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proposal, creative, engagement

Top 9 Most Creative Proposal Ideas

Looking for inspiring ideas on how to propose? (After all, it is a moment you'll both remember for the rest of your lives.) One of these might just be the perfect idea.

Photo: Allan Zepeda

Create A Custom Website

If you’re tech savvy (or honestly even if you just know how to create a Tumblr page), you can easily pull this one off. A custom site can be as simple or complicated as you want -- from a simple page that tells your love story to an interactive site that’s totally customized.

Follow Their Lead: Rhett Hildebrandt created a website MarryMeMaryDay.com where he posted illustrations he had made of his girlfriend, Mary’s, favorite movies, books, TV shows and more, including Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter and The Princess Bride. Then he asked the social-sphere on Twitter and Reddit to help out with his proposal by posting photos of his girlfriend Mary’s favorite things -- all with the hashtag #MarryMeMaryDay. At the end of the day, he led her into a room set up with a projector and shared all of the hashtagged images with her.

Jason Sherman put his skills to work and designed and produced a custom website for his girlfriend --MeAndYouMakes.Us. There he posted photos of the two of them from the time the first met to the day he proposed. When his girlfriend pulled up the site, she was surprised to find all of the photos and a proposal waiting for her!

Enlist a Celebrity (Or Favorite Band, Sports Team Or Athlete) To Help You Propose

Maybe you met at a concert or maybe you’ve have always had a shared love for the same sports team. Enlisting someone you both admire to be a part of the proposal takes more time and coordination but ultimately makes for a seriously memorable story. Just choose someone you both love (in other words, if she doesn’t love football, asking the local team to help you propose to her isn’t going to be special for you both).

Follow Their Lead: Put it this way: Brook and Britnee love the Goo Goo Dolls. So when Brook went to create a proposal video, he knew that their new song "Come To Me," would make the perfect soundtrack. Even better he emailed the Goo Goo Dolls PR contact and asked whether they would be willing to help him propose and they said yes (at the 3:40 minute-mark). The day he proposed, he invited Britnee to a movie theater to watch the Goo Goo Dolls proposal video. (She said yes.)

For a couple of Bruce Springsteen fans, this was the ultimate proposal. During one of Springsteen’s concerts in Brazil, Bruce actually pulled the couple up to the stage for the entire audience to see the two get engaged. To top it all off, Springsteen played "She’s The One" during the proposal and gave the couple congratulatory hugs. (Skip to the 5-minute mark in the video to see the proposal.)

Propose To Each Other (The Double Proposal)

More and more couples are going dutch on the engagement ring, so take that idea and decide to propose to one each other for a unique twist on tradition. You can make it as much or as little of a surprise as you want. For example, shop for the rings together and decide to propose to one another on a particular day. Or, keep it all a secret by surprising one another with rings and a creative proposal.

Follow Their Lead: One bride on our message boards, @UponMidnight, says that she and her boyfriend proposed to one another on their seventh anniversary. The two chose unique engagement rings that matched each other’s eyes.

Laura and her girlfriend Kathrine had been together for three years when they started talking about getting engaged. "We both want diamond rings and we both want to propose to each other." Laura shared on our message boards, it was just a matter of finding the right timing.

Incorporate Her Favorite Thing In the Entire World (And Multiply It By 100)

Adding something personalized seems simple enough but this idea takes it up a notch. For example, if she loves sunflowers, propose to her in a field of sunflowers. If she likes art, take her to her favorite piece in the entire world. Better yet, have a custom exhibit set up just for the proposal. See what we mean?

Follow Their Lead: Groom-to-be Ed surprised his fiance Alex by proposing in front of 19 pugs (her favorite dog) accessorized with pink heart-shaped balloons in the middle of Central Park.

Inspired by his girlfriend Andrea’s love of all things Harry Potter, Jaysin planned a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt proposal complete with a custom video game! Each of the scavenger hunt clues came with a riddle that eventually led her to the UPS store, the public library and finally one of their favorite pubs where he proposed. The best part? There’s a spell casting and magic trick at the end.

Involve A Special Talent Or Stunt

This doesn’t have to be a skydiving proposal (although we’ve heard of a few!). It could be something much more on the mellow side like writing a song just for her with lyrics that include "will you marry me?" and playing it for her at home or during a concert in public.

