When the love of your life beams with delight and shows friends and family the engagement ring, excited people are going to say, “Tell us about the proposal!” You might prefer a private engagement proposal, or maybe you’re the sort who thinks a Jumbotron proposal at the ball game is the best idea. Whatever your style for that special moment, your engagement proposal story will be a part of your lives together forever. The two of you will share your story with family, friends, and maybe your children for years to come. Make it count.

Maybe you think you’re not romantic. Come on! You’re about to bare your soul and ask another human being to join with you forever! My friend, that is romantic. You get to decide what that means to you and your intended. So put your heart and soul into your engagement proposal decision. It’s one of the moments together that will deepen your bond over time.

Fear not. You are not on your own. No one can really tell you exactly what is right for the story you want to build together, but some ideas can spark your imagination. Here, for your inspiration, are 10 engagement proposal ideas that rock!

Car karaoke proposal

This is a genius idea for a proposal where the groom to be keeps things comfortable and fun. This guy knows his intended well, and he works with their shared sense of humor, fun and love of family and friends. Still, when the moment comes, it is an intimate proposal, just between them—although somewhat accidentally. That’s okay. It adds to the charm of this unique engagement proposal. Just enjoy the video, and keep in mind that you don’t have to be this elaborate. The magic here is in the chemistry in the relationship.

There is a lesson here. Don’t let the unexpected throw you off balance. Embrace it and make it part of your story! This engagement proposal is planned, but their interaction is natural and fun. Both of these people are comfortable in the moment. Wouldn’t you love to see what this pair’s wedding is going to be like? Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fun, relaxed expression of their love. That resilience and sense of humor will take them far together.

Pet accomplice proposals

Who could say “no” to the loving cuteness of an adorable critter? Pet adoption day can come with the added bonus of an engagement proposal featuring a gorgeous engagement ring attached to your fur baby’s collar. Mind you don’t make the new pet a part of the surprise, though—unless you’ve talked about it already.

You can have fun with the note, too. Have someone knit a pet sweater with your proposal on it. A t-shirt would work, too.

Sometimes, no words are necessary. When your partner looks into these adorable eyes, there will be no doubt about what you’re trying to say. There is nothing like an excited puppy to raise the level of joy when your love says “yes” to marry you. And later on, when Puppy has an accident on your favorite sweater, or chews your Fluevog shoes, it will be easier to forgive him.

As you move forward together, your pet accomplice will be a part of your love story. This type of engagement proposal is a beautiful way to start your journey.

Movie trailer proposal

You don’t have to be Fellini, or have a small fortune to make a great movie trailer for your engagement proposal. Don’t worry if you’re not the most technically savvy person around. You can achieve cinematic greatness with a smartphone and the right app. Just add your personality and experiment with user-friendly technology. The finished product will make you look like a technical genius.

The two main ingredients for this engagement proposal are you and the love you have for your partner. You’ve got this.

Personalized book proposal

Does your partner love books? Propose with a book specially written by you. What a lovely surprise. Imagine a cozy Sunday together. You relax together on the couch, or at the coffee shop you both enjoy. Maybe you met there. You present a mug of specialty coffee and a beautiful
personalized book, authored by you. Who knew you were such a talented writer? Your sweetheart will keep it forever. Make it family friendly, and it can be a bedtime story if you have kids.

Of course, you can do a homemade version too. Use photographs to create a scrapbook story. Draw pictures. Heck, you can even cut words out of a magazine and paste them together ransom-letter style. The possibilities are endless.

Photo shoot proposal

This engagement proposal is great during the holiday season, but you can make it work any time. Arrange for a photo session—maybe it’s for your Christmas card together—and surprise your love with a proposal. This is a beautifully captured memory of the special moment when you ask the question. It’s also a sneaky, but brilliant way of combining proposal pictures with engagement photos. Ca-ching!

Photo booth proposal

As a twist on the photo shoot proposal, hop into a photo booth together and playfully capture your proposal along with your love’s surprised, joyful reaction. Take props into the photo booth for fun. Try goofy glasses, boas, hats. These booths are often at the mall, so plan it with your love and spend some time at a dollar store getting your silly on. If you’re feeling really crafty, you could put your proposal on a cartoon bubble on a stick that you hold up, and have a “yes” bubble for your love, along with the ring.

Advent wreath proposal

Christmas proposals are lovely, don’t you think? String a garland over the fireplace, or anywhere it looks nice. Use 24 baby socks in red, white, and green for each day leading up to Christmas. The effect will look like miniature stockings hung up on Christmas Eve. Each day, one of you gets to open a stocking. If there are kids, they can be part of the fun too. Write a love note or haiku (
it’s easy!) for each stocking. Make sure that her turn falls on Christmas Eve. Put a ring in the last stocking, or a note saying “Will you marry me?” inside the stocking and have a ring ready when your love reads the note. You can keep the Advent calendar for future Christmases together, either with blessings or small gifts.

There are many religious or other cultural celebrations that incorporate gift-giving over a few days. Adapt and have fun.

Strong, silent proposal

A classic charmer, the strong, silent proposal can be wonderful. This one worked for my dad. Present your partner with a beautiful bouquet, or other traditional gift like chocolate, and sneak the ring box inside. It’s worth a thousand words.

Your favorite place proposal

Why not ask the big question in your favorite place together? Your engagement proposal story can bring you back to one of the places you both love to go. Was it a vacation spot? Maybe it’s a coffee shop around the corner. Elaborate or simple, it is romantic if it means something to both of you.

The perfect vintage proposal

Personalize a bottle of your sweetheart’s favorite wine. Or how about a bottle of champagne to toast the moment? It’s a nice way to end the day, or a lovely dinner for two. You can plan a day around this one, or a picnic in the park.

Think of it this way. You have already made the most important decision about your relationship, and where you would like things to go from here. In all likelihood, you have talked with your partner about the future, or you’ve done some gentle prodding to see find out if you are on the same page about the future. Maybe your love has been dropping subtle (or not so subtle) hints. The proposal can create nervous excitement for you, but that’s part of what makes the moment special. It doesn’t have to be stressful for either one of you. The most important thing to remember is to create a moment that reflects your life together now. Be flexible and have faith.

At this point, you know each other so well. You must have a great history together, or you wouldn’t be planning a proposal, right? This moment is for you and the one you love. Try to remember—anything that comes from the heart will create a beautiful memory, and a story you’ll enjoy sharing for all the years you will have together.

Funny, public, private, complicated, or perfectly simple—when you both look back on the moment you proposed, if you smile and feel the warmth of your love, you will know that your proposal was exactly right for the two of you. And that’s the way it should be.