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3 Unique Proposal Ideas Inspired by True Stories

Ah, wedding proposals. Instagram 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. We’ve partnered with Ben Bridge Jeweler, a family-run jewelry company with over 110 years of experience, to share three tasteful and unique proposal ideas from our very own PureWow staffers, plus timeless jewelry options inspired by each.

proposal ideas mary
Nate Creamer Photography

The Real (Estate) Grand Gesture

My boyfriend (now husband) and I had always dreamed of having a little mountain house one day. During Covid, we lucked out with both of us working remotely and mortgage rates being so incredibly low. We found our perfect ski house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. When we closed on the house in February 2021, our realtor had a lovely basket of beers from local breweries as a “welcome home” gift waiting for us at the house. He hung around to help us enjoy them and as the evening approached, I noticed my boyfriend getting increasingly annoyed. I thought maybe he felt the realtor was overstaying his welcome and I decided he was being a grouch.

A few hours later after the realtor left, he told me to stand in front of the fireplace and he’d set up the camera so we could send a video to our families. I went to walk over and when I turned around, he was getting down on one knee with the ring in hand. After I said yes and we had FaceTimed our friends and family, he told me he had been planning to do it at sunset, but the beers and the realtor had other plans, which explains why he was getting so annoyed. One year later we got married, up in the mountains, of course. —Mary R.

proposal ideas rachel
Jennifer Lam Photography

The Perfect Impromptu Moment

My now-husband and I met our senior year of high school so we had already been together for ten years (!!!) before getting engaged. We were never in a rush-rush but I was growing a little impatient and decided to broach the topic while we were dogsitting at my parents and laying poolside over Labor Day weekend.

The obsessive planner in me explained how he had to time it right because I didn’t want a long engagement (a year was ideal) and I really wanted to get married in the fall so depending on when he proposed would basically dictate when the wedding would be. He said he was waiting for the perfect moment and wanted it to be super special, and I told him I didn’t need a whole to-do and that I’d be happy if he did it right then and there.

He went inside to grab a drink and I sat on the steps of the pool dunking my legs in to cool off. When he came back outside, he came right up to me, kneeled down and attempted to open the ring box but was shaking so much, which is so unlike him. I was so confused and remember asking “What are you doing?” and he said, “You said you would be happy if I did it right here, so I am.” He was still shaky so I helped him open the box while I was in a state of total shock. I mean, I was literally still in the pool but it really couldn’t have been more perfect. — Rachel G.

proposal ideas angela
Lauren Crew

The Magical Winter Wonderland

Our engagement happened on one of the coldest days of the year—I think it was a low of 16 degrees outside. My husband’s plan was to propose to me at a park in his hometown that we often frequented over the course of our 8-year relationship (we met in college). However, knowing that a frigid day was in the forecast, he was smart and started planting the seed early.

See, his family was planning to move soon, so on the drive from NYC back to his childhood home, he started playing the nostalgia card. You know, “This will be one of the last times we’re back here,” spiel. So, when it came time for him to invite me to said park in the freezing weather (under the guise of walking the family dog), I of course felt badly and reluctantly agreed.

Although we had been together for ages, the engagement was a complete surprise. We had talked about it, but I really didn’t want to orchestrate it and after agreeing it was our next step, I tried to put it out of my head. So, when he paused mid-walk, turned around and got down on one knee in the middle of a snowy field, I was stunned. I don’t remember a thing that was said (other than an empathic “yes!”) and I think I was in a daze the whole way home...until I opened the door to see my whole family who had traveled to be with us for the celebration. I’m not typically an emotional person, but he really got me that day. — Angela P.


Operations Director, Branded Content

Rachel joined PureWow in 2016 and is the Operations Director of Branded Content where she oversees the editorial production of sponsored content campaigns. In addition to...