Even if you’re 100% sure your partner will say yes and you’ve looked at how to buy an engagement ring, proposing can be quite a daunting experience!
We’ve come up with 61 unique proposal ideas to help make sure your proposal is perfect for your partner and personal to you.
As well as the ultimate romantic proposal ideas, we've included some of our favourite props to propose with, from personalised Champagne bottles to ‘marry me’ tags for your pet’s collar! Some proposal ideas are simple, some are more elaborate, some might even go viral, but all these will be the happiest surprise your partner gets.
Psst… If you’re going to pop the question, you’re going to need a ring! Don’t miss our guide to the best engagement rings.
- Romantic Proposal Ideas
- Holiday Proposal Ideas
- Simple Proposal Ideas
- Private Proposal Ideas
- Unique Proposal Ideas
1. Recreate Your First Date
Revisiting the bar you first met in or the restaurant where you first had dinner makes for the perfect way to reminisce over your happy relationship. As you talk about all the wonderful things you’ve done together, you can get down on one knee and find out if they’d like spend forever doing more!
2. Make a Custom Crossword Puzzle
You could be incredibly extra and get the actual Times newspaper to help you with your proposal – just contact the puzzles editor and make a desperate plea. Otherwise you can build your own crosswords online and slip in the famous question.
3. Visit a Museum
Can you get more romantic than a kiss in front of The Kiss? Visit your favourite work of art or take a special trip to see one of the world’s most famous that you’ve been wanting to see for a long time. Of course, there’s lots of other museums that don’t have art that are equally fun – science museums, wax museums and natural history museums, for example.
4. Welcome in the New Year
3, 2, 1… use that countdown to start the year with a new spouse-to-be. Sneak away to a private spot with plenty of Champagne and New Year’s kisses. A fireworks display will top it off.
5. Invite Your Friends and Family
You need to know whether your partner would want this kind of thing. If they’d like a public proposal, you can arrange an engagement party with everyone waiting for you with balloons and a marry me sign. The only person it’ll be a surprise for is your partner.
At home over Christmas is always nice too as they’re back in their childhood home. Have friends and family waiting in a nearby pub until after the proposal if you want the question bit to actually be just the two of you.
6. Pop the Question on Valentine’s Day
Give your partner a gift or write them a love note for each day of February leading up to the 14th. On the 14th give them a special gift – the ring obviously! Balloons, chocolates, roses: go the whole hog.
7. Propose at Disney
Start your fairytale with a proposal at the happiest place on earth!
8. Create a Treasure Hunt
Set up a treasure hunt across your city or local area with lots of fun clues for your partner to solve. The final clue will lead them to you where you'll be waiting with a ring.
9. Get in the Festival Spirit
Music festivals and day festivals are also in their element – if you’re a musical couple, get to the front of your favourite band and create an unforgettable memory.
10. Play with Your Food
Ask a restaurant to write out the question around the rim of your dessert or give you the “specials” menu which will actually be a love letter you’ve written your partner. Food and drink proposals in general are wonderful – slip the ring into the bottom of a glass of Champagne or rest it on top of a home-cooked dessert. (We don’t advise slipping it into food as a ring is a choking hazard.) What about writing it on a pizza?
11. Light Up the Night
Bonfire night is another winner. The fireworks and sparklers make for such a magical, romantic atmosphere. You could do it during an amazing fireworks show or buy the two of you some sparklers to play with in your back garden.
READ MORE: 13 Creative Ways to Announce Your Engagement
12. Tease Them With a Spotify Playlist
Sneak a proposal song into their go-to playlist, like Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’ or ‘Will You Marry Me?’ by Once Jameson or Lenny Kravitz. Do you guys listen to music while cooking or dancing round the flat? You could surprise them completely by getting down on one knee when the song comes on.
13. Make a Sentimental Scrapbook
A personalised photo book is the perfect way to propose. The front cover can be personalised with your names and the inside cover can incorporate your own proposal message! Once they’ve said yes, your other half will love flicking through this book of memories and reminding themselves of all the special moments which got you to where you are now.
