7 Extra-Special Marriage Proposal Ideas

When you’re about to ask the most important question of your life, every detail matters. From the setting to the timing to the element of surprise and more, coming up with marriage proposal ideas that feel special, unique, and practical to pull off can feel daunting!

But not to worry—and here’s why: When it comes to a proposal, all the bells and whistles are awesome if you want them, but they’re not the only way to make them special. In fact, it’s simpler proposal ideas that often turn out to be the most authentic and meaningful.

In this article, we’ll cover some of our favorite marriage proposal ideas to give you inspo, plus a few other helpful tips for making your proposal go off without a hitch.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Simple proposals can also be really meaningful and special, like when they include your kids or pets, or happen at a favorite place you share together.
  • Grand gesture proposals can be great too, but they do require more precise planning and timing.
  • You’ll never regret hiring a pro to help document your proposal with photos and/or video.
  • Some other great ways to make your proposal extra special include giving a handmade gift (like a letter or a scrapbook) and planning a post-proposal celebration with family and friends.

7 Extra Special Marriage Proposal Ideas

Include Your Kids or Pets

Making your kids or pets part of your proposal adds an extra layer of sentimentality and allows you to include everyone you love most. As a photographer, there’s nothing quite like seeing a family all together celebrating this next new milestone in their lives—it’s so special for everyone.

Young boy smiling at his parent's wedding proposal

Recreate Your First Date

This is one of my favorites. There’s something so romantic about looking back on your first date, thinking about how you had no idea what was to come. What better time to do it than during your proposal? Proposing at the restaurant where you shared your first meal or on the park bench where you had your first kiss (or your special equivalent to these) brings your love story full circle.

Make it a Weekend

You’re going to feel celebratory after your proposal—why limit it to one day? Proposing during a special getaway, or planning a weekend celebration to follow the proposal is a fun way to extend the celebration with your new fiance and have time to bask in the happiness of this milestone together.

Do Something You Both Love

This one is so simple, but really meaningful. It’s something I always recommend to clients thinking about how to make their proposal or engagement session special. In essence, it’s just about going back to the basics and asking: What do you two love to do together?

It could be anything: hanging out at a favorite coffee shop, going hiking, spending a quiet weekend in a special place you both love, going to see your favorite band—these are just a few examples.

Proposing while doing something together that you love is one of the coolest ways to make your proposal authentically yours.

Propose with a View

If you want to add a wow factor to your proposal without worrying about being too extreme or (gasp) even tacky, adding a view is one of the best ways to do it. By proposing on the beach at sunset, or during a hike at its most scenic stops, or on a rooftop with a city skyline in the background (you get the idea), you can let your surroundings do part of the work for you to make your proposal feel like a movie scene.

Proposal happening with a city skyline in the background.

Make a Grand Gesture

This one’s not for everyone—but it can be really cool. We’ve all seen them: Proposals happening on the jumbotron at sports games, being written in the sky by airplanes, being displayed on a billboard. I can get on board with these ideas and they definitely make a proposal special. But I do recommend keeping a few considerations in mind.

First, think about your partner. Are they a public proposal kind of person? If yes, go for it. If you think it might make them uneasy to be the center of so much public attention, maybe choose something a little more low-key.

Second, consider the planning that’s involved. Grand gesture proposals require a lot of planning ahead and often perfect timing in the execution. Be ready to take it on!

Incorporate a Holiday Season

Holidays provide a perfect backdrop for a proposal—think twinkling Christmas lights in the background or New Year’s Eve fireworks. Proposing during the holiday season makes it naturally festive. Plus, it’s often easier to see family and friends to celebrate, since you’ll already be getting together.

Making the Moment Extra Special

Document with Photo and Video

You will never regret documenting your proposal with photography or videography—or both. I promise. There is nothing like the genuine joy and emotion of a proposal. Capturing that to keep forever is an irreplaceable gift to yourself and your partner.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. People film super high-quality videos of their proposals all the time with smartphones. If you have a bestie or family member who can help you out, they can be ready to take photos, too.

But—there’s no guarantee you’ll capture things just the way you want without a pro to help you. Hiring a photographer ensures you don’t accidentally miss the most important moments, that you get the right angles and photos, and that you can just be present in the moment without having to manage if or how to capture it.

Create a Hand-Made Gift

I love this idea because, again, it makes a proposal experience unique to the couple. But don’t get scared away by “hand-made.” By this, I just mean you created it, but not that you have to be crafty. Some of the best gifts I’ve seen given at proposals are handwritten cards and letters and simple photo albums or scrapbooks. It’s just an extra special way to incorporate your love and love story into the experience.

Celebrate with Family and Friends

Planning for your friends and family to be around after the proposal is a fun way to expand the joy of the moment and celebrate all together. This doesn’t have to be complicated either—a backyard BBQ at your parents house, or a special dinner with your close family and friends, or a fun night out at a local spot you both love (or something similarly simple) are all great ways to celebrate.

The Takeaway

Special marriage proposal ideas don’t have to be stressful or over-the-top. As a photographer who has seen dozens of proposals happen firsthand, I promise that the most special moments are the ones shared by you and your partner in a setting that’s uniquely meaningful to you.

And if you want to document the moment exactly as you envision it, Perennial is here to help. Book a call with us today to talk about how to make it happen.

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