How to Propose to a Girl: 60 Ways to Pop the Question

Updated on January 20, 2018
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Kate is a relationship mentor and holds a B.S. degree from Sonoma State University. She currently resides in Sonoma, California.

You've decided to propose to your girlfriend but first you need some ideas on how to do it. The good news is that you came to the right place. In this article, we will discuss some romantic ideas on how you can propose to a girl based on the type of person she is.

We will also discuss a few basic concepts so that you can increase your chances of getting a "yes" at the end of all your planning.

Understanding a Woman’s Idea of Marriage

The first thing for a man to realize is the significance of a proposal to a woman goes beyond words. It is a moment where she decides if she is willing to share her body, heart, mind, soul and life with the man who is proposing.

For a woman who considers herself a person of depth and meaning, she is looking for the man in her life to find out what is important to her and build a proposal based on those aspects.

Ideas of How to Propose to Your Girlfriend

Basing a proposal on the type of woman you are proposing to makes it much more likely that you'll get a "yes." Find the type of person your girlfriend is listed below, and see the associated ideas on how to propose to her. You can modify these ideas or incorporate multiple ideas into one for a truly original experience for her.

The Sentimental Woman

If the woman is sentimental, she probably would love a proposal that reflects something special based on when and where you were when you both first fell in love, went a first date, or some other special occurrence in your relationship. These are the best ideas to propose to a sentimental woman.

1. At Theater or During a Show - A proposal at a theater with a show, musical, or play that she loves. Consider getting in touch with the play's organizers to see if characters from the show may be willing to assist during intermission or after the end of the event.

2. Her Favored Animal Farm - An animal farm (such as a horse farm if she is a horse lover) can make a great proposal. This is especially true if she has some fond memories at that location with you. Involve a favorite animal of her's in the proposal.

3. Her Childhood Hometown - Ask her lots of questions prior to a trip to her childhood hometown to learn of a special place for her and consider doing the proposal there. Consider asking a childhood friend of hers for assistance.

4. On a Dinner Cruise - A dinner cruise out on a bay, lake, or ocean can be a very romantic setting for a proposal. This is especially true if your girlfriend loves water or has special memories involving the water.

5. At a Concert of Her Favorite Band - This is an even better idea if it is a favorite band for both of you. A romantic dinner beforehand, surprise tickets during the meal, and a proposal at the show could be a winning combination. Consider talking to the concert's organizer before to see if you can have a moment during the show (or just prior to her favorite song starting) to pop the question.

6. Your Favorite Getaway, Restaurant, or Resort - If as a couple you have a favorite place such as this, consider booking a visit there and incorporating a proposal into the trip.

7. A Special Quiet Beach - A beach that you and your girlfriend have great memories at can be the perfect place. Pack a picnic, bring some romantic music, watch the sunset, say your speech, and get down on one knee!

8. An Amusement Park - At an amusement park you two have shared memories at. You can even consider a proposal during a special ride or amusement that she loves. If you do this, make certain the ring is secured and doesn't fly off your ride!

9. A Helicopter Tour over Her Home Town - A sentimental type of girl will love to fly over her home town and point out various locations from her childhood to you as you go. The proposal can be done in the air, during a picnic after you land, or you can have a message written on the ground in big letters that she reads as you fly overhead.

10. A Holiday Proposal - A Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentines Day, Birthday, or other holiday proposal can be a big hit. A gift of a box with just a note inside setting you up for the proposal could be a great way to pop the question. If a certain holiday is her favorite and she has fond memories attached to it, choose that holiday.

The Nature Lover

If she is a naturalist, there are thousands of great parks and nature preserves across the globe. Picking one that she would find special can happen easily with a few conversations about favorite spots you could visit together to enjoy nature.

If most of the destinations are far away, it would be a good idea to narrow down in another conversation to great places you could go for a weekend nearby. Great spots to propose to a nature lover include the following.

11. State or National Parks - A hike to a beautiful location at a state or national park with a romantic picnic basket lunch could be just the ticket. Toss in some music and a slow dance up on a bluff with a good view, and you've got yourself an engagement.

12. Wildlife Preserves - A wildlife preserve is another great idea for a nature lover. Have one of the animals bring her the ring before getting down on one knee. Talk with staff and they may be able to help in other ways you haven't thought of.

13. Vineyards - If your girlfriend loves wine, consider taking her wine tasting and on a tour of the vineyards in the wine country. This can be a beautiful setting for a proposal. Leading her out into the vineyard to an awaiting picnic and bottle of wine might be just what she needs.

A surprise picnic in the vineyards after wine tasting is a great time to pop the question.
A surprise picnic in the vineyards after wine tasting is a great time to pop the question.

14. Seaside or Lake Tours - See some beautiful scenery and have a romantic excursion such as with a seaside or lake tour. During the tour, plan it so you can take over the intercom or microphone (if it's a guided tour) and make your proposal.

15. Mountainous Trails - Plan a hike to a beautiful location or even something a little more challenging that will require some teamwork to get you to your destination. Once there, you can even incorporate team work into your speech to her before popping the question.

16. Botanical Gardens - Go to some botanical gardens and find the most beautiful spot ahead of time. Then when the big day comes and you are there with your girlfriend, you will know which location to make your proposal at.

17. Apple Picking - Book a tour of an apple orchard but make sure you have a chance to go picking a basket of apples on your own. Setup a romantic picnic that you stumble upon and eat lunch at. Pop the question on a bended knee in the middle of the orchard.

The More Practical Woman

If the woman is more practical, that does not mean she does not feel deeply as well. But this type of woman would want to know that the man she is marrying is stable and respects her need for stability and private sentiment.

This woman more than likely would not want an extravagant proposal. Fancy locations are not everything, but proposals from the heart to a woman are. This is especially true if she is more of the quiet type. Here are some great ideas for the more practical woman.

18. A Quiet Dinner Out - A quiet dinner out at a favorite restaurant or possibly the first restaurant you dined at together. Have a waiter (or manager) come out with only the ring, displayed in it's box, on the platter. Have it set down in front of her, hand her some flowers, get down on one knee, and make your case for marriage.

19. Backyard Picnic - A surprise picnic in the backyard can make this type of woman very comfortable. Consider having music, champagne, and romantic music. Lye on your backs and watch the clouds before asking for her hand.

20. A Close Family Member's House - If your girl is exceptionally close to a certain family member or their parents, consider proposing at their residence. Make a day of it and your speech can mention making her family your family too.

21. A Dinner for Two at Home - Surprise her with a home cooked meal, romantic music, and candle light. Have a token from early in your relationship (such as an early love note) to give her after the meal. Then ask for her hand in marriage.

The more practical and quiet type of woman can appreciate a sentimental gesture after a romantic meal for two at home.
The more practical and quiet type of woman can appreciate a sentimental gesture after a romantic meal for two at home.

22. Rooftop Sunset Viewing - Tell her you are working on the roof but use the time to setup a picnic. Around sunset call her up top to a surprise meal, sunset, and a long meaningful talk about your relationship. Get on one knee about the time the sun hits the horizon.

23. Childhood Home - Find a way to incorporate your girl's childhood home into a great proposal. If she is the quiet type, it could be great for it to be just the two of you. Listen to her childhood stories and then tell her you want to make more memories, with just her, for the rest of your life.

24. A Website - Buy a [name]willyoumarryme.com or other similar website. Setup a touching video to play on the main page of the website showing the journey you have taken together. A touching song, some pictures of you together, and a closing proposal question will make the video complete. Set her web browser to open to this page on startup and be ready to be there on one knee after she watches it. For some great memories, set her webcam to record her reaction.

Proposing to the More Adventurous Woman

For the adventurous woman, there are many great locations to propose. This type of woman may very well want a private proposal, but usually a very adventurous one.

This woman would typically feel that while they were enjoying their mutual love of adventure together it would be a perfect time for a proposal. Here are some possibilities for the adventure or adrenaline lover.

25. Mountain Climbing Adventure - A proposal on the cliff side overlooking a beautiful valley with a few special words could have her heart fluttering. Be cautious though of the surprise factor of the proposal and any related safety issues that could arise.

26. Snow Skiing/Snow Boarding - Snow skiing or snow boarding in some remote forested location, off the beaten trail, can be a great adventure. It also very often leads to some stunning views. Consider having a helper tailing you who can show up at the right time with music, champagne, and a picnic.

27. Hiking or Backpacking - Hiking or backpacking through some rough terrain or tough conditions could be what this type of woman lives for. An adventure like this often takes teamwork to get through, and this can be the perfect precursor to a "yes!" Consider asking during a quiet night around the campfire.

A hiking or backpacking trip could be great for the adventurous type of woman. A quiet night around the campfire might be just the right time to ask for her hand in marriage.
A hiking or backpacking trip could be great for the adventurous type of woman. A quiet night around the campfire might be just the right time to ask for her hand in marriage.

28. Surfing - Going surfing at a new location with exceptionally large waves. This will likely be a beach proposal which is always romantic. The addition of the adrenaline inducing waves will make your girlfriend more willing to "take a risk" on saying yes (if you need that extra push to get to a yes).

29. Scuba Diving - Get a guided tour scuba diving in an area with warm water and great visibility. Try to see a shark or two in the process which will help get the adrenaline pumping. Back on the boat, take her to the stern and make your proposal. Keep in mind that some states require a scuba license to go diving.

30. Snorkeling - This can be similar to the scuba diving idea (see above), but geared a little more to the practical woman. This is a great idea and much simpler if getting your scuba license is out of the question.

31. Zip Lining - Shooting down a steel cable hundreds of feet in the air from tree top to tree top will get her heart thumping. Then afterwards, at a spot already scouted out by you, make your proposal and get her heart racing again.

32. Snowmobiling - The great thing about snowmobiling is that it can get you out to some very beautiful and very remote areas. Find a company that will rent snowmobiles or even give you a guided tour. Take her out to a beautiful overlook for a picnic and make your proposal.

33. Skydiving - Take her skydiving to get her adrenaline pumping. Prior to the jump, go out to a field near where this will occur and write her name followed by "will you marry me?" in huge letters on the ground which can only be easily read from the sky. Let the skydiving instructors know and they will surely accommodate any requests you have.

34. Hot Air Balloon - Much like the skydiving suggestion above, you can have a message that is clearly visible from the air written on the ground. A proposal while floating in the air can be incredibly romantic. Talk to the balloon company prior and see what they'd be willing to do to help.

35. Mountain Biking - Go for a mountain biking adventure through some fast pace trails. On the way down the trail, during a specifically fast section, have some signs setup ahead of time. Each sign can have one word written on it that she will read as the two of you pass, such as "Allison - will - you - marry - me?" When she looks at you, stop the bike and get down on one knee.

For the Woman Who Loves a More Boisterous Life

This is for the type of woman who is very outspoken, expressive, and loves to be the life of the party. This type of woman wants the whole world to know that she is in love and that the man she loves is proposing.

Proposals for this type of woman can happen anywhere a large group gathers. Here are some ideas to get you started.

36. At a Sporting Event over a Loudspeaker or Jumbotron - Most sporting events have an organizer that you can speak to about setting up a proposal. Have the camera put the two of you on the jumbotron or just display the words "[Name], will you marry me?" for everyone to see.

37. With a Plane That Writes in the Sky - Hire a company that specializes in sky advertisements at large events to write a "[Name], will you marry me?" in the sky overhead. Combine this with a hike, picnic, or trip to the lake for an extra special experience.

Find an advertising company that specializes in large events. They may be able to set you up with a plane that can write your message of love in the sky!
Find an advertising company that specializes in large events. They may be able to set you up with a plane that can write your message of love in the sky!

38. A Banner on the Back of a Low Flying Plane - Have a custom banner made asking your girlfriend to marry you. Then hire a plane to fly overhead of a special surprise picnic you planned for her in a remote location. A low flying plane with large banner that has her name on it will be one big surprise!

39. Placing a Large Ad in a Newspaper - Contact your local newspaper and ask them about taking out an ad to ask your girlfriend to marry you. Incorporate her favorite picture of the two of you. This is an especially fun idea if you live in a small town.

40. In Front of Family and Friends - This type of woman may love a proposal in front of a large gathering of her family and friends. The next family reunion, outing to an event with friends, or other gathering may be the thing to get all the attention on her during the proposal. If she likes that, then you will score major points. Just make sure she is likely to say yes so that this approach doesn't backfire.

For the Animal Lover

For the animal lover, the proposal process can be quite easy. These women typically love it when a pet or animal is the one to bring them the engagement ring. There are many great ideas that can be wonderful for the animal lover, here are a few.

