Your partner is unique, special, one-of-a-kind. So your proposal should be exceptional as well. And while the tried-and-true traditions have definite appeal (candlelight dinners and sunset walks), perhaps you’re looking for something a bit more memorable.
You’ve come to the right place! We’ve heard some wild proposal stories over the years, and this is a compilation of the best.
1 - Photo Booth Proposal
Here’s the quandary. You’d love to have pictures of that special moment, but you don’t want to disrupt the moment’s intimacy by inviting a friend with a camera. Why not propose in a photo booth? In four precious frames, you’ll capture her surprise and delight. Your children’s children will love to look at such a marvellous memento.
Tip: Invite family and friends to sneak up to the photo booth while the two of you are inside. Everyone can congratulate you while the excitement is fresh.
2 - A Walk Down Memory Lane
Before you start thinking about forever, why not take your beloved on a walk through your past? Put together a box of treasured memories. You could include tickets to performances you attended together and photos of fun times you’ve shared. Write a note for each item in the box. When she’s full of nostalgic bliss, propose with the ring you’ve carefully chosen.
Tip: Play “your song” as she sorts through the treasures in the box.
3 - A Love Song
Why do so many popular songs focus on love? Maybe it’s because love makes us want to sing! Brush off your guitar or ukulele and write a song for your partner. End the song with your heartfelt proposal.
Tip: If you think you’ll be too nervous about singing when the moment arrives, record it ahead of time and play it for her on your phone.
4 - A Higher Love
If the two of you enjoy climbing, coordinate with the managers at the climbing wall for a unique, high drama proposal. Carefully place the engagement ring at the top of the wall. When she climbs to the top, she’ll retrieve it, and her heart will flutter all the way back down to the ground.
Tip: Consider taping the box to the top of the wall, just in case the wall gets jostled during the climb.
5 - Movie Trailer
Make a short movie about your relationship and commitment. Then, rent out a movie theatre and show your creation as a trailer before the actual film. At the end of your trailer, get down on one knee and pop the question.
Tip: Invite your family and friends to the showing, but have them all sit behind you. She won’t realise they’re all there until it’s time to offer their congratulations.
6 - Merry-Go-Round
While your partner enjoys the ride, stand to the side with a stack of pre-made papers. Each paper should have a letter on it. They spell M-A-R-R-Y M-E-? Each time she comes around, she sees another letter. When the ride ends, stand at the gate with the engagement ring.
Tip: Not a fan of carousels? Try another ride at the amusement park. From the top of a Ferris wheel, you can see forever; doesn’t that sound like a perfect spot? Just don’t drop the ring!
7 - A Website Proposal
If you’re good with web design, create an interactive website that walks your partner through a series of memorable photographs before she sees your proposal. You could also devise an online quiz that ends with one extraordinary question.
Tip: Pretend to ask her to check out a cool website you found, and then get ready with the ring.
8 - A Caricature Proposal
Make arrangements with a street caricaturist to add the words, “Will you marry me?” to a drawing of the two of you. When you stroll up to the artist on the street, she won’t know what’s in store, but you will.
Tip: When the artist hands her the picture, that’s the time to drop to your knee with the ring.
9 - Puzzle Proposal
Have a custom jigsaw puzzle made with your image and the words “Marry me?” On a rainy afternoon, suggest that the two of you sit down and work on a puzzle. When you’ve finished enough that she can clearly read the words, it’s time to propose.
Tip: If puzzles aren’t your thing, suggest a game of Scrabble. You can spell out the words and wait for her reaction.
10 - A Cake Display
Talk to a baker or pastry chef about making a custom cake with your proposal written in icing. Ask the shop owner if she can display the cake in the storefront. Take your partner window-shopping and pull out the ring when she reads the cake.
Tip: Box up the cake and take it home to celebrate with family and friends.
11 - At-Work Proposal
Sneak (with permission, of course) into your soon-to-be fiance’s office or classroom early in the morning. Write your proposal on her whiteboard or desk. Stay hidden from view until she shows up, and then propose with the ring.
Tip: Bring flowers and a vase to leave on her desk after you have to leave for the day.
13 - Special Delivery
If you’re a funny couple, try this proposal on for size. Cut out the bottom of a refrigerator box, wrap it with pretty paper and a huge bow, and attach a note that reads, “Inside this box is a gift to last forever.” Then “deliver” yourself to your parter’s doorstep.
Tip: You might need assistance with ringing the doorbell and getting inside the box. Bring an assistant (who can also double as the photographer).
14 - A High-Flying Proposal
Head out to the beach on a windy day with a kite. She won’t know it, but you’ve spelt out the words, “Marry me?” on the kite’s underside. As it flies aloft, she’ll read your message, and you can relish her squeals of joy.
On your partner’s birthday, plan a “surprise party.” Then, pretend to ruin the surprise by having all the guests to arrive early. The real shocker comes when you propose, and your loved ones show up to celebrate both a birthday and an engagement.
Tip: Choose your friends with the best acting skills to show up early.
16 - Spooky Proposal
Throw a Halloween party for your family and friends, and incorporate a jack-o’-lantern carving contest into the activities. Give everyone time to carve their pumpkins and reveal the results. Unveil your pumpkin carved with a proposal last.
Tip: After she says “yes,” pull out bride and groom costumes that the two of you can wear for the rest of the party.
17 - Ski Lift Proposal
Write phrases in the snow that will be visible to you and your partner as you ride the ski lift up the slope. Need ideas about what to write? Try dates or milestones from your relationship, pet names for each other and titles of songs you love. Write “Will You Marry Me?” for the last message at the top.
Tip: Consider using food colouring to make your message easier to read from above, and make sure the safety bar is lowered when you propose!
18 - Home Renovation Proposal
Home is where the heart is, and this proposal takes that aphorism literally. If you’re purchasing a house to fix up, decorate the walls with messages of love (you’re going to paint the whole property anyway). After giving her time to read your words, pull out the ring and make it official.
Tip: Leave a trail of rose petals to guide her to the place where you want to propose.
19 - Next-Level First Date
Recreate your first date in a more scenic location. Was your first date in a coffee shop? If so, reinvent that date in a field of flowers. You could transport a couple of comfy chairs and a table to your favourite park or seaside location. It’s a next-level effort at romanticism, and your efforts will be handsomely repaid.
Tip: Time your proposal with the sunrise or sunset for an ethereal atmosphere.
20 - Girls Night Out? Not!
Throw her completely off your trail by conspiring with her friends for a surprise proposal. Get friends to run interference and take her on a night out before you unexpectedly show up to propose.
Tip: Ask your friends to take pictures and video. You’ll have a 360-view of the entire event.