29 Unique Christmas Proposal Ideas
‘Tis the season to get engaged!
Perhaps it’s the contagious festive spirit, perhaps it’s the warm fuzzy feeling in your belly from all the mulled wine. Either way, you’ve found the one and decided it’s time to pop the question, good on you.
If you are thinking of proposing this Christmas, take a look at our top 29 festive ways to ask your partner for their hand in marriage before you do anything else.
29 Truly Memorable Christmas Proposal Ideas
1. The Christmas Tree Proposal
Things to do before hand: put on your best Christmas sweater, ready the ring at the top of the tree, make sure Cliff and Mariah are on shuffle.
Spend the evening together turning your tree into a twinkly festive beacon. Wine is encouraged. Pause to marvel at your handiwork, then graciously insist your better half puts the star/fairy on top of the Christmas tree. Watch as their face fills with surprise as you get down on one knee…
Note: this scenario could also be recreated with a ring or message in a clear bauble. Or by slyly hanging the ring on the tree in place of a decoration.
2. A Box Inside a Box, Inside a Box, Inside a Box
Also known as the ‘Marky Mark’, this one is for experienced wrappers only…
You will need: a ring, an assortment of boxes in a range of sizes, wrapping paper. Do not underestimate the amount of wrapping paper required for the task.
Method: Wrap the ring box and *place it inside a slightly bigger box, wrap the slightly bigger box. Repeat from * until you have a really big box. Place under the tree ready the night before. On Christmas morning, watch as your partner opens each box with increasing frustration. Be ready to pop the question.
Alternatively, don your best suit and hide yourself and the ring inside a really really big box (with air holes). Don’t forget to yell ‘surprise!’ as they lift the lid if you really want to scare the living daylights out of them.
3. Propose with an Advent Calendar
Nothing says romance quite like ‘homemade’. So get your creative cap on and make your partner an advent calendar with thoughtful gifts for them to open on the run up to Christmas day. By the time the 24th December rolls round they’ll already be wondering if you could get any better – cue them opening an engagement ring!
And if crafts aren’t your thing, why not stick to the traditional advent calendar but replace the chocolate behind day 24 with something much more sparkly.
4. Christmas Lights Proposal
Untangle that big, ugly mess of Christmas lights from last year. Patience is key. Spell “Will You Marry Me” on the roof or lawn. Make sure your partner does not see you doing this. Wait until it gets dark and have them plug the lights in. Ta-Dah!
5. Santa Baby!
Equip yourself with a phoney bag of toys then, disguised as Santa Claus, surprise your partner at a Christmas party. If you’re truly dedicated you may consider taking a part-time gig at your local grotto. First invite their friends to sit on your knee (it helps if they’re in on this clever ruse too). When it’s your partner's turn, drop down on one knee and reveal yourself as their lover.
6. Propose with a Stocking
Hide the ring at the bottom of your partner’s stocking. Don’t forget to add the obligatory socks, toothbrush and Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
7. 12 Days of Christmas
This one’s great because there are several ways you could tackle it. You could rewrite the song. You could match the number of gifts to the day. You could find gifts that represent each of the traditional gifts. You could even give your partner 11 small gifts and the ring on day 12. But we like to think you’ll really commit, go out there and catch that partridge.
8. Propose with a Christmas Card
When writing your Christmas card it’s important to remember everyone loves a pun. Our favourite is ‘Say Yule Be Mine’.
9. The Christmas Family Photo Proposal
This scenario not only needs stealth, it needs all the coordination of a synchronised swimming team, and the help of the whole family.
You will need: Enough monogram jumpers to spell out ‘MERRY XMAS’, spare festive knitwear for the rest of the troops, a willing photographer.
Assume photo pose making sure you and your partner are at the front. Take a few photos for appearances (and the family newsletter). When your partner isn’t looking have family member ‘E’ and ‘A’ swap. Still following? Good. Then get family members ‘X’ and ‘S’ to take off their jumpers. And there you have it! ‘MERRY XMAS’ becomes ‘MARRY ME’ and we all win a prize for being extremely clever.
10. The Christmas Pudding Proposal
There’s an ancient tradition we have here in Blighty of hiding sixpence in the pudding. Despite the fact very few people actually like Christmas pudding, this is one of the most popular ways to propose at Christmas. Simply switch the now illegitimate tender with a ring and you are good to go.
11. Hide the Engagement Ring in a Christmas Cracker
Hide your engagement ring in a Christmas cracker with your best joke and a party hat. If you win the cracker, get on one knee and ask them to marry you. If they win the cracker, let them pick up the ring and be ready to ask them as soon as they’ve figured out what’s going on. Either way, you'll propose with a bang!
12. Write it in the Snow
Because you’re just that kind of giving and selfless partner, offer to go out and defrost the car/scrape the patio. You have no intention of actually doing this. Instead scrape the words ‘MARRY ME’ onto your widescreen or lawn. Lead your partner outside to discover your surprise, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate, because snow mornings are cold.
13. Hide the Engagement Ring in New Gloves
If your partner likes to express their personality through their fashion sense, this one’s for you. We love it because it has an old Hollywood glamour about it (if things went the other way in Casablanca we’re 78% sure this is how Humphrey Bogart would have done it), they’ll love it because…well, double presents.
14. Replace Santa’s Mince Pie with an Engagement Ring
Leave a small glass of sherry and a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget a carrot for Rudolph. Under the cover of darkness, replace said mince pie with the ring. Keep your wits about you, sneak back to safety.
