Ready to Pop the Question? These Iconic Locations Set the Scene for Romance
You’ve found your person, you’ve snagged the ring and you’ve almost perfected what you want to say when you pop the question. The only thing left to do? Figure out the best place to propose.
Ideally, the location will be picturesque enough for the ‘gram while setting the perfect mood that inspires that “yes!” you’re after. Basically, if there’s ever been a time to crank up the romance factor, it’s now. No pressure or anything.
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Of course, there are endless possibilities for places to propose, whether your very own backyard to the restaurant where you had your first date. If you’re seeking to go above and beyond for this momentous occasion, listen to this: In a 2020 survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by Tigets, Paris was named the most romantic city in the world, followed by New York and Venice.
But if flying halfway across the world isn’t exactly in your proposal budget, don’t worry. Heather Vaughn, marriage proposal expert and founder of The Yes Girls, says the details around the experience are far more important than where it goes down.
“Location is a key factor,” she says, “but the personalized touches and thought behind the proposal (like having her favorite flowers or creating a setting based on her favorite rom-com) are what make the engagement moment one of the books!”
As you gear up to get down one knee, it’s time to choose the right setting for this life-changing moment. From classic U.S. landmarks to awe-inspiring European destinations, here are some of the best places to propose in the world.
Is it any wonder that this magical Manhattan oasis ranks at No. 1 on the list? From the Belvedere Castle terrace with its panoramic view of the park to the charming and historic Carousel, there’s plenty of dreamy spots to pop the question.
“There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a tourist visiting NYC and want to live your “Home Alone” or “Gossip Girl” fantasy at one of the iconic locations like The Bethesda fountain or the Bow Bridge,” says NYC-based proposal planner, photographer and advisor Ash Fox.
Another pro tip? If you’re eager to avoid the crowds for such an intimate moment, consider some of the park’s lesser-known treasures like the Wagner Cove gazebo.
“There are also many hidden nooks and crannies and lesser populated areas like the Harlem side of the park where you can have a fairly private moment with your loved one,” adds Fox.
The City of Love ranks high on the list for places to propose because, well, where could possibly be more romantic than atop the Eiffel Tower? It not only boasts a stunning backdrop for photos, but also a sweeping view of the city.
Given that the Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular attractions in the world, finding a quiet place to share this moment isn’t always easy. That’s why Fox advises heading nearby to capture the same magic, but with fewer onlookers to ruin the vibe.
“My recommendation would be to propose in Champs De Mars and not on the actual Tower,” she explains. “The park of Champs De Mars is very big so there is plenty of space and you can propose while having a picnic there.”
You could also book a room at the Shangri La or the Four Seasons with a view of the Eiffel Tower, popping the question on the balcony with a private dinner for two.
For the outdoorsy couple, there’s hardly a more fitting locale for a proposal than one of the natural wonders of the world, and Niagara Falls offers a plethora of different spots for every mood. Interestingly, Tigets’ survey found that this destination was the top pick for women (followed by the Eiffel Tower and Central Park).
If privacy is your top priority, opt for one of the multiple hiking trails in the Niagara Falls State Park. If your potential soon-to-be-fiancée is the adventurous type, you might consider getting up close to the rushing water at the Cave of the Winds — just don’t forget to bring a couple of ponchos. Channel your inner Pam and Jim of “The Office” fame by getting engaged on the legendary Maid of the Mist, a historic boat that offers an unparalleled view of the falls, or for a truly unforgettable proposal, pop the question in a helicopter tour via Rainbow Air Inc.
Between the charming canals and beautiful gothic palaces, Venice is undoubtedly one of the best backdrops for any love story. Naturally, a proposal here has to be on a gondola.
There are numerous gondola tours available, so look into whether they offer a special proposal package with a longer ride and a special itinerary. Without a doubt, the Bridge of Sighs is one of the most popular places to pop the question, but if your partner is on the shy side, you might choose a locale with fewer onlookers to profess your love.
Keep in mind that gondolas are designed to balance with the weight of a single standing gondolier, so if you suddenly get up from your seat when it’s time to present the ring, you might lose your balance.
“I love a gondola proposal, but you have to consider that on a boat you may not be able to get down on your knee without toppling the boat over,” notes Fox. “That might kill the romance.”
Word to the wise: Stay seated while you make your epic speech.
This London landmark is about as intimate as it gets. You can rent a private pod within the observation wheel, which is located in the Jubilee Gardens, and enjoy sweeping views of Big Ben, Southbank, St.Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower Bridge and other iconic attractions.
Proposal packages include perks such as priority boarding, a bottle of champagne, luxury chocolate truffles, a personal host and photographer, and entry to the 4D cinema experience. You can even hire musicians to serenade you with a special song when it comes time to propose.
Pro tip: Set the mood with some personal touches within the capsule by bringing photos and other mementos, candles and rose petals.
If you’re going to propose at this historic Manhattan locale, be sure to snag VIP express tickets so you can head directly to the 86th floor. You might want to plan your proposal for when the on-site saxophonist is playing (Thursday through Saturday, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.), even going as far as requesting a special song to personalize the moment.
“The Empire State building is as iconic as it gets, but there are important things to consider when proposing here,” says Fox.
For one, she points out that the banister is high, meaning you won’t likely get the view in the background of your photos. Not only that, but you obviously won’t get the actual building in the shots. That’s why Vaughn recommends heading to another nearby venue like the rooftop bar at 230 Fifth or Refinery Rooftop.
“You’ll still have the view of The Empire State building in your proposal photos, and you’ll be able to get that beautiful ‘down on one knee’ shots without a stranger walking in front of the camera.”
As far as picturesque proposals go, it’s tough to beat cuddling up in a cozy saloon boat as you drift down the canal under Amsterdam’s historic light-covered bridges. You can rent a private tour through a multitude of different companies, and many offer special proposal packages that enable you to customize the experience.
Fun fact: According to local legends, kissing underneath the Bridge of Love means you will be together forever.
Speaking of boat cruises, Tigets’ survey revealed that a ride on the Seine River ranked right after Amsterdam in terms of the best places to propose.
While cruising around on a private luxury pontoon, you’ll have a multitude of opportunities to pop the question, and with the Paris skyline in the background, you can snag some stunning shots of the moment you’ll never forget.
Don’t forget to put together a romantic playlist that you can listen to on your ride, as many tours allow you to play your own soundtrack via an iPhone or USB.
Rome’s nickname is the Eternal City, a powerful nod to the lifelong commitment you’ll be making together. Although the Colosseum is a spectacular and historic setting for a proposal, it does require some careful planning — not only will you want to take crowds into account, but you’ll also want to choose a very specific location within the amphitheater for your big moment that offers optimal light for photographs.
Note that the most accessible areas of the Colosseum are the ground floor and the second level, but without a doubt, the arena floor and top tier are the most romantic areas for a proposal.
While both of those areas are restricted and require a special ticket or tour guide, you can arrange to have access to either.
This royal residence in the English county of Berkshire is the place where Prince Charles invited Lady Diana to be his bride, and where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said their “I do’s.”
You’ll have no shortage of locations to pick from for getting down on one knee while touring this long standing castle, from the magnificent Crimson Drawing Room and the Semi-State Rooms adorned with famous artwork to the magnificent Grand Reception Room with gold walls and ceilings and chandeliers.
Of course, St. George’s Chapel is a fitting choice to ask your love to be your royal partner until the end of time.
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