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Marriage Proposals: 50 Romantic Ways to Propose

Marriage on your mind? She'll be telling the story of how you proposed to friends and strangers for the rest of her life, so tailor one of these ideas to make sure it's memorable.

Read on for 50 great marriage proposal ideas, or skip to the type of proposal you think fits best:

Best Public Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • Have a flair for the dramatic? Get in touch with the stage manager of an appropriately themed production and propose after the cast's curtain call.
  • Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper you know your girlfriend reads daily.
  • Arrange a surprise proposal with a street caricaturist. Have him sketch a picture of you two with word bubbles. Yours will read, "Will you Marry Me?", and hers will say, "Yes!" 
  • Pay the divers at an aquarium to put on a proposal show inside their biggest fish tank. Give them handwritten signs that say "Will You Marry Me?" to hold up against the glass.
  • Send your girlfriend on a treasure hunt. Start with a clue at home, then send her on a tour of your favorite spots all over town. When she gets to the last hint, the prize should be you on one knee. 
  • Go out for a night of dancing, and ask the DJ or band leader to pass you the mic so that you can dedicate a song and propose on the dance floor. 
  • Have a friend or family member set up a picnic -- complete with wine and cheese, or course -- for you in a park. Take your girlfriend for a hike on a route where you'll stumble upon this surprise "Proposal Picnic." 
  • Hire a skywriter to spell your proposal for everyone around to see. 
  • Flying anytime soon? Use the plane's loud-speaker system (of course, run your plan by the flight attendants first) and propose at 35,000 feet. 
  • Movie buffs? Ask your neighborhood theater to run an ad featuring your proposal and make sure you get there in time for the previews.
  • Gather a bunch of your friends and family for a party. Have everyone in attendance put on a T-shirt bearing one of the letters in the phrase "Will You Marry Me?" When you walk in the room with your girlfriend, suggest a group picture and let the shirts speak for themselves.

Best At-Home Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • For a simple surprise, after she goes to bed, go to her jewelry box and replace her everyday ring with the engagement ring. She'll be completely shocked in the morning when she goes to put on her regular ring. 
  • Draw a bath and place a floating candle or rubber ducky in the middle with a ring tied around its neck. Make a path of roses leading to the tub. (And make sure the drain is well-plugged!) 
  • Speaking of paths, turn off all the lights in your apartment and make a trail of candles that leads to a circle of votives positioned around a ring. 
  • Slip the ring on her finger while she's sleeping and wake her with champagne and strawberries. At first, the gesture will simply seem romantic -- the real surprise comes when she notices her new piece of jewelry. 
  • Tie a red velvet ribbon from one spot in your home to another. Attach little notes recalling perfect moments in your relationship along the way. You wait at the last stop, ring in hand.

Best Tech Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • Create your own podcast proposal and sneak it onto her iPod. 
  • Upload a video of your proposal on YouTube (tell her you have a hysterical home movie to show her). 
  • Steal her digital camera and head to her favorite local outdoor spot. Bring a friend with you and have posters made with the words "will," "you," "marry," "me?" Have your friend photograph you holding each one in a different position. Then, let her know you borrowed her camera and ask if she will upload your photos. 
  • Take the scavenger hunt high-tech: Send your mate a text message leading her to a secret spot. Keep her engaged by text messaging her sweet nothings along the way (and directions of course), as you lead her to you, on bended knee. 
  • We had to add this one: Create a web page declaring your love and intentions. Leave your sweetie a clue with the web address written on it -- don't say a word. After the proposal has been officially accepted (which, of course, it will be!), she can proudly send the page to friends and family.

Best Foodie Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • Make the box with her ring a selection on the dessert tray at your favorite restaurant.
  • Put together a gift basket of yummy delicacies -- the best chocolate, caviar, coffee -- and hide the ring among the presents (in its box, so it doesn't get lost in the goodies).
  • Ask the pastry chef to write, "Will you marry me?" in chocolate sauce around the rim of her dessert plate. 
  • Ask a baker to make a cake with the proposal written in frosting. Have him display it in the storefront and suggest a little window-shopping to your girlfriend.
  • Create a personalized fortune cookie with your own proposal message.