Follow Their Lead: One skilled wake-boarder got down on one knee while trailing a boat with his girlfriend. Oh yeah, and the entire thing was caught on video.

Another guy proposed in the middle of a rock climbing adventure. He even planted a few hidden cameras to capture the moment.

Plan An On-Air Proposal

Public proposals are more common than you might think (they actually account for 36% of engagements). Getting down on one knee on live TV though is different – and has to be one of the most public and over-the-top ways to propose (on par with getting engaged on the jumbotron at a sporting event). A grand gesture can be totally romantic, but you also have to consider the pressure of making a lifetime decision in front of a million viewers.

Follow Their Lead: Simone Jhingoor thought that she was appearing on the Today Show to talk about her new non-profit business. Instead she was surprised to see her boyfriend ring-in-hand standing with Al Roker on the plaza at Rockefeller Center. The Today Show proposal was a huge suprise to her, not to mention the millions of viewers at home watching!

William Polen surprised his girlfriend Julie Loven by proposing on the Bethenny Frankel Show. Julie thought she was going to be on the show to talk about her lifestyle blog but she was surprised to see her boyfriend there on set too. Two days later, the clip from the show even showed up on Jimmy Fallon!

Create A Custom Video Proposal

Maybe you’re not fully comfortable having millions of viewers tune in for a live engagement. Another idea is to capture everything on video and allow others to watch a video of the entire event later on replay -- whether that means hiring a videographer to simply capture the moment and edit a video together or getting really creative and editing everything into a time-lapse video.

Follow Their Lead: Stephanie’s boyfriend convinced her they should take a video of their trip to Seattle, but what she didn’t know is that he planned to use the video as an opportunity to document a time-lapse video proposal. In just a few minutes during the video, you see the couple explore Seattle landmarks like Pike Place and the Post Alley gum wall followed by a proposal beneath a tree in downtown Seattle.

Graffiti artist Jeff Gurwin painting a large mural on the side of a building at Avenue A and Second Street in New York City. He captured the entire graffiti marriage proposal – from spray paint to bended knee --on video.

Plan A Destination Proposal

Whisk your future fiance away to another city or even country for a destination marriage proposal. Whether you pretend you've planned the getaway "just because," or disguise it as a last-minute business trip you want her to tag along on, impromptu travel is a guaranteed way to set the scene for a thrilling engagement. You'll both already be in a fantastic mood from the fun of being in a new city and a luxe hotel (hint: this is not the time to go for bargain lodging), and once you've popped the question, it'll be even more of a getaway to remember.

Follow Their Lead: New Yorker Jared told his girlfriend Emily that he was taking her to San Francisco for the weekend just because he'd found cheap tickets online and wanted to visit some friends there. Since her man was known for being very devoted to his buddies, Emily thought the trip was all about seeing them, and was blown away when Jared pulled out an engagement ring in the car on the way to their San Francisco hotel.

While vacationing in the Bahamas with her boyfriend, Peaseblossom55 asked a few kids to take their photo. After the photo, her boyfriend requested another one, and then proceeded to get down on one knee and propose. The entire Bahamas wedding proposal was captured on camera.

Throw A Surprise Proposal Party

This proposal idea has the benefit of the double surprise: After you propose (at dinner or on a romantic walk or even at home), plan to head somewhere else to celebrate. Maybe it’s back at your place or a favorite local watering hole -- where your friends and family will be waiting to pop the champagne. One warning: Hold off on inviting the guests until a day or two before if possible to avoid spoiling the surprise. Don't worry, we’re sure they'll cancel any other plans in a second to share in this momentous occasion.

Follow Their Lead: After Christine's husband Lawrence proposed over dinner, he suggested they get a nightcap at a lounge around the corner. She was secretly thinking she'd rather go home to call her parents and tell them the news, but went along since she didn't want to spoil the mood. You can imagine how overjoyed she was when they walked in the bar and found that both of their parents and all of their closest friends were gathered around a table waiting for them!

CU97Tiger and her boyfriend planned a "staycation" over Fourth of July weekend at a local hotel. While they were out on the patio, her boyfriend proposed. Afterward, they headed to dinner – only to her surprise were greeted by 40 of their close friends and family, some of whom had flown in from out of state, to celebrate their newly engaged status.

-- Jamie Miles

See More: Popping the Question