So you’re thinking of proposing to your significant other. It can be daunting. That’s normal. Proposing marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. A proposal should be perfect, as you will remember it for the rest of your life. It’s a story you’ll have to tell people anniversary after anniversary. Make your proposal a story you love to tell. After all, it’s not just about knowing how to propose -- it’s about how to propose creatively.
By now, you’ve probably seen it all done before. That’s also okay, as there’s always a way to freshen up old ideas and give them a personal flair. Your significant other will love you no matter what, so try not to stress about it. If you put forth the effort and put some creative thought into it, that will make all the difference.
How to Propose...and When
There are ways to do it, and ways to, well, not. It's important to plan how. But you also need to consider timing.
Readiness and meaning
The key to a successful proposal is knowing that you're both on the same page. If you're not sure, or you think your partner might not be sure, then don't take the leap quite yet. No matter how much you love them, don't pressure your partner into a commitment. Likewise, don't allow anyone to pressure you into a proposal.
Once you're certain that both you and your partner are ready to take this next step, your proposal will be all about execution. Plan it out perfectly! Think of the most meaningful, personal, and impactful way you can pop the question. And don't forget to factor in weather, traffic, and other things that could get in the way.
Once everything is perfectly planned, think of the perfect time to pop the question. If you’re proposing during dinner, don’t propose in the middle of the meal and don’t propose before the meal. There’s that sweet spot after you finish eating where you’re both sitting comfortably. That’s when you pop the question.
That same logic applies to whatever the activity is. Find that sweet spot at the end of the date where you both are smiling and feeling great. That’s likely your cue.
The Beauty of the Perfect Proposal
Everybody’s different. We can’t tell you that your proposal idea is wrong because no one knows your significant other as you do. The perfect proposal is one that’s personal.
The best and most creative proposal is one neither of you will ever forget. So when you’re planning on saying those four words, think about how much you love them and try to represent that with your idea. Think of something special between the two of you, or something of mutual value. Is there a place that holds special meaning for you both? Or an activity? Or maybe there's somewhere you've always wanted to go together but haven't gotten to yet? Think about who you are as a couple, and go from there.
17 Great Proposal Ideas
You can always just ask the question, wherever you may be. All you have to do is ask. But wouldn’t you rather have an unforgettable experience that you know your significant other deserves?
There’s a lot of pressure coming up with new and creative ideas that feel fresh and right for the occasion. So we’ve gathered together some ideas on how to propose in more creative ways.
Arrange to have your special song play
Every couple has a special song. Whether you played that song on your first date or the first time you hung out. Or maybe it was the song that was playing the first time you saw them. The point is, music is valuable, and there will always be a song with sentimental value that connects you to the one you love.
When it comes time to propose, find a way to have that song playing. Find a way, even if it might be difficult. It’s easy if you’re taking them to a club or a restaurant. Most places are more than willing to play along with your proposal. All you have to do is request it at a certain time or give them a signal. If you are out in an area like a hiking spot or a public park, set up a speaker or iPod dock before you get there. Timing is key.
Find the perfect location
Even if it may seem a bit cliche, a destination proposal like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Empire State Building in New York is seldom a bad idea. Romantic getaways like that already offer plenty of opportunities to get your significant other in a romantic mood.
Maybe the perfect location is a place of sentimental value, like a childhood home (or a potential future home). Or maybe it’s the perfect vacation spot that you’ve both dreamt of going to. Either way, you’ve already set the mood by fulfilling your wanderlust. Now all you have to do is get on one knee and ask.
Plan an extravagant date
The key word here is “extra.” When you plan a date like this, do something you wouldn’t normally do, like go all out on food or wine. Take them somewhere like the aforementioned Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building. A special extravagant date can be anything from traveling to an exotic location to doing something crazy, like bungee jumping or skydiving.
Once you get your partner all pumped up and excited, try winding down with some wine. Maybe finish off with a picnic. Then, at the end of the date, you can finally propose to them. With the incredible day you’ve shown them, you can almost guarantee the answer will be a “yes.”
Do your partner's favorite activity
What is your significant other into? Are they into art, movies, music, or sports? Making their favorite activity part of your proposal shows them that you're thinking of them -- that what's important to them is also important to you.
Do it publicly in front of everyone
Remember what we said about being sure of the answer? That goes double for a public proposal. You should also be sure that your partner likes being the center of public attention. If you're not absolutely certain of both of these things, then a public proposal is a no-go. Why? Well, if your significant other says no, then that will be humiliating for both of you. Also, if they feel like you're pressuring them into a decision, by putting them on the spot, this will not only cause them to reject the proposal -- it may also end the relationship.
However, if you're sure of the answer, and sure your partner will be into it, then go for it!
A sports game is a really good setting to do it at. You can work it out with those who are in charge ahead of time. They may give you time during a break to propose. They may even put you on the big screen, so you’ll be sure that everyone will be able to see. Other popular public proposal venues include restaurants and concerts.
