We see magical proposal scenes in films and in our dreams, but do we really want a grand proposal or is this simply a fantasy? Everyone’s different – some people would love a huge romantic, public gesture whilst others cringe at the mere thought and would much prefer an understated, intimate moment with their partner. Hopefully if you’re thinking of popping the question, you know your other half pretty well so will be able to cherry pick the ideas you know will suit them. However you choose to ask, the most important thing is to make the moment memorable, so take your time planning!
1. Treasure hunt
If your partner is a romantic, patient person who enjoys problem solving and appreciates thoughtful gestures, this proposal idea is worth considering. It’s a great one as it can be personalised to your relationship, using clues to send your partner on a trip down memory lane before concluding in the present down on one knee. The effort that will have gone into this proposal will warm their heart and only confirm to them that they’re choosing the right person to marry. You can keep it small scale by hiding relationship mementos in significant places around the house, or up the ante by sending your partner to various meaningful locations outside the house. For adventurous and creative couples!
2. Family dinner
For those family-oriented people who like their loved ones to be able to share in their happiness, this option would mean an awful lot to both your partner and their family (and yours too if you can get them all together!). It’s the perfect balance between intimate and public as you’ll feel entirely comfortable in the company, being able to immediately celebrate, not only with your new fiancé but also with everyone else who completes your life. It will be difficult to find an occasion where a single room is filled with more love.
3. A personalised gesture
Think about what your future wife/husband loves the most, their favourite animal, food, hobby etc and base your proposal around this. If they love dogs, buy them a puppy and attach the ring to its collar; if they’re obsessed with jelly, make some for dessert and set the ring inside it; if they’re an avid ice-skater, take secret lessons and hire out a rink so you can have your partner watch you spell out the question on ice – think outside the box and think about what THEY would like. This method will almost certainly be more memorable than a generic idea such as proposing on holiday or at their favourite restaurant.
4. Airport greeting
If you and your partner spend a lot of time away from one another, this could be the ideal proposal for you. If you’re meeting them at arrivals, make a sign which says ‘The future Mrs (your surname)’ and once she spots you, get down on one knee and present her with the ring. If it’s the shock factor proposal you’re after, this is definitely the one as it will be the last thing she’s expecting to happen when she steps off her flight. For an added surprise, don’t even let her know that you’re picking her up from the airport, let her believe she’s made other arrangements to get home. This way, her reaction will be twice as good (make sure someone captures it!) and she’ll be doubly elated.
5. Flashback video
Put together a video of all your best photos and clips so that you and your partner can reminisce over your romantic journey, giggle over funny memories and generally appreciate one another. Tell them you’re going to have a cosy film night in and that you’ve chosen a film you think they’ll really like. Get your pjs on, microwave the popcorn and dim the lights before snuggling up together on the sofa and playing your mini film. Your partner will be so taken aback by the cute gesture and engrossed in the video that you’ll be able to subtly retrieve the ring from your pocket and have it ready for when the five-minute film ends.
This may have to be a more spontaneous proposal as how often do you stumble across a caricature artist? Discretely have a chat with them before you asked your partner to have a caricature drawn of the two of you, requesting that they draw the imagined proposal scene rather than your actual pose. Your partner will be none the wiser until the artist is finished and shows them the drawing, at which point you will recreate the proposal picture that appears on the paper, surprising your loved one and having a unique memento of the moment rather than a standard photograph.
7. Fake photo
Pick a spot that’s meaningful to the two of you, or somewhere new that your partner has always wanted to go. Take them there and ask someone to take a photo of you both, subtly requesting the photographer to take a video rather than a photo. Instead of posing for a photo, pull out the ring and pop the question. The moment will be captured on video, meaning that you can re-watch your loved one’s reaction as many times as you want and family and friends can witness it too, without having to be physically present.
8. Simple home proposal
If you’re certain your partner would hate a public proposal, opt for casually popping the question in the comfort of your home. You could spell out the question in toast when you make them breakfast, use their lipstick to write the question on the bathroom mirror when they’re about to have a shower, or blindfold them in bed under a sexual pretense whilst you use glow in the dark ceiling letter stickers to form the question!
9. Sleeping proposal
A stealthy operation well worth the tension! Recommended if your partner is a heavy sleeper. Wait until they fall asleep and carefully slip the ring onto their finger (you need to be 100% sure you’ve got the right size!). The biggest challenge will be acting normal in the morning until they notice the ring… You may want to prepare a special breakfast to prompt the realisation, but as soon as they notice – pop the question!
10. Back in time
Whether it’s the place you first met; your first date; the place where you first said ‘I love you’; or your first holiday, any special ‘first’ locations make a romantic proposal when revisited. Unless your partner has forgotten the ‘first’ moment, in which case your trip should remind them, they may pre-empt the proposal if they know where you’re going so try to keep the location a secret for as long as possible!