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25 Memorable Proposal Ideas

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Planning a Memorable Proposal

Ideas, Tips, and Hacks for the Soon-to-be Engaged

So, you’re thinking about popping the question. (Congratulations!)

Proposing to your partner is a big deal—and like most big life events, there’s a lot of pressure to get everything just right. Over our years in the wedding suit and tuxedo rental industry, we’ve heard about some pretty amazing marriage proposal ideas. We’ve created a list of some of our favorite stories, so hopefully they will provide you with some inspiration as you plan your own big moment.

Personalizing Your Marriage Proposal

We’ve listed 25 proposal ideas that range from simple to over-the-top. As you start to plan your own proposal, you will find that there are a lot of ways to make your big moment your own. Songs, landmarks, sentimental items, inside jokes— these can all be incorporated into your proposal experience. No matter what details you choose to include, your proposal will be unique to you and your partner, even if you’re drawing inspiration from other couples. 

1. Go Where You First Met

Pay homage to the special spot where you and your partner got your first glimpses of each other by proposing where you met. This spot may be on the street outside of your apartment, a now-closed bar, the elevator of your previous job— the place may differ from couple to couple, but the energy in that space remains the same. Launching the next step in your journey where it all began is a beautiful way to make your proposal a sentimental, life-long memory.

2. Put Your Game Face On

Do you and your partner love to get competitive? Whether you enjoy playing video games or placing bets, if you love competition you can turn your proposal into a game, one that ends in a nice ring and life-long commitment. Of course, this should probably be the one time you let your partner win.

3. Overlook a Perfect Vista

Do you love the ocean? Crave those soaring mountain views? A great way to pop the question is to find a picturesque location and let nature provide the backdrop for your big moment.

4. Buy Their Favorite Treat

This is one of our favorite simple proposal ideas. Food is closely tied to memory and feeling, so whether your partner is a fiend for cheese curls, cookie dough ice cream, or tonkotsu ramen, buy them their favorite guilty pleasure, and stow your engagement ring somewhere they’ll find it— atop a sundae, taped inside the chip packet, or wrapped around a pair of takeout chopsticks. For an extra touch, have some champagne on ice so that you can toast to your future after they say yes.

5. Organize a Flash Mob

Flash mob proposals are not for the shy couple, as it will certainly get heads turning! For a couple that shines in the spotlight, a flash mob is a fun and exciting way to propose. Search the web for a local flash mob group in your area, or get your friends and family in on the act. Oh, and don’t forget, you’re going to want to make sure that your bestie is on-hand to record the whole thing. 

6. Celebrate a Birthday or Holiday With Flair

If your partner takes gift giving seriously, it might be time to pull out the Big One: a ring. We recommend the ole fake-out: put a classic velvet ring box inside a series of other boxes that need to be unwrapped, Russian doll style. As soon as the paper of the final box is torn, kneel down on one knee and get to it.

7. Wait for Sunset (or Sunrise)

Do a bit of research about some local spots that boast a beautiful sunrise or sunset view, make sure you have the exact time of sunrise or sunset, and plan around that. Proposing as the sky bursts into colors around you is a cinematic way to pop the question and will create a moment that neither of you will ever forget.

8. Organize a Shoutout

Does your partner listen to the same radio show or podcast on their way to work every morning? If they do, a great way to pop the question is to organize an on-air proposal with the DJ or host— just make sure that your significant other will actually be listening at the right time. (Pro tip: on the big day, find an excuse to commute into work with them so you can see their reaction in real-time)

9. Sleep Under the Stars

A camping trip is a great way to pop the question— it’s intimate, beautiful, and presents a perfect metaphor of the endless adventures that lie ahead. Whether you pitch a tent next to crashing waves or desert mountains, pulling out your ring next to a roaring fire and sky full of stars is the ultimate romantic move.

10. Learn a Special Song

Do you and your partner have a special song? Have you always felt like the next big undiscovered pop star? Time to put all of that unrecognized talent to use and to pop the question as you sing the song that defines your relationship. Singing not your thing? You could always hire a professional to serenade you and your love as you ask the biggest question of your life.

11. Recreate a Famous Scene

Are you and your partner movie fans? Recreate your favorite romantic comedy proposal scene and before launching into your own personal monologue. Your partner will run through all of the classic romcom emotions, laughter, tears, and of course, happiness as they say “yes” through their tears of joy.

