We’ve all heard about the well-intentioned guy who hides the ring in dessert at a fancy restaurant, only for the proposal to end in disaster (either the dessert was served to someone else or the woman swallows the ring, you get the idea). How about coming up with something unique to really blow your soon-to-be fiancé away? Here are some out-of-the-(ring) box options:
1. Scavenger Hunt
If you’re good at making cutesy poems and clever at incorporating places from your relationship into them, consider sending her on a scavenger hunt to get to you and your ring. Make sure one of her stops is to a salon for a mani (and maybe a blowout?) so she looks top-notch for photos after the proposal. (If she hates surprises she won’t be as mad if you’ve been thoughtful enough to include a manicure, since everyone will be checking out her digits afterward!)
2. River Cruise
Consider a creative option like this. The beautiful scenery will keep you both busy and nerves at bay, as you look out at the skyline and surroundings while telling your mate how much they mean to you. Some companies offer the option of hiring a photographer than can hide until the moment you pop the question. The photographer can capture everything from the nerves to the proposal to his or her reaction.
3. On the Beach
We know one groom-to-be whose brother was actually a photographer that hid in the bushes during a very romantic proposal on the beach. If you and yours have fond memories of surfing, sunbathing, or just riding the waves, this is a top-notch romantic option that will surely go over well.
4. On a Hike
If you’re an adventurous couple that loves hiking and long walks, think about a picturesque and memorable proposal on a hike. If you’re able to get a photo, even if it’s a selfie at the top of a mountain, this can be as unique an engagement photo as you can get.
5. In a Photo Booth
You know those old-school photo booths from carnivals and arcades? Suggest taking some pics and pull out the ring while the camera is going. (Be quick though, those timers are tricky). She’ll never know what hit her and the pics will be priceless.
6. Crossword Puzzle
For brainiacs and wordsmiths, this is a clever and unsuspecting way to propose. Just make sure to include other clues so she doesn’t figure it out too quickly. It’s more of a private proposal, but you’ll have it forever and it’s pretty memorable. (Hey, if it worked for Jon Stewart, it could work for you).
7. Garden Surprise
Did you hear about the guy that used his gardening skills to plant a carrot seed in such a way that it grew through the engagement ring that was carefully placed in the dirt? So the unsuspecting bride-to-be pulled out a karat in a carrot! Needless to say, she was surprised, amused, and quickly said yes. Points to that guy for creativity!
8. Classic Rewind
For the sentimental, there’s always proposing where it all began, whether it’s the locale of your first date or the campus where you met. While this isn’t the most unique, if you have a nostalgic soon-to-be better half, going this route means you can’t go wrong. (Plus it’s a great story for the kids someday).
9. Play Up Their Profession
One probation officer got the shock of a lifetime when her boyfriend showed up at her municipal court in shackles and a jumpsuit. Looking like a criminal, he walked in, said he was guilty, and then proceeded to prose his guilt of love for her with an engagement ring. Best line ever? After she says yes, he says “I’m ready for my life sentence!” Watch how the whole thing plays out here!
If you feel the bridesmaid and groomsmen's roles have all been taken, consider making cousins ushers or usherettes.
Not sure how to include cousins in your wedding? You can always find a spot for them at the table during the holidays. But...