If you’ve decided to pop the question it’s time to work out just how you’re going to do it. Be inspired by our top 27 wedding proposal ideas from the romantic to the creative to the all-singing, all-dancing.
1) Written around the home
One of the simplest ways to ask “Will you marry me?” is to spell it out somewhere your partner isn’t expecting to see it—consider alphabet refrigerator magnets, writing it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, or even a straightforward post-it note. We also love the idea of writing it in huge letters outside their window, either in leaves, petals, candles, or in the snow, or using glow-in-the dark stars to write it on the bedroom ceiling (imagine lying down and looking up at that!). Simple, sweet, and unexpected.
2) Love letters
One of the most timeless, romantic ways to propose is with love letters. Place sweet notes in different spots around the house, and in each one write something that you love about your sweetheart, or include a romantic quote or piece of poetry, as well as where to find the next note—it can turn into something of a treasure hunt! In the last note say something like, “For all these reasons and more, I want to spend the rest of my life with you?” You could be waiting in the wings ready to pop the question. *Swoon*.
3) A scrapbook or album
A perfect proposal idea for someone who likes to get creative is to put together something made with love, like a photo album or a scrapbook full of memories—photos, tickets, drawings, letters, and notes of your relationship so far. You could even reserve a spot at the very end with a note reading something like, “Reserved for our wedding photo”, and once your partner reaches this page you can ask them to marry you. They’re bound to appreciate all the time and effort you spent making something so special, and it may become something you can do together in future. For example, you may want to begin a new scrapbook titled “The Next Chapter” that you can begin to fill once you’ve tied the knot. Together with your wedding day photo album, it will be a collection to treasure forever.
Featured above: “Story of Us” Guest Book Alternative
4) In the news
This can be as simple as slipping a fake newspaper page into the morning paper to be found over breakfast, however if you wanted to you could go all-out and see about purchasing a full-page paper ad or setting up a big advert on a billboard.
5) Drawn together
One of the most creative wedding proposal ideas is to make a piece of art featuring you and your other half, and you could do it yourself or have a one created for you by a professional. For example, you could create a customised comic book strip or flipper book that finishes with a marriage proposal, or you could do a “Will you marry me?” spin on what Brian Flynn did as a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend—he teamed up with illustrator Dylan Bonner to turn her into a Disney princess!
Featured above: Valentine’s Day Disney Illustration by Dylan Bonner Brian Flynn
6) Fun and games
Include your proposal on a jigsaw puzzle! Either write “Will you marry me?” on a blank puzzle that you can personalise yourself or hide it in a ready-made puzzle with a picture that means something to you as a couple (perhaps an image of a place you always said you’d go to together, or somewhere you’ve already been and share happy memories). The puzzle can be as simple or as complex as you want, just as your proposal could be. For example, you may want to just give the puzzle to your partner to assemble, but you could also turn it into a fun date night where you complete the puzzle together.
Featured above: Wooden Heart Jigsaw Wedding Guest Book
Similarly, you could propose using Scrabble pieces or some other board game, like Justin Lebon who hired wood-worker Mark Becker to design a custom Monopoly board that included personalised locations, loaded dice, a very special “Chance” card, and a secret compartment for the ring.
7) With a song
Serenade your sweetheart with a special song or a piece of music dedicated to them—it may even be something you’ve composed yourself! Alternatively. you may be able to get down on one knee on stage during a concert of your favourite artist. Just be aware that public proposals really aren’t for everyone. The last thing you want to do is corner your partner into saying “Yes” or make them feel bad if they turn you down with an audience.
Featured above: Iyanna Monique – Solo Violinist for Weddings
8) Path of petals
Lay a pretty path for your partner to follow to the engagement ring (or to you waiting on bended knee) by scattering rose petals from the front door to the bedroom and spelling out “Will you marry me?” on the floor. You could even light the way with candles, or guide them with lines of yarn accessorised with photos or love letters.
9) For the book worm
We love this idea! Find a copy of your partner’s favourite romantic novel—romance or not—or book of love poems and cut out the pages in the shape of a heart to create a well for the ring (DO NOT cut up your other half’s copy!). When presenting the book to them, maybe you could say you’ve found a special edition of the book for them?
Featured above: Outdoor Library Proposal by The Yes Girls | Harry Potter Floating Heart by Virtualdistortion on Etsy
Alternatively, you could try and make your very own beautiful book art!
Featured above: “Will You Marry Me?” Folden Book Art by CedarwoodLane on Etsy
10) Recreate a favourite book or movie scene
If your other half really, really likes a book or movie, you can go all out and surprise them with a proposal around that theme. For example, a Love Actually inspired proposal might include showing up on your sweetheart’s doorstep with a handful of signs.
