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5 Original Proposal Ideas


Emma R. (Professional Freelance Writer)

Emma is a freelance writer and blogger in weddings, marriage advice, food blog, fashion and more...


Much like a wedding, an engagement proposal is a remarkably special moment. Whether you want it to be intimate and romantic or an elaborate public display of affection, the way you propose should be memorable and personal to you and your partner. 

A fascinating survey of 10,000 people showed that 15% prefer technology to become part of their proposal. And 10% value extravagance as part of the event. 

You won’t be able to go for the big reveal - or asking the big question - until you figure out how exactly you’ll do it. That ring you’ve been hiding from your significant other definitely needs to come out at the right moment, and under the right circumstances. With proposal ideas ranging from formal to downright ridiculous, finding the best proposal idea can be tricky. 

Whatever you choose, you’ll want to remember it fondly. Read on for five original ideas for popping the question that aren’t like every other proposal you’ve heard of.


Utilize your local media

If you think your partner will be one of the 15% of people who enjoy tech as part of their engagement experience, you’re in luck. There are ample ways you can do this, all of which are fun, original and personal. Sneaking a proposal into the end of a weather report might be easier than you think. The same goes for having their favourite radio DJ ask the question. Bonus points if you can follow the question with a romantic song or a tune that’s meaningful to both of you. It never hurts to ask, and most local media will be more than happy to work with you. Just be sure you can time it right and you have the recipe for an unforgettable surprise.



If something a little more low-key fits your personalities, turn to the local newspaper. And if your partner likes the Sunday paper along with a nice breakfast, even better. Use it as an opportunity to ramp up the occasion with a homemade breakfast in bed or takeout from their favorite brunch spot. Add in a few specialty coffees or mimosas, and wait for them to turn to the page with the proposal. 

Taking an ad out in the paper to pop the question also provides an opportunity for a treasured proposal keepsake. Your proposal will be commemorated in black and white - literally. It makes for an excellent addition to wedding albums and scrapbooks in the future.


Love is in the Air… or Airport​

This one works well if your partner travels a lot and is also a-okay with a very public proposal. You probably already greet your significant other at the airport after a work trip, a visit to family, or even if their job is as a flight attendant. Take the greeting to the next level when you’re ready to ask that big question.

You can go all out here and bring friends and family along as part of the surprise, or you can make it just about the pair of you. It can be elaborate with flowers, signs, and the ring waiting for them as they come out of the arrivals hall. Odds are you’ll put a smile on the faces of some weary travellers who witness the event.

One friendly suggestion: do this after your partner has come off a short flight. Long-haul flights leave even the best-natured people feeling tired, cranky, and wanting nothing more than to head straight home for a shower.

What if you travel often with your intended spouse? Nothing says original-like asking the big question when you’re 35,000 feet in the air, preferably en route to a romantic getaway. Just mind that seatbelt sign and don’t block the drink carts when you get on one knee. 

What if neither of you is a fan of flying? Both of the above ideas can work in a train station or on a train trip. The observation lounge on most modern trains can provide stunning views and a unique spot for slipping a ring onto your future spouse’s finger. 


Use Household Objects

Those alphabet fridge magnets can come in handy if you want to leave the proposal in the form of a note. Dry-erase boards and bulletin boards can also do the trick. This adds a fun, exciting element to the proposal as well: how long will it take them to notice it? Or, you can drop some hints to have a little more control over the timing.

There are plenty of other objects around the house you can employ as part of your proposal. You might not be able to propose by literally writing the question in the stars, but glow-in-the-dark stars are a pretty romantic alternative. Spell out your proposal and wait until they turn off the lights.

Technology offers yet another avenue for an intimate, surprising proposal. If you have access to her screensavers - either on the phone or PC - think about changing up the background to your proposal. It can be a photo of you holding up a sign, or something as simple as text added to their favourite picture of you. If you want to have a little fun, get your home printer to print off a page with your proposal typed on it. Most modern printers will allow you to do this over Wifi with your phone or laptop, so you can be stealthy about it. When they go investigate why the printer is working, they’ll find the big question waiting for them.



Ask a Beloved Pet for Help

It’s becoming increasingly acceptable to include the fur-family in wedding festivities and even engagement photos. Why should the proposal itself be any different, especially when one or both of you has a pet who is an important part of your life?

Having your pet wear a sign with the big question written on it is an easy way to make this idea happen. You can even practice with them ahead of time so they get used to wearing their sign. They could then greet your partner at the door or be waiting in the backyard with you on deck holding the ring.

If you have a calm pet that you trust not to bolt down the street, you can easily loop a ring on their collar with a ribbon. What could be more adorable? 


Declare Your Love from a Mountain Top

There are 96 fourteeners in the United States. That is, 96 mountains that are at least fourteen-thousand feet above sea level. With its magnificent views and unparalleled natural beauty, a mountain could be the perfect spot to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage.

You can choose to hike with your partner up the mountain or complete some or all of the trek by car. It’s entirely dependent on whether hiking is something you would both enjoy. Sitting down together after a 3 hour hike with a cold glass of prosecco overlooking the finest landscapes offers a wonderful opportunity to pop the question.

If heights aren’t your thing, simply proposing on a camping trip can be an intimate and fun way to do it. Having mother nature as part of your proposal also allows you to integrate some unique elements. The beauty of national parks, for example, are certainly not part of everyday proposals. They can also make for some stunning photos to commemorate the day.



Plus, the triumph of reaching a landmark after a hike, horseback ride, or climb is a special feeling. Adding to it by asking the big question will make it extraordinary.


A Final Tip: Keep the Mystery Alive

In recent years, only 35% of brides reported being totally surprised by their proposal. Some are just more comfortable being part of the planning process, while others would rather let it happen organically.

If they don’t mind not knowing the how, when, and where, try to make it an unexpected event. Discussing and planning marriage in advance is important, but the proposal itself can be spontaneous and surprising.

Wherever or however you decide to propose, doing it without dropping too many hints is sure to make it memorable. Being in charge of where it happens opens countless doors for how you want this special event to unfold. It could be during your weekend getaway, at the end of date night, or on a walk through your favourite park. It could be at home, on a visit to a museum, or under the stars. The possibilities are endless.

Once your partner has said “yes,” there will be plenty of time to plan together when it comes to the wedding. Whether you’re picking a venue or ready to browse wedding rings, the opportunities to collaborate together will be plentiful. For the proposal itself, allowing for a genuine surprise can be an unforgettable experience for you both.


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