There are a million ways to propose to the love of your life, from the classic rose petals spelling out “will you marry me?” to popping the question in a hot air balloon. But finding one that works best for you and your partner may take a bit of searching. That’s where this list of creative marriage proposal ideas comes in.
In this post, we sort some of our favorite ideas into three categories: Private, public, and destination. We also answer some frequently asked questions about proposals, provide links and videos to real-life examples, and give you a few tips on what to do after you pop the question.
But, before getting started, keep in mind that every couple — and every relationship — is different, so what works for one couple may not work for the next. For example, one person may love the idea of getting proposed to during halftime of an NFL game while another may cringe at the thought. However, as long as you take your partner’s personality into account and go above and beyond to plan a special and personalized proposal, we’re confident that you’ll do great! But remember: These ideas are just a starting point. It’s up to you to customize them.
Explore 22 of our favorite creative marriage proposal ideas:
Private creative marriage proposal ideas
1. Hire a personal chef.
Plan a date night at home complete with a personal chef who cooks your partner’s favorite meal. There are tons of different ways to utilize this creative marriage proposal idea, but one of our favorites is to have the chef put the ring on the plate for one of the courses. Believe it or not, there are even companies that specialize in this kind of thing. Proposal007 lets you book “your personal chef proposal,” including candles, roses, and a three-course meal.
2. Fill a room full of photos of you and your partner.
Get prints of photos of the two of you throughout your relationship. Pick a room in your home (or even a hotel room) and hang the photos up all around. You’ll be surrounded by some of the greatest memories of your time together while asking one of the most important questions of your life.
3. Propose using ribbon.
Tie a velvet ribbon from one end of your home to the other with little love notes and memories of your relationship every few feet. At the end of the ribbon, be there with your ring and your proposal. Bonus points if you have music — including some of your most special songs together — playing during it.
4. Create a custom puzzle.
Create a custom puzzle for your proposal. Once the two of you complete it, your partner will be able to read, “will you marry me?” Then, get down on one knee with your ring and pop the question!
5. Utilize a book.
Whether you use a blank journal and write a love poem or you cut the inside of a book out and place the ring inside, we love the idea of having a book be the vessel of your proposal. If you want to get really creative, you can even create a custom book to completely catch your partner by surprise.
Public creative marriage proposal ideas
6. Incorporate live music.
Attend any type of concert, live music, orchestra, etc. Bonus points if it’s an artist that means something special to the two of you. You can even take things up a notch by coordinating with the venue to see if you can propose on stage or reaching out to the artist’s team to see if you can get them to stop the concert and make an announcement, setting you up for your proposal.
7. Make the most of your first date location.
Take your partner to the place you had your first date. Whether it’s a restaurant, a coffee shop, a park, it doesn’t matter! Order the same thing you ordered on your first date (if you remember) and go above and beyond to make the experience as special as can be. Share what you remember most from your first date, and then pop the question.
8. Go to trivia night.
This one can be done at an actual trivia night out or even if you host one yourself at home! Have the quizmaster ask the question, “(Name), will you marry (name)?” to your partner’s team. It will be one of the most memorable moments for everyone involved.
9. Capture the moment in a photo booth.
Take your partner on a date to somewhere that has a photo booth. During your session in the booth, pop the question so you have a strip of photos during the exact moment you proposed. Make sure to test out the timing of the photo booth beforehand. The last thing you want is photos taken at the wrong time!
10. Go to a planetarium.
This is one of our favorite creative marriage proposal ideas on the list. Contact the planetarium ahead of time to see if they can project, “(Name), will you marry me?” during the stargazing show.
Creative marriage proposal ideas for destinations
11. Surprise your partner during a walk on the beach.
Take a trip to the beach together. Ahead of time, write on a small piece of paper “will you marry me?” and roll it up and put it into a seashell or an old bottle. Plant it in a place that the two of you will walk past and make sure you or your partner sees it and picks it up. This one is so fun if you want your proposal to be a super surprise.
12. Take a Vespa tour.
Take a Vespa tour of whatever vacation destination you’re in. Once you have that part down, the proposal options are endless. One of our favorites: Place the ring box inside your partner’s helmet and get down on one knee as you hand it to them.
13. Plan an outdoor picnic.
Plan an outdoor picnic in a beautiful location for your proposal. Hide the ring in the picnic basket or even in a glass of champagne. And, as with every proposal idea, consider hiring a photographer or videographer to hide and capture your proposal so you can relive the special day forever.
14. Propose on an airplane.
Plan a destination vacation and, either at the airport or on the plane, ask to use the speaker system to propose!
Additional creative marriage proposal ideas
15. Organize a flash mob.
Whether it’s a dancing flash mob, a singing flash mob, or something completely new, having a group perform out of the blue is a super unique and fun way to ask someone to spend the rest of your life together. No idea where to start? There’s a website dedicated solely to booking a flash mob.
16. Incorporate your proposal into a curtain call.
Call around to different theaters (both plays and movies) and see if it’s possible for you to plan a proposal at the beginning or end of the show!
17. Pop the question at an aquarium.
Proposing in an aquarium is unique as it is, but try contacting management and seeing if you can have a diver hold up a “(Name), will you marry (name)?” sign inside of one of the tanks.
18. Create your own scavenger hunt.
Create your own scavenger hunt complete with a treasure map! Have your partner decipher clues taking them to different places until they get to the final location — you with an engagement ring! This can be on a small scale, like around your home, or big, like around your entire city.
19. Create a website.
For the tech-savvy couple, create a custom website specifically for the proposal. Add photos, stories, videos, and so on. Send the link to your partner disguised as something else. Maybe you say it’s a new restaurant you want them to check out. It will be the biggest surprise of their life!
20. Hire a street performer.
Hire a street performer ahead of time and have them plan something special just for your proposal. When you and your partner walk by, they will be in for such a magical treat with a performance and a proposal.
21. Make a custom crossword puzzle.
For the lover of games, create a custom crossword puzzle for your proposal. Make all the clues related to your relationship or make it seem like a normal crossword — except one of the answers is the proposal.
22. Create an audio proposal.
Record a song or a podcast episode where you talk about your love for your partner and end it with a proposal. Put it on their Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, etc., and tell them you’ve discovered SUCH a great song/podcast and that they have to listen to.
Frequently asked questions about marriage proposals:
What’s the most romantic way to propose?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to proposing because every person, and every couple, is different. What’s considered romantic for one person may not be considered romantic for another. To ensure that a proposal is romantic, the best thing you can do is put a lot of thought into it and go above and beyond to show your partner how much you care about them.
What do I say while proposing?
There’s no set script for proposals. The most important thing is that what you say comes from the heart. Chances are, your partner wants you to be yourself during the proposal, not recite a handful of lines you found online.
How do you record a proposal?
There are tons of ways to make sure that a proposal is captured. If you’re by yourself in a private space, consider setting up a hidden camera ahead of time. If you’re in a public space, consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture the moment. If you’re with friends and family, have one or two of them on photo duty.
Put these creative marriage proposal ideas to use!
Now that you have some creative marriage proposal ideas in your back pocket, use them as inspiration for your unique version of asking your love to spend the rest of your lives together. Try not to get caught up in what you think a proposal SHOULD look like and instead think of what is important to your partner and what is significant to your relationship together. There is no right or wrong way, but we think the more personalized to your specific partnership, the better.
After they say yes to the proposal, celebrate. Then, figure out how you’re going to announce your engagement. Then, kick off the beginning of the wedding planning journey by checking out our 25-step guide on how to plan a wedding and starting your wedding venue search.
Find the perfect wedding venue!