Long walks on the beach at sunset and candlelight dinners speak your language. Stolen moments mean the world to you. Even thinking of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy takes your breath away. If this sounds like you—or your significant other—it sounds like you could use some romantic and private proposal ideas. Here, some of the most swoon-worthy we could find, from simple asks to a few elaborate schemes.
Surprise your partner with a perfect proposal by happening upon a table for two that’s all set for dinner. Whether it’s on the beach or a hiking overlook, hire a caterer and cue the flickering lights. Talk about your relationship and the reasons why you’re so in love, and then pop the big question.
Tip: Get friends and family—or the caterer—to set the scene, so that it’s all ready before you arrive. Hire a photographer to capture the moment secretly.
“Choose a location that’s important to the both of you. Where you first met, had your first kiss, or the first place you said ‘I love you’ are romantic and special spots to propose. Set up a picnic for two at one of these significant spots or recreate the setting at home,” says Faith Folayan, owner and creative director of This Love Weddings.
Tip: “Be sure to record the proposal to share with family and friends afterwards,” says Folayan.
Think about what your SO reads in the morning. If it’s a tangible source—say a newspaper or magazine instead of a smartphone—take out an ad in the publication. Otherwise, you could insert a love note inside for them to read. Cook a fantastic breakfast and spend a lazy morning together. Once he or she finds the written proposal, get ready to pop the question verbally.
Tip: This method is also a fabulous way to propose to an avid reader. Simply tuck your note into the book they’re currently reading.
Whether you walk the dog or take an early hike, head up to a vantage point with a view. Sit and watch the sunrise light up the sky with gorgeous hues. Either propose when the sky is at its colorful peak or wait until after the glow.
Tip: Grab coffee and bagels to enjoy while you’re watching the sun fill the heavens with light.
Talk to your local winery about doing a private tasting out among the vines. Have a table for two and get ready to sample varieties for the perfect proposal. Ask your partner when you feel that the moment is right—preferably before you’ve had too much wine.
Tip: See if your winery can arrange for a charcuterie board to enhance the experience further.
Many wineries offer personalized bottles for events. Take advantage of this—or create your own label. Come up with a witty saying for the wine, such as “Will You Merlot Me?” Pour a glass, and once your partner notices the unique label, pop the question. The best part is that you have a toast all ready to go once they say, “Yes!”
“All-inclusive resorts oftentimes offer wedding proposal packages where you can customize the entire experience (and capture it on camera!) for a very affordable price. This makes planning your wedding proposal even easier. And, the inclusions go beyond the actual proposal. Couples will then enjoy romantic amenities throughout their stay, such as rose petal turndown service and breakfast in bed the morning after,” says Jen Avey, VP of marketing for Destination Weddings Travel Group.
Tip: If you don’t want to travel far, talk to your local hotel, inn, or Airbnb to see if they offer special proposal packages. They may even be willing to create one for you.
Organize a fun scavenger hunt for your trip. Head to the various sites on your list as you build up excitement by recalling memories of your relationship. Make one of the stops your proposal point, and get ready to ask. An overlook, private area of a botanical garden, or waterside view would be perfect.
Tip: Your significant other won’t suspect anything if you have them help you plan the itinerary. What a fun surprise that would be.
Memorable proposal ideas that involve popular holidays can make those dates even more meaningful.
Don’t think that the words private and romantic mean elaborate or expensive. Creating a meaningful proposal takes time and a bit of planning. However, knowing that it’s the gateway to spending a lifetime with your partner makes proposing extremely special.