Proposals: 50 Ways to Pop the Question

Here it is: our super-size list of proposal ideas. Browse the categories and select with care -- your future depends on it!
Marriage on your mind? To start the party, we've gathered a plethora of proposal ideas you can customize to floor your intended. Remember that your sweetie will be telling the story of how you proposed to friends and strangers for the rest of her -- or his! -- life.

***NOTE Everyone knows that a man traditionally offers a woman an engagement ring as a promissory gesture during the proposal. But if a woman is proposing to her man, substitute a similar sentimental token or piece of jewelry for "the ring" in all of these ideas.***

1. For some, a public display of affection is the ultimate intimate gesture. Most movie theaters will let you buy a slide that plays onscreen before the feature. You can design your own and watch as the entire theater strains to see the lucky proposee's astonished expression.
2. Convince the local theater to spell out your proposal on their marquee. Phrase it like a film title: "The Love of a Lifetime, starring (insert names here)."
3. Take the stage! Get in touch with the stage manager of an appropriately themed production and propose after the cast's curtain call (the stage manager will prep everyone and get you in position). Some people have proposed after I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, a musical revue about relationships running in several cities.
4. Have your proposal painted on a billboard en route to his or her office. Park beneath it or await their arrival at work, armed with champagne ready for toasting.
5. Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper you know your honey reads daily. Be nearby while they read, lest you miss the look on his or her face!
6. Gather all your friends for a big softball game. Give the outfielders signs that spell your intended's name and, "Will you marry me?" When he or she comes up to bat, signal them to display the signs. Tell your soon-be-fiancé that if he or she hits one out of the park, a different kind of diamond awaits him or her!
7. Make a list of ten reasons you'd like to marry your beloved. Read them to him or her in front of a crowd, have a singing telegram deliver them, or send them written on note cards one by one over the course of a day (or ten!), with the last card arriving via personal messenger (you!).
8. We had to add this one: Create a Web page declaring your love and intentions. Leave your sweetie a clue with the Web address written on it -- don't say a word. After the proposal has been officially accepted (which of course it will be!), he or she can proudly send the page to friends and family.

9. Draw a bath for the two of you and place a floating candle or rubber ducky in the middle with a ring tied around its neck. Make a path of roses leading to the tub. (And make sure the drain is well-plugged!)
10. Speaking of paths, turn off all the lights in your apartment and make a trail of candles that leads to a circle of votives positioned around a ring.
11. Give your girlfriend a foot massage and place the ring on her little toe.
12. Send your sweetie on a treasure hunt. Start with a clue at home. Then send him or her on a tour of your favorite spots -- all over town, or just around the house. When he or she gets to the last hint, the treasure should be you offering up a ring or other sentimental token. They won't need another clue to figure out what you mean.
13. Sometimes the key isn't how you pop the question, but where. Find a special place, maybe the bar where you first kissed or the Chevy backseat where you first uh -- well, you know. A place that means something to both of you. Once you're in position, just kneel and ask. Your honey will always remember that you remembered.
14. Tie a red velvet ribbon from one spot in your home to another. Attach little notes recalling perfect moments in your relationship along the way. You wait at the last stop, ring in hand.
15. You needn't propose with a diamond ring. Buy any jewelry piece or a watch and inscribe it with, "Marry me."

16. Want to really surprise your sweetheart? Cut out the bottom of a big box, wrap it with pretty paper and ribbon, and attach a card that says, "What's inside the box is a gift to last a lifetime." "Deliver" yourself to his or her office or front door.
17. A surprise trip is sure to set the mood. Blindfolds and intricate secret plans (you'll have to pack his or her bags) are a must to increase the thrill factor. Once you've reached your destination, pop the question.
18. Is sweetie a deep sleeper? Slip the ring on his or her finger while they're dozing and wake them with champagne and strawberries. The gesture will just seem romantic -- until they discover a new piece of jewelry adorns them!

