Romantic and Private Proposal Ideas

For some couples, romantic candlelight and sunsets are ideal to pop the question. Our guide to romantic and private proposal ideas offers fabulous suggestions. Find out our favorite private proposal ideas with this complete guide.

By Jennifer Prince

Romantic and Private Proposal Ideas
Photo by Star Noir Photography

The First Look ✨

  • Talk a long walk, hike to a vantage point, or have a catered private meal.
  • Reminisce about your relationship, head to a winery, or visit an all-inclusive resort to pop the question.
  • Holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s, and the Fourth of July, are ideal dates for planning a proposal.

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.

Romantic Dinner Proposal Ideas

Organize a low-light meal outside

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.

Recreate one of your relationship’s firsts

“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.

Sentimental Morning Proposal Ideas

Replace your significant other’s reading material

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.

Enjoy a sunrise walk

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.

Winery Proposal Ideas

Romantic and Private Proposal Ideas | Zola Photo Credit // Unsplash

Make use of a beautiful vineyard

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.

Swap out the winery’s label

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!”

Private Proposal Ideas While Traveling

Utilize the services of an all-inclusive resort

“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.

Create an on-the-go scavenger hunt

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.

Simple—Yet Romantic—Holiday Proposal Ideas

Memorable proposal ideas that involve popular holidays can make those dates even more meaningful.

Romantic and Private Proposal Ideas | Zola Photo Credit // Unsplash
  • New Year’s Day: There’s no better time than January 1st to talk about the year’s goals. Discuss them with your partner, and be sure to sneak in that one of your musts is to marry them with a surprise proposal.
  • Galentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day is one of the most significant dates for proposals. However, propose on Galentine’s Day—February 13th—instead. Yes, you can still use all of the holiday elements you would for a normal Valentine’s Day proposal, such as hearts and all things red and pink.
  • Easter: Let your significant other know how much you love them. Take them on a private hunt, and be sure that the golden egg has a clue about a proposal. Get ready to ask once they find the revealing egg.
  • Fourth of July: Cue the fireworks. They’re already happening, so seize the moment. Plan to watch the display from a secluded vantage point, and pop the question during the beautiful grand finale.
  • Halloween: Carve a pumpkin, and put a ring where the candle should go. Ask your partner to light the candle, and be prepared to propose once they find the gemstone hidden inside.
  • Thanksgiving: Families gather, so sometimes it can be hard to steal a private, romantic moment. However, take the time to enlist your family so that you can make your marriage proposal idea a genuine surprise.
  • Christmas: Head out to a Christmas tree farm and propose before you cut down your perfect tree. If your local farm allows, it would be ultra-romantic to do so while it’s dark under globe lights.
  • New Year’s Eve: Dress up and go all out for the evening, even if you stay at home. Let the ball drop, and do a surprise proposal right after your kiss to usher in the new year.

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.

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