Simply being with your significant other speaks volumes to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking in the park hand in hand or grabbing a late-night milkshake—your proposal process can be as easy as you'd like it to be.
Pomp and circumstance have little place in your relationship. If this sounds like you—and it’s time to pop the question—don’t worry about doing something over the top. Just focus on your love and use one of our no-fuss marriage proposal ideas.
Couples who enjoy biking, hiking, horseback riding, or something more competitive like golf, beach volleyball, or another sport have ample opportunity to turn their beloved outdoor activity into a perfect proposal. In fact, proposing during any of these can end up making the activity all the more meaningful to you both (and if you plan on proposing in the water, we recommend proposing with a silicone ring and saving the precious metal one for when you’re on land).
Invite your loved one to join you on your favorite or most treasured trails for a romantic trek with a stunning backdrop, then wait for just the right moment on your journey to pop the question. Being alone with a view can make for a truly romantic atmosphere. A mountain, lake, or walk along the beach can easily suffice. Skip the professional photographer and set your phone up for a video pre-proposal. Tell your partner you're capturing the view, then capture the entire moment on camera!
If you’re the spontaneous type, keep the ring with you and wait for the right moment. How fun it would be to surprise your partner—and yourself!—when you decide to pop the question. Xiaoqi Li of Xiaoqi Li Photography suggests, “Instead of a grand gesture, start the conversation during one of your favorite little moments you share daily or weekly.” Think shared morning coffee or breakfast, the ways you relax together after a long day (watching your favorite show? reading together?), or taking your beloved pet on a walk.
At-home proposal ideas don’t need to be complex. Ordering pizza, Chinese, or just about any type of takeout food online can still serve as a creative proposal idea or romantic dinner—all in the comfort of your own home. When the food arrives, be sure you’re the one to answer the door, then securely slip the ring into the delivery box, onto a drinking straw, in with the fortune cookies, or into a bundle of cutlery. Let your significant other happen upon the bling and be ready to pop the question once he or she finds it.
Plenty of proposal scenes throughout film history are endearing—some to the point of being emotional and moving. Embrace this living room proposal idea by hiding the ring in a couch cushion or somewhere nearby and cueing up a movie like The Notebook, Pride and Prejudice, and more humorous options like The Wedding Singer
As the movie’s big moment gets closer, and when it does—pop the question. You can either use the words from the movie or wait until after the romantic scene has finished to ask, “Will you marry me?” For some shock or added humor, begin saying the proposal lines along with the film (seriously or humorously) before pulling out the engagement ring.
Unique and creative proposals can often sound intimidating—especially if they bring forth thoughts of extensive ones from film and television. Don't fret. Oftentimes, all you need is a bit of thought and a few craft supplies. For example, all this surprise proposal requires is a long string of ribbon (or two, or three, depending on the size of your home) and some handwritten notes.
Simply secure one end of a pretty ribbon at one end of your home—be it by tape, pin, or tying it off—and the other end on the opposite side. You can choose to get creative with the path, leading your partner in various directions, but don't have to. Then attach handwritten love notes along the ribbon with tape or a stapler. These notes can be a written out timeline of milestones in your relationship, different things you love about your partner, or some of your favorite memories together.
At the end of the ribbon, be there waiting with the ring box in hand. Share a few more heartfelt words with your partner, then pop the big question! Not only is this a thoughtful and surprising proposal, but it can also play off of the East Asian belief of The Red Thread of Fate—also referred to as the Red Thread of Marriage. Or, if you're more familiar, Taylor Swift's "Invisible String" idea. Bonus points for playing the song.
Plenty of proposals include a verbal look back on your relationship history. Talking about your love story can be lovely and especially powerful during such an emotional moment. Play on that idea by incorporating special photographs from all throughout your relationship into your proposal plan.
A few weeks before you plan to ask your partner to marry you, start collecting photos that have been taken from the time you started dating. Remember to look through your phone, social media accounts (including Instagram and Facebook), and computer. Once you start collecting, we suggest saving them into one folder.
Then, simply have the photos printed. If you have a photo printer, you can do this right at home. If you don't mind the photos being printed on regular paper, you can also do this on a normal printer. And, of course, you can choose to have them printed at a local store. In any case, when you have all of the physical photos, place them all around the room you'll proposal in, like a relationship montage. They can be taped to the walls, framed, or displayed in any way you like. Lead your SO into the room, reveal the surprise, and launch into your proposal speech.