You could, however, go one step further and completely recreate a favourite book or movie scene. David Slater is a real-life Mr Darcy who surprised his girlfriend Bethany with a Pride and Prejudice style proposal. It came at the end of recreating half an hour of scenes from the book, and even the family got involved with scripts taken from the novel.
Featured above: Adorable Pride And Prejudice Themed Engagement
11) Surprise cinema advert
Most cinemas have adverts before the previews, and these can sometimes be purchased. Write her name up in lights in an advert for all to see and as the advert finishes go down on one knee and produce your ring. Just make sure you get to the cinema early enough to see it.
Featured above: GetFilm
12) For the jet setter
If your partner loves to travel, take them somewhere you’ve both always wanted to go or somewhere you’ve been before that holds special memories. You might even choose to make it a surprise trip somewhere—but if you’re planning to stay overnight, don’t forget to pack a bag for your partner too.
Featured above: “Paris, Please” by Patchwork It Honeymoon Gift List
Classic proposal locations include Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world, where you could set the scene with a candlelit dinner in the restaurant on top of the Eiffel Tower, and New York at Christmas. New York is a must see for all jet setters, especially around the Christmas holidays. With its city lights, the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, ice skating, Central Park, and (fingers crossed) snow, it makes one of the most magical cities to pop the question.
Featured above: Experience New York Your Way with Tinggly Gift Experiences
13) For the adventurer
If you and your partner are very active or love the rush of adrenaline, somewhere exhilarating like a mountain top after a hike makes a beautiful, very memorable proposal spot. Take a moment to cool down after the climb, admire the view, and then pop the question. Just make sure you don’t lose the ring on your way up.
A Day Hike to the Famous Kjerag in Norway with Tinggly Gift Experiences
14) A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Pair your proposal with another of the most memorable experiences of your life—this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience like a round-the-world cruise, or just something you’ve always wanted to do like taking a ride in a hot air balloon. Either way, you can guarantee that it will add an extra dose of excitement to your proposal.
Featured above: Amazing Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Napa Valley in San Francisco California with Tinggly Gift Experiences
15) Somewhere special
Classic, simple, and sweet, just take your beloved somewhere special—somewhere sentimental, like the place you met, or somewhere you’ve both always wanted to go. Ryan Clarke proposed to his girlfriend Kirsty in front of Hogwarts castle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
16) Somewhere beautiful
One of the most classic ways to propose is to simply find a stunning, secluded location—a vista of rolling hills across Tuscany, a sunny summer beach, a night of clear skies when you can see every star. The possibilities are endless.
17) Something fun
Have a bit of fun with your proposal and get a chuckle out of it for years to come. We love this log-flume proposal—just imagine her reaction when she saw the photo! We also love this tiny message-box, which we can imagine inside another box, inside another box, inside another box so that your partner has to really dig for the prize within.
18) On a special date
Special dates like Valentine’s Day, your partner’s birthday, or the anniversary of your first kiss or when you met are very popular times to get engaged.
- You could hide the ring in a bouquet of flowers or in a beautiful red rose.
- Buy your partner’s favourite box/a heart-shaped box of chocolates that has one chocolate substituted for a ring or a note reading “Will you marry me?”
- Present your partner with a birthday balloon filled with confetti and invite them to pop it to release the secret within (perhaps confetti made up of love notes or “Will you marry me?” notes—but if you put the ring in there make sure you can find it afterwards).
- Hide the engagement ring in a Christmas cracker or a fortune cookie with a slip of paper asking “Will you marry me?” Or go even simpler, and just hang the ring from the Christmas tree as shown in the gorgeous Christmas proposal photo shoot shown below.
- Get down on one knee and pop the question immediately after the midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve (what a great way to ring in the new year!).
- Carve a message in a pumpkin and light it up with a candle.
19) On an ordinary day
Alternatively, you could go in completely the opposite direction and choose just any ordinary date. Not only will this make the proposal even more unexpected, but it creates a brand new special date for you to look back on with a smile.
20) Get the family involved
If you need some help to pull off the proposal of your dreams, you could consider making it a family affair. It can be as simple as asking your friends and family to help put up signs around your home or local area, or asking them to hold up signs spelling out “Will you marry me?” as your sweetheart approaches. Or you could do what David did at number 11 on or list: he got the family involved in his wonderful Pride and Prejudice inspired proposal.
