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33 “Say Yes” Marriage Proposal Ideas for the Perfect Engagement

It’s December, the most popular month to propose, and you’re still trying to figure out exactly how to pop the big question. Maybe you’ve thought of a wedding proposal by the Christmas tree or just before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Perhaps you want to recreate your first date, or you might be stumped altogether.

I get it.

What’s the right way to propose? Your way. A marriage proposal should be as unique as the relationship that led you to ponder how to pop the question. It should be unforgettable and bear the signature of the love you share. 

Yet, it’s still a bit nerve-wracking, right?

It doesn’t have to be. In this post, I’ll share 33 marriage proposal ideas to spark inspiration or fine-tune what you’re already planning. Good marriage proposal ideas take a lot of work, so be sure to build in time so you can do it right.

Ask friends and family to help (especially those who can keep a secret). Even if you want a private proposal, including them after is a way to build bonds with your partner’s circle.

Before we dive into the list of marriage proposal ideas, let’s talk about the ring.

Put the Ring Into Perspective

A circle has no beginning or end. What better symbol is there to mark the presence of great love? For thousands of years, rings have been used as a reminder of commitment, abundance, and even strength.

Although it’s a traditional gesture to use a ring to propose, today’s engagement rings are out of the box—manifesting style, personality, and creativity that knows no bounds. Yes, you can choose a traditional diamond ring, but you also have more options than ever before.

Ask the opinions of friends and family if you’re having a hard time finding just the right ring. Their guidance and insight can help you focus on what’s important to your future spouse. 

Whether you spend three months’ salary or a modest amount, here are three things to keep in mind when you are shopping for an engagement ring:

  • Consider your relationship: Choose a ring that will resonate with your fiance-to-be. Take your time looking for something that tells the story of your love. Maybe a colored diamond? A custom bespoke design? Look for the ring that speaks to you.
  • Choose a reputable jeweler: Research the jeweler before making your purchase. How long have they been in business? Do they have positive reviews from verified purchasers? What is their satisfaction guarantee? Reach out and ask questions and gain a comfort level before you decide.
  • Know your budget: Have a range of what you intend to pay. This will help keep you focused while you shop. Your marriage proposal isn’t about entering a seemingly endless debt cycle. It’s about creating a moment in time with the right ring in tow.

Speaking of budgets, a buy now pay later solution can help you stick to yours or give you a little wiggle room.

Find the Perfect Buy Now Pay Later Engagement Ring

Let’s say you’ve set a budget of $1,500 to $2,000 for engagement ring shopping, but aren’t excited about the rings you’ve seen in that price range. This is where a buy now pay later solution can come in handy.

You can leverage the money you have now and expand your future budget by choosing an interest-free monthly payment option.

Here’s what that would look like:

  • You see rings in the $2,500 to $3,000 price range that you like.
  • You shop with a jewelry store that uses Splitit, a buy now pay later solution.
  • You choose Splitit at checkout and select your preferred amount of monthly payments.
  • You make your first installment payment to complete the transaction.
  • You take the money you already set aside for your original budget ($1,500 to $2,000), go to your Splitit portal, and pay the majority of the bill.
  • Your remaining payments will be paid each month.

In this scenario, you can stretch your budget another $500 to $1,000 without the stress of having to pay in full up front. There is no penalty for paying off installments early and no finance charges from Splitit. All you need is an existing Visa or Mastercard with enough available credit to make the purchase. To learn more, visit the FAQ for Splitit Shoppers.

To look for high-quality engagement rings at stores that use Splitit, visit these Top Buy Now Pay Later Engagement Ring Stores today.

33 Unforgettable Proposal Ideas

Ways to propose are endless. Do it the romantic way. Do it the adventurous way. Proposal ideas abound; this is a mere snapshot of the possibilities.

In this post you’ll find marriage proposal ideas for a:

  • Public Marriage Proposal
  • Just the Two Of Us Marriage Proposal
  • Romantic Marriage Proposal
  • Movie-Themed Marriage Proposal
  • Musical Marriage Proposal
  • Thrill-Seeking Marriage Proposal
  • Hobby-Based Marriage Proposal
  • Dream Destination Marriage Proposal
  • Tech-Based Marriage Proposal
  • Seasonal Marriage Proposal
  • Foodie Marriage Proposal

Under each category of marriage proposal ideas, I’ll share three options, each with a different level of effort and cost. Use these as a starting point to make these marriage proposal ideas personal to you and your partner.

Public Marriage Proposals

If you’re all about public displays of affection, these marriage proposal ideas are for you. If you and your spouse-to-be are loud and proud about your love, try these scenarios on for size:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Set up a virtual date with your spouse-to-be on a video conferencing platform such as Zoom. Direct your friends and family from all over the globe to join the conference at a set time to create a flash mob effect. Propose live and then enjoy the well wishes from those who love you the most. 