14. Pop Some Personalised Champagne
This proposal idea can happen anywhere; choose somewhere that means a lot to you as a couple, like the location where you first said I love you, at a local beauty spot or just a romantic night in.
What will swing their yes is this personalised bottle of Champagne that features their name and the question 'Will you marry me?' on the label. Ask them to get the bubbles out the cooler bag and when they turn round, be on the ground with a ring. Alternatively, if you’re feeling shy, you can let the label do the talking and wait to see the look on your partner’s face as they read it.
15. Write a Song or Poem
Putting your love down in a song will make you feel super vulnerable but is a really romantic, unique and memorable way to propose. If a song isn't your thing, a poem is great too. You can even hire someone to help you write your song or poem.
16. Propose on the Beach
17. Organise a Special Trip
The most popular way to propose is on holiday. Decide if you want to book a special holiday to a favourite destination or a bucket list place you’ve always wanted to go together or if you want to keep the proposal a surprise and not raise suspicions with an expensive trip. Whatever you do, remember to keep the ring in your hand luggage, never the hold!
Think ahead of time about what they’ll like best – is it watching the sunset on the beach? A boat trip to a secluded island? At that amazing restaurant you both love? You could even rent scooters and hide the ring in their helmet or build a sandcastle and place the ring in the middle? Our favourite locations in Europe are Paris, Rome or watching the Northern Lights in Iceland.
18. Say Yes at Airport Arrivals
Collecting your loved one from a flight? Turn up with a big sign with their name on it and a Mr/Mrs in front of their first name and a question mark at the end. Get down on one knee and watch the crowd cheer – it’s one of our favourite ‘will you marry me’ ideas. Alternatively, air hostesses and pilots are often very happy to help with an in-air proposal.
19. Hire a Hot Air Balloon
Arrange a hot air balloon ride or helicopter flight to watch the sunrise. This works really well as a holiday proposal idea if you want the element of surprise. It might be obvious something is up if you randomly book a hot air balloon at 5am across Somerset – or maybe claim you won it in a work raffle?
20. Add a Bookmark to Their Holiday Read
Do you want to keep the proposal itself low-key but super romantic? How about slipping a little note into their holiday book or replacing their bookmark with a personalised one with your question on?
21. Stir Them Up a Warming Drink
If it gets cold at night on your holiday, offer to make your partner a warming hot chocolate. You'll actually use this personalised 'marry me' spoon and, as they pull it out, your proposal message will be revealed. Just imagine stirring a drink with this spoon in Iceland in front of the Northern Lights and then seeing this message! It'll be just as impressive camping in Scotland too.
22. Take a Trip to Venice
Venice is oozing with romance. Hire a private gondola and take a trip along the canals soaking in all the sights and sounds. At the end, bring out the ring!
23. See in Sunrise or Sunset
If you love hiking together, plan an amazing hiking route on holiday. Find out what the best viewpoints are in the area - they're often on top of hills or mountains - and set off in time to watch the sun rise or set. It's a simple idea, but combining awe-inspiring nature with a beautiful proposal will make for an unforgettable experience.
24. Pop the Question on the Slopes
Ski-lovers should combine snow in their proposal. How about writing your proposal in the snow and going over it on the ski lift? It's so private and unexpected - just don't slip off the seat in excitement! If you're more of an apres-ski couple, a romantic evening in a hot tub with Champagne is the perfect setting.
25. Recruit Your Children or Pets
They say never work with kids or animals but gosh, are they cute! Put babies or kids in a proposal babygro or t-shirt (we love these t-shirts) and add a tag to your pet’s collar. If they’ve always wanted a kitten or puppy, you could surprise them with one at the same time (make sure you can be responsible for the pet though).
26. Take Them on a Fairground Ride
Now, not all rides are suitable for this. You don’t want the ring to fly out your hand on the dodgems, but the top of a ferris wheel is an amazing place to tell your partner you want to offer them the world. Have friends and family waiting at the bottom!
