Engagement rings in champagne glasses have been done to death. Proposals during Christmas are predictable and popping the question on New Year’s Eve is about as unoriginal as it gets. Proposals at sporting events can be fun, but they’re not the only way to work in that element of surprise. Your love is unique. The way you ask your partner to marry you should be, too.
Looking for some seriously original surprise proposal ideas? We’ve gathered our ten favorites ways to get down on one knee.
1. Hot Air Balloon
Barring any fear of heights, taking to the sky is a highly romantic way to get engaged. The serene calm of drifting through the clouds provides a beautiful backdrop to your proposal. Tell your sweetie they make you feel closer to the heavens than you ever have, and that you wanted to show them the same.
2. Scavenger Hunt
If your bae is an adventure lover, send them on a wild goose chase peppered with clues and tips that lead them down a well defined rabbit trail. Send them to all the firsts: first meeting, first date, first kiss, even first fight! At the end, you and the ring can be hidden in plain site, ready with tissues and a bushel of balloons.
3. Slideshow Surprise.
For sentimental types, memories are key. Make a slideshow, scrapbook or video montage of all your favorite moments together. At the end, leave a blank space for your next big event…the engagement! Whether you ask aloud or spell it out within the slideshow, it’s sure to cue the waterworks and get you an enthusiastic ‘YES!’
4. Flash Mob Marriage Proposal
This one may take some extra planning, but if big and bold is the order of the day, there’s arguably no better way to propose. Casually suggest some public outing, preferably one with lots of space. Parks and malls are inconspicuous settings that work great for this surprise proposal. Use sites like MeetUp.com to get a large group of strangers together. The less people your partner is able to recognize, the more shocked they’ll be! Choose a song with romantic overtones and watch the look on their face as you join in, then drop to one knee.
5. Birthday Party Bamboozle
Popping the question on your lover’s birthday is sweet, but if you really want to be sneaky, get a friend involved. A trustworthy mutual pal who doesn’t mind sharing their day is essential for this plan to go off without a hitch. Assuming your sweetie is ok being the center of attention, you and the friend can sort out all the details. One fun idea is to have your future fiancé bring out a cake, that way they won’t think anything of it when all eyes are on them. Once everyone is done singing have someone take the cake from them and pop the big question!
6. Photographer Fake Out
Hire a ‘professional’ photographer or painter to solicit you walking down the street. As you sit for a portrait, they’ll be working on the beautiful ‘will you marry me’ lettering. When they flip the camera or canvas around for the big reveal, your honey won’t know what hit them!
7. Hidden in a Helmet
Thrill seekers who love four wheeling, zip lining or skydiving will love this proposal. Before you set off on your big adventure, hide a ring box on the inside of the helmet. When they turn it over to put it on it’ll be all tears and big smiles.
8. Planetarium Proposal
Feel like your love was written in the stars? Tell them! See if your local planetarium will allow you to rent out the space for the evening. You can also position a telescope so that it looks out directly on to a ‘will you marry me’ sign. When they peer through the eyepiece they’ll be in for a treat!
9. Say it with a Puzzle
Custom puzzles are a cinch to order online. Submit a photo of the two of you or a picture of you holding the ring or a sign that says, “will you marry me?” The more pieces the better, lest your darling figure it out too early.
10. Playlist Proposal
Music lovers, listen up! Make a list of songs that have defined your relationship and sprinkle in a few romantic tunes that set the mood. You can fill a journal with your favorite lyrics from each song or record a ‘podcast’ type mixtape. Make sure you have a good idea of when your soon-to-be-fiancé will be listening so you can be ready with the ring.
In the end, some surprises, like an unexpected medical bill, are painfully frustrating. However, the element of surprise is critical to a successful proposal. Implement one of these romancers and after the shock wears off, you’ll have a beautiful story for the grandkids!