic, and a perfect setting to ask the big question.
A visit to the rink is like a visit to the heart of Christmas spirit itself, where you and your darling are surrounded by families and couples, new and old alike, who all embrace the ironically warm feeling of the glistening ice under their skates and holiday music in their ears.
If you’re lucky, your ice skating experience will be enhanced with a light fall of snowflakes, trapping you and your love in what will feel like your very own snowglobe. With multiple layers on, hiding your ring box will be simple. For in a festive Christmas setting like this, how can your proposal story have anything but a happy ending?
3. Christmas Carriage Ride
Sip on a warm gingerbread latte, cozy up with your favorite knitted blanket, and try to catch a snowflake on your tongue as you and your winter angel take in the majestic sights and festive lights of your local town from the view of a horse-drawn carriage.
A popular service during Christmas time, a holiday carriage ride provides you a proposal option that not only offers intimacy but also the chance to experience certain Christmas nuances that are rare to find such as the relaxing sound of horse hooves galloping through the snow.
This would be a great opportunity to gift your sweetheart with an early Christmas present, such as a special family heirloom, and share how you wish for nothing more than to make them a part of this tradition. You could then present them with a ring, and make a joke about how you can’t exactly get down on one knee at the moment but will happily gallop through the snow if they say “yes.” If all goes well, you’ll be planning your winter wedding for next Christmas in no time.
4. The New Year’s Resolution
Throwing a New Year’s Eve party is a perfect opportunity for a surprise marriage proposal, as an extravagant celebration with loved ones provides an ideal distraction for your lover until midnight when you finally pop the big question. With fun music, lively games, and delicious food, you can make your New Year’s Eve party as electrifying as Times Square in New York City.
For this proposal, have your party guests in on the surprise as you coordinate a “resolution reveal,” where you all gather in a circle after your midnight kiss to share what resolutions you’ll be pledging for the new year—just make sure you’re standing by your partner. Once it’s your turn to speak, turn to them and say something along the lines of: “My resolution isn’t to lose anything, but to gain something—someone. A partner, a best friend, and a lifelong companion that will be here, every New Year’s Eve to kiss me, celebrate with me, and remind me why this time of year is so special.”
Once you get down on one knee and ask your love to marry you, you’ll offer everyone an experience so spectacular they won’t mind missing the fireworks show.
5. Valentine’s Day Getaway
February is when the final snowman begins to melt, the Christmas lights are organized and boxed up, and the final slice of fruitcake has been consumed, signaling the winter season has nearly come and gone. While we all partake in cherished traditions during the holidays, why not think outside of the box for your Valentine’s Day proposal (your box of chocolates and a bouquet of roses, that is)?
Instead of booking reservations in a packed restaurant for an overpriced meal, why not plan a Valentine’s getaway for you and your special someone? Take this day that celebrates love by doing something, well, lovely for your special person by going on a surprise weekend trip. Whether it be to the coast, the mountain, even a quirky Airbnb downtown, show your sweetheart that Valentine’s Day isn’t about buying the cutest card with the funniest sound effect, but rather a day to cherish the love you have for each other.
Once they see the great lengths you will go for them, even for a holiday like Valentine’s Day, then you can do something clever for the proposal, such as hiding your ring in a chocolate box or slipping it on the necklace of a giant teddy bear. After all, what’s Valentine’s Day without a few of the classic clichés?
James Kenneth Presley is a writer, content creator, and storyteller whose work has spanned a collection of diverse outlets, including both film and weddings. An aspiring novelist and the author of his first epic go-round, titled My Dreams Belong To Dad, James firmly believes in the power of storytelling and embraces the challenge of creating something from scratch. A Portland native and graduate of Portland State University, James finds bliss when developing recipes in the kitchen, joy when he’s sitting in front of a movie theatre screen, and peace of mind when listening to an Amy Grant Christmas song with a cup of warm coffee.