Every couple is unique in personality, romance and style. While there are no real rules required to follow when proposing, there are plenty of available ideas/inspiration on how to propose that can help give you confidence and guidance on how to go about asking the woman (or man) of your dreams to be yours forever. The ultimate goal is to create a moment, be it simple or elaborate, that will accurately communicate your love, ensure that you are ready for a life commitment, and be worthy of retelling to all of the people in your life!
Traditionally, a man proposes to his girlfriend by offering an engagement ring. However, it’s not uncommon for the woman to propose to him (with a bracelet, watch, etc.) as a sign of her love – in less traditional relationships. For the sake of this article we will reference the traditional he/she proposal, but know that these can all be used and modified regardless of who proposes to who – as long as they are fitting to you as a couple.
Here you will find 50 of our favorite unique proposal ideas. Many are gathered from around the web, some we’ve heard first hand and others are our dream proposal ideas. Be sure to read all the way through to find an idea that is best for you as we are catering to many different types of ladies throughout.
1. Sometimes it does not matter how you propose, but where. Propose to her in the place where you had your first kiss, where you first met, your first date location or something special to you two. She will love the sentiment and will be impressed that you remembered that special spot of yours.
2. Organize a travel surprise. Pack for 2 and tell her your hitting the road for a spontaneous get-away. Arrange a romantic hotel with a special welcome, champagne and music.
3. Send your sweetheart on a treasure hunt. Leave lots of little notes with traces around the house, so that each message leads to the next, until she finds a hidden ring.
4. Ask to borrow her digital camera (make up a good excuse) and recruit a friend for taking photos. Write cards with words (separately) WILL, YOU, MARRY and ME and pose with each separately. Ask her later if she can transfer images to your computer.
5. Slip the ring on her finger while she’s sleeping. Wake her up in the morning with her favorite coffee (or drink of choice) and a romantic breakfast in bed. Wait for her to notice the ring and then ask her to be your wife. This may seem assumptive and a tad creepy, but it’s awfully romantic as well!
6. If you live on the beach or are already on vacation near the ocean, take her for a “casual” walk along the water. Lead her to a secluded location to propose – this can be done with having her find a hidden “message in the bottle” that says “will you marry me?” or sitting on a picnic blanket sipping champagne and watching the waves.
7. Make a path of candles from the entrance of your apartment/home. Lead her down the candlelit path to an arrangement of rose petals in the shape of a heart with a little box in the middle (holding the ring).
8. Attach a satin ribbon from the entrance door knob of your place to the furthest door in the house. Lead her along the ribbon with attached letters of memories and love notes to her. Stand behind the door at the end of the ribbon, holding the ring. When she opens the door, drop to your knee and propose.
9. Draw her a bath. Let her know you want her to relax. Light candles, open a bottle of wine, add rose petals and attach the ring to a rubber duck or other floating figure. Make sure that this is secure and that the drain is well plugged!!
10. If you can’t afford a ring just yet or decide spontaneously that tonight is the night and theres not enough time to acquire one, buy a bracelet an hour or so before and have the back engraved with “Marry me!” She’ll never expect that bracelet shaped box to mean you’re proposing!
11. With the help of friends, record your proposal on a video camera. Suggest the two of you stay in for a movie night but instead of inserting your rented DVD, insert yours!
12. If you have an adventurous or nature loving lady, suggest a walk along a nature path (something that wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for the two of you). Lead her to some place unique along the trail and propose.
13. Take her on a scavenger hunt via paper or text. Send her enigmatic instructions which will eventually bring her to where you will be waiting with a ring and a proposal to spend the rest of your lives together.
14. Acquire a large box (such as one fit for a TV or refrigerator). Cut the bottom out, wrap the entire box with nice paper, add a bow and write on “What’s in the box you get for a lifetime” on the outside. Bring the box to a location (home is ideal) and pack yourself in it before she arrives.
16. Build a sand castle or tower on the beach (at a safe distance from the water and while you’re girl is not paying close attention). At the top of the tower, place the ring and then ask her to come admire your architectural skills.
17. Another beach idea is to wait for your girl to drift asleep on her lounge chair while you write the sand (or arrange with shells) the words “will you marry me” a few feet out of her eye range.
18. Arrange a private sunset flight (achievable through travel agencies). While flying and admiring the panoramic view, propose. When you land, celebrate with champagne.
