When it comes to proposals, Instagram (OK, Kanye) would have us believe it’s always the bigger, the better. But if proclaiming your love in front of thousands of strangers isn’t your cup of tea, don’t fret; there are plenty of thoughtful ways to propose to your future forever-person that don’t involve a Jumbotron. Here, five tasteful, unique proposal ideas.

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engagement couple scavenger

1. The Scavenger Hunt Proposal

While the jig might be up pretty quickly—considering the two of you probably don’t usually spend your Saturdays surprising each other with a scavenger hunt—it’s the thought that counts here. Sending your soon-to-be fiancé to collect clues from places that are important to your relationship (the bar where you first met, the restaurant where you had your first date, the park where you said “I love you,” etc.) is a nostalgic, sweet setup to the final question: Will you marry me?

engagement board scrabble

2. The Game Night Proposal

Do the two of you love a cozy night in, drinking whiskey and playing board games? Then stack the decks—it’s not cheating if the end game is a proposal—to make sure your question appears mid-game. Whether it’s a “Marry Me and Get Out of Jail Free Card” or some strategically placed Scrabble tiles (and sure, go for that Triple Word Score while you’re at it), it’s definitely a winning move.

engagement kiss float

3. The Vacation Proposal

While you’re probably imagining getting down on one knee in front of the Eiffel Tower, you don’t have to go as far as Paris for a dreamy out-of-town proposal. In fact, it doesn’t really matter where you are. What matters is that the stress of work, family and everything else fades into the background. Being in a present, relaxed mind-set makes getting engaged on holiday all the more romantic. Plus, it’s extra fun that you two have a little secret to reveal to friends and family when they pick you up from the airport.

engagement surprise party
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4. The Surprise Party Proposal

On the flipside, if you’re the couple who loves being surrounded by family and friends, why not include them in the engagement? Pick a bar or restaurant with a private room, have all your favorite people secretly show up with balloons and decor and pop the question as soon as your betrothed enters…shocked and happy.

engagement meal couple resto
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5. The Wonderfully Casual Proposal

While it probably seems like everyone’s getting engaged in outrageously creative ways—“He wrote ‘Will You Marry Me?’ in rare orchids on the side of a mountain that I could only see once the homemade hot air balloon reached 1,000 feet!”—there’s nothing wrong with an intimate, heartfelt proposal. Do you two take the dog on a long Sunday morning walk? Cook dinner together after work? Go on a morning jog? (Relationship goals.) There’s just something lovely about embracing the normalcy of your relationship and asking for more of it 'til death do you part…followed by some Champagne, of course. 

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