The Best Ways to Propose: Our Guide to Popping the Question

Searching for the best ways to propose? We've got loads of ideas to inspire you.

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Getting down on one knee and asking that big question to your loved one can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re not sure when and where to do it. With the help of statistics, expert advice and some real life proposal stories thrown into the mix, we show you some of the best ways to propose to your partner.

On Holiday

According to the 21st Century bride survey from You & Your Wedding, the stats showed that 36% of couples get engaged on holiday, making it the most popular way to propose! And it’s no wonder, you’re both relaxed, you’re in a new setting away from your daily routine – it’s certainly a prime opportunity to pop the question.

When we quizzed hitched brides about their engagement, an overwhelming amount of you said you got engaged whilst away on holiday. If you’re feeling inspired to get down on one knee on an upcoming holiday with your loved one, check out our tips on how to pull off the perfect proposal.

A holiday proposal is one of the best ways to propose

Real Life Proposals

Going somewhere colder than England for your holidays? Then this story should inspire you. Proposal planning experts The Proposers helped one groom organise a horse riding trek through the snow in Iceland, where he asked his now fiancée to marry him!

One of the best ways to propose - during a horseback trek in Iceland!

Image Credit: The Proposers

If city breaks are more you and your partner’s thing, why not take inspiration from this story from one of our hitched members, BriertonBride. She and her other half were on holiday in Amsterdam when he suggested dressing up to go out one evening. It turned out he had booked a romantic canal cruise and chose to get down on one knee after they'd enjoyed a delicious five course meal!

Tips for a Holiday Proposal

If you want to get creative with your proposal, no matter where you go you can always find fun and unique proposal ideas. If you want to keep it simple and have got a flight booked for an exotic destination with your partner, why not go for the classic beach proposal?

‘If your significant other is at their most content by the sea, a beach proposal can be a romantic gesture,’ says Lauren from chillisauce.co.uk. ‘Remember that it’s usually breezy by the sea, so take some blankets and warm jackets.’

A beach proposal is also a great reason to plan a beach wedding! Head back to the scene of your engagement but this time to say your ‘I do’s to each other.

One of the best ways to propose is on a beach!

Image Credit: chillisauce.co.uk

During or After Dinner

The stats from the You & Your Wedding survey showed that 13% of couples get engaged during or after dinner, making it the second best way to propose. Whatever time you choose to do it, a dinner proposal will forever be romantic and it’s easy to set the mood during a cosy dinner for two.

Real Life Proposals

Our very own hitched Designer, Heather, got engaged on her and her partner’s 8th anniversary after a lovely meal out. ‘He brought me a cup of tea and a biscuit and got down on one knee. It was just so us!’ Says Heather.

Heather's now husband proposed to her after they had a meal out.

Tips for a Dinner Proposal

A popular way to propose is to wine and dine your beloved at a fancy restaurant before getting down on one knee. However if you’re planning a proposal during an intimate meal at home, Olivia from The Proposers recommends their postbox proposal packages.

‘These packages allow personalised dinners to be delivered to your home for you to set up yourself,’ says Olivia. ‘You could do a wine and cheese proposal or even a pizza proposal!’

One of the best ways to propose is during or after dinner - we love this pizza proposal from The Proposers!

Image Credit: The Proposers at Not on the High Street

If you’re waiting until dessert to create the big moment, a cute way to propose is by incoporating the proposal into their pudding! We love this cute personalised teaspoon from The Cutlery Commission at Not on the High Street - the look on their face when they clap eyes on it will be priceless.

One of the best ways to propose is during or after dinner - we love this cute spoon proposal from Not on the High Street!

On a Day Out

Surprising your partner with a marriage proposal on an unsuspecting day out is a great way to ask that all important question, and 10% of the couples surveyed by You & Your Wedding seem to agree. Check out these amazing stories for inspiration then read our top tips on ways to pull off this kind of proposal.

Real Life Proposals

A trip to a beautiful location is the perfect scene for a memorable proposal. Or how about surprising your partner with a day out that references something they love? One lucky hitcher Natalie Mcgowan got engaged in Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter Studio Tour!

For a romantic city proposal, we love this particular one that was pulled off with some help from The Proposers. Jonathan was on a day out in London with partner Christie. As they reached the iconic Southbank, Christie turned around and was handed a bunch of flowers whilst two singers began serenading her! They then held up signs that read ‘Christie will you marry me?’.

One of the best ways to propose is on a day out - we love this city proposal from The Proposers

Image Credit: The Proposers

Tips for a Day Out Proposal

Popping the question on a day out is arguably one of the best ways to propose, as there just so many ways that you can pull it off. ‘Just make sure that the ring is safe and won’t fall out of your pocket,’ warns Lauren. ‘A nice idea would be to organise or hide champagne at the spot where you want to propose.’

This luxury picnic hamper for two from Dibor at Not on the High Street is perfect for setting the tone to say those special words. This beautiful hand woven wicker hamper comes with high quality crockery, glassware and cutlery, plus space for a bottle of bubbly! Grab your love one and take them to a wonderful spot in the countryside for a picnic they'll never forget.

One of the best ways to propose is on a day out - we love this picnic proposal from Not on the High Street!

If you love the sound of Jonathan’s city proposal, why not follow suit and organise a ‘Marry Me’ kit from The Proposers? The kit includes signs that are personalised to your preferences (you could even have a sign hung up in a tree if you’re out on a romantic walk) and The Proposers will help you create a bespoke plan of where and how you can pop the question.

One of the best ways to propose is on a day out - we love this 'marry me' proposal kit from The Proposers

Image Credit: The Proposers at Not on the High Street

‘If you’re outdoors, think about how the natural lighting could create the perfect atmosphere,’ says Lauren. ‘Find out what time the sun will set, or lay out some fairy lights and propose under stars.’

