24 Cute Proposal Ideas

Are you finally getting down on one knee and ready to spend forever with someone? Start off the union right with the perfect proposal. Check out these ideas.

By Jennifer Prince

Proposal Ideas
Photo by Unsplash

There’s a reason why we all sit around and watch movies on the Hallmark channel. As much as we hate to admit it, we adore them and we all enjoy a love story with a happy ending. The underlying plot is mostly the same, and the show inevitably culminates in a kiss, a wedding, or an engagement. However, your love story is unique. Therefore, it deserves adorable, romantic proposal ideas that even the sappiest love story aficionado would approve of. Read on for some extra special marriage proposal ideas that are sure to make for a proposal story you'll want to tell over and over again.

Outdoor Proposal Ideas

Whether you adore outdoor-centric activities or merely want to pop the big question in good weather, take it outside. These outdoor proposal ideas are sure to please—and surprise.

  • Get up early, grab a coffee, and take your love on a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Wait for the sky to light up in full color and ask him or her to marry you at the perfect moment. Just be sure to hang on tightly to the ring or tie it somehow. Another option is to ask before boarding the balloon so that that bling is secure on the ring finger.
  • Pack a lunch and hike to a stunning overlook. Chat about your love story along the way to build up to a proposal with a view. Ensure that the ring is safely tucked away into a backpack before heading out on your adventure.
  • This next idea would work whether you adore biking, running, or walking. Hire a chalk artist to draw a colorful proposal message on the asphalt. Stop just long enough for your spouse-to-be to notice. Then, get down on one knee to seal the deal. Take along a phone or camera to capture a memory of the special moment art. It will fade over time, but your love won’t.

Proposal Ideas at Home

24 of the Cutest Proposal Ideas to Copy Right Now Photo Credit // Unsplash

Not all of the best proposal ideas take place out in the big, wide world. While proposals at home may sound pretty low-key, it only takes a little creativity to create a big moment and have your partner give a resounding, “Yes!” Here are some just as romantic ways to propose for the low maintenance couple.

  • Consult with your local radio station to ask over the airwaves at a specific time. Sit down for a casual evening of eating a romantic dinner or playing games. Subtly watch the clock, and get ready to propose when the announcement comes over the airwaves. Arrange beforehand to call in and let all listeners know that the outcome was positive (hopefully!).
  • Schedule a romantic meal at home. Either cook for your SO or hire someone to come in and prepare a catered romantic dinner. You could even arrange for a personal cooking class in your kitchen. No matter the meal, include a candlelight dinner and enjoy the ambiance.
  • Being at home is the perfect time to take advantage of the little moments. If you enjoy gaming while your love reads next to you on the couch, pop a note into their book. You could even circle letters to spell out “Will you marry me?” in the current chapter. It turns an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one in a heartbeat.

Fun Proposal Ideas

These are for the couple who don’t mind being in the spotlight. These fun proposal ideas will draw attention, gasps, and cheers from those around you.

  • Take advantage of trivia night, and schedule an evening to have fun with the gang. As questions are asked, have the trivia announcer read your proposal message. Of course, everyone will wait with bated breath as you get down on one knee and ask the question. Get ready for applause and maybe a few trivia bonus points, too.
  • Whether you have a favorite solo song or can belt out “Shallow” together, use karaoke night to your advantage. You already have the mic, so ask after a meaningful song. Give a classic mic drop after he or she agrees to spend the rest of his or her life with you.
  • Plan an evening out at a fancy restaurant, and cap it off with a fantastic dessert. Have the chef spell out “Will you marry me?” in sauce on the side of the plate. The ring should be beautifully placed on top of the dessert so that the message is unmistakable. What a sweet way to propose.

Private Proposal Ideas

It’s safe to say that not every couple likes the limelight, so these private, intimate proposal ideas will do nicely.

  • Invest in a full-page newspaper or magazine ad that declares your love. Go out to breakfast or duck into your favorite coffee shop. Hand your significant other reading material. Then, wait for his or her eyes to light up when he or she comes upon that particular page. You could also test this idea out at home.
  • Whether you stay at home, go out on the town, or head into the woods, organize a scavenger hunt. The clues along the way can slowly reveal that the biggest prize of all is waiting at the end.
  • If you have a favorite spot, it may be the perfect place to propose. Head to a location with special meaning for you both, and reminisce before you pop the question. It will make that favorite spot even more essential to your relationship.