19. Go classic and surprise her with a simple bought of flowers with a card attached saying “marry me.” You could be standing (or knelling) in front of her with ring in hand.
20. Buy a book of love poetry or something equally romantic. Write a personalized message to her, attached the ring with tape on the opening page and gift it to your special lady.
21. A bit overdone, but some girls still love the plane flying overhead proposal. If she likes large gestures and public affection, this could be a good pick.
22. Take her to a private or nearly private art gallery. Fill one of the rooms with balloons and/or candles then slowly walk her through each room of the gallery/museum until you reach the proposal destination.
23. Write will you marry me at the bottom of a mug and then serve her a hot beverage. This one works year round but is especially sweet in the winter months with coffee or hot chocolate.
24. Design savvy couple? Create a webpage with your proposal and send her the link saying “i found this and think it’s really important that you see it.” or “I think you’ll find this interesting, check it out.” There are plenty of free website builders available. But, be aware of your url to that it does not give it away too early (or use a short link system to hide it).
25. Place an ad in your local paper (if she reads it) or on the side of her favorite blog.
26. Get to the mailbox before her to slip in an extra-special package…your engagement ring and proposal!
27. Go to the bowling alley and after she knock down the first set of pins, have a banner drop that reads “Will You Marry Me?”
28. Take her to a scenic small town where you can see yourselves spending your later years together. As the sun sets, get on your knees and tell her this is where you’d like to spend your life with her.
29. Play a game of Monopoly. Have one of the cards that she draws read “Will you Marry Me?” She’ll never forget that game!
30. If she is a teacher, write out the proposal on the blackboard before she arrives. Then, when she arrives, come in with roses and sweets for everyone.
31. Invite her to a private pool filled with large water lilies. Have one water lily colored pink with a small box firmly attached. Ask her to check that box—she’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the ring inside!
32. Arrange to have four specially wrapped boxes of different sizes shipped to her on the same day, arriving on her doorstep. Inside each box will be a word: “Will”, “You”, “Marry”, “Me?”
33. It will take some coordinating, people gathering and potentially choreography skills, but if you’re aiming for a public proposal a flash mob is a really fun modern way to go.
34. Write “Will you marry me (name)” in chalk on the street out side your house or apartment in big letters.
35. Using her favorite shade of lipstick write your proposal on the bathroom mirror. Add a check yes or no box.
36. Score some tickets to her favorite sporting event. Have four friends with you who will each hold up a sign Will, You, Marry, Him during intermission.
37. Prepare a romantic meal (indoors or outdoors). Place her ring in a champagne flute. Be careful she doesn’t ingest the diamond.
38. Write her a love note with the proposal at the end of it. Tuck it into her favorite book or the one she happens to be reading at the moment, and when she finds the note, surprise her with the ring.
39. Create your own podcast proposal and sneak it onto her iPod
40. Order Chinese taker and create a personalized fortune cookie with your own proposal message.
41. 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 inevitable gasp.
42. Make her feel like a movie star and set your proposal to the scene of her favorite romantic movie. You could arrange your own Pretty Woman moment (the finale, of course): Rent a white limo and climb through the moonroof with flowers in hand to proclaim your love as you arrive at her place.
43. Christmas time is perfect for proposals. Decorate a tree together and as you’re hanging ornaments, tell her you have one last one for the tree – handing her the engagement ring on a string – or write it in the snow!
44. Play a trivia game together. When it is your sweetheart’s turn, casually say “Your question is: Will you marry me?” rather than the question written on the card.
45. Place sweet notes in different spots around the house. In each spot, write something that you love about your sweetheart, and where to find the next note. In the last note say “For all these reasons and more, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
46. Pack a romantic picnic, and put the ring in with the dessert. After a leisurely meal, ask your sweetheart to get out the dessert.
47. Take her/him away for the weekend and when you are on your last day pop the question.
48. Write a story about your relationship, listing your favorite moments and important dates. End it with the date you are going to give it to them telling how you proposed and that the story can’t be ended until you have the answer.
49. Take her to your favorite restaurant that the two of you consider “special.” Have a special menu
made that has your proposal printed inside and have the waiter hand that menu to her. When she opens it and reads the proposal, get down on one knee and propose.
50. Give her three long-stemmed roses and tell her that one represents the past, one represents the present, and one represents your future. Have the ring tied to the last rose and then get down on one knee and propose.