25 No-Fuss Proposal Ideas for the Low Maintenance Couple

Some couples prefer a simple proposal instead of an extravagant one. Looking for ways to create a special proposal without the fuss? Check out our guide on the simplest ways to create a perfect marriage proposal that your partner will remember forever.

By Jennifer Prince

12 No-Fuss Proposal Ideas
Photo by Creatrix Photography

The First Look ✨

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.

Outdoor Proposal Ideas

1. Propose While Picking Fruit

The best part about this proposal idea is that you can tailor it to the time of year. Whether it’s blueberry, apple, or strawberry season, let the scenery and delicious fruit do the talking. For some added fun, be very careful and quickly hang the engagement ring on a branch while your significant other isn’t looking. Then, either point out the best pick of all (the ring) or let him or her find the bling themselves.

If you’re afraid that you’ll drop or lose the ring, there are other ways. Simply wait until you’re in a private section of the orchard and get down on one knee. For a touch of surprise, perhaps point at a fruit in the opposite direction and tell your partner they should pick it. By the time they turn around, you'll be down on one knee and popping the question. You could also place the ring into his or her berry basket, so it’s the first thing that he or she sees once you start picking. The options are endless and the possible locations are beautiful.

12 No-Fuss Proposal Ideas Photo Credit // Pexels

2. Include Your Outdoor Activities

Couples who enjoy traversing the outdoors together can look to one of their favorite outdoor activities to inspire a proposal. Whether that's biking, hiking, horseback riding, or something more competitive like golf, beach volleyball, or another sport, there's ample opportunity to turn a beloved 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.

Pro tip: If you love the water—say swimming, fishing, or boating—and plan on proposing there, we highly suggest proposing with a silicone ring. You can always save the precious metal one for when you are safe on land. Your partner will probably appreciate having an inexpensive, comfortable ring that he or she can wear while doing things outside.

Private and Simple Proposal Ideas

3. Head Out on a Hike

Amanda Lewis of Amative Creative Photography thinks that an outside view is a perfect location for stealing a private moment. Not to mention, a stunning backdrop. “I think one of the sweetest and most intimate ways to propose is alone together. Maybe it’s after a hike up a mountain and you’re staring at the view, or maybe a quiet night together in front of the fire,” Lewis explains.

With little planning, you can 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—especially if you take a hike down one of your favorite or most treasured trails. Lewis adds, “Nothing says, ‘I love you for you, and always want you,’ like popping the question solo.” 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!

4. Make the Most of a Small Moment

If you’re the spontaneous type, keep the ring with you and wait for the right moment. You may not even know ahead of time that you’re going to ask. Just go with your gut. 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.

You most likely already have great conversations over coffee, at lunch, or in the car riding from place to place. If the mood strikes, seize upon it. The timing may even be a mystery to you. How fun it would be to surprise your partner—and yourself!—when you decide to pop the question.

At-Home Romantic Proposal Ideas

5. Order in for the Night

Ordering pizza, Chinese, or just about any type of takeout food online can still serve as a creative proposal idea. DoorDash and Grubhub are just a few taps and swipes away, ready to deliver right to your door. Once both of your favorite food arrives, be sure that you’re the one to answer the door and receive it.

Once you've got it, slip the ring into the delivery box, onto a drinking straw, in with the fortune cookies, or into a bundle of cutlery. Just be sure that it’s secure and can’t be accidentally lost or ingested. Let your significant other happen upon the bling and be ready to pop the question once he or she finds it. Hopefully, it won’t be when either of you have a mouthful of food, but don't worry—it will add amusement to the moment if you do.

6. Watch a Movie With a Proposal Scene

Plenty of proposal scenes throughout film history are endearing—some to the point of being emotional and moving. Couples who are sentimental will enjoy sitting down together to watch movies like The Notebook, Pride and Prejudice, and more humorous options like The Wedding Singer, the last of which can add a bit of humor to an otherwise emotional living room proposal idea.

Cue up the movie and have the ring hidden in a couch cushion or somewhere else nearby. Get ready to ask as the proposal scene gets closer, and when it does—pop the question. You can either use the words from the movie or wait until after the crux of 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. Your partner will likely think you're just having fun with the scene. Then, when the big moment comes, reveal the ring and big surprise.

Easy and Creative Proposal Ideas

7. Utilize Ribbon and Love Notes

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 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.

8. Fill a Room With Photographs

Plenty of proposals include a verbal look back on your relationship history. Talking about where you've been and all you've been through together 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.

Special Spots Proposal Ideas

9. Recreate Your First Date

If you're in search of a proposal that really brings your relationship full circle, think about having it take place at the location of your first date. Of course, this is made easier if you're still located nearby. If that's the case, make plans with your partner to have a date at that very spot.

Whether it's a coffee shop, restaurant, or walk in the park, you're both sure to be put in an especially romantic mood. Order the same thing you got on your first date, if you remember, and perhaps a special glass of champagne, "just because." If you're initial date didn't take place at a food establishment, pull out a surprise bottle and a couple glasses.

Start talking about what you still remember from that first date. Not just what happened, but how you felt about your partner. From the moment they walked in, to the conversations you had, to the end of the date. Make this version of the date as special as can be, then pull out the engagement ring and ask them to marry you.

10. Pop the Question at Your Favorite Spot

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 adored cafes, restaurants, 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.

12 No-Fuss Proposal Ideas Photo Credit // Pexels

More Fun Proposal Ideas

11. Pop the Question While Camping

Yes, camping can be a romantic proposal idea. It may seem a bit specific, but it can be as low maintenance 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.

12. Incorporate the Family

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.

13. Get Co-workers Involved

The job site can be tedious. Meetings, emails, and phone calls fill up the day, which can feel so mundane. Commandeer a staff meeting, and be in the conference room ready to propose once your partner enters. Considering proposal ideas for work can make an ordinary day extraordinary.

14. Steal a Moment Out in the Country

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.

15. Take a Sunset Walk on the Beach

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!”

16. Row a Boat Out on the Lake

More complicated lake proposal ideas would have you recreating that rowboat scene from “The Notebook” movie mentioned earlier. Although rowing out into the middle of a lake or pond on a gorgeous day can correctly set the stage. No theatrics required.

17. Take Advantage of a Holiday

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.

18. Plan a Game Night

For the couple that has a blast playing board games together, craft your 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.

19. Set Up a Picnic

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, and chocolate covered strawberries.

20. Say it With Music

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.

21. Involve Your Partner's Favorite Things

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.

22. Have Your Pet Ask For You

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.

23. Have an Photo Shoot

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.

24. Surprise Your Them With Flowers

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 ahold 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.

25. Have Them Read You Something

A simple and romantic way to propose to your loved one starts with asking them to read you something. The catch: This something has to be out of a book. Sit or stand in front of them and pull out the ring box while they're reading. When they finish and set the book down, they'll be in for a big surprise. Bonus points if what you have them read is special or romantic.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Zola!

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.

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola