Up until last year, those planning a marriage proposal had a variety of options when it came to popping the question. Would the proposal take place in the couple’s city of residence or in a faraway destination? In public or private? Would family members and friends be present to celebrate? Will the proposal take place in the couple’s city of residence or in a faraway destination? As with many events, the COVID pandemic limited proposers’ options—many were forced to pop the question at home.
Now that vaccines and testing are more readily available, we’re seeing a return to normal life—and more variety when it comes to marriage proposal trends. According to top planners, destination proposals are back, as are more public proposals celebrated with family and friends—and the “proposal party” is returning to its pre-pandemic popularity.
While some proposers are still opting for at-home or private proposals, it’s more by choice rather than a necessity. And just because these proposals are more private doesn’t mean they can’t be elaborately planned, too. From renting venues to finding scenic locations, hiring professionals, adding unique decor, and more, we’re seeing more unique and creative proposals than ever before.
We talked to some of the top proposal planners in the industry to find out what’s new and hot in the world of marriage proposal trends to help inspire your big moment.
Intimate Proposals in Public Spaces
While some proposers want to go all-out with a big, splashy public proposal (hello, Jumbotron!), we’re seeing a new proposal trend emerge—creating an intimate moment in a public space. Says Jasmine Galloway of Jasmine Rose Events in Brockton, Massachusetts: “This can look like creating a private dining experience at their favorite restaurant. Or perhaps creating an upscaled proposal in a public park or on a private beach.” Think Travis Barker popping the question to Kourtney Kardashian at a beach hotel—not completely private, but still personal and special.
For a twist on the private proposal, many proposers are opting to rent a venue where they can pop the question in a space that’s intimate, but a bit more unique than home. Though renting an entire venue just for your proposal might seem a bit over-the-top (and expensive!), it ensures complete privacy. “Most requests are that the venue or location has a pretty backdrop or view and that it is fully private,” says Heather Vaughn of The Yes Girls in Trabuco Canyon, California. “The private rental spaces, especially outdoor spaces with beach views and rooftops right now, have been the most popular because it ensures a couple’s proposal can take place without hiccups.”
Now that couples are able to travel more freely and safely, destination proposals are back in a big way. Proposers are choosing locations for a variety of reasons, with spectacular scenery—from a majestic mountaintop to a stunning vineyard, a serene lake, and more—being a major factor to create those Instagram-worthy moments. According to Galloway, both nearby destinations and faraway locations (especially beachy spots like Mexico and the Dominican Republic) are popular.
The Return of the Proposal Party
Those post-proposal surprise parties, where the couple’s family members and friends celebrate in person immediately after the question is popped, are back—though a bit smaller than pre-COVID. "Many clients proposing are having guests present for the proposal again,” says Vaughn. “A majority of our clients will utilize their privately rented proposal venue to host their guests following the proposal. These celebrations are not a 50+ guest party but many are opting to have 15 to 25 guests present.”
“One proposal trend that isn’t going away is a hidden photographer and it’s one we love,” says Alex K of Vision in White Events in Nashville, Tennessee. “You’ll want to remember this moment forever and the photos are a great way to share the moment with your family and friends later.” A professional photographer (and even a videographer, too!) can also ensure that your proposal is totally Instagram-worthy. Just make sure that you work with your photo and video pros in advance to ensure they’ll be well hidden and not to spoil any surprises!
For many proposers, a bouquet of red roses just won’t cut it in terms of decor. In 2022, expect to see elaborate, Kardashian-worthy floral arrangements decorating homes or other proposal locations. “Our couples are all about the flowers right now and making sure the set-up is beautified with some of their partner’s favorite flowers and colors,” says Heather.
With the rise in proposers hiring vendors and planning celebrations, proposals are becoming more wedding-like. And as with weddings, hiring a proposal planner can make all the difference. “Couples are most definitely hiring proposal planners and additional wedding professionals to help with planning, developing, and executing the perfect proposal experience,” says Galloway. “All the proposer has to do is show up, look good, and pop the question. The proposal planner and hired professionals (photographer, videographer, florist, musicians, etc.) are specifically there to allow the couple to live in the moment, allow that moment to unfold, and create the narrative as seamlessly as possible.”