19. Food is a tempting addition to any successful proposal! Spell out, "Will you marry me?" in M&Ms, jellybeans, or Hershey's Kisses on the kitchen table, bed, or coffee table. Send him or her in to read it; when they say yes, you can toast your future with a mutual sugar rush!
20. Freeze the ring in a homemade Popsicle, and give your sweet two treats in one!
21. Surprise your honey with an intricate gift basket. Pile in yummy delicacies -- the best chocolate, caviar, coffee -- but don't limit yourself to food. You could also include silk slippers, a book or CD. Hide the ring among all these wonderful presents (in its box, so it doesn't get lost in the goodies).
22. If you're dining in a fancy restaurant, ask the wait staff to write, "Will you marry me?" in chocolate sauce around the rim of his or her dessert plate.
23. Serve a dinner of aphrodisiacs at home and place the ring inside an oyster shell.
24. Make your intended breakfast in bed. Propose to him or her while they feel ultra-cozy and pampered.

25. Draw a hopscotch board on the sidewalk and invite your honey out for a game. Once he or she has succumbed to a little childhood play, replace the pebble you're using with the real rock!
26. Spell your proposal out in glow-in-the-dark star stickers on your ceiling. Get into bed, turn the lights off, and wait for the inevitable gasp.
27. Write "Will You Marry Me?" on the underside of a kite and take flight one warm, breezy afternoon.
28. Spell out your proposal with refrigerator magnets.
29. Scratch your proposal into the frost on his or her car's windshield.
30. If it's Easter season, paint one word each from the phrase "Will you marry me?" on four eggs and hide them with the rest, so he or she has to find them all to make a complete sentence! Definitely make "marry" the hardest egg to find. You can throw in other eggs with funny verbs painted on them to throw your egghead off -- like kick, tickle, and love!

31. Go to the beach with your honey of honeys. Casually build a sandcastle (at a safe distance from the ocean!), and place the ring on the highest turret. Invite him or her to admire your handiwork, then pop the question.
32. Go for a sunset sail and propose at sea.
33. If you're vacationing in a warm place (or you live in a warm place, lucky dogs), tie the ring onto your hot thang's new string bikini -- or in the lacing of his surf shorts -- and announce that you want to take the plunge!
34. While your beloved naps on the beach, sneak away and spell out your intention in seashells. Then go for an afternoon stroll and let the shells do all the work.
35. Take your darlin' to the local Fourth of July fireworks show, and have someone announce your proposal before your whole town.
36. Gather your families together for a summer barbecue and make your proposal a family affair.
37. Plan a scavenger hunt through a local park. Pack a picnic, and when you get to the park, send him or her along to find the first clue. Once they're out of sight, make yourself the last clue in a romantic spot with champagne on ice and ring in hand.
38. Invite Mr. or Ms. Right to a private pool party and send the ring floating toward them on a raft. (Note: This doesn't work in Jacuzzis.)
39. For a truly classy approach: Write your proposal in sunscreen on your tummy, so that your tan will "stencil in" the words. She will be so touched you've taken such an, um, interesting approach, she will accept immediately.

40. Hire a skywriter to spell your proposal on high.
41. Tongue-tied? Hire a plane to fly a banner with your "Marry me (insert name here)" message written on it. Take your honey to a wide-open space -- a beach, park, or stadium -- and simply point.
42. Hire a plane to draw huge hearts and your initials in the sky. When your sweetie notices what the pilot is doing, tell him or her that your love was heaven sent.

43. Flowers always charm people -- what else exists solely to look beautiful? (Except your fiance, of course!) String the ring on a ribbon and use it to tie a bouquet of wonderful flowers (daffodils, tulips, lilies, or whatever reminds you of him or her) together.
44. Go for symbolic power. Instead of the standard, albeit lovely, bouquet of roses, present him or her with a potted orchid. Put the ring beside the stem (in its box, so it doesn't get lost in the Spanish moss). The orchid will last a long time, will always be regal, and will bloom time and time again (just like your love).
45. Plant a colorful window box of forget-me-nots for him or her. Write one word each from the phrase "Will you marry me?" on four garden markers.
46. Sneak into his or her home or office armed with rose petals. In the biggest letters space will allow, spell out, "Will You Marry Me?"

47. If it's cold and snowy, build a snowman -- or snowwoman -- and set the ring box in his or her stick arms.
48. Propose in a different language, or lots of different languages -- starting with French, the language of love.
49. Buy a baby animal that he or she has always wanted (bunny, kitten, puppy) and loosely tie the ring around its neck. Make a commitment to the pet and each other. Or, substitute a stuffed animal -- still fuzzy, but less maintenance!
50. Play Hangman and have the phrase be "Marry Me."


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