Most Playful Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • Create your own crossword puzzle and be prepared to help her work it out over breakfast. 
  • Spell your proposal out in glow-in-the-dark star stickers on your ceiling. Get into bed, turn the lights off, and wait for the inevitable gasp. 
  • Spell out your proposal with refrigerator magnets. 
  • Scratch your proposal into the frost on her car's windshield. 
  • If your girlfriend is a teacher, sneak into her classroom before school starts and write your proposal on the blackboard. Stay hiding in the coat closet or right outside the room for the moment she arrives. 
  • Get a ring size chart and ask your girlfriend to look up her size. When she accuses you of ruining the surprise that you're shopping for a ring, say, "Okay, try this one instead," and show her that you've already shopped for a ring.
  • During your annual Halloween prep, challenge her to a pumpkin-carving contest and carve the words "Marry Me" in your pumpkin. 
  • Write "Will You Marry Me?" on the underside of a kite and take flight one warm, breezy afternoon.
  • Play Hangman and have the phrase be "Marry Me."

Best Summer Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • If you love to hit the beach, head down a few hours before her and write your proposal in the sand with large white rocks. 
  • Go to the beach and casually build a sandcastle (at a safe distance from the ocean!) and place the ring on the highest turret. Then invite her to admire your handiwork. 
  • Gather your families together for a summer barbecue and make it a family affair. 
  • Make your own message in a bottle. On the night before a beach day you've planned, write a love poem on a piece of parchment paper, roll it into an antique bottle with a cork, and bury it in a well-marked spot in the sand near your towels. Be sure you "find" the bottle as you dig together -- and have the ring at the ready.

Most Thoughtful Marriage Proposal Ideas

  • If you're artistically inclined or just like to make things with your own two hands, integrate something you've made into the proposal. For example, if you have woodworking skills, present the ring in a special hand-carved jewelry box. 
  • Buy a pet that she has always wanted (bunny, kitten, puppy) and loosely tie the ring around its neck. Or, substitute a stuffed animal -- still cute, but less maintenance! 
  • Tell your girlfriend you want to make a time capsule together to bury and dig up years into the future. As you're gathering the items, say it wouldn't be complete without a picture of the moment you two got engaged! Have a Polaroid camera ready to take that shot right after you present her with the ring. 
  • Rent a Vespa scooter and invite your girlfriend for a ride, but remind her to be safe and wear a helmet. Put the ring in the helmet box and then zip around town to celebrate. 
  • Meet for a drink at a posh hotel bar. When it's time to go, casually mention that you've already reserved a room for the night. When you open the hotel room door, have roses, candles, and champagne all set up -- everything for a perfect surprise proposal.

Cheesy (but Hilarious) Proposal Ideas

  • Make a list of 10 reasons you'd like to marry your beloved. Read them to her in front of a crowd, have them delivered via singing telegram, or send them written on individual note cards over the course of a day (or 10!), with the last card arriving by personal messenger (you!). 
  • Want to really surprise your girlfriend? Cut out the bottom of a huge box, wrap it with pretty paper and ribbon, and attach a card that says, "What's inside the box is a gift to last a lifetime." "Deliver" yourself to his or her office or front door. 
  • Make her ring the surprise in a box of Cracker Jack. 
  • Write your proposal in sunscreen on your stomach, so that your tan will "stencil in" the words. 
  • Make her feel like a movie star and set your proposal to the scene of her favorite romantic movie. You could arrange your own Pretty Woman moment (the finale, of course) -- rent a white limo and climb through the moonroof with flowers in hand to proclaim your love as you arrive at her place. 
  • Another funny movie proposal? Steal from that famous Say Anything scene -- park yourself outside her house with a stereo blaring your favorite tune and propose on the front lawn.


All of us fall in love, but as the years drift by, we overlook the little things that made us fall madly in love with each other. And at other times, we question ourselves if it’s still love that we feel. Rick Casalos, a true romantic at heart, wears his heart on his sleeve and talks about his love, and why he wakes up every morning.