12. Involve a Stranger

Surprise your partner (and a stranger) by turning an innocent photo into a proposal. If the two of you are at a big event like a music festival, concert, or big game, ask a stranger to take a few pictures of the two of you. Instruct them to just keep clicking away, and then pose for a few normal shots with your partner. After a minute, pull the ring out and let the photos document the big surprise. 

13. Write it Out

Involving a shared hobby is a great way to propose. If the two of you love to play Scrabble together, for instance, purposely giving yourself the right letters to spell out MARRY ME on the board is a cute, winning way to propose. 

14. Get a Cake

Does your significant other have a sweet tooth? Go to your local bakery and order their favorite cake Have the baker pipe “Will You Marry Me?” on the top,  present it to them, and then pull out the ring. There’s no better way to celebrate your partner’s big “yes” than with a nice sugar rush with a side of champagne. 

15. A Fortune(ate) Moment

Is Chinese food your go-to take-out meal? If your favorite restaurant serves fortune cookies at the end of a meal, this can be a fun way to propose. When your cookies arrive, open both of them, and sneakily swap your partner’s fortune for one that you’ve written. Hand it to them and watch as their eyes widen and light up with joy.

16. Enjoy Your Favorite Romance

If you’re both a little obsessed with a series or book— use that in your proposal. Visit a style of restaurant featured in the book, an existing landmark where your favorite series is based,  or go to a stage version of your favorite book. Incorporating your favorite Netflix binge or library staple in your proposal is a personal way to make your proposal even more memorable.

17. Recreate Your First Date or “I Love You”

Maybe you had your first kiss in front of a hot dog stand or said “I love you” for the first time at the local aquarium. Wherever your special spot is, bring your significant other back there on a date and give the spot a make-over by cementing it as the place where you started the next phase of your journey together. Pro tip: if you can, wear the same thing that you did on your first date. This will put a sentimental spin on your big moment.

18. Go For a Hike

Are you and your partner nature lovers? If you answered yes, a day of hiking will get your endorphins flowing which will give you tons of energy to pop the big question. We recommend waiting to make the big ask until you reach the summit, drink some water, and catch your breath–this way you will get the big “yes” as you take in some killer views and stunning vistas. 

19. Involve Your Little Ones

If your little family involves a child, make them a part of your big proposal. Have your little guy or girl create a drawing or painting of you all as a family, and write-out “Will you marry me?” on the bag as a sentimental, unforgettable way to ask the big question. 

20. Bring Your Furry Friend Aboard

Do you two have a furbaby? Fixing the ring box to their collar and having them walk over to your partner is a really cute way to involve them in your big moment.

21. Get the Celebrity Treatment

The combination of social media and services like Cameo have made the once impossible a reality— incorporating your favorite celebrity into your proposal. Enlisting the help of your partner’s favorite musician, actor, or reality star to pop the big question is an unforgettable way to start the rest of your lives together. 

22. Head to a Photo Booth

Does your local train station or shopping center have an old fashioned photo booth? Under the ruse of “going for a nice meal,” get dressed up and head out. Suggest a quick photo before dinner, and once you’re set up in the photo booth and the camera gets clicking, propose. It will all be caught onto the filmstrip, which will be printed instantly for you. Then, go to dinner as planned, and show your waitstaff the photo! Chances are, champagne will be on the house.

23. Have a Special Dinner 

Go to your favorite restaurant, order the most indulgent items on the menu, and speak to the waitstaff about having a bottle of champagne for the moments after the big “yes” is uttered.

24. Go on a Dream Vacation

Have you two always dreamt of seeing the Eiffel Tower together? Catching a glimpse of the Taj Mahal? Swimming the Great Barrier Reef? Make your trip of a lifetime even more memorable by proposing when you’re in front of the spot you’ve always talked about visiting.

25. Create an Audience

Are you used to an audience? Whether you’re a standup comedian, singer-songwriter, or public speaker, if your partner doesn’t mind the spotlight, a staged proposal is a fun idea. Ask them to come to a specific performance of your show, and at the end, call them onstage, explain how important they are to you, and pop the question while everybody cheers.  

You did it! Now comes the wedding planning. Lucky for you, Generation Tux is here to help. Select and plan your wedding day look online, enjoy special grooms-only perks, and have your ensemble delivered and picked up at your door with plenty of time to spare. Learn more today! 

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