10 Marriage Proposal Ideas: How to propose

It’s the most important question you’ll ever ask, so it’s so important that you plan every little detail ahead of asking those life-changing four words, ‘will you marry me?’. Fear not, as we’re here to help with tips on how to get engaged and proposal ideas. Forever. Bring it on.


Romantic proposal ideas & ways to pop the question

Thinking of proposing soon? Prepare for an unforgettable day and start by setting the scene. Make the moment memorable and sentimental for the both of you with our top ‘will you marry me?’ ideas and tips on the most romantic ways to propose.


Pick a significant date

We’re talking key dates like Christmas, Valentine’s or anniversaries here. Decide on your special date and then let its significance lead how you ask the question…


A romantic treasure hunt

Perfect for those who love an air of mystery, leave a romantic trail of around the house that ends with you on your knee with the engagement ring. This also works as a great outdoor proposal idea too.


Photo memories

A simple, yet oh-so-special proposal idea, fill a room with photos of your memories together; then, when they’ve had a chance to take it all in, ask them to help you plan lifetime of adventures with you. Discover more proposal ideas at home on the blog.


Milestone movie

It is the digital age after all. Record some special moments together and make a montage that ends with the big question. A simple proposal idea with all the thought behind it, you’ll be able to look back on it for years to come.


Make a weekend of it

Planning a weekend of falling in love all over again is one of the most romantic proposal ideas on our list. A cosy cottage get-away works as well as a whirlwind mini-break, just spend the weekend gazing into each other’s eyes before asking them to spend their life with you.


Incorporate your song

It could be background music in a romantic proposal at home or performed spontaneously in their favourite park; what’s important is that the song that says everything about your relationship so far will be playing as you get down on one knee.


Make a statement

If you’re sure they like the limelight, planning an announcement at a concert will ensure your proposal really steals the show. Or why not organise your very own flash mob for them? It would definitely go down as a great surprise proposal idea.


Select a sentimental location

For a romantic restaurant proposal idea, book a table somewhere special before making it even more magical by asking them to marry you. It could be the restaurant you had your first date at or somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going together.


Capture the moment

The moment will go so quickly, so hire a photographer to capture the exact moment they say ‘yes!’. You could even surprise them on your wedding day with your engagement photos for the most memorable proposal idea.


Reach for the stars

Just right for summer or proposal ideas on the beach, plan a private proposal with an evening of champagne and stargazing together, before popping the question under the beautiful night sky.

Our Marriage Proposal Tips

Proposal tips for the perfect moment

You’ve planned how you’re going to propose, now it’s time to nail the finer details. From which knee to go down on, to what to say in that moment, these top proposal tips will prepare you for an unforgettable day.

When to propose?

How long should you wait to propose is a question that a lot of people ask, but there’s no right or wrong answer. The important thing is that both you and your partner are on the same page and ready to take this (exciting) next step in your relationship!

Propose on which knee?

Have you ever wondered which knee to propose on? Maybe you haven’t, but we’ve just made you panic! We very much doubt they’ll notice which knee you’re on, but if you would like to be traditional, then your left knee should be on the ground, while the right knee should be up. The ring box should be in your left hand, and the box should be opened with your right hand.

On which finger does the engagement ring go?

This is different in different countries all over the world, but in the UK it is traditional to wear your engagement ring on your third finger on your left hand. Some believe this is because a vein leads from this finger directly to your heart!

Should I propose before or after dinner?

If you’re going for a nice dinner together, it might be that you ask the waiter to spell it into your desert at the very end of your meal, or you could propose at the beginning and enjoy your first meal together as an engaged couple – it’s completely your choice!

How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

You may have heard the rumour that engagement rings should cost the equivalent of three months wages, but in reality the amount you spend on the ring is an entirely personal choice. Discover our Engagement Ring Buying Guide for more tips.

How to propose without a ring

Proposing without a ring can be just as sentimental! We love the idea of proposing with a different piece of jewellery like birthstones, a heartfelt letter, or gifting a family heirloom. If you’re wanting to choose or design an engagement ring together after the proposal, why not go for a proposal ring? Discover more here.

What to say when you propose?

Although these immortal words themselves are enough to melt anyone’s heart, if you want to say more than just ‘will you marry me?’ then our tips on what to say when you propose are just what you need.


The history of engagement rings

Whether you want to follow tradition or you want to do things a bit differently, getting to know the history of getting engaged could offer some special wedding proposal ideas of your own.

  • Requesting their hand in marriage

    Dating back to a time when marriage was regarded more as a contract between two families, tradition dictated that you should approach your future father-in-law to request your partner’s hand in marriage. Although by no means compulsory today, if you get on well with your partner’s family, this can be a lovely proposal tradition to uphold.

  • Where did engagement rings come from?

    In 1214, the Pope decreed that couples wishing to marry should observe a waiting period before the wedding ceremony. He decided that couples should wear a ring to symbolise their commitment to each other during this waiting period – or as it is known today, an engagement. In those days, the engagement rings were very simple and usually made from base metals.

  • Why a diamond engagement ring?

    We have Archduke Maximilian of Austria to thank for this tradition. In 1477, he presented his beloved with a ring featuring a letter ‘M’ spelled out in diamonds. At this time, diamonds were incredibly rare and were thought to possess powers that made them almost magical.

  • Why go down on a bended knee?

    Think back to the days of knighthood. In those days, a knight would go down on one knee to show respect and loyalty, so it seems only fitting to do the same whilst proposing. Today, it’s one of our favourite traditions of a marriage proposal.

  • History of the ring finger

    The ring finger is the third finger on the left hand (undoubtedly hard to remember whilst you’re down on one knee). The ancient Egyptians believed that the vein running from this finger leads directly to the heart, and so it has become the traditional finger to wear an engagement ring; a symbol of love and commitment. So romantic!

  • Announcing your engagement

    A year after the Pope introduced engagement rings, he decreed that any couples wishing to marry must formally announce it. We think this tradition is a perfect excuse for posting plenty of ring selfies once you’re engaged. To get the perfect shot, read our blog on how to take the perfect engagement ring selfie.

    Read the blog.
  • Leap year proposals

    According to an Irish legend, once every four years on Leap Day, women are allowed to take matter into their own hands and make a marriage proposal. In the Middle Ages, laws stated that if a man refused a Leap Year proposal, he would have to buy the lady 12 pairs of gloves as a penalty. We don’t believe you have to wait to take control ladies! Take note from some of these inspiring and famous women who proposed and took matters into their own hands.

    Read the blog.

Share your proposals

These real-life #ByBeaverbrooks stories are perfect for giving you all the inspiration you need on how to propose. Discover the most unique, romantic and pure genius proposal ideas as seen on Instagram. Here’s a couple of heart-warming engagement stories…

  • “Dan created the most personalised and perfect proposal for me by making me my own escape room! I had to solve the different puzzles in turn and each one gave me some letter tiles. At the end I had to unjumble them to spell out the message. It was just us at home which was exactly what I wanted, and clear that so much thought went into it all. It’s still one of our most favourite stories to tell people.”
    - @300daystoplanawedding

  • “Out on an autumnal walk and out of the blue I hear Ronnie say “Madie” and I turn around and there’s him on one knee. I was shocked and surprised - I said YES! When Ronnie put the ring on my finger a robin landed next to us which is a symbol of someone in heaven, my Nana was next to us watching that special moment. Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you handsome, I love you so much. Thanks for making our 3-year anniversary special!”
    - @webermadie1