27. Bake Something Special
If you’re a bit of a GBBO fan, let the programme inspire your proposal and showcase your baking skills. Make a cake in your loved one’s favourite flavour, then purchase this super-cute proposal cake stencil to dust the top with icing sugar in the shape of your question. They’ll be so surprised (and you’ll get a sweet treat to celebrate with!).
READ MORE: The Most Romantic Christmas Proposal Ideas
28. Surprise Them During a Photo
Head to your favourite spot – whether that’s a park, rooftop bar or monument – and ask someone to take a photo of you. Instead of posing, pull out a ring and your partner’s reaction will be captured forever. Even better if you whisper to the stranger taking the photo to take a video instead, but don’t let on why.
29. Play a Board Game with Them
Scrabble is an easy one for this - suggest a game and then spell out 'will you marry me' on the board. There are plenty of other games that work for proposals too: word games like Bananagrams; a fun co-op game like Mysterium that you can win together; or a game that involves trading and collecting gems like Splendour as you can pull out the diamond ring at a strategic moment.
30. Head to the Pumpkin Patch
As it turns to autumn, you should consider proposing while apple picking or visiting a pumpkin patch. They're such romantic couple activities and provide the most beautiful backdrop for a ring selfie.
31. Pop the Question At Home
Home is where the heart is, after all. You can make a trail of candles that leads to your chosen room and cover the walls in your favourite photos of the two of you, with balloons and flowers. If you want a subtler surprise, how about spelling out the question in fridge magnets or with glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling?
32. Include All Their Favourite Things
The simplest way to make your proposal day the happiest you've ever shared is to do all the things your partner loves. That could be doing an activity they love - and yes, a lie-in does count - or finding creative ways to incorporate TV shows, hobbies and food they love.
Can you plan a Friends-style proposal like Monica and Chandler? Could take them on a shopping spree in their favourite home store and book them a massage? Can you order in their favourite treats or takeaway? Do they love an author who's doing a book signing nearby? The day can take any form you want, just make sure it's chockful of all the things they love so they're ludicrously happy already by the time you pop the question.
33. Spell It Out with a Jigsaw
34. Pop a Balloon
This personalised 'Will you marry me?' balloon comes packaged up in a discreet box. Your partner won't know what's inside until they open it up and the balloon pops out. It's such a lovely surprise, your partner can only say yes.
35. Go to an Outdoor Event
An outdoor concert, movie, theatre or fair is the perfect romantic location to pop the question. You don't need to do much planning here as you're guaranteed a fun day so the proposal will be the cherry on the top. We'd recommend you don't do it during the film/play as you might interrupt other people watching, but how about sneaking off during the credits?
36. Under the Christmas Tree
Wrapping the ring as a present under the Christmas tree is a classic proposal idea. We love a personalised proposal bauble to hang on the tree too. Tell them you've hidden a surprise in the branches and wait for them to find it or get them to put it on the tree themselves while you're decorating it. You can find even more romantic Christmas proposal ideas here.
37. When They Least Expect It
All these plans are well and good, but sometimes the moment just feels right and you know you want to ask then and there. If you’re not one to go over-the-top and want to do something very understated, why not propose when your other half least expects it?
You could propose when they’re relaxing in bed or in the bath, or even over breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. You could give them this mug as part of the breakfast, which has 'Will you marry me?' hidden at the bottom of the cup. It'll be the best cuppa they've ever had.
38. Go Wine Tasting
A proposal among the vineyards after a wine tasting will be so much fun! You'll be pleasantly tipsy from the wine and the vines will make a seriously dreamy backdrop to get down on one knee.
39. Arrange a Romantic Picnic
Spring or summer when the weather is warm is perfect time for a picnic proposal. You can go to a secluded part of a botanical garden or local park or even go on a countryside walk to a beauty spot and pop the question, just you and your partner.
40. Take a Trip on the London Eye
Why not take your other half on a date night to remember and hire out a private space just for the two of you? We love the idea of hiring out a capsule on the London Eye. You’ll have unforgettable city views as your backdrop for the big question, and the team will even treat you to a glass of Champagne and a box of chocolates.
