So, you’ve decided to pop the question? Congratulations! After deciding when to propose and choosing an engagement ring, the factor that will have the largest impact on your proposal is the location. When determining where to ask your girlfriend to spend the rest of her life with you, it’s important to consider her personality, and who you two are as a couple. First you must decide if it’s a completely private, or more public spot that best suits you.
Most couples would relish the attention received from getting engaged in a public locale with throngs of onlookers applauding at the acceptance of a proposal. However, whether you’re a decidedly private person or just shy, you or your bride-to-be could feel like you’re being put on spot when sharing this intimate moment with the public. So before you can even begin to choose a location to propose, think about what would make the two of you most comfortable in the moment. A more private couple should stick to less populated spots to ensure there’s no outside pressure. If you both have outgoing personalities and love the limelight, choosing a public place will be fun and memorable.
Once you know your boundaries with the amount of people you feel comfortable having overhear your proposal, it’s time to pick a location that really speaks to who you are as a couple. Though destination proposals, or essentially proposals planned around a vacation, are increasingly popular, you don’t have to break the bank to create a magical moment. Just make sure you choose a place where you both feel comfortable. For more laid back or sporty couples who both love the outdoors, the beach, a lake, or a park or garden are great choices. If you both love the finer things in life and getting dressed-up, upscale restaurants and romantic landmarks add to the traditional feel of a proposal. Any of these locations can be found in or around your city, as well as in a variety of destinations around the globe.
If the great outdoors speaks to you as a couple, these locations are a great way to create a beautiful moment in a natural (and free!) setting. The beach is always a lovely scene for a proposal, and undeniably romantic. From sunrise to sunset, any time of day is great for a proposal by the water, although naturally sunset is the prime hour. If you are lucky enough to live close to a beach on the West Coast or East Coast, take a drive out to a pre-determined spot based on the amount of people you are comfortable having nearby. For those who do not live within driving distance of a beach and aren’t up for major travel, chances are you live close enough to a lake that provides that romantic sunset effect. Planning a destination beach proposal means the options are endless. From the warm shores of Hawaii’s islands to more exotic beaches like Bora Bora, Thailand, and the Bahamas, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure you pick a destination your bride-to-be will love so there are no distractions when it comes time to pop the question. Constantly swatting mosquitos or brushing-off sand does not exactly create that magical moment.
Another great outdoor option in lieu of a waterfront proposal is a park or garden. If you have a pet that you often take to the local park together, bring them along for the proposal. For sporty couples who love to hike, find a local trail that will take you to a lookout point to add a romantic feel. Most cities also offer botanical gardens, a wonderful spot to pop the question surrounded by blooming flowers. If you’ve decided to plan a destination proposal, opt for a famous park like Central Park in New York City, or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Many exotic and island destinations also offer sprawling botanical gardens and national parks where you can choose from a multitude of scenic spots to get down on one knee. The biggest issue to consider with these nature-centric locations is allergies! You don’t want the love of your life sneezing through your proposal.
One of the most traditional public locations for marriage proposals is restaurants. Whether it’s the little hole-in-the-wall café where you had your first date, or her favorite high-end eatery, romantic restaurants are a popular way to create a beautiful moment. Popping the question in the spot where your first date together took place is a sweet and meaningful gesture that you really can’t go wrong with. In this case, it really doesn’t matter if the restaurant is fancy or even that great- just that it shows every moment you have had together has been special. If this scenario isn’t in the cards, choose one of her favorite restaurants within driving distance and make sure you get a reservation. Have a bottle of champagne on hand, and dress accordingly. You don’t necessarily have to don a tie, but slacks and a blazer are a must. For destination proposals, research restaurants you would both like to go to, and stick to the same plan.
For guys who really want to pull out all the stops, romantic landmarks are a great way to create an enchanting proposal. There may be spots in or near your own town that hold romantic significance- an old theater, historic buildings, and vineyards are great options. However, to really get the most out of romantic landmarks, you have to create your proposal around travel. The most popular domestic spots include the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Grand Canyon. The Empire State Building is an especially popular spot that has been played-out in romantic movies for decades. If you’re up for international travel, Paris holds some of the most romantic proposal locations in the world. The Eiffel Tower, of course, the Ponte des Artes bridge where lovers have left locks for centuries, and Norte Dame. For that old-world charm, you can also choose from other European landmarks like old cathedrals, museums, and rivers with scenic bridges. No matter where you travel, you can certainly find a memorable and romantic spot.
Whether you choose to stay close to home or venture out into the world to pop the question, be sure to plan every detail around what means the most to you as a couple. Things don’t always go as planned when you travel, so be prepared to roll with the punches and always keep that engagement ring on hand! Make sure you have a charged-up smart phone or camera ready to capture the moment after she says “yes”, and have a plan in place for what you will do next. As long as you get down on one knee and tell her why you want to spend the rest of your life with her, you’re sure to sweep her off her feet!