Some people, when they propose, look for traditional proposal spots like waterfalls, overlooks and famous landmarks — which are all well and good. Others, however, find a whole lot of joy and meaning in keeping things closer to home. And we mean really close, as in literally proposing at home.
Yes, it’s a thing, and you can do it, too! In fact, there are lots of wonderful and heartfelt ways to ask the ultimate question from the comfort of your own home. Check out these 11 romantic ideas for a proposal at home that will be anything but ordinary.
1. Make them breakfast in bed.
We’ll start off with a surefire classic that will start anybody’s day with a smile. Before your partner wakes up, get an early start in the kitchen and use your best breakfast-cooking skills to whip up favorites like bacon, eggs, French toast or whatever they enjoy most. (Thanks to the simplicity of most breakfast foods, you don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to cook something reasonably tasty.)
When the food is all ready, serve it up on a breakfast tray, and definitely remember to throw in a mug of fresh coffee or tea if they drink it. As for the moment when the engagement ring comes out, you’ve got lots of cute options, from presenting it yourself to concealing it in a small covered dish. Just don’t try hiding the ring inside their English muffin or other food — a chipped tooth (or, heaven forbid, a swallowed ring) is a surefire way to ruin a proposal.
2. Create a treasure hunt.
Does your partner like games, mysteries and other fun challenges? Then a treasure hunt might just be the perfect way to propose! The idea is simple: Set up a sequence of “clues” around your house, each of which leads to another — all leading up to the proposal as the grand finale. We suggest coming up with some fun clues involving your history together. Not only does this demonstrate your love and care, but it also gives you an opportunity to go down fun rabbit holes of memory.
A few considerations to make sure your treasure hunt goes smoothly: First, don’t make the clues too hard, and be open to giving help. Second, make sure you’ve got a concentrated block of time when they’ll be out of the house so you can set up the game. (Get their friends and family to help you out here!) Finally — and this goes for every proposal, but even more so for this one — wait for a time when they’ll be relaxed to do this. Few people want to go on any kind of treasure hunt when they’ve just gotten off work!
3. Plan a home spa night.
You know what a lot of people would like when they get off work, though? A massage, a bubble bath and a glass or two of champagne. If your partner loves to be pampered (and really, who doesn’t?), setting up a home spa night is a fantastic way to lead into the big moment.
This homegrown spa package can include anything you know your partner will enjoy, from back rubs to bath bombs to fancy lotions to face masks. (Your participation is optional, but you might find that you enjoy it more than you expect!) When they’re sufficiently relaxed and feeling themselves, it’s time to pull out the gorgeous oval engagement ring you selected and pitch them on the commitment of a lifetime.
4. Put together a gathering of family and friends.
This one won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if your partner is the kind who finds public proposals romantic, this could be the perfect way to bring the experience home! Invite family, friends and whoever you think your partner would want there. To avoid making your significant other suspicious, you might plan the gathering around another holiday, such as a Labor Day cookout or even their birthday. (Caveat: Birthday proposals also aren’t for everybody!)
One major advantage of this is that (presumably) the house will be clean and you’ll both be looking your best. That makes for great proposal photos — and you’ll have plenty of people there to take them! To make sure people are ready to capture the big moment, let a few select friends and family in on the secret before the party. One other thing: You probably know that it’s important not to spring a big public proposal on your partner totally cold, but talking in advance is especially crucial here. You don’t want to make them feel pressured or embarrassed!
5. Play them a song.
If you’re blessed with musical talent, incorporating a song into your proposal can be one of the most wonderfully heartfelt ways to pop the question. Whether it’s piano, guitar, synthesizer or even something unconventional like banjo, a proposal in song radiates sincerity and devotion! Plus, if you can find a way to get it captured on video, it makes for a moment that’s truly worth watching again and again.
Naturally, you’ll want to spend some time practicing whatever you’re planning to play. You want to be able to pull it off perfectly when the big moment comes! It’s also a good idea to think about their favorite genres of music when selecting (or writing) the song you’ll play. That 10-minute drum solo will probably only tickle their fancy if they’re also a drummer, so maybe indulge their love of Jason Mraz just this once?
6. Cook their favorite food and have a romantic dinner.
Someone cooking your favorite food for you is one of those things that never fails to create warm fuzzy feelings. So, if you want to keep it relatively simple while still impressing them with a romantic gesture, think about cooking their favorite dish and serving it as part of an intimate dinner just for the two of you. (If you’re not the culinary type but you still like this idea, there’s always the option of ordering out from a restaurant they love!)