Proposal Ideas With Kids

No matter whose children they are—yours, theirs, or yours together—get them involved in the big surprise proposal. They will have a blast as you create memories you can share for the rest of your lives.

  • Schedule a family photo session. Everyone will look their best for photos, and you can end your time together with a romantic proposal. The best part is that you will already have a photographer on hand to capture your special moment. The kids’ reactions will be priceless and deserve documenting.
  • Even out-of-town children can get in on the fun if you propose virtually. Schedule a family meetup to catch up over Zoom, and voila. Pop the question at the end. Be sure to designate someone to grab screenshots of everyone’s facial expressions. What a fun memory to have.
  • If you’re musically inclined at all, include tunes into your ask. Gather the kids for a bonfire complete with s’mores and singing around the campfire. Get down on one knee and pop the question under the moonlit sky for the perfect marriage proposal. Have sparklers on hand for the children to use to celebrate afterward.

Memorable Proposal Ideas

Just about any marriage proposal will be looked back on fondly. However, test out one of these unique proposal ideas to make a significant impact.

  • There’s just something romantic about heading to the aquarium. Plus, getting close to sea life that we don’t normally encounter is exciting. Make your trip eventful by having undersea divers carry a message for the one you love. They can display it during feeding time or an underwater show, but be sure to show up on time.
  • Moviegoers, unite. Grab family and friends, and have them sit far away from you and your significant other. Arrange for one of the pre-movie ads to be a marriage proposal. Your loved ones can cheer and give hugs to you both after the “Yes”.
  • Animals are always adorable, so get your pet involved. Have your furry friend wear a collar that contains a secret message. You could also have your pet help lead your love to the place that includes the ring. Licks, laughs, and wet-nosed kisses can ensue afterward.

Badass Proposal Ideas

Not for the faint of heart—or budget—these are anything but simple proposal ideas. However, these badass proposal ideas will set your engagement off in an incredibly memorable way.

  • While at the beach, hire an aerial advertising plane to fly a banner high in the sky. The flag can spell out just about anything, but be sure to include your soon-to-be fiance’s name on the sentiment. Seeing their name followed by “Will you marry me?” soaring overhead will be a perfect surprise.
  • Outdoor art installations are all the rage as cities all over the country seek to beautify their buildings. Commission a mural that depicts your love story, and ask your special someone to marry you underneath—what a lasting way to declare your undying affection.
  • If your significant other has a favorite movie, reenact a scene. And, this is no time to play it small. Get in costume, mimic the location, and hire a videographer to capture it all. It’s even better if his or her favorite film contains a proposal or has a scene that lends itself to incorporating one. This would also work with plays and TV shows.
24 of the Cutest Proposal Ideas to Copy Right Now Photo Credit // Unsplash

Holiday Proposal Ideas

Many choose to pop the question around the holidays as families gather together. One of our holiday proposal ideas is sure to make your celebration even more meaningful.

  • Arrange for a Fourth of July fireworks display to spell out “Marry me” at the finale. Cuddle together on a blanket and watch the colorful lights. Then, get down on one knee right before the grand finale moment.
  • Host a cookie decorating party. Bake cookies, and have all of the decor items, such as sprinkles and icing, at the ready. Get all of your guests in on the fun and have everyone decorate their cookies with proposal clues. Turn it into a contest, and have your significant other judge the entries. Propose once he or she connects the dots of the themed cookies.
  • In the spring, fill plastic eggs with clues, and then send your SO on an egg hunt. Place subtle hints in each egg, and then end with the “golden” egg filled with the best gift of all.

What to Say When Proposing

Even after you've planned out your proposal, there's still the question of what you're going to say. While the days of your proposal speech (or question) being a make-or-break are long gone, the pressure may still be on. Nailing the perfect speech, however, is a lot simpler than you might think. Great advice on what to talk about is out there—reminisce on how far you've come together, describe why you love your partner, picture the rest of your lives together aloud—but it all comes down to one detail. No matter how you say it, the most important thing is that you're genuine and saying what you're feeling. If you're anticipating nerves, maybe also write it down beforehand.

No matter which of our proposal ideas you decide to plan, be sure to make your love feel special. Incorporate things that are meaningful to your partner to create a memorable ask. Your story may never make the big—or small—screen, but your significant other will be ecstatic about getting to spend the rest of his or her life with you, and vice versa.

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