5 Unique Ways to Propose

Asking the big question is no easy feat. So, let Zola help you brainstorm the right way to ask the love of your life. Read on to learn more.

By Jennifer Prince

5 Unique Ways to Propose
Photo by Emma Marie Photography

The First Look ✨

  • You have a history together, so look back and recreate a particular moment in your relationship.
  • Be sure to consider what would speak of love to your partner, and propose in a way that he or she would be comfortable with.
  • Getting family and friends in on the fun can make for a memorable proposal with a positive result for all involved.

It’s time to propose! Your entire relationship has been building up to this point, and there’s almost no greater feeling of excitement. But, then you realize that you have one—just one—chance to get it right. Nailing the proposal is essential, but how do you go about crafting the perfect ask? Our five unique ways to propose will have you well on your way to getting a “Yes!” response.

Go Back to the Roots of Your Relationship

If you’ve been together a long time and made fond memories as you built your relationship, celebrate it. Getting engaged presents an entirely different phase of life that allows for new experiences. However, acknowledging your path to that point can be both thoughtful and romantic, and is a unique way to make your proposal idea stand out.

As the Fashion Director of The Bridal Finery in Winter Park, Florida, Jamie O’Neill has a pulse on unique proposal ideas. She suggests mocking up one of your favorite pivotal moments as a couple. “Maybe it’s recreating your first date, first getaway weekend, or going back to the exact place where you told them ‘I love you’ for the first time,” O’Neill offers.

Doing so is a way to see your relationship come full circle. “Recreating one of your first and most memorable moments will be all about bringing those fresh and brand new relationship feelings back, and the remembrance of where it all began,” she states. Looking at the past can inspire the future that you’re creating together.

5 Unique Ways to Propose Photo Credit // Unsplash

Keep Your Significant Other’s Personality in Mind

Opposites attract, so what may cause one partner delight may make the other cringe. You may be outgoing, but your reserved SO may wince at the thought of a public proposal. When devising a plan to pop the big question, keep what your partner would want in mind.

Faith Folayan, owner and creative director of This Love Weddings in Minneapolis, Minnesota, recalls an instance within her own family. Avid jokesters, her brother and now sister-in-law are big fans of pranks. However, Folayan’s brother definitely won by playing the ultimate trick.

“In planning the proposal, we had her drive him to the airport the night before while we planned a Galentine’s Day outing for her the next day with him ‘out of town,’” she recounts. A day of festivities included a quick stop into Folayan’s studio, which turned into a surprise proposal. Both partners loved this creative way of proposing, as the setup was perfectly tailored to their relationship.

Create an Aha Moment

Even simple proposal ideas require an element of surprise, and capitalizing on that moment can be quite entertaining. Think about generating excitement by heightening the sense of realization. Xiaoqi Li of Xiaoqi Li Photography in Charlottesville, Virginia, recalls Gina and Austin’s engagement photography session.

Austin had jokingly proposed with a 3D printed ring pop, which he took out during the photo session. Gina answered “yes” again, of course. However, she had a moment of questioning whether or not she would receive a real, wearable ring. “He opened up the top of the 3D ring to reveal his grandmother’s stunning diamond engagement ring inside,” Li reminisces.

Not only did the moment cause Gina to pause, but it also created a bit of mystery. Of course, the whole ordeal was worth it because she had her true love and a precious family heirloom, all wrapped up in one perfect moment. And, the couple had pleasant memories to boot.

5 Unique Ways to Propose Photo Credit // Unsplash

Let Your Friends in on the Fun

It may take a village to raise kids, but it also requires help from friends to implement memorable proposal ideas. Plus, those closest to you would genuinely enjoy taking part in the festivities—as long as they can keep a secret. Being surrounded by those you love can make for a truly meaningful proposal.

Photographer Andrea Lewis of Amative Creative in Lynchburg, Virginia, recalls being a part of such an event. Her friend orchestrated a scavenger hunt that involved locations significant to the couple. Friends were eagerly waiting at each station to give a clue for the next destination. Stops included where the couple had their initial date and first kiss.

To surprise his would-be fiance, the groom-to-be left clues in the form of a handwritten letter at each location. “By the end of the day, she knew what was coming, but the whole experience made it that much more special,” Lewis said. Of course, it ended with rose petals and a wedding proposal filled with friends offering their good wishes to the newly engaged duo.

Take It Far, Far Away

Of course, proposal ideas at home are quite practical. Whether it’s in your hometown or at your physical dwelling, those places connect you as a couple. However, for those considering truly private engagement proposal ideas, consider getting away from it all. And, yes, that means a much-needed vacay.

Jen Avey, vice president of marketing for Destination Weddings Travel Group, often helps couples plan destination weddings and proposals. She advises, “A tropical vacation is not an everyday occurrence, and [it] is frequently very romantic. Deciding to propose while enjoying a sunset dinner on the beach or hiking up to a secluded waterfall is a great idea.” Talk about memorable proposal ideas.

All-inclusive resorts often curate packages for couples who want to get engaged while staying on-site. However, don’t feel that you have to travel far to make the most of a destination engagement. Getting away into the mountains or onto a nearby beach for the weekend will also suffice for a beautiful outdoor proposal.

No matter where, when, or how you decide to get engaged, at least you have the who and what figured out. The only query that will require an answer as you pop the question is, “Will you marry me?” Figuring out what would be meaningful and unforgettable to your spouse-to-be creates an extraordinary proposal with a positive outcome.

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