Sometimes the best marriage proposals require going to great heights, getting creative or choosing romantic settings. Once you've chosen the engagement ring, it’s time to plan out how to propose. Your proposal is as unique as your relationship and a special moment for you and your soon-to-be fiancé. We're helping ease the proposal planning process with our most creative, romantic and cute proposal ideas.
How to Propose
Proposing is a magical moment in your relationship that signifies the change from dating to marriage. It's a truly romantic moment, but it can also be one that’s filled with jitters and butterflies. At its core, proposing is about getting down on one knee, presenting the women’s or men’s engagement ring, and asking your partner for their hand in marriage. Of course, today’s proposal ideas are more than just that single moment. Modern proposals can be creative, cute and incredibly romantic to signify the exciting change in your relationship.
To pop the question today, you may want to start by exploring marriage proposal ideas. Explore our proposal ideas guide for inspiration in proposing outdoors, at home, at a special event or proposals that involve friends and family.
Outdoor Proposal Ideas
Some of the best marriage proposals happen in places that are significant to your unique love story. For the adventurists among us, these places are usually in the great outdoors—or for city dwellers, somewhere in a park or suitably scenic location. Let the natural beauty of local or destination landscapes take your proposal plan to the next level.
Propose on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Love will quite literally be in the air when you're swept up in the beauty of the sky. Request a private hot air balloon ride (otherwise you could get grouped with people you don't know) and enjoy nature without breaking a sweat. (No hiking boots required!)
Before popping the question on a hot air balloon, make sure that your partner isn’t afraid of heights! There are many companies that allow hot air balloon rentals locally, or you can attend a hot air balloon gathering for a truly memorable backdrop.
Propose at a Famous Location
While more than a few romantic comedies have featured proposals at the top of the Empire State Building, you don't need to go to New York to make a grand gesture. Almost every city has an iconic landmark or tall building with an observation deck, and there's nothing like a sweeping view as a backdrop for a dramatic proposal.
Take a Hike to the Top
If you both love the feeling of conquering the top of a mountain, make that moment even more memorable by planning a proposal for your next hiking adventure. It may not be glamorous and this is more of a simple proposal idea, but the combination of striking scenery and endorphins will make for a breathtaking experience.
Stroll Down the Beach at Sunset
A classic move, a beach proposal doesn't have to feel overdone. If you make a point to see the ocean every year, plan to go digging for clams and have one hidden in your pocket that holds the engagement ring inside. You can also pop the question alongside the water, shelling or on the pier. The calming waves of the ocean offer the perfect backdrop to this romantic moment.
For colorful beach proposal ideas, stop by a beach with a vibrant boardwalk or restaurants alongside the ocean. You can propose on the water or at these beach spots that add additional dimension to a beach proposal.
International Proposal Ideas
For the jet-setting couple, international proposals can be a surprisingly beautiful moment. Romantic cities like Paris are picture-perfect for proposal ideas. The Eiffel tower is home to countless proposals and for good reason. Other international destinations that are perfect for proposing include Rome, Santorini, Moher’s famous cliffs, Iceland’s iconic waterfalls, Queensland’s heart reef, German castles and mountainous landscapes throughout the world. Cruises, both domestic and international, are also beautiful options for an adventurous proposal.
If you plan on proposing while on an international vacation, make sure to pack the ring in your carry-on luggage and keep an eye on it throughout your journey. Choose cities, countries and locations where you feel safe presenting the ring to your partner.
Artsy & Creative Proposal Ideas
Creative proposal ideas are just as meaningful as getting down on a knee at the Eiffel tower. Any romantic or creative person will appreciate artsy and creative proposals. Don't worry if you're not artistically inclined—there are ways to get around that without sacrificing imagination.
Play it out in a Photo Album
For a more private, home proposal idea, put together a photo album of everything from your relationship milestones to your sillier moments caught on camera. Leave a blank space for a new photo with a label that says, "Our Engagement," and have a camera set up or someone ready to capture the moment. This is a sweet, creative proposal idea that helps demonstrate your love while surprising your partner and creating an instant keepsake of the moment.
Take an Art Class Together
Attend your local paint night with your proposal plan in tow. While you're both having fun painting, your partner will never expect to read the words "Will You Marry Me?" on your canvas when you turn it around. A true masterpiece of a moment that you can keep to remember this special proposal.
Self-Publish Your Love Story
There are endless online options that will help you bind together and print a DIY book. Write out the story of how you met, complete with a happy ending that teases the next chapter of your lives together. What a page-turner!
Say it with Flowers
Nothing sets the stage for your proposal like a sea of scattered flower petals or blooms arranged artfully to express your love. Whether arranged in the shape of a heart or threaded together and suspended from the trees, when you say it with flowers it's hard to go wrong.
For a lasting bloom of this special proposal, add some eternity roses into the mix. These flowers are specially treated to last for years, giving your soon-to-be fiancé beautiful blooms from the proposal.
