How to propose during lockdown: Five romantic proposal ideas

Unlike weddings in 2020, there was no stopping engagements. The Professional Jeweller has reported on what it calls “the great engagement ring sales spike of 2020” while engagement planning experts The Proposers said that 2020 was their busiest August ever. Celebrities have been at it too with the newly betrothed including Ariana Grande and fiancé Dalton Gomez, cricketer Stuart Broad and singer Mollie King, and Princess Diana’s niece Lady Amelia Spencer and her long-time boyfriend Greg Mallett.

With couples locked down together, many relationships were fast-forwarded to the next step. And while, the pandemic might have put the brakes on proposing on holiday or surprising a partner in front of family and friends, with a bit of imagination and planning, popping the question can be as romantic as ever.

It’s the perfect time to get creative – here are five ideas to get you started. 

Plan a picnic ‘treasure hunt’

Extravagant holidays may be out of the picture, but there's always the option of a picnic in the park


Extravagant holidays may be out of the picture, but there’s always the option of a picnic in the park


Credit: Getty

With tropical beaches and stunning mountaintops off limits, The Proposers founder, Daisy Amodio suggests capitalising on local walks: “Pick eight trees and on each could be a clue or a memory that leads to a picnic with a rug, cushions and Champagne for you to celebrate.” It’s a memorable, picturesque and personal spot to pop that special question. 

Book a virtual serenade 

Musicians will perform and record a song for you to play to your partner


Musicians will perform and record a song for you to play to your partner


Credit: Getty

Before COVID, ClubMob offered spectacular proposals ranging from surprise dance flashmobs to bespoke song performances. While flash mobs are off the table for the time being, personalised songs work just as well on video. After a consultation, their group The Tailors Surprise Singers will write a medley of your favourite songs, replacing the lyrics with bespoke words all about your relationship before performing and recording it all on video for you to surprise your partner (prices start from £200).

Founder Alex Evans says: “We learn all about their relationship for the lyrics: often how they met goes in there, how they first set eyes on each other, what jobs they do. If they’re parents, then details about their kids. I ask what their three best qualities are and then also maybe a bad habit for a bit of humour to break the ice”. 

The current most popular song choices are anything by Ed Sheeran, All of Me by John Legend and A Thousand Years by Christina Perry.

Set the scene

Make sure to create the right mood


Make sure to create the right mood


Credit: Getty

After almost a year, we all know our living rooms inside out so if it’s going to be the setting for your proposal, go all out with the decorations. Professional proposal expert at The Proposers, Amodio says personalisation is key and advises really leaning into your loved one’s quirks: “If they loved penguins for example, you could write out ‘Marry Me’ on pebbles because pebbles are something that penguins give to each other as a sign of love”. You could recreate a spa experience at home with rose petals, candles and luxurious robes (perhaps even with the ring hidden in the pocket!). “Have your favourite music playing in the background, the lighting down and get the ambience right – making the room smell nice is important as well!”, says Amodio. 

Her top tips are to factor in preparation time (rose petals will need separating and fairy lights probably won’t come with batteries) and to capture it on camera. “Even if you just have an iPhone, pop it in the corner of the room,” she says. “In the heat of things you don’t always remember what was said, and maybe your parents and friends will want to see it.”

Little surprises can be just as effective as grand gestures 

You don't need to go all out to create a night to remember


You don’t need to go all out to create a night to remember


Credit: Getty

It might be tempting to wait until after lockdown but ultimately, proposing is about you and your relationship. “Living with your partner is special anyway and it’s somewhere you share many memories together so why not propose there? It’s meaningful,” says Amodio.

Kat Collins’ boyfriend Nick Wilderspin surprised her while she was cleaning the oven by swapping her “girlfriend” Christmas card for a “fiancée” version. “It wasn’t the most romantic as I still had a dirty cloth in my hand and the dog started humping his leg while he was down on one knee so we were both laughing! We find big romantic gestures a bit cheesy so it was nice that it was so informal and private in our own home.”

Moreover, Kat says the lockdown timing actually made it extra special: “To be honest it made what had been a pretty rubbish year a much better one.”

Make a film about your loved one

A romantic film about how much you love your partner will go down well


A romantic film about how much you love your partner will go down well


Credit: Getty

For the element of surprise, turn a cute lockdown date night into something extra special. Evans suggests a movie night with popcorn and snacks: “When they sit down to watch it, it’s not actually the movie but a film about them, maybe family and friends telling them how amazing they are, or a song video from us or even something as simple as a photo collage with beautiful backing music and a message from their partner at the end.” This would be a sweet way of incorporating family and friends into your proposal, a great option if people are based all over the world.

Do you have lockdown-friendly ideas on how to pop the question? Tell us in the comments below
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