True Romantic Love Stories - I Would Love Her Forever…
Love… and those little things in love. I wonder what it really means. Is it the feeling that makes me want to jump out with joy, or is it that touch that makes me want to skip across the clouds? I wonder if it is love when I feel happy to see her face, or is it love when I embrace her passionately? It’s strange but words seem to welcome poverty when we try to describe love. I don’t know if I’m in love, I ask myself all the time if I’m in love?

I really don’t know because no one has ever showed me what love really is. They say it is felt, when I embrace my lover, when I hold her palms. They say it is to be heard, in the rustle of the leaves, in the cool breeze, in the words of the special person in my life. They say it is to be seen in the beauty of the world, in the depth of my lover’s eyes. Or as some say, is love is to be tasted, like the sweet candy that melts in my mouth, or the way I melt when I taste her lips?
I don’t know what love is, but does love mean sacrifices and pain? Or is it love when I kill myself for her love? If that is true love, then perhaps, I’m not in love at all. I have never felt like I have sacrificed anything for her, I have readily given up anything that I could give up to make her happy.

I have never felt pain when she fought with me, I have understood her better. And I would never kill myself, why would I want to leave such a beautiful place, and a beautiful person like her, just to prove that I love her? So am I in love with her, I don’t know.
Perhaps I still don’t know what love is, because no one has ever told me what love is? I’ve only read about it in books and listened to songs that talk about love. I’ve heard songs that say love is like a river, some songs that say love is like an undying flame, and yet others that say love is like a warm breeze. How can love be so many different things and yet be the same?
But I do know that my world stops when I’m with her.  I burn within and warmth fills within me as she clasps my hand in hers. I lose sight of the world when I gaze into her eyes. I don’t know what it is that makes me weak when she hugs me. She makes me feel special when she’s around me. But I did tell her that I loved her, but I’ve been thinking about that ever since the day I told her that, is it love really, what I feel for her?
I met Nadia six years ago, in the strangest of places for first meetings. Soon we were friends. We dated for a year before she accepted my ‘love’ for her. The memory of that special night lingers in my mind like it was just last night. We were sitting down under the stars in the summer heat, and I was just gazing at her beauty in the cool moonlight. I was a small boy peeping through the glass window and admiring the most beautiful object I could ever wish for. She sat beside me, counting the stars that enveloped us. I sat beside her, counting the skips in my heartbeat. Her tresses played on her cheeks, and I was wrapped in the tranquil feeling that I always felt around her. I could never explain it, but I knew the closest word that could explain what I felt for her was… love.
But ‘love’ was too small a word to explain everything I felt for her. I just couldn’t find it justifiable to explain so many intangible feelings in a little four letter word. But I did, and on that night, the sun shone in my heart and the bliss of the first kiss we shared felt like a never ending fairy tale.
It was a feeling that I still can’t describe. I wondered if that was how love felt, like a beautiful sight that just can’t be explained even in a million words, but I knew it was special. Many years have passed since the day I professed my feelings for her, but I can still remember it like it was last night.
A few days ago, I met an old friend of mine. He’s treading his late 80’s and is a jolly man who’s always helped me understand the things I’ve always found hard to understand. His wife had passed away a long time back, and at some point of our conversation I asked him how things were since his wife died. He joked that making love to her wasn’t the same anymore! (He was only kidding!)
But then when I asked him what love was, he looked at me seriously. But his mind seemed to be elsewhere, somewhere far away, where he could still feel the emotion that seemed to have been extinguished from his life, and he told me something that I could never forget. He told me, “Rick, you know you’re in love when you have a reason to come back home, a reason to justify your existence. You’ll know you’re in love when you can’t imagine living without this one person and you’ll do anything to have her by your side. You cannot see love, you cannot feel love, but you can feel a bond when you’re around this one person, and you just cannot explain it but it makes you feel special and taken care of. Love, my friend, is what makes you want to wake up tomorrow.”
I felt sad for him, but what he said did make sense. I could only imagine how miserable he felt inside his jovial and happy exterior. So was that love? I think it was, and I wondered if I felt the same way. I wondered if I felt like waking up every morning to a brand new day just because I had love.
