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The holidays are fast approaching and that means it’s prime proposal season! With so many festive occasions coming up, it’s no surprise that this is such a popular time of year to get down on one knee (Pro Tip: You should be down on your left knee during the big moment). Not sure how to pull it off? Here are 15 fun ideas to inspire you, along with some helpful tips from Aisle Planner wedding pros!
Trip Down Memory Lane
Mariah McKechnie of Northland Special Events recently planned a beautiful engagement with a groom that incorporated one dozen long-stemmed roses, each tied with a special memory for the couple.
“I laid out the roses along a path that led to a set up in a beautiful location with the ‘final rose’ that read, ‘Remember that time I proposed to you at Bluefin Bay?’” she explains. “As she read it, he got down on one knee.”
Special Scavenger Hunt
Create a romantic scavenger hunt, sending your partner to different locations that have played a part in your relationship—where you met, your first date, your first kiss, etc. Then at the end, they'll find you ready to pop the question.
Pro Tip: Know your partner! “Some want to share this moment with everyone and really show off their love to their family and friends while others want to keep this moment intimate and special between them and their partner,” explains Mackenzie Irland of Amorology Weddings.
Create a Sweet Short Film
Put together (or have a friend who's great with editing) a short film of all of your best moments as a couple. We love the idea of having a picnic and renting an outdoor screen where you can both watch the story of your relationship on the big screen, or you can look into renting out a local theatre, so you have some privacy during the proposal.
Write It in the Stars
Contact your local planetarium to see if they can project “Will You Marry Me?” into one of their stargazing shows. And if you want your loved ones there, have them sneak into the theater during the show for an added surprise.
Pro Tip: “Creating special elements that harken back to notable significance within your relationship will show your partner that your proposal is well thought out,” says Veronica Carr of Type A Soiree. “If you plan to spend the rest of your life with someone, they want to know that you will pay attention to their needs and wants, as well as your own.”
Relive Your First Date
Your first day is where your journey together officially began so why not recreate that special event for your proposal? If you’re living in a new city or the places you went to are no longer around, you can still pull off the same vibe by partaking in a similar activity: eating out, going to the same bar, seeing a movie, etc.
Plan a Photo Shoot
Hire a photographer to take some cute photos of the both of you in honor of your anniversary, one of your birthdays, or for the holidays. The best part is when you get down on one knee, the photographer will be able to capture the surprise and happy tears, making for photos you will treasure forever!
Sing a Love Song
If you have any musical talent, pen a special love song for your favorite person. If you want a more public proposal, you can serenade your significant other at a local bar filled with your family and friends.
Pro Tip: For the ring, it’s not about where but in what, says Nicole Froelich of Nicole Please Weddings. “There are a lot of ring boxes out there that are magical, as well as box socks where there’s a ring holder in the socks, a box design that can be folded into a thin credit card size, and boxes that come in teddy bears, books, and all sorts of other items where you least expect it!”
Throw a Surprise Party
Invite friends and family to a surprise party for your significant other. While they’re still in shock from seeing everyone gathered together to celebrate them, you can get down on one knee to add to the happy surprise!
Stroll on the Beach
If you both love being near the ocean, take a long walk on the beach and then “stumble” upon a picnic set up for two. You might want to ask friends or family members for some help in setting everything up beforehand.
Pro Tip: Make sure the ring is insured—especially if you plan to propose near any bodies of water, says Kay Northrup of Kay Northrup Events.
“Proposing can be nerve-wracking, which means sweaty palms and shaky hands. Protect the ring against the unimaginable as soon as you walk out of the jewelry store.”
– Kay Northrup
Enjoy a Romantic Boat Ride
Charter a boat that can take you on a tour around a local lake or river. There's something so peaceful about being on the water, which will help you calm your nerves before the big moment!
Set Up an Art Show
Whether you rent out space in a small gallery or simply pull this off in your own home, we love the idea of hanging various photos from your relationship into a personalized art show.
Pro Tip: Be aware of your surroundings—especially if you’re proposing on vacation, says Northrup. “Pickpocketers in some countries target tourists…especially tourists with nice jewelry,” she explains. “I recommend bringing a Bandit Bracelet or other wrist accessory with hidden pockets. After the proposal, your future spouse can tuck the ring away if you plan to travel somewhere that extra precautions are recommended."
Take a Hike
Nature lovers will love incorporating the great outdoors with their proposal.
Play Some Scrabble
Challenge your partner to a friendly game of Scrabble and then slowly spell out the big question during the round.
Go On a Getaway
After the pandemic, people are ready to get away! Surprise your love with a last-minute trip to one of your favorite places, whether it’s a big city or out in the country. All that matters is that it's a location you both love.
Pro Tip: Whatever you’re planning, make sure your partner is dressed properly for the event, especially if you’re going to be proposing outdoors.
Book a Hotel Room
If going away for an entire weekend isn’t in the cards, rent a hotel room for the night. While you’re enjoying a nice dinner together, ask the staff, a wedding planner, or a friend who can keep a secret to decorate the room. Kathryne Carter of Chancey Charm Weddings recently planned a proposal for a couple that included rose petals, the future bride's favorite dessert, and champagne.
Pro Tip: Don't overthink it, says Irland. “This is one of the most memorable moments between you and your partner and it should be a joyous, stress-free moment for both!”