41. Go Stargazing
Take a camping trip and arrange a night of stargazing. You can do this yourself with a stargazing app and lots of blankets under the night sky or you can hire a guide to talk you through the stories of the cosmos.
42. Trick Them on a Camping Trip
Pitch up a tent in a beauty spot for a night under the stars of roasting marshmallows and playing card games. When it comes time to sleep, you could pretend there was a really uncomfortable stone right under your sleeping bag and ask them to help move it; actually, it’ll be the ring.
43. Hire a Boat
Whether that’s a rowing boat, canoe, speed boat, canal boat, yacht or punt, out on the water is the perfect private, intimate and serene place to ask someone to marry you. Lots of public parks have rowing lakes or you could go kayaking in the glorious blue ocean on a holiday in Europe or further afield.
44. Fill a Private Room with Flowers
Either hire a private room in a restaurant or book a hotel suite and get a florist to fill it with flowers. You and your beloved can dress up for a fancy dinner and get engaged over the best meal of your life or you can put on your PJs and enjoy a night in with room service; both are romantic, private and so special.
45. Set Up a Neon Sign
Neon lights? Doesn't sound very private, does it? But you can hang this amazing 'Will you marry me?' neon sign anywhere you want. It'll look so amazing in a dark room lit up by candles - you can lead your partner in with a blindfold on and take it off to reveal this incredible wall art.
56. Ask at the Zoo/Aquarium
Keepers are often happy to help out using the animal enclosures. That could be a diver holding up a sign from the biggest fish tank, or arranging to feed your fave animals. At the London Zoo and Port Lympne, you can actually sleep in lodges in the lion and tiger enclosures – top off that amazing experience with a ring.
46. Carve It Into a Halloween Pumpkin
We love a spooky Halloween proposal. You could carve ‘Will you marry me?’ into a pumpkin or take your partner to a haunted house. Bonus points if you propose in a Halloween couples’ costume.
47. Pose for a Caricature
Ask a street caricaturist to draw the two of you and a “Will you marry me?” speech bubble for the ultimate surprise and an amazing memento of the moment.
48. Crack a Fortune Cookie
A fortune cookie with the words “Will you marry me?” inside has to be one of the cutest ways to propose ever! Surprise your other half at the end of a Chinese meal with this fortune cookie or 'discover' an extra fortune cookie at the bottom of your takeaway bag.
49. Carol Sing the Question
For a unique proposal, how about you enlist a group of friends to carol sing your question? It would be perfect it you combined it with a romantic afternoon of ice skating, mulled wine and visiting a Christmas market.
50. See Your Favourite Band
Got a favourite band or musician? If you’re into grand gestures, you can contact their management and the venue and ask if you can get up on stage and propose in front of the crowds. Otherwise, turn around when your favourite song is playing and show your partner the ring.
51. Escape an Escape Room
Escape Rooms will often help you orchestrate a proposal – that can be doing it once you escape or even adding in extra clues. Just remember it can get tense in there as the clock’s running out…
52. Use Morse Code
Make your partner work for their proposal by handing them a cup of tea in this mug. This stylish design has "Will you marry me?" written in Morse code on the front. Their face will be a picture as they begin to realise what you’re asking; you’ll cherish the memory forever!
53. Make a Once-in-a-Lifetime Easter Egg
If it’s close to Easter, what about hiding the ring inside a chocolate egg (you can make one from a mould or a chocolatier can do it for you)? You could arrange a special Easter egg hunt with your ring egg as the finale. Or what about going to a local petting farm and getting them to hang a marry me tag around a bunny rabbit’s neck?
54. Hire a Flash Mob
Know first if you partner likes to be the centre of attention! You can hire flash mobs of dancers, singers and choirs, but we prefer a less in-your-face approach. Go to the bandstand at your local park and hire a brass band, barbershop quartet or saxophonists to pop up and serenade you.