Whether you’re proposing before or after dinner, presentation definitely matters here, so when in doubt, go all out. We’re talking white tablecloth, candelabras, roses — the works! You want your partner to see that you’ve gone to great lengths to show your love. When it comes to the actual ring presentation, we recommend saving it for the dessert course and then popping a bottle of champagne once you’ve sealed the deal!
7. Have a blanket fort night.
Many people rediscovered the joy of making blanket forts during the quarantine days (and some never forgot it in the first place). It’s a cute but intimate space that you and your partner can build together, and it’s a perfect excuse to get a little goofy and let your hair down. In other words, it very well might be just the thing for a proposal!
Putting your fort together is a big part of the fun, so don’t rush it. Get creative and build the blanket fort of your dreams! You can add all kinds of cool stuff like fairy light strings to create just the vibe you want for your cozy kingdom, and it can also be a great spot to watch a movie (so long as you don’t mind enjoying it on a smaller screen). Just remember that you might have to come up with a gesture other than the traditional taking a knee if you’re all snuggled up inside your fort!
8. Write them a love letter.
For an old-school vibe that will make them swoon, there’s nothing quite like a love letter. First, get some fancy stationery paper and a pen — you definitely want to go handwritten! Then, sit down and pour out your feelings. Give yourself some time for multiple drafts, and check out some of the classic love letters of history if you need a little inspiration. For those with a literary soul, you could even write your partner a poem!
As for how you want to play the actual proposal, that’s up to you. A simple and direct way is to end the letter with the big question itself — although we don’t recommend adding a “check yes or no” box. (Middle school vibes are not what you want!) Ultimately, however, no words on a page can match the ravishing romanticism of getting on one knee and presenting that brilliant halo engagement ring you picked out. So when in doubt, keep it personal.
9. Create a custom proposal puzzle.
Lots of couples enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles together as part of a chill night in, but it can also be a wonderfully unexpected way to pop the question. Tons of online services offer custom jigsaw puzzles that you can adorn with whatever images you’d like, such as a favorite photo of the two of you together. You can choose to add some text like “Marry me?” or not — it can be wonderful to watch them piecing the words together, but you also might prefer to do the asking yourself!
Whatever you choose, we recommend making a night out of it. Pour up a glass of wine, put on some music you both enjoy and make whatever other romantic gestures you think your partner will appreciate. Keep the ring out of sight, but close at hand. Pro tip: Since you’ll probably want to wait until the puzzle is completed for the big moment, you probably don’t want to make the puzzle too difficult or give it too many pieces, unless your partner is an expert puzzle-solver. (Most puzzle companies allow you to customize this, so just choose an easier option.)
10. Have a home karaoke night.
If you like the sound of the musical proposal idea (no pun intended) but don’t have the instrumental chops, don’t worry! It’s easy to do karaoke at home with one of the many digital karaoke systems on the market now, and a home karaoke night can make a wonderfully lighthearted (but still genuine and heartfelt) proposal idea. If you know your sweetheart would like a semi-public proposal with family and friends around, this is also a good opportunity to invite folks over.
You can play the big moment in lots of different ways, but our favorite is to sing a song that you both know and love, especially if it’s one with a special significance for both of you. (A song about marriage may or may not be too on-the-nose, but there are lots of good choices!) When the song is over, that’s your cue to hit the knee and go for it.
11. Propose during movie night.
Whether your idea of a romantic movie is Casablanca, Moonstruck or True Romance, a movie night with a favorite flick presents a wonderfully fun and personal way to build up to the big question. It’s also something that plenty of people do regularly, so it’s a great way to go if you want your proposal to be a surprise.
It’s fairly easy to set this one up, too. After all, most of us are pretty much experts on getting cozy and curling up in front of the TV! Make sure you’re well-stocked with drinks and snacks, get out your softest pillows and blankets and make it clear that you’ve got nowhere else to be for the night. Some people will want to propose during an especially romantic moment, but this can make it pretty hard to concentrate on the rest of the movie — so consider presenting the ring after the credits roll if you want to make sure you can enjoy the whole film!
Modern Gents offers so many ways to make the moment special. Shop all of our beautiful and affordable engagement rings and find the one that looks like forever to you — or check out our everyday jewelry collection for gorgeous gift options that fit any occasion. Plus, don’t forget to browse our huge collection of proposal tips for more inspiration, from proposal ideas for shy partners to options for proposing without a ring.
Bits And Splits/Shutterstock.com
Flame of life/Shutterstock.com