What could be more romantic than planning to pop the question to your loved one? Planning to propose on vacation is even better! Travelling has a way of bringing people together, and combining it with a special occasion such as a proposal can give you memories to last a lifetime. Two years ago, digital creator Shivani Bafna was at the receiving end of one of the most epic vacation proposals when her boyfriend Shyam Shah surprised her with a proposal at the Trocadero Gardens at Eiffel Tower in front of her family and friends. The video that went viral shows Bafna arriving at the location in a limousine in a red gown gifted by her boyfriend and shedding happy tears as Shah danced to “Tu Meri” from Bang Bang along with her friends, before going down on one knee and proposing to her. Hashtag, proposal goals!
It might not be that easy to pull off such an elaborate proposal for most of us, but planning a vacation proposal need not be a task. With the right plan in place and a bit of research, you too can ensure that popping the question on a trip together turns out to be memorable for both of you. But, as Neha Seth Arora, co-founder of the wedding planning service Saffron String puts it, just be sure of your proposal and your partner’s response before you embark on this plan.
Choosing the right destination
This might be the toughest decision to take or the easiest one, depending on how you look at it. With so many beautiful places to pick from around the country and the world, how do you ensure that you have chosen the right destination for the big moment? Keep it simple, we say. Think of a place that’s close to both of you for some reason. “It could be a place that you have travelled to together when you were just friends or a place that you met for the first time. It might be a good idea to go back there and relive those memories. It makes for a lovely story to cherish in your later years,” says Prerana Agarwal Saxena, CEO and founder, Theme Weavers Designs. It could also be a place that is on your wish list.
Personalisation is key
Your partner might have loved those romantic scenes in movies where the hero/heroine makes some grand gesture of love for their SO. Before you think of doing something similar for them, consider this—is that really you? Whatever you do, make it as personalised as possible, keeping in mind what your partner might like. For instance, if they are a wine enthusiast, how about popping the question in a beautiful vineyard under the stars? You could even plan something around an activity they enjoy. A mid-air proposal on a hot air balloon ride might be fun for an adventure enthusiast. Two years ago, singer Arjun Kanungo surprised his girlfriend Carla Dennis with a proposal on a yacht in the middle of the sea in Dubai. Needless to say, it was a moment they will never forget.
This is the time you want to express the extent of your love and your desire to be with them forever. You want to say all the right words without coming off as cheesy. It is not about rattling off the words but expressing the emotions. Saxena says that she always advises couples to be themselves. “Rehearse the speech and the actions, but do not over-rehearse because you will not be able to be yourself and your partner would not be able to feel your emotions. Of course, plan everything to the T but always go with the flow,” she suggests.
TV actor Gautam Gupta would second that. The actor proposed to his Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi co-star Smriti Khanna when a bunch of their friends took off for Goa at the time of his birthday in 2017. “I had been carrying the ring with me everywhere for the longest time and kept waiting for the right moment to ask the question,” he recalls. After his birthday celebrations, they returned to the hotel, only for his then-girlfriend to be surprised with the engagement ring with a cake beside it. “I think it went off so perfectly because I didn’t plan much and proposed when I felt it was the right moment,” he says. With no photographers being around to capture the special occasion, the two actors recreated the moment underwater the next day.
Keep it intimate
A moment as special as this requires a certain level of intimacy, which may not be possible if you are at a public place in a foreign destination. Take into account your partner’s feelings in this—will they be comfortable being proposed to in the midst of a lot of people? Even if it is a public space, choose a cozy corner or an area not frequented by many.
Of course, you would want a photographer to capture the moment for you to look back on but the camera needs to be as unobtrusive as possible in order for you to be yourselves. “The couple needs to enjoy that intimate moment, so the photographer has to allow them that space and not overwhelm them or make them feel uncomfortable,” says Saxena.
Involve only close family or friends
You might be bursting with unbridled enthusiasm to share this secret with your loved ones, but it’s best that only your closest friends and family know about it, if they must. “The fewer people know about the surprise, the better chances of it being successful,” believes Arora. Involving your partner’s best friend is likely to come in handy. The ones you do want to keep in the loop are the hotel/venue where you plan to propose so that their team is prepared for it. “If possible, do a rehearsal with all associated,” suggests Arora.
Carrying the ring in your pocket for the duration of the vacation and proposing to your partner at the end of the vacation might be a little tedious. You might end up saying or doing something to spoil the surprise or someone else may blurt out the secret. Proposing to your partner early on in the vacation might be the best way to go about it. That way, you get to breathe easy for the rest of the holiday and have ample time to celebrate the joyous occasion as well.
Enjoy the moment
Choosing a destination, planning the perfect proposal, keeping it a surprise and the anticipation of the response might leave you overwhelmed. “Between all the planning and the nervousness of the perfect proposal, don’t forget to enjoy the moment of expressing your love and hearing the most awaited ‘Yes’,” suggests Arora.