15. Propose at a Christmas Party
Aunt Biddy’s over from Ireland, Uncle Pete’s got his best ironic Christmas jumper on. The whole family have that Prosecco glow about them and everyone’s eating a lot of cheese. It’s the perfect time to propose with your nearest and dearest around you.
16. Propose at an Outdoor Ice Rink
Ice rinks are incredibly romantic places, especially if they’re outside, especially at Christmas. Accessorise your outfit with all the knitwear you can gather. Guide your partner to the middle of the rink, preferably whilst skating backwards in slow motion. Propose whilst other skaters circle you both. Your knee will probably get very cold and a little soggy from the melting ice, but it’ll be worth it.
17. The Snowman Proposal
There are two important things you must do with your significant other on a snow day. The first, build a snowman. Whilst they’re busy giving your snowman his carrot nose, get down on one knee and give them a sparkly carrot of their own.
(The second most important thing to do on a snow day is build a pillow fort and watch Home Alone. Fact)
18. Enlist a Pet
If the pressure of proposing is too much, it’s probably best to get the dog to do it. He’ll look much more adorable than you dressed as Rudolph.
19. Rewrite Your Favourite Christmas Story
Did your heart grow three sizes when you clapped eyes on your true love? Whether it’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol or A Visit From St Nick rewrite your favourite Christmas tale into an epic love story with an unexpected ending.
20. The Mistletoe Proposal
If you’re a sucker for a tradition, propose under some mistletoe. Then kiss them senseless.
21. The Horse and Carriage Proposal
No, they’re not just for Carrie Bradshaw. Be sure to dress as an eskimo and bring a blanket to snuggle under. Ask the driver to hide a bottle of champs up front. Obviously don’t forget to bring the ring. Add a sense of drama to the occasion by having a fake Santa stop the carriage before you ask the big question.
22. Propose at a Christmas Tree Farm
Choose and decorate a tree at your local farm/garden centre ready for the surprise. The more tinsel the better. Return home and grab a hat, a scarf, the ring and your partner. Head back to the tree farm to ‘choose a tree together’ (wink, wink).
23. Have Carollers Sing Your Proposal
Ask your local Salvation Army choir or get some mates to come to your front door and sing your partner’s favourite Christmas carol. Have them change some of the words in the last verse to ‘will you marry me’ and simultaneously get down on one knee. If you’re having trouble cajoling your mates, pull a ‘Love Actually’ and turn up with some placards and a boom box.
24. Elf on the Shelf
To begin with you need an elf. Elves are available to order straight from the North Pole (Amazon) at the beginning of Advent. When the elf comes, proclaim he has been sent from Santa as he suspects you’re on the naughty list. Trick your partner into believing the elf is real by making it get up to all sorts of mischief during the night. If you’re unfamiliar with this tradition, you obviously do not spend as much time on Pinterest as we do. Finally have him redeem himself by helping you pop the question.
24. Propose at the Christmas Market
Nothing says romance quite like sharing a foot long bratwurst. Seriously though, the adorable wooden chalets, the sweet smell of cinnamon waffles drifting through the air, the cheerful sound of the Salvation Army singing ‘Hark the Herald’. It’s a heady, festive assault on the senses. Wrap up warm and wander through the stalls until you find the perfect spot to pop the question.
25. Games, Games, Games
Because spending the rest of your life with your love should always start with a bit of healthy competition. And let’s face it, the festive season is really just board/party game season with Bucks Fizz. Whether it’s a family game of scrabble, charades or monopoly find a way to hijack it with a proposal.
26. The Flash Mob Panto Proposal
Stage a flash mob style engagement at your local production of Dick Wittington. Have Widow Twankey hide the ring in her wig and shout “He’s Behind you!” However you decide to do it, make it as bonkers as the tradition of panto itself.
27. The Ultimate Christmas Eve Proposal
This one’s broad so you need a strategy. But fear not, we have a couple of suggestions for you! First one; find a cosy spot (armchair, sofa, a rug by the fire). Have a little Crosby or WHAM playing softly in the background. Cheese and wine is a must, chestnuts roasting are a plus. Wait for the right time, and then ask.
Or, if you fancy somewhere with a little more festive buzz, head to your local which is bound to be bustling with familiar faces. Get down on one knee in the middle of the merriment and make everyone’s night!
28. Ask in Bed Before You Wake Up
It’s Christmas morning and you’re already dangerously excited. Take the excitement/danger level up a notch from the start by proposing in bed. You’ll have the whole day to enjoy it.
29. The Boxing Day Proposal
If you think your partner might be expecting a Christmas proposal, this is a great way to keep them on their toes. Let their suspicions come and go with Christmas day, and surprise your partner with a proposal on Boxing Day instead. Celebrate with a cold turkey sandwich and a hard toffee, because everyone knows that’s all that’s left in the tin.
Ones that didn’t quite make the final cut, but are still worthy of a mention: The ‘Die Hard’ proposal, The Christmas Tweet and hiding the ring in a pint of eggnog.
Weddings at Senate House
After the proposal comes the wedding! For ideas on how Senate House can cater for your wedding, find out about our central London wedding venue today. Our range of venues can cater for weddings of all sizes, and our packages can include catering, floristry and photography.
For ideas on planning your big day, why not check out our feature on ‘Wedding Pinterest Boards you should be following’ for all the inspiration you could ever need for your wedding day.
All illustrations by Peter Marchant