Love is a very subjective word, and I think it’s something like our fingerprints. No one can understand what another person’s definition of love is, nor can anyone ever replicate another person’s love. Maybe love is just a word we use when we have to describe a feeling that just can’t be described, a feeling that no one else can understand but you.
I found myself contemplating about love, and what I felt. I heard a lot of scientific bollocks saying that love is a neural blah and some more blah… and another thousand pages of more scientific blah! But then, I really think that love is something that is more than just science, it’s a reason that makes us believe that there is something beyond our control. Love is a belief that you really begin to believe in. Love is something that just can’t be explained in a thousand journals, but it can bring tears of joy in your eyes when you read a letter of hundred words from your lover. Strange, isn’t it?
I’ve written a few letters over these years, but I have to accept that I haven’t written many to her in the last few years. Actually, I haven’t written any to her in the last couple of years… is it because I love her less? I don’t think so. I know I still feel warm when I look at her, and I still like staring at her, as she sits down and laughs watching reruns of ‘Friends’. I adore the way she sings while she takes a lazy shower on a sunny afternoon. I still can’t take my eyes off her as she dances while listening to her favorite tunes. But I still haven’t written her a note saying that I love her, in the last few years. Maybe this is another strange thing about love. Maybe things are just taken for granted and we just feel like we don’t need to remind our better halves that we love them, anymore.
I still remember our first vacation together. It was to a place a few hundred miles away from home. I was excited and so was she. We were like two little sparrows, indulging in the delight of isolation and romantic togetherness. I was just a boy and she was just a girl. I remember how good it felt. Six magical days, I still remember the way we just sat on a lawn on the last afternoon, and played with the little flowers that grew on the ground beneath us.
I remember the days when she was away, and I missed her. I remember when I sat down by myself in a pub and emptied my pitcher of beer all by myself. I saw other couples around me, I missed her more. I guessed that was love, what else could that be? I longed for her to come back. I remember the way her voice made my heart jump, and even though she was a thousand miles away, she still touched my heart.
I have shared so many memories with her, so many special times and a few times which hurt me a lot. But we’ve moved ahead, and we’ve been there for each other. She knows I still love her just as much as I used to, but I wish I could let her know that all over again. Love is felt best when we try to please our partner, isn’t it? I can only promise her that the love I have for her will always be. I can only promise her that I will love her forever and ever, as long as I can still see her, and hear her… in my heart.
Time can play tricks on memories, I have forgotten to close my eyes when I kiss her, and I’ve stopped kissing her on a particular corner of the street, the way I always used to as we drove by. I wonder why. My hands were always clasped in hers, everywhere we went. We even used to eat out in restaurants sitting next to each other, holding hands, even if that made it harder to eat lobsters, and drink our cokes. I wonder if she remembers all that. I want all those days to come back to me. I don’t know why I’ve stopped those little gestures that mattered so much.
I have so many special memories and times that I can never forget. We have the funniest pictures together, and a few with those romantic scented candles and ones with that perfect sunset. I really do love her more than I could love anyone else. I want to lose my sleep over her happiness, I want to serenade her before I make love, and I want to sing a soft song in her ears until she falls asleep as she rests her head over my shoulders. I’m young enough to hopefully spend a few decades loving her, and pleasing her.
Perhaps this is love, or maybe what I feel for her is more than just love, maybe it’s something that I would never be able to explain. But if love is the only word that I can use to describe the ocean of emotions that well within my heart, then so be it. But I want her to know that this four letter word is still too small to explain all that I feel for her, and make up for all the times I’ve missed with her. But if she would understand all that I want to say, when I say that I love her, then I would just want to say that I would love her until my eyes can’t see, my ears can’t hear, and my heart stops beating. If I were given a chance, then I would love her for longer, as long as I can feel love.
She is the only person who makes me feel so special, and I can’t imagine living without her. I want her to know that I still remember every single moment I’ve shared with her, I want her to know that I still love her just as much as the day under the stars, when we were younger, and first fell in love.
I just want her to know that, come hell or high water, I would love her forever… after all, she defines romantic love stories for me, through the good and the bad.