Your Cart

How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt Proposal

Featured: The Elena - Gold

You’re proposing, and that’s super exciting! You’ve gone through the basic proposal ideas and passed, and making a puzzle sounds like too many items in your Etsy cart, so you’ve landed on a scavenger hunt. Equal parts fun and romantic, the scavenger hunt is the ideal proposal for the fun and the adventurous. If that describes your relationship, you’ve come to the right place.

Should You Do a Scavenger Hunt Proposal?

Well, the short answer is yes, obviously you should. The longer answer is, if you want a fun and exciting proposal, a scavenger hunt is a great way to go about that. If your relationship has had a history of being exciting and spontaneous, this is a perfect way to cap off your dating relationship and move into the engagement stage. Is your fiancé playfully dropping hints for you to get that rose gold engagement ring? If so, one of the most enjoyable ways to pop the question with said ring is a scavenger hunt, so let’s get planning!

fun and exciting proposal

Featured: The Sofia - Rose Gold

How Long Should Your Scavenger Hunt Be?

That mostly depends on your fiancé-to-be and how much time you have, honestly. There’s no real timeline for the ideal scavenger hunt duration. Whatever two clues short of “okay, this isn’t fun anymore” is, you should aim for that. For some people, that’s a handful of clues and 15 minutes of searching. For others, it’s 45 minutes worth of intense sleuthing. Just use your best judgment on this one, and you’ll be good.

What to Think About Beforehand

Degree of Difficulty

You want it to be somewhat challenging, probably. Just how challenging, though, is going to depend on who you’re proposing to. If you’re proposing to a puzzle master, you might want to up the degree of difficulty out of respect. If, however, she’s not a big tabletop gamer, you might want to play the hits and just stick to the basics. The worst-case scenario here is an unsolved scavenger hunt. No one is happy there.

Time Allotted 

Even if you make easy clues, you want to consider just how much time is going to be required to solve the scavenger hunt. If you have 30 easy clues, that’s going to take the same amount of time as 10 hard clues. Granted, that’s not a particularly scientific number, but you get the point. You want to consider how long your scavenger hunt will take to solve and adjust your clues accordingly. Honestly, anything beyond like 15 minutes is probably too much.

External Factors

This sounds super vague, we realize. This mainly depends on where you’re proposing. Are you going to be proposing in a loud area? A crowded one? A remote one? We don’t know what you’re doing, so this one is on you. 

Take some time to sit down and think about all the ways this could go wrong. We realize how that sounds but just stick with us for a bit. You want to consider all the negative possibilities such that you can plan around those, negate them and have the perfect proposal.

Shop Stunning Yet Affordable Engagement Rings

How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt Proposal


Throw every idea down on a piece of paper. No idea is a bad idea in this scenario. Gather some close friends and create an NFL-draft-style war room. Throw out everything you know about the relationship and everything that could possibly be in the scavenger hunt.

This is arguably the most important part, so choose your war room team wisely. It should not be just you. If you don’t have friends, this is your sign to go make some. Go to the YMCA or a bar or wherever people make friends and acquire some before proceeding.

Define a Location

Once you know where this is going to happen, that’s going to make everything much easier. It’s a whole lot simpler to create clues when you know the terrain. You probably already know where you’re going to do it, but it’s worth scouting the place out. That way, you know where to place friends, family, clues, photographers, etc., and it can all be seamless. 

Choose Memorable Signposts

You want your scavenger hunt to include important places, things and memories from your dating relationship. You, of course, want to look towards the future as well, but consider this scavenger hunt to be a review of your time dating with an eye toward your engagement. It’s the best of both worlds, so now’s the time to play the hits. 

You want to reference big moments, but fun nods to the little moments along the way will always be appreciated. Somewhere in there, there’s the ideal balance of both.

get photographic evidence

Featured: Elegant Ring Box

Get Photographic Evidence

You want a photographer stashed throughout. You might even want two. Up to you. Point being, you’ve put so much effort into this that you absolutely want it to be documented and put on the mantel for years to come. Make sure you have a photographer hired well beforehand so you two can work together. The photographer probably has some good suggestions for clues and locations that are going to be maximally conducive to photos.

Make the Scavenger Hunt

Yeah, this is the heavy lifting of it all. You probably don’t need to go far beyond five clues or so, but it’s up to you. It might help to reverse-engineer this whole thing. Think about where the two of you have been and all the highlights of your relationship, and work from there. When you know what you want to reference, making the scavenger hunt is going to be a lot easier.

Create a Solid First Clue

This is half the battle right here. The first clue is going to make or break the entire scavenger hunt. You want to err on the side of a little too easy here. Unless you’re proposing to Leslie Knope, you want this to be moderately easy such that she can actually solve the riddle you’ve created. Just a thought.

Get a Second Set of Eyes on It

This is going to be super helpful. Obviously, you think it’s clear what each clue means — you’re the one who wrote it. However, that outside input is going to be huge when it comes to your final rough draft of the whole thing. Give the clues to a trusted friend and see if they can make heads or tails of them. Obviously, no one besides the two of you will get them completely, but if your closest friends are completely stumped, that’s a sign you may need to recalibrate.

getting her prepped

Featured: The Ritz - Gold

Get Her Prepped for It

Maybe have a friend drop off a present with the first clue. How about a clue and a beautiful piece of bridal jewelry to wear on the wedding day? Not such a bad start to this scavenger hunt, in our humble opinion. Beyond that, make sure that if she needs anything for the proposal, she’s got it ahead of time. This is where you want to enlist the friends. Yes, it turns out you should be on good terms with her friends. If you aren’t already, here’s your sign. 

Browse Our Collection of Bridal Jewelry Here

Make Sure Everyone Is There at the End

The caveat here being, assuming she’s into all that. If you’re proposing to someone who’s very private, having everyone there may not be the ideal scenario. If that’s not the case, though, bring in friends, family, neighbors, whoever needs to be there for it, and let everyone share in your joy when you propose.

If Necessary, Hire Professionals

Look, you can probably do this on your own. We like to think that you can do this on your own. That said, if you are wildly inept when it comes to scavenger hunts or just have something so grandiose planned that you need help, you can legitimately hire professional proposal planners as basically your A-Team emotional mercenaries to have your back. You likely cannot hire professional scavenger hunters (though who knows?), but you can hire proposal planners.

choosing the perfect ring

Featured: The Alexandria

Plan the Proposal Itself

We’ve talked so much about scavenger hunts that it may be easy to overlook the actual proposal. You probably want to figure out what you’re going to say and do. Make sure you’ve chosen the perfect woman’s ring and know what you want to say. From there, you’re good.

All that said, you don’t need everything to be perfect. Yes, of course, you want everything to be perfect, and you want to do the best job possible. However, you just want to be authentic and do your best. Anything beyond that is irrelevant. You know who you’re proposing to and the relationship that you have. You know better than anyone else what you should say and do at the end, so do that.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the scavenger hunt. It’s not about the photographers or the people you have there to celebrate. It’s about the two of you. When you have that in mind, this all becomes a little less frightening and a little more manageable. As long as you’re yourself, as long as you’re honest about how you feel and what you want, you’re good to go.

Shop All Women’s Rings to Find One She’ll Love


Image Credits

Andrey Sayfutdinov/

Tijana Simic/


Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/

Volodymyr Maksymchuk/