55. Catch Them While Sleeping
This does have the potential to go wrong if they’re a light sleeper. If not, slip the ring onto your partner’s hand while they’re sleeping and see how long it takes them to notice in the morning. A special Champagne breakfast in bed might make the realisation quicker!
READ MORE: 29 Alternative Engagement Rings They’ll Love
57. Write It in the Sky
An oldie but a goodie. For a truly OTT proposal, hire a skywriter to pen your personal message in the air. Adrenaline junkies can go one step further and hold a banner as you skydive out a plane. Probably not one for us…
58. Run a Marathon
There’s the finish line, of course, but one man took it even further by writing out “Will you marry me?” with his route and tracking it on the Nike+ app.
59. Go Geocaching
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt where people use GPS to find hidden boxes of treasure. You can plant your own and hide a love note to your partner in it! They'll never expect it.
60. Work With a Proposal Company
Make sure your proposal looks picture perfect by enlisting the help of The Proposers, an award-winning London-based romantic events planning agency. The team are the experts in unique marriage proposal planning and have bags of experience, going to all sorts of lengths to make sure your proposal is one that neither of you will ever forget.
Recent projects have seen them take over Disneyland, abseil into caves to set up picnics and hire James Bond’s speed boat! With a 100% yes success rate, you'll guaranteed that dream Instagram-worthy 'YES' moment.
61. Don't Say a Word
Let the ring do all the talking with this personalised ring box. Since it will house the most important piece of jewellery they’ll ever receive, they’ll treasure it forever!
Personalised Marriage Proposal Destination Print - £54, Not On The High Street
There are so many unique ways to propose, but none quite as stylish and everlasting as this gorgeous destination print.
However long you’ve been together, you’re bound to have lots of places that mean a lot to you for different reasons – whether it’s a first date location, first holiday or favourite restaurant. You can personalise this print with all the places you’ve visited or that mean something to you as a couple, and finish the story with the big question… however you want to phrase it.
Marriage Proposal Locket - £39, Not On The High Street
If you’re looking for a unique way to propose, then your search ends here! This wedding proposal locket is made from 18ct rose gold and is totally stylish.
You’ll be able to personalise the back of the locket with a “Marry Me?” message, and it will arrive in a beautiful gift box tied with a satin ribbon. This is not only an awesome proposal idea, but a perfect gift that your other half will treasure forever, too.
Will You Marry Me Mug - £16, Not On The High Street
If you and your partner are total homebirds, why not make breakfast in bed and use this mug for your partner’s cup of tea? It's such a low-key way to propose but will be a complete surprise!
READ MORE: Our Favourite ‘Just Engaged’ Ideas From Etsy
Will You Marry Me Clothing Tag - £6.50, Not On The High Street
We bet you’ve never thought of this idea! Brighten your partner’s morning with this personalised strip of sew-in name tape.
As they go to put on their shirt on an otherwise dreary Monday, they’ll notice this little surprise and their week (read: year) will be made! You don’t have to go all primary school-esque and sew it in the collar… you could hide it on a cuff or in a pocket. Then all you have to do is wait for your other half to find it! What a cute idea.
Miniature Record Proposal - £50, Not On The High Street
Is your partner a bit of a music lover? If the answer is yes, this will be the perfect way to pop the question!
Simply record your own personalised message using your phone or your laptop, and it’ll be cut onto one of these cute, miniature records. You can even personalise this gift further with a range of album sleeves, record label designs and colours, and text to appear on the album and back covers.
Please Will You Marry Me Chocolates - £29.95, Not On The High Street
If your other half has a bit of a sweet tooth, treat them to this pretty box of chocolates to pop the question with. All of the chocolates are solid and handmade in a selection of white, milk and dark chocolate with lettering on top.
To add personalisation, the blocks come with a choice of patterns and flavours, from strawberry to orange, so you can pick something your loved one will enjoy.
Now you’re inspired and know how you want to propose, make sure you browse all the engagement rings on site to find the perfect one to complete your proposal.