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Rent out a venue and invite your inner circle of friends and family. You get bonus points if you can rent the place where you had your first date. Get down on one knee and make it happen.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Travel to New York City and rent a video billboard in Times Square. You can work with a company to show the video you create to run at the exact time you are standing in front of the billboard.

Just the Two Of Us Marriage Proposals

Introverts unite. There is always room for low-key proposal ideas. Sometimes you just want to celebrate love without a crowd. Here are some interesting one-on-one proposal ideas:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Pick a meaningful place where you can be alone together. Slip a card into a card deck that pops the question. Play a card game until the card is revealed. Take it from there.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Decorate a room in your home for a private party. Cook a meal. Fill the room with mementos from your relationship and special photos or keepsakes from friends and family. Take your lover on a tour of your life together, ending with the proposal.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Travel to a place where you can relax without crowds. Try a cabin in the mountains, an exclusive city loft, or a secluded retreat by the water for a beach proposal.

Old-School Romantic Marriage Proposals

There’s nothing wrong with full-on, traditional romance (I mean, if it’s not broken?). Candy, hearts, flowers, and poetry are still a thing. Take a look at these romantic proposal ideas you can use to get down on one knee:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Propose in the style of the movie, Officer and the Gentleman. Plan the event with the boss, so you can show up and pull off your proposal without a hitch. Sweep her off of her feet and carry her away for a private celebration.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Send roses to your future spouse, one for each year of their life, and write down the same number of reasons why you love them in the form of a poem. At the conclusion, get down on one knee to propose.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Plan a romantic getaway in a penthouse suite complete with a professional photo shoot. Having a photographer there to catch the emotions when you propose? Priceless.

Movie-Themed Marriage Proposals

Is your future spouse a movie buff? Perhaps there is one particular movie that stands out. Here are some proposal ideas that employ a bit of cinematic flair:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Purchase a signed movie script, tuck a written marriage proposal about five pages in. Present it as a gift and begin reenacting the movie until the surprise is revealed.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Create a movie night by decorating a room at home just like a theatre with dark curtains (you can rent pipe and drapes), movie posters, a popcorn machine, and homemade tickets. Before the movie starts, show a coming attractions reel with you popping the question via a photo collage on DVD or streamed to your TV.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Rent out an entire theatre for a private movie showing with a small group of family and friends. Make sure everyone has snacks and drinks on individual trays. Write each word of: “Will you marry me?” on the bottom of four trays. At the end of the movie, ask everyone to take the trays up front and show the bottoms.

Musical Marriage Proposals

Music is such a powerful force. It reaches across so many divides and inserts harmony. As you think about joining your significant other in matrimony, consider how you can use music to set the mood:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Write a song, rap, or spoken word performance as your proposal and share it with your spouse-to-be. You could even change the lyrics to a favorite song. Just download the instrumental version and practice.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Share a meal at your favorite restaurant. Hire a singer or musician to come to your table to serenade your soon-to-be fiance. Get down on one knee as the song ends to propose.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Hire a celebrity musician to do a virtual or in-person concert (complete with social distancing) for a handful of your loved ones. Have them give you the floor for a moment so you can propose.

Thrill-Seeking Marriage Proposals

Are you and your lover thrill seekers? Do you crave adventure? Planning an exciting quest might be just the ticket to get your partner to say yes. Try on these proposal ideas for size:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Pack a lunch and hike to the top of a mountain or lookout area. Take a few selfies with the view in the background. Sneak the ring into the picture and wait for your partner to notice it.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Propose during an indoor skydiving session or hot air balloon ride. Work with the venue to make sure your plans comply with safety regulations. Be sure to get pictures and video! 

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Create your own Survivor or Amazing Race-styled adventure complete with clues and challenges in different destinations. Enlist a close friend or family member to run the race with your future fiance. Rent a helicopter to take them to the final clue. You’ll be waiting at the end of the treasure hunt, ready to propose.

Hobby-Based Marriage Proposals

What hobby does your future spouse enjoy? Here are a few proposal ideas to tie a favorite hobby into a marriage proposal:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Choose a beloved book, figurine, or other collectible and tie a ribbon to it. Make the ribbon long enough to wind throughout your home. Place note cards along the way proclaiming your love. Tie the ring box to the very end of the ribbon.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Tie your proposal to a favorite hobby or start a new hobby together such as collecting model trains, quilting, or restoring vintage cars. Find a creative way to hide the ring in a new train set, or have a quilt made with a visual proposal.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Do you share a physical hobby like indoor rock climbing? Work with gym staff to have a private climbing session. Place the ring at a spot on the wall for your partner to find. Propose while on the wall and then propel down together. Have a change of clothes ready at the gym and have a car service pick you up for a night out on the town.