41. Animal Sanctuaries - These facilities usually have unique exotic animals that an animal lover will really appreciate. Talk to the staff, they may be able to set you up with some special access to a specific habitat for the proposal.

42. Rescue Farms - One great idea is to go to a rescue farm together since seeing animals that were rescued typically make an animal lover's heart fill with love. Use this as your chance to pop the question after adopting a new member of your family.

43. Wildlife Preserves - These are great areas for a proposal and can even be a little remote to get to, which is perfect if your girl has an adventurous spirit. Find a way to involve her favorite animal, even if it's just having that animal carry a sign or banner.

44. At Home or on Vacation with a Rescue Pet - Involving your girlfriend's beloved pet in the event is a well proven technique for a successful proposal. A woman's heart is already filled with love for her pet, by involving her pet you are making those feelings work to your benefit. Consider attaching the ring to a collar, having the pet bring her a toy with the marry me message on it, or dressing her pet in an outfit with the message written on it.

45. While Giving Your Girlfriend a New Rescue Pet as a Gift - A new puppy, cat, bunny (etc) given to her as a gift, along with a card telling her the rescue story of the animal can really touch her heart. Working the big question into this experience will be something she soon wont forget.

46. Dog and Animal Friendly Café’s - If your partner loves to be surrounded by dogs and dog owners, taker her out on a romantic day ending with a trip to a dog friendly cafe. Consider talking to management and either involving staff or getting access to their intercom for the proposal.

A proposal at a sporting event wont be soon forgotten. Talk to the organization that runs the event to see if they can help make it happen during halftime or other break in the game!
A proposal at a sporting event wont be soon forgotten. Talk to the organization that runs the event to see if they can help make it happen during halftime or other break in the game!

For the Woman Who Loves Sports

There are great sporting events that can be a wonderful place to propose all over the world. If as a couple, you enjoy a sporting team together and she is the outgoing type, than the jumbotron or billboard at the sporting event could make her feel incredibly flattered. But any sporting event that riles her passion can be a great place to propose.

47. The Olympics - If your girl appreciates the historical significance of the Olympics, not only will she be blown away by the once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in person, but a proposal during this event will make it a lifelong memory. Choose an event of particular interest to her and work your proposal in accordingly.

48. World Sporting Events - Various world sporting events can be a great place for a proposal, although it can often times involve an expensive trip. The excitement of a country on country sporting event may make her ready for more life excitement, like starting life's journey with you!

49. National League Sporting Events - Another great option and just like any proposal that involves a sporting event, you often can get some assistance from the organizers. Think about breaks, half times, intermissions, jumbotrons, and custom messages displayed in various areas of the event.

50. Meet and Greets - If you can get access to a meet and greet for one of her favorite sports teams or a favorite player, she is already going to be ready for some excitement before you even pop the question. Asking her the big question will just add to the excitement and you may even have luck asking the subject of the meet and greet to assist, which will make a lifelong memory for her.

51. In a Box Seat Showing of a Favorite Sporting Event - Get the best tickets you can afford for her favorite sporting event, preferably one with box seats. There would be nothing better for a sports fan than being comfortable in those luxurious accommodations before you confess the extent of your love and ask for her hand.

Many celebrities have gotten engaged in big cities, this could work for you too!
Many celebrities have gotten engaged in big cities, this could work for you too!

For the Woman Who Loves Travel

For the woman who loves travel and the man with the budget to do so, the globe has endless locations to jaunt to. It is best to find a location that suits her personality. There are literally endless destinations depending on what appeals to her, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

52. Ocean Destinations - For ocean lovers, there are astoundingly beautiful beaches across the world from Hawaii to the French Riviera, the Caribbean to the Greek Isles. A snorkeling trip, scuba diving trip, beach camping, or any other way to enjoy the tropical environment can be a great addition to your proposal. An underwater proposal perhaps?

53. Big City Destinations - If your girl is a fan of big bustling cities full of lights, consider taking her to one for the big moment. Many famous celebrity proposals have taken place in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Paris, London, Rome, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, and Beijing.

54. Mountain Destinations - If she loves the mountains, there are hundreds of majestic beautiful mountain ranges with stunning scenery from the Rockies, to Norway, The Swiss Alps or Austria. Make sure you pick a time of year that is appropriate for such an excursion as mountain locations can be quiet harsh during certain season and absolutely gorgeous during others. Consider a ski trip, hiking trip, helicopter ride, or guided tour as a time to pop the big question.