Take it To the Stage
This creative marriage proposal idea requires some extra planning and persistence, but the moment can be a big one. If your partner has a specific band, singer or performer they love, proposing at that singer’s concert can be the perfect fit. If you’re able to get in contact with the artist via social media, you can plan a big showstopping proposal in which the performer is involved. They may dedicate a song to your soon-to-be finance or even invite you both on stage for the surprise proposal.
If it’s difficult to get in contact with the performer, don’t fret! Proposing in the crowd is still impactful and incredibly romantic. Pop the question during your partner’s favorite song or during a song that means something special for your relationship.
Make a Memorable Game Night
Board games may not seem romantic, but puzzles and board games of all genes can be used in creative proposals. For puzzles, you can order a custom puzzle that features the pivotal question “will you marry me?” or a photo of you and your partner.
You can also spell it out in Scrabble. This one is for the board game lover. If you’re looking for a modern upgrade to the classic Scrabble surprise, try playing something like Bananagrams instead.
If your partner is all about tabletop games, you can build a campaign that culminates in a proposal.
Is your partner the biggest bookworm you know? Whether they do the dog-ear trick or use a bookmark, you can propose by slipping the ring tied to a ribbon in between the pages they left off from along with a little note.
Cute Marriage Proposal Ideas with Friends, Family, and Pets
If your partner is extra close with family members, loves being with friends more than not, or is a proud fur or non-fur baby parent, involving loved ones in the proposal is a surefire way to make it unforgettable and extra meaningful.
Have the Pets Help with the Proposal
Whether you’ve got dogs, cats, fish or even reptiles in your house, your pets can help with the proposal! The most iconic pet-supported marriage proposal is one in which you balance the diamond or gemstone engagement ring on your pet’s snout. It can also be attached to their collar. For these plans with pets, you can also put a shirt on the pet that says “Will you marry my dad?” or “Will you marry my mom?” to add an extra layer of cute.
For pets that can’t safely transport the ring, you can still involve them in your proposal! Consider hiding the ring in a spot to surprise your partner, such as with the pet’s sealed food. Your loved one will be so surprised when they go to complete a mundane task like feeding your pets and discover the sparkling halo engagement ring!
Stage a Scavenger Hunt
A proposal that requires a bit more planning, a scavenger hunt is a great way to get loved ones involved. Plant each clue with a friend or family member stationed at all your favorite spots, leading them to the final clue: you.
Make a Simple Proposal Idea Magical with Loved Ones
Sometimes, all it takes to elevate the romance of a proposal plan is to involve trustworthy family and friends. Find the perfect place, even if that’s your own backyard, and have them hold up a sign with your special message. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple; having loved ones there to share in the joy is more than enough. If your partner is one for large-scale moments, consider coordinating a flash mob using friends and family.
Get the Kids Involved
Many couples getting engaged may already have children and these little ones are the perfect partners for your proposal. For babies, putting them in a onesie that says “Will you marry my dad?” or “Will you marry my mom?” will be a beautiful proposal.
Older kids can help with popping the question by wearing similarly designed shirts with the pivotal question printed on them. They can also help with a scavenger hunt, trivia night or they can present the ring on your behalf to make the moment a family celebration.
Cook Up Your Proposal
For the foodie, prepare a multi-course private dinner, starring their favorite foods and an engagement ring for dessert. If your partner is more hands-on, consider taking a cooking class together that ends in a hidden engagement ring. If cooking isn’t your forte, don’t fret! You can call in the help of a private chef to cook for a unique date night that ends in a surprise proposal.
Cut Your Own Trailer
This is one of the most romantic ideas we’ve seen in recent years. Cut your own trailer of your love story using home videos, then take your beloved cinephile out to a local theater who has agreed to show it before the film you’re going to see. We can already hear the applause.
Make it the Million Dollar Trivia Question
If your relationship has been studded by Tuesday Trivia nights at your local bar, devise a plan to have one of the last questions be your marriage proposal. The only right answer will be an unequivocal yes.
Bonus Proposal Tips: Set Up Your Script (Or Don’t!)
Unless public speaking is your favorite activity, proposing can be a little intimidating. The best way to keep your cool is to prepare what you’d like to say ahead of time. Some proposing partners like to write down what they’d like to say to their loved one before getting down on one knee.
Of course, there’s also a lot of romance when you choose to stay in the present and say what you feel at that exact moment. It all depends on you, your partner and your relationship. You should choose the approach that feels most natural for you.
Bonus Proposal Tips: Photos
If you’d like professional photos of your proposal in action, you can team up with a photographer that offers proposal photography services. In addition to documenting your proposal, they may have additional ideas to help you plan out a smooth proposal. Photographers that offer this service are skilled at being discreet, allowing your moment to shine while still capturing cherished photos of the moment.