Dream Destination Marriage Proposals

Traveling has had its challenges lately, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with the places you go. Here are a few ideas to bring your ideal destination closer (without boarding a plane):

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Make a gift box filled with clues about where you want to take your partner on the honeymoon. Hide the ring in the box and propose once it’s found.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Turn your home into a far away destination. You can do it yourself or hire a staging company to set it all up. Create a Morrocan retreat. Set up a Parisian cafe. Make a getaway at home and bask in it all weekend after you propose.

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Rent a high-end room at a nearby exclusive hotel or entire home for a weekend. Order room service for dinner and put the ring under a food dome for discovery.

Tech-Based Marriage Proposals

If you’re a fan of technology, you might like these marriage proposal ideas:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Stand at the front door of your partner’s home. Take a selfie with the ring in front of the door and text it to your spouse-to-be. Get down on one knee when the front door opens.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Purchase a drone and learn how to use it. Invite your future spouse over to play with it. Attach the ring box to the drone before your partner arrives. Get the drone in the air before they see it and ask them what’s hanging off of the drone. Allow the drone to descend and ask them to open the box. Have the ring inside a jacket pocket and produce it as you get down on one knee. 

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Purchase virtual reality headsets or go big and work with a VR game company to recreate a special place in your partner’s life. Get down on one knee during the VR session and propose. When your partner takes off their headset, have a few close family and friends there to witness the happy moment. 

Seasonal Marriage Proposals

Each season has its own magic. You can enlist Mother Nature to help you pop the question. Here’s how:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

There’s nothing like a holiday to set the mood for an unforgettable proposal. Proposing under the mistletoe by the Christmas tree, on Valentine’s Day with a homemade card, or during an Easter Egg hunt can be fun and simple to pull off.

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

There are a lot of beautiful places and fun settings where you can propose based on the season. Spring is a great time for a trip to a botanical garden or butterfly sanctuary. Summer is perfect for a beach proposal, but you can also ask for your partner’s hand just as you crest on a roller coaster at a favorite amusement park. 

In the fall, you can plan an apple-picking trip, and winter is a great time for skiing or snow tubing. Find a fun way to pop the question while you enjoy the gifts of the seasons.  

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Propose while enjoying the scenery in a locale of your choice. Pick your favorite season and rent an RV for a road trip to remember. 

In spring, visit the seasonal cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. In fall, watch the leaves change in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. In summer, breathe in the views from California’s Pacific Coast Highway. In winter, hop a ferry to Alaska via Washington state or through Canada.

Foodie Marriage Proposals

What better way to propose to a foodie than to be surrounded by all of the sweet and savory cuisine they love? Even if you don’t have any cooking skills, you can make the moment unforgettable. Here’s how:

Low Cost Proposal Idea:  

Make a basket filled with his or her favorite foods. Hide the ring in the basket. Deliver the basket in person, stream a food show, and begin to eat together until the ring is found. Then, shoot your shot!

Moderate Cost Proposal Idea: 

Buy ingredients for a gourmet meal and make the meal together. Put the ring in an empty food container (such as a tub of sour cream). As you are preparing to plate the meal, ask your love to get it from the fridge and open it. Ask your million-dollar question. 

High Cost Proposal Idea: 

Hire a private chef and share a meal by candlelight. For the dessert course, have the chef prepare a special treat that can hide the ring, such as a pinata smash cake, or melting chocolate ball. Once the ring is revealed, propose on one knee.

Final Thoughts on Marriage Proposals

Looking through marriage proposal ideas is a great way to figure out exactly how you want to propose. Hopefully, the proposal ideas shared in this post will be a springboard for your ultimate proposal.

Here are a few tips to make your perfect proposal better:

Stay safe: If traveling or visiting public spaces is part of your proposal, take every precaution to protect yourself, your partner, and others who assist you. Be sure to wear masks, carry cleaning agents for your hands and surfaces, and practice social distancing. Check with a venue or business before going to inquire about their safety practices. Be sure to get travel insurance just in case you need to postpone your trip. 

Capture the proposal: Make arrangements so that you can relive the moment. Setting up a camera, recording it live on social media, or hiring a professional photographer or videographer are all good ways to capture images and video that you can cherish for years to come.

Plan early: Some proposal ideas might take a while to pull off, especially if you have to place orders, reserve venues, or conduct research. Be sure to build room into your schedule to account for changes in scheduling that are beyond your control.

Ask friends and family for help: Your partner’s family and friends are invaluable resources to help you plan an unforgettable proposal. They might be able to share details that will make all of the difference.

Take your time and do it right. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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