55. Historical Destinations - If your girlfriend loves history, traveling to Israel, Greece, Rome, or any European nation could be really a treasured place to enjoy a romantic proposal. Find a specific location that has even greater historical significance to ask for her hand in marriage.

56. Take a Cruise - Surprise her with a cruise to somewhere she has mentioned wanting to go to in the past, and plan one specific night on the cruise for the big question. Many cruise lines offer certain romantic packages such as dinner for two near the front of the boat. Propose like the next Leonardo DiCaprio and you will almost certainly get a yes!

Serenading your girlfriend before the proposal is a great way to get her in the mood.
Serenading your girlfriend before the proposal is a great way to get her in the mood.

For The Music Lover

There are so many great ways to say I love you and to propose with music. There are ways to accomplish this even if the proposer does not have the ability to sing or write music. Here are some ways to pop the question to a music lover.

57. Write a Song and Serenade Her - This is almost always a perfect way to make a proposal for those that are musically inclined. This can bring immediate intimacy between two people. She will appreciate that she has her own song written by the love of her life. Perform this song in a location special to her or your relationship and you have a solid proposal.

58. Learn to Play an Instrument - Learn an instrument secretly on the side without her being aware. Imagine her surprise when you are somewhere romantic together and you bring out your instrument she never knew you could play and sing her a custom song that you wrote. Get on one knee at the end and there isn't a girl in this world who wouldn't have her heart fluttering.

59. A Beach Proposal with Music - Proposing to music while at the beach is probably as classic of a proposal as you can get. It can be an instrument you are playing, a hired artist that is there playing just for her, or even just from a portable music player. Try having the music coming unexpectedly "out of nowhere" and acting confused at first until you get on one knee.

60. A Private Reception Room with a Candlelight Dinner - Hotels and other large venues often have reception rooms available for rent. Rent out one of these rooms for a few house in the evening for a romantic dinner for two. Use a provided music system or even a private pianist in the room at the end of the meal to make the proposal truly one of a kind.

61. Hiring a Professional to Write and Sing a Song - Hire a professional musician to write a custom song and perform it for the two of you in a location of your choosing. Give the performer some ideas on special aspects of your relationship so the song can be truly customized to your thoughts and feelings towards your girlfriend. Instead of having a custom song written, try having "your song" played by the hired talent.

Understanding the Dynamics of a Proposal Acceptance

If the relationship is a good healthy relationship and both people have discussed getting married to each other previously in a generally favorable discussion, then the proposal itself can be more assured to have a positive response if it’s handled right.

That is when men who are looking to propose to the woman they love should learn to not approach things from their brain but instead from their heart. For some men, this can take a bit of work because they function more from their mind and look at things logically and analytically.

Women tend to process life more based on their feelings and if does not feel right the answer will be “No”.

Understanding the Dynamics of a Proposal Refusal

Getting engaged is an important event for a couple which marks the beginning of a more in-depth commitment to each other. However, not all proposals end up in an engagement.

This can happen for many different reasons, a lot of them are good common sense and should not be taken as a rejection of the person proposing. Sometimes, the person being proposed too does not feel comfortable with the person proposing to them for a variety of reasons.

The woman may not be ready for marriage, or want to be married, or she may have experienced abuse which has made her very leery of the commitment. Other times refusals can happen because of incompatibility, a lack of depth in the relationship, or because of an overly controlling or jealous proposer.

Many times we just can't figure out why someone would says no, but if a no comes your way after your proposal, it is important to respect that decision. Remember that how you handle the "no" may dictate whether you will have another opportunity sometime in the future with this person to ask the question with a positive response.

Conclusion

Remember, the setting of the proposal is only part of what is valuable to a woman. For most women, a special proposal is all about the heart at that moment and the depth in the relationship which stirs thoughts of a future with the man of their dreams.

Most women need to know that the man they are thinking of marrying is caring enough of her heart, her dreams, her feelings and her qualities as a person to trust committing with him in marriage. Creating the right proposal from the heart is a great way to help her know that her trust is warranted.

50 Bonus Proposal Ideas

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Kate Daily

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