On a Special Occasion

A special occasion is an excellent time to propose and 9% of the couples surveyed by You & Your Wedding did it this way. After all, you’re already celebrating so it is the perfect way to tie in a marriage proposal and make the date even more memorable! Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or your partner’s birthday, a special occasion is filled with lots of opportunities to pop the question.

Real Life Proposals

We loved the stories that flooded in from hitchers about their special occasion engagements. FutureMrsSmith2017 was proposed to on her 30th birthday in Venice whilst Caroline Capes got engaged in the Statue of Liberty in New York on Valentine’s Day!

Tips for an Occasion Proposal

A special occasion with a secret marriage proposal calls for a bottle of bubbly. Why not add a thoughtful touch and literally ‘pop’ the question with customised champagne? This personalised champagne from Bottle Bazaar at Not on the High Street says the words for you if you are too nervous to get them out.

One of the best ways to propose is during a special occasion - pop the question with this personalised proposal champagne

At Christmas

Figures from chillisauce.co.uk show that 33% of brides and grooms-to-be think Christmas Eve is the ultimate day to pop the question, overtaking the 22% who answered Valentine's Day! Interestingly, they also found that winter is the time when proposals reach their peak, despite the wedding season traditionally being at its busiest in the summer months. 

Lauren believes that the festive season is one of the best ways to propose because its a golden opportunity to do a big announcement. ‘However you decide to do it during the festive season, it’s likely that you will be surrounded by your family and those closest to you,’ she says. ‘This means you will be able to share the good news and celebrate with everyone whilst you’re all together.’

One of the best ways to propose is during Christmas

Image Credit: chillisauce.co.uk

Real Life Proposals

One of our hitchers, Soon-to-Be-Riley, got engaged Christmas morning! Her partner had cleverly made some DIY crackers with their names on. They pulled the one with her name and he then poured the contents of the cracker into her hand – it contained a beautiful engagement ring!

Tips for a Christmas Proposal

David Allen from 77 Diamonds believes that Christmas is a wonderful setting for a proposal. ‘The sights, the sounds, the smells – there’s definitely a fairytale element to Christmas,’ says David.

‘There are truly some special places that provide perfect proposal hot spots. Many ice rinks are free entry, so you just need a ring, a dash of courage and then let Christmas spirit do the rest!’

A Christmas proposal is one of the best ways to propose

For a Christmas proposal at home, why not consider this gorgeous glass bauble from Maria Allen Boutique at Not on the High Street. Hang the bauble up in the tree ready for Christmas morning and watch your partner open it up to see the beautiful personalised proposal inside.

One of the best ways to propose is during Christmas - we love this personalised bauble proposal from Not on the High Street!

At Home

They say home is where the heart is, so this must be why 6% of the couples surveyed by You & Your Wedding chose to get engaged in the comfort of their own home. ‘Whilst some people might look at this as an easier option so to speak, it’s actually the perfect place to be spontaneous whilst making the moment intimate and special.’ Explains Lauren.

One of the best ways to propose is at home

Image Credit: chillisauce.co.uk

Real Life Proposals

Sometimes, even the most spur of the moment proposals in a familiar setting can be the most romantic! Another hitcher, jesscaar, was sat with her partner one Thursday evening watching TV when he starting playing about with some notepad paper. He then placed a rolled up paper ring on her finger and asked her to marry him - a brilliant and very spontaneous engagement ring idea!

Or if you have a pet, why not incorporate them into the proposal? Simon from our 100 proposal stories feature tied a ring box to their dog Gizmo’s collar, which was then found by his surprised other half Hazel!

Tips for a Proposal at Home

Lauren from chillisauce.co.uk suggests secretly setting up a camera to catch your partner’s amazing reaction on film. ‘You’ll feel more comfortable and less pressured at home, so your words should flow more freely. You could even choose your partners favourite music or romantic film to play in the background to really personalise your proposal.’

The Proposers have also helped to pull off many proposals at the homes of couples. ‘For one proposal, we snuck into their apartment and beautifully decorated it with rose petals, vintage bird cages, candles and lanterns for them to be surprised by when they returned home!’ says Olivia.

One of the best ways to propose is at home - The Proposers helped pull off this beautiful home proposal

Image Credit: The Proposers

Or why not order The Proposer’s romantic movie night for two kit if your partner is a keen movie buff? Featured as one of our 33 proposal ideas, the kit includes popcorn, a DVD case, clapper boards and more - all of which can be personalised with your proposal message! 

One of the best ways to propose is at home - we love this movie night for two proposal kit from The Proposers

Image Credit: The Proposers at Not on the High Street

If you really want to go all out with surprising your partner at home, check out these proposal blinds from directblinds.co.uk. Make sure you install them in secret of course, then lead them towards the window and roll down the blinds to reveal those life changing words.  

These proposal blinds from Direct Blinds are a great way to propose to your partner at home

Finally, for another exciting proposal to surprise your other half with at home, this personalised couple’s treasure hunt kit from Love Give Ink at Not on the High Street is such a fun idea. The idea is that you scatter the clues around the house for your loved one to find until they eventually reach the last destination – where you’ll hide their engagement ring for them to find!

One of the best ways to propose is at home - We love this treasure hunt proposal from Not on the High Street

If your partner has an unique sense of style why not present them with an alternative engagement ring? For more ideas and inspiration, check out our marriage proposals caught on camera feature - you'll need tissues to dry your eyes!

Statistics taken from the You & Your Wedding 21st Century Bride Survey and chillisauce.co.uk



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