Propose on vacation
As we stated before, taking your partner to a special location is the perfect way to propose. But what better way to subvert expectations entirely than to take them on a romantic getaway under the presumption it’s just another vacation. That way, you’ll get to go on vacation and they’ll never see it coming.
We recommend going on a romantic getaway while on a cruise or on an island vacation. If you wanna know how to propose while on vacation or when the best time will be, consider finding a secluded area with the perfect view. Maybe a cliffside or on a beach during the sunset.
Get crafty and creative
Perhaps the greatest gesture is showing just how much effort you put into something. Maybe you can really flex your creativity and come up with a crafty way of how to propose. You don’t have to be an artist to show people you love them. As long as they can see that you put in the effort.
Here are some crafty and creative ideas on how to propose.
A fun proposal tradition that is both creative and crafty is making a sign or a banner. You can get the whole family involved by holding the sign or banner up for your partner to see. You can stage it like a regular visit. Invite them over and wait for them to show up. When they arrive, they’ll see the sign you made yourself.
Using a puppy never fails!
When in doubt, use the favorite pet of 74 percent of people: a puppy. If you already have a dog, use them. Tie a ring to their collar and have them come into the room when you’re ready to pop the question. You could also borrow a dog from a friend.
What about a puppy as a pre-wedding gift? Again, maybe. A pet isn't a prop. It's a huge responsibility -- 12 to 15 years of responsibility. Make sure that you, and your partner, are ready to commit to it. Unless you're both ready to "raise" a pet together, it's best to borrow one for your proposal.
Make a video
Have you been saving your memories? Taking pictures and videos of your time spent together? If so, you’re like the millions of people in America who take pictures and videos daily. With that said, you likely have more than enough footage of the two of you together to put together some sort of video.
You can present this video as a sort of surprise. Have a dinner waiting for them and then when the food is all gone, pull out the video and show them. The video will be all the pictures and footage of you together, set to a sentimental song. The video could say at the end “Will you marry me?” Or, perhaps, you can say it yourself after it’s done. Either way, this is a creative way of how to propose to your significant other.
Recruit family and friends
Great things can happen when people work together. Instead of tackling this all on your own, get help from your family and friends or their family and friends. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially if you want it to be perfect.
Remember the banner idea from earlier? That’s a really good opportunity to solicit some help from your family to not only help you hold it up but also to make the sign. In any case, you can recruit them for advice on how to propose as well as help with whatever plan you come up with.
Flowers, candles, and wine
There’s nothing wrong with the classics. Why not surprise them with flowers, candles, and wine? Those are all considered romantic gestures, and sometimes it’s just one gesture that says it all. Figure out your romantic partners favorite kind of flower, favorite scent, and favorite kind of wine. The combination of these three things will offer the best opportunity to propose.
Make them a special dinner
If you want to know how to propose creatively without ever having to leave your house, this one’s for you. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is stay at home and cook them dinner. Ask yourself: what’s their favorite food? You can do some research on what the best recipes are for that special favorite dish of theirs. And then make it to the best of your ability.
Write a poem or a song
The best way to anyone’s heart is hearing how you feel about them expressed in beautiful words. You can use any number of these ways to propose, but if you add in a song or poem at the end about them, you would have made the night perfect.
Write about how you feel about them and the things they do. Write about the first time you met or the time you fell in love with them. Then, as soon as you’re done, pop the question.
Write it in the sky
If you really wanna make an impression, write it in the sky for the world to see. You can go about this by hiring a skywriter, a plane that leaves a trail of smoke in different designs or phrases. You can hire one to spell out “Will you marry me?”
Make your own puzzle
Now, a puzzle is something everyone will have fun with. By puzzle, we’re not just talking about a jigsaw puzzle. You can create a crossword puzzle or some other brain testing game. A word game like a crossword puzzle would be fun, because you can put in keywords of things that pertain to your relationship, inside jokes, etc. At the end, it will spell out “Will you marry me.”
A jigsaw puzzle will be really great for using old photos you took together. Maybe you took a photo on your first date. You can relive that as you and your partner put the puzzle back together. This is another great opportunity to spell out your proposal.
Remember that place you spent your first date? That may seem like an obvious choice for a proposal venue, but the idea of it is deeply sentimental. It goes to show that you remember and that you value all the time you’ve spent together.
Just talk about all the fun times you’ve had together. Remind them of why you fell in love with them and how much they’ve changed your life. While you’re there, you really only need to know how to propose in the traditional way for it to be the ultimate romantic gesture. If the place is special enough, it will be the perfect proposal.
The traditional way
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That’s how we feel about old traditions. If you ask, you ask. Just get down on your knees and ask already. Your significant other is probably waiting for you to figure out how to propose to them.
Whatever You Choose, It Will Be Perfect
We’re confident that whatever you do will be perfect. Knowing how to propose is knowing how your partner will react. No one knows your partner like you do, so figure out some combination of the things we’ve mentioned that you know they’ll love. Then start planning the most perfect night of their life. One they will never forget.