It's likely that by now you and your significant other have a few favorite spots you like to frequent. Or, perhaps there's a place you both love to go together that you don't get to go to very often. In either case, having your proposal at one of these places can be extremely special.
Think about your most favorite restaurant, cafes, cocktail bars, movie theaters, and the like. Is there one that really stands out to you as both of your favorite spot to go together? If so, start making plans to go! If not, casually ask your partner if there's a place you both love that they'd like to go to again soon. Make it seem like a normal date idea.
Once you arrive at the spot, try to make the experience special—without giving anything away, of course. Because you've both been here before and enjoy the place, you can relax and focus on enjoying yourselves before proposing. When the timing seems right, bring out the ring box and propose.
Yes, camping can be a romantic proposal idea. It may seem a bit specific, but it can be as low-key as you can get. Send your SO out to grab firewood. When he or she gets back, be down on one knee, ready to pop the question. Just hope that he or she doesn’t take too much time finding kindling.
Children are adorable, and if you have any, they would love being involved. Have them make cute “Will you marry me?” signs, and designate one child as the smartphone photographer. Laughter and giggles will ensue, which is one reason that proposal ideas with kids are such a huge success.
If you adore farm life or have access to a tractor or ATV, ask your partner to take a ride on a lovely day. While you’re out exploring, stop and pop the question. Other country proposal ideas include asking while you’re picnicking in a field or while relaxing after a long day of chores.
Vacations can be a perfect time to ask, “Will you marry me?” Beach proposal ideas are relatively plentiful. However, for the low maintenance couple, take a walk by the ocean at sunset. Doing so can be one of the most romantic ways to secure that “Yes!”
If your partner loves any particular holiday, try to plan your proposal around it. Whether that's bending down on one knee in the middle of a Christmas tree farm, planning an Easter egg scavenger hunt, going into the New Year engaged, or taking advantage of the chocolates and rose petals that come with Valentine's Day, your SO is sure to enjoy the added cause to celebrate.
For the couple that has a blast playing board games together, craft your at-home proposal into a game night. You can do this just between the two of you or invite your closest friends and family over to join in on the fun. Not sure how to work a proposal into a game? We think Scrabble is an easy and exciting way to go about it. If you have people over, suggest you all play the game. Then, have someone distract your SO while you spell out "Will you marry me?" on the board. Finally, bring them back to the game table for the special moment.
Picnics with your partner are inherently romantic. Putting effort into an outdoor snack or meal together, especially with the right view, is sure to strike the right mood. You can go simple with a blanket and picnic basket of food or include some extra flourishes, like candles, champagne, fresh flowers, and chocolate covered strawberries.
If you're musically talented, an endearing proposal is likely right at your fingertips. Write or compose a special song that reflects on your relationship, talks about your hopes for the future, or dotes on your partner. Then, once you've played it, finish it off with your proposal. You can even write your proposal into the song, if you prefer.
If your partner has a lot of love for any particular thing—a book, a film, a type of art, a place—do your best to incorporate it (or them) into your proposal. This can make asking them to marry you especially fun and special, since you're including something you know they care about. Some quick ideas include placing the engagement ring in their favorite book, recreating their favorite movie scene, and planning to make some art together and working in the big question.
There are a handful of adorable ideas when it comes to involving your pet in your proposal. For collared pets, consider getting a new tag that has "Will you marry me"? engraved in it. Similarly, you can purchase a bandana with the same phrase and tie it around your fury friend's neck. Some pets may be a bit more difficult to work around (birds, reptiles, fish), but with some creativity, any house animal can get it on the big moment.
If you're into photography, plan an outdoor or at-home photo shoot between you and your SO. This can start off with you taking photos of just them, or all along be self-timed shots of the two of you together. Just be sure you have the camera on both of you and ready to shoot when you surprisingly propose.
It's one thing to surprise your significant other with some gorgeous flowers, but it's another entirely to turn that into a proposal. Get a hold of a beautiful bouquet either at a local grocery store or florist, or get them delivered right to your door. Then place the ring box or engagement ring among the blooms and (carefully!) gift them to your partner. Once they notice, start your proposal speech or pop the question.
Relationships take time and effort, yet there is no reason to stress out over the marriage ask. You and your partner know how to show love to each other. If that means a low-maintenance proposal, then so be it! No matter what you decide to do, the start of your life together will reflect you perfectly. In short, don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Some of the best proposal ideas are the simplest. So long as you've got yourself, your partner, and some heartfelt words, you've got everything you need. And when you need some help planning your wedding, Zola's got all the advice and tools you'll need, right here.