21) A table for two
Book your spouse’s favourite table at their favourite restaurant, or reserve a table at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to visit—like the one at the top of the Eiffel Tower, which has stunning views across Paris. See if you can arrange a personalised menu with your special message on it for the waiter to give it to your other half, and you can drop down on one knee when they realise what’s written there. Alternatively, put the ring in your partner’s dessert or in their champagne. But with this you must be very, very careful—there’s a risk of choking if your partner accidentally swallows the ring, so you should probably call attention to the ring somewhow. Maybe offer a toast to your relationship and invite your partner to look at the bottom of the champagne glass before it goes anywhere near their mouth?
22) Recreate your first date
Take your sweetheart to the exact place where you had your first date, and there you can reminisce before you pop the question. It’s the perfect spot, full of memories, and it’s pretty poetic to go back to where your relationship began before you take the next step.
Featured above: Kew Gardens Engagement Photo Shoot by Emma-Jane Photography
23) Tea for two
Sometimes less is more and the biggest surprises come in the most mundane moments. If your other half loves nothing better than to curl up on the sofa with you and a warm cup of tea, this could be a perfect moment to pop the question. Get yourself one of these adorable mugs which reveal that special question when the cup is empty—or you could find a pottery-painting studio where you can paint your own special message.
Featured above: “Will You Marry Me?” Mug by SomethingBlueBridals on Etsy
Alternatively, you could ask that big question with a homemade meal, like pancakes or a cake with a personalised message, or while out on a sweet little picnic.
Featured above: Large Woven Picnic Basket, 250ml Swing Top Square Glass Bottles with Antique Chic “Something Sweet” Sticker, Mason Jar Drinking Glasses, Mini Mason Jar, Mason Jar “Love” Personalised Napkins, Wooden Cutlery, Mini Favour Bag, Mr and Mrs Canvas Ribbon, and Antique Chic Thank You Tag
24) Puppy power
This is absolutely perfect if you and your partner are animal lovers! Maybe you have a pet of your own, or your partner does, or you both always talked about getting a dog, but what could be cuter than tying the engagement ring around your pet’s collar (or getting them a collar tag inscribed with “Will you marry me?”) and presenting them to your other half? You could unleash your cat or dog into the bedroom one morning for the best wake up call of your other half’s life.
Featured above: Wedding Day Details by Emma-Jane Photography
25) All singing, all dancing
If your other half doesn’t shy away from the spotlight, a street performer or a surprise flash mob in a public area can be a very exciting proposal. Plan for singers or dancers (or both) to start their routine as you walk past, making sure your partner stops to watch. Choose ‘your song’ and drop down on one knee. As already mentioned in number 7 on our list however, you must take into consideration that public proposals aren’t for everyone.
Featured above: Warble Entertainment Agency
26) Something hard to miss
If your other half has always wanted to see their name up in lights, now is the time to do it. Arrange to get it put up in the cinema, the theatre, or somewhere public. If you’d prefer something a little more secluded however, consider asking the big question in another very creative way—written in a big field or along the beach to be seen from above.
Featured above: Written in the Sand Proposal
27) Write it in the sky
Skywriting is a stunning way to propose, and it allows you to have an intimate and private marriage proposal while still proclaiming your love to the world. Either hire a plane to write your message in the sky or get them to fly a banner with “Will you marry me,___” over your town. Other options include a “Will you marry me?” hot air balloon or a simple kite on a summer day.
Featured above: Sky Banners by Aerial Messages
Whatever way you decide to propose, it’s sure to be a memorable story that will be re-told over and over and over again. To keep the memory even more alive, you may even choose to hire a professional photographer or videographer to capture the moment forever. Or, alternatively, you could ask a friend to man the camera, or set up a secret camera yourself. Be careful though—if you set a camera up by yourself, there’s a horrible risk that it’ll fall over or not record. Know the risks before you make a decision, and check out our top tips for great proposals.
Featured above: London Engagement Photo Shoot by Emma-Jane Photography
Also, take special care in the ring box you choose, as this can add a whole new layer of significance to your marriage proposal—while some of the ideas above speak for themselves, such as the ring hidden in the book or in the bottom of a teacup, did you ever consider a ring box based on your partner’s favourite TV Show? Check out these alternative wedding ring boxes.
Or look for more traditional ring boxes in our shop.
Featured above: Acrylic Wedding Ring Box (filled with maidenhair fern cuttings)
You should also consider the ring you propose with very carefully. It’s a very sad fact that not everyone falls in love with their engagement ring, and if you’re worried about choosing the wrong style for your partner you could consider a temporary engagement ring. These are cheap but very pretty rings that you can use to pop the question, and then you can go ring shopping afterwards to get one your partner truly loves—or not! Just because it didn’t cost a month’s wages doesn’t make it any less special. Some of the sweetest engagement stories feature homemade rings or Haribo rings. All that matters in the end is that you love each other and are ready to tie the knot!
Featured above: ROX