marriage proposal

Your proposal is going to be a moment you'll both remember forever. It's the beginning of your wedding planning journey, so spend the time figuring out where to propose, ensuring that you pick a place that’s both meaningful and romantic. The best places to propose are the ones that prove how strong your love is and how excited you are to be entering into this wedding journey together. There are a lot of factors to think about when choosing the best place to propose, but the most important is how it will make the person you're asking feel. Do you really want your proposal story to be “He came home from work and asked me to come up on the roof deck?” Put a little thought into it. If your soon-to-be-fiance(e) is a social person, find a way to ask her where she'll be surrounded by friends. If your future spouse is a Disney fanatic, plan a trip to the Magic Kingdom and get Mickey in on the action. The important thing is to personalize the occasion to start your wedding journey off the right way. And unless the person you're proposing to is an absolute sports fanatic, skip the Jumbotron.

Here are some great options to consider when it comes to where to propose.

Wherever You Had Your First Date

When thinking about where to propose, heading back to the place where you had your first date is a classic (and the way I proposed to my wife!). Go back to where it all began. There's a beautiful symmetry in choosing the location of your first date as your proposal spot. It shows the journey that you've taken since those first moments together and allows you to reflect on how far you've come. In my own proposal, I not only recreated our first date – a restaurant/bar crawl – but convinced my wife's closest family and friends to join us at the final stop on the tour for a fun celebration that included the people we love most in the world.

The Place Where You First Fell in Love

This is slightly different than the first date idea, but figuring out where to propose may be as simple as recalling the spot where you knew it was meant to be. Maybe it's the club you went to on your third date. Maybe it's back to that ski resort you went to on your first vacation together. Wherever it was when you knew that she was the one, that's the perfect place to stage your proposal. It comes with a built-in story (“When I saw you in those ski boots on this very spot, I knew...”) and you get to enjoy one of your favorite relationship moments for the second time. It's a win-win.

The Most Romantic Place You Know

This is obviously different for every couple, but identify the most romantic place you know and then make that the location where you’ll propose. If you're that Disney-loving couple, it could be on the Jungle Cruise. If you've been down to Hawaii, it might be at that shaved ice spot you love in Oahu. Maybe you're both really into Vegas and the Bellagio fountains are the height of romance in your life. Wherever it is that you think is romantic, that's the right place to make your move.

At Home (But with a Twist)

Be wary of the at home proposal, but know that it could turn out to be the best proposal of all. You don't want the moment to seem like it's just a whim, so skip the “meet me upstairs for a second” act. Use your home as the symbol of your togetherness (this is assuming that you either live together or spend more of your time in one place) and transform it into something special. Rose petals, live violins, a private chef – it's up to you to decide how cheesy you want to go. The key here is to make your home feel truly special, and, more importantly, truly personal. The at home proposal comes with its risks but it also comes with an extremely high success rate.

The Place Where You First Met

Obviously this one won't work if you met online (it's pretty hard to pop the question inside a dating app), but if you met the old fashioned way, this is a sentimental favorite when it comes to where to propose. Take your special person back to where it all began. Similar to the first date idea, this proposal aims to show just how far you've come in your love together. Think of it like “Romantic Inception,” as you literally take it all back to the exact moment where you first laid eyes on each other. Before your first date, before you truly fell in love, this is the singular place where your life changed. Celebrate that by crafting a life-changing proposal in the same spot.

A Family Gathering

There's something so special about being able to share the moment of your engagement with your entire family. If the person you're proposing to is really tight with their family, this option gives you the chance to include those loved ones in your special moment. You can even involve them in some elaborate ruse that seems like the day is filled with disaster, only to discover that it was all your plan to get your new fiancé(e) to the perfect spot to propose. Using a family gathering as your proposal lets everyone share in the experience while also acknowledging how important family is going to be in your lives.