In need of some at-home proposal ideas? A lot of people are. Engagement season—or, that period between Thanksgiving and New Years where a statistically high number of people become betrothed—is upon us, and with it comes the nerve-wracking planning around popping the question. And your wife, husband, or partner-to-be? Well, they’re the low-key type that doesn’t want a grand public display of affection.
But just because they don’t want a Kimye-esque “Please Marry Me” sign flashed across a baseball stadium jumbotron, doesn’t mean they don’t want something special. This is a milestone moment, after all. You want it to be memorable.
With that in mind, Vogue asked Stefanie Cove, an event and wedding planner whose clients include Karlie Kloss, Drew Barrymore, Ashley Graham, and Chris Martin, to share her top at-home proposal ideas. (Spoiler alert: start ordering some candles.)
Start Thinking of Excuses
If you’re going to propose at home, you need to make your home proposal-worthy. Beds need to be made, dirty laundry done, dishes out of the sink, and romantic touches added. This takes time. “Have a good plan to get your partner out of the house so you have enough time to turn their everyday environment into an extra special one,” says Cove. (Some suggestions? Have a friend take them on a manicure date, or perhaps a very long brunch.)
Build Up the Suspense
The menial cleaning tasks have been checked off—now, time to add some proposal pizzaz. The first step is to “generate a sense of anticipation,” Cove says. How does one do that? “Create a pