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42 Surprise Proposal Ideas For An Unforgettable Engagement

Here's a list of surprise proposal ideas. Photo has a couple against a sunset

Are you thinking of popping the question? I get it–the abundance of nerves makes it exciting yet crazy nerve-wracking. Why not take this to the next level with some unforgettable proposal ideas? Here, we have compiled a list of ways to get down on one knee and ask for your partner’s hand in marriage. All while keeping your cool.

For the adrenaline junkies, maybe a helicopter proposal is the perfect way to surprise your person? If you prefer somewhere with an audience, a restaurant proposal is sure to get some attention. Or you’re looking for a more intimate setting, like during a romantic picnic. Whatever or wherever you decide to pop the question from extravagant to romantic, make this special moment one to remember.

A photo of engaged couple posting for their proposal engagement session

A surprise proposal is an engagement that catches the recipient entirely off guard. There’s no bigger romantic gesture than a surprise proposal (if you’re both on board, that is). The surprise element adds an extra layer of emotion and excitement, which creates a cherished memory for both of you.

While there is no way to secure a sure “yes” when proposing, you can do a few things to ensure you are both on the same page regarding marriage. This will ensure the proposal is coming out of left field.

Before proposing an engagement, talking to your partner about what’s important to you and discussing expectations and values are important topics. You should also bring up what you want your future to look like. Do you want children? Is focusing on a career or traveling the world something you see yourself accomplishing? Seeing if your future plans can align is extremely important. Always be honest and true with your own emotions and feelings. Getting married is not something to take lightly or rush into, but if you both are committed to the relationship, it can be beautiful.

Just because you discuss these topics doesn’t mean you can’t still plan a surprise proposal. If anything. It makes the proposal that much more exciting and heartfelt. You took the time to soul search with your partner and know you want the same things out of life.

an engaged woman kissing her fiance with the engagement ring in the forefront

Take your soon-to-be fiancé’s ring shopping. You don’t need to purchase the ring on the spot, but it’s a good idea to know their tastes before you make such a large purchase. You wouldn’t want your partner not to love a ring that symbolizes your commitment.

Again, this doesn’t ruin any type of surprise element. It can help avoid any kind of disappointment. Any ring is special because of what it means, but it’s good to gauge your partner’s reaction to not only the rings but the overall shopping experience.

If they mention it’s something that could happen at a later date or if it isn’t something that has not crossed their minds, it could mean there is time for another conversation instead of a marriage proposal.

Once you have had the conversations, expressed your feelings for one another, and know you belong together, it’s time for the fun part. Planning a surprise proposal takes a lot of time and effort, and the perfect proposal should be caught on camera.

You and your partner can look back on engagement photos for years to come and even share your love story with future generations. Having a secret photographer makes for another surprise, upping the romance element. The fact they see you taking the time to document your proposal is big bonus points.

This secret photographer photo shoot is also a great way to share the special moment with friends and family who weren’t able to witness the proposal. You can send them via text, show them in person, or even post them on your social media.

Choosing a photographer for a proposal is easy. You’ll meet with a photographer to start planning out the details so they know exactly what is involved, and the rest is left up to them to capture. All you need to do is celebrate this exciting new milestone. Choosing an outdoor location is sure to get the best photos, but you can catch the big moment anywhere you desire. Just remember the ring box.

an LGBT couple poses for their surprise proposal engagement session

You’re going to want to take into account what your partner would feel most comfortable with. If they are more reserved, they may appreciate a more intimate setting for a proposal or something that just involves the two of you.

If your partner is more fun-loving and adventurous, you may want the act of proposing a bit more unique and beyond the everyday routine. You don’t need to place too much pressure on yourself to have an epic proposal. Just remember where your love story began and make it memorable. The last thing you want to do is make it uncomfortable or awkward.

Here are some of the best proposal and engagement ideas so you can pop the question and celebrate the life you are about to create. This will be one of the most memorable moments of your life, so it’s essential to take some time to go through different ideas and plan something special for your future fiance. Now, let’s dive into the 42 proposal ideas to get you on the right track!

an engaged couple in Austin, TX post in front of downtown Austin

If you really want an impressive surprise proposal, hire a flash mob. This will catch everyone off guard and is the perfect way to turn your proposal into a dance party.

What could be more romantic than standing hand in hand, staring up at the beautiful day’s sky and seeing a “Would you marry me” message pop up? Honestly, we are swooning over the idea right now!

This is the perfect surprise proposal for a Disney lover or lovers. What is more over the top than planning out a trip, making all those little details line up, then getting down on one knee and making the most romantic gesture in the happiest place on earth? Go ahead, we’ll wait.

A fireworks display is a great romantic proposal. You’re genuinely starting your forever off with a bang. Literally, this can be a total surprise and the perfect outdoor proposal in the summer’s night sky.

A hot air balloon ride is top-tier romance as long as no one is afraid of heights. It’s also great for those who are adventurous at heart and are searching to take their love to newer and higher limits.

a couple poses at the Garey House in Georgetown, TX for their proposal session

From Pride and Prejudice to The Notebook, so many films serve as inspiration for grand gestures of proclaiming your love. Why not act one of these scenes out? This is perfect for those movie-buff couples who can recite every line.

If the first thing you do as a couple in the morning is to grab your coffee and head to the couch to catch the news, this is the surprise proposal for you. Imagine the look of shock on your partner’s face when they realize all of the planning it took and the excitement of this new chapter in your life. Plus, you’ll have part of the nation cheering you on!

Roses are the most romantic flower there is. Now imagine surrounding your fiance to be with hundreds while you get down on one knee. If your partner’s love language is buying them flowers, it’s time to take it to the next level with this surprise proposal.

Ok, you adrenaline junkies, this one is for you. Just be sure to plan this one ahead of time. Let the company know you’re planning a surprise proposal. That way, they can have the perfect scenic path lined up and make sure the headsets are working properly. This would be the best time to hire that secret proposal photographer to be waiting once you land.

an engaged couple poses. The bride-to-be wears a red flowing dress for their proposal photos

You have the engagement ring, you are preparing the speech of a lifetime, and you’re finally calming your nerves. You want to propose somewhere memorable but nothing too over the top. Here are the six best places to pop the question out in public!

A beach proposal can mean different things. Either plan an outing to the beach sporting your swimwear and get a surprise proposal by asking after catching some rays or make it extra romantic by hiring a secret photographer, dressing up for a nice dinner afterward, and having some flowers on standby.

A Ferris wheel proposal sounds like something right out of a romantic movie. And in a way, it really is. We suggest planning an enjoyable night at the fair, carnival, or amusement park and saving the proposal for last bonus points if you ask during the sunset.

Surprise proposals don’t have to be extravagant or overly expensive. Take your partner to your favorite restaurant for a lovely evening out. Once dessert is served, grab the ring box and get down on one knee. You’re sure to get a reaction from everyone in the room cheering on your love.

a bride and groom dance for their engagement session in front of a fountain at garey house in Georgetown, TX

Winery tours are already romantic in nature, the setting, landscape, and atmosphere–you really don’t need to lift a finger in that department. Plan a special date to take a beautiful tour of a nearby winery. Get the staff involved, have them place the ring into an empty wine glass, and serve it to your partner for an incredibly romantic proposal.

Sometimes, what really draws a couple together is their love of sports. Baseball, football, basketball, whatever your sport of choice, going to the big game and popping the question is something you’ll both never forget. Call the stadium ahead of time. There may be a chance it could pop up on the big screen!

Music lovers, here is the proposal for you. Popping the question at a concert during your favorite song surely invokes a strong reaction. Think of it this way: it’s sure to be your special song for life, and you plan on using it for your first dance, so romantic.

If your ideal proposal is one-on-one, you need to read these intimate proposal ideas. These ideas are perfect for couples who want to share their love with one another first and let everyone in on the secret later!

an lgbt couple runs and laughs during their engagement session together in Austin

Planning a proposal seems like an intricate thing, but really, it’s the opposite. Add in your partner’s favorite things. Once they come home, have some candles lit, order their favorite takeout, and put on their favorite show or movie. The romantic gesture of you taking the time to plan out their favorite things is so thoughtful, and it’s sure to bring some happy tears.

If you and your partner love being outdoors, taking a hike is the perfect way to pop the question. Map out a route to walk and pick out the ideal location to ask the big question. Prepare some coffee and pastries to enjoy after, or even a mimosa or two– we are celebrating after all!

We love this cozy yet romantic proposal idea. Prepare your partner a gorgeous spread of their favorite breakfast foods, and line the tray with rose petals and the ring box. Just be ready for some happy tears before breakfast!

Picnics already have a thoughtful and romantic feel. The time you take to prepare the food and pick out a beautiful spot to enjoy it takes some work. Pack a bottle of wine and lay out the blanket. Place the ring inside a wine glass for a cute surprise.

a couple poses for a dark and moody surprise proposal shoot in Austin

Proposing to your partner is a special moment they will never forget. Staring up at the night sky is a beautiful way to envelope nature and your love into one. Create a memory of a lifetime while gazing at the stars above.

It’s no secret that milestone anniversaries tend to be a time when proposals are involved. You don’t have to be so cliche about it. Plan out an adventure or plan the perfect day in. Whatever you do, your partner will be overjoyed at the engagement.

Does your partner do most of the cooking at home? Surprise them with a home-cooked meal and then pop the question! Get creative, spread rose petals, light candles, or even purchase their favorite dessert.

Ok, we hear you loud and clear: you need a big idea, something they won’t be expecting, so when you get down on one knee, they are sure to be shocked. There are a few ideas we can think of to make the perfect surprise proposal–believe us, they haven’t seen this on Instagram or Pinterest.

What an adorable way to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage. You can check out different websites like Etsy and design a custom puzzle to ask the big question. Once the last piece is in place, it’s showtime.

Plan out a scavenger hunt. You can get as creative as you want with this one! Go over the top, or keep it simple. Just make sure you’re at the finish line with the ring box in hand. How fun yet so romantic!

an engaged couple laugh and smile for their surprise proposal shoot

Did you know you can have custom fortune cookies delivered to your door? Well, you do now! If your partner’s favorite meal is Chinese takeout, you have the perfect way to pop the question in a cozy, homey way. Now, that is a surprise proposal.

Now, this is a sure way to bring back some old memories for both of you. Create how your love story started, and be grateful for where you are now. No matter where the date was, it’s the perfect spot to propose, we promise!

A puppy proposal isn’t for everyone. You should make sure you’re not only committing to your partner but also adding in a new family member! For those doggie lovers out there, this is perfect. Attach the ring to the puppy’s collar and hand them over. Get the tissues ready!

This is perfect for you problem solvers. An escape room can be challenging, but what’s better than a proposal at the end? This would be a great time to hire that surprise proposal photographer!

Create a moment that will never be forgotten with a scuba diving proposal. Dive deep into your love, yes, pun intended, to create a once-in-a-lifetime memory. Once you surface, celebrate by heading to a nice dinner or spending a romantic night in.

Look up your partner’s favorite celebrity to see if they do cameos. Ask them to send your fiance to be a proposal from you! Trust us, they will be shocked at more things than just the proposal!

a Black engaged couple pose for their engagement session

Holidays are meant to be spent with those you love. Surprise proposals also tend to happen around this time of year. These don’t have to take place around only Christmas or Valentine’s Day but can incorporate your partner’s favorite holiday. We are ready to witness those spooky proposals, just saying.

Is there a better way to ring in the new year with a new ring and, better yet, a new title? Go ahead, we’ll wait. Surprise your partner with a proposal as the clock strikes midnight.

Maybe your partner loves Halloween or the Fourth of July–this is a great opportunity to plan out a proposal. Ring box in the Halloween candy, love it. Surprise proposal under a firework-laden sky? Swoon.

The cheer, the twinkling lights, and the love the holidays bring are like no other. This is the perfect surprise proposal or Christmas proposal. Hang the ring in the tree, and while your partner searches for their present, get down on one knee so that once they turn around, you’ll be there ready.

It may be a tad bit cliche, but a Valentine’s Day dinner (especially if this is your partner’s favorite holiday) is a fun way to propose. After all, the day is all about love! Break out the champagne and heart-shaped boxes and shower your partner with love before popping the question!

A couple holds eachother in front of downtown Austin for their proposal photos

The more the merrier! Celebrate your proposal with friends and family. There are also great ways to capture some photos with the help of a proposal photographer. You’ll also be able to celebrate with the people most important to you!

Plan a surprise proposal on your partner’s birthday! All of your friends and family will already be there, so there is no better time to show the person you love how much you truly love them. After they blow out their candles, it’s time for the best present of all!

After an event like a sports game, concert, play, or whatever it is you and your partner love to do together, throw an after-party! This way, you can invite the people who are close to you to celebrate a perfect proposal.

This is perfect if you want to share this precious moment with a family that is all over the globe. Plan out a group message to ask the big question. That way, everyone is involved in your love story. Once you and your partner are face to face, get down on one knee with the engagement ring–so romantic.

Playing charades is a fun way to plan a surprise proposal. here, with your family and friends, you can get your partner to guess a “Will you marry me?” Once they believe they have won the game, get down on one knee. We promise there won’t be a dry eye in the room!

a couple poses at Garey House in Georgetown Texas for engagement session

Sometimes, it’s needed to get away for a special trip and leave the hustle and bustle of our daily lives behind. This could be a weekend away, a full-blown vacation or cruise, or a trip across the state. You can plan a romantic special moment for you and your partner to pop the question wherever you go.

Travel to a landmark. This can be as extravagant as the office tower in Paris or taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Make it memorable, and make sure to capture pictures along the way so you can see the build-up to the proposal in photographs.

Travel somewhere that has a stunning view. Imagine you and your partner holding hands while looking over an ocean view. You can personalize this to any location you love. Just be sure to grab the ring and act naturally.

If you’re taking a vacation, you could decorate your hotel while your partner is away. Plan a spa day or something your future fiance likes to do, and ensure they head there alone for some relaxation and fun. While they are away, decorate the room with flowers, candles, balloons, or anything you want! You could even leave a message for them on the bed in rose petals or chocolates.

A newly engaged bride-to-be smiles at the camera for her proposal portraits

Not many people get to experience this natural phenomenon. So what better way to make it a moment you’ll never forget? Plan a beautiful evening under the northern lights and prepare to ask that big question.

The crackling of the fireplace, the cool breeze blowing outside, the stars sparkling in the night sky, all while being cozied up next to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Goosebumps, am I right? Renting a cabin for a romantic getaway can be the perfect time to propose. Break out the champagne!

Alright, lovebird, now that you have the dream location set, the ring picked out, and the speech ready, why not call the photographer and set up a secret photo shoot? Whether you’re envisioning a picturesque park, a rooftop rendezvous, or a cozy candlelit dinner, we’re here to sprinkle some magic on your special moment. 

We’re your partners in crafting a proposal story that will leave everyone swooning. So what do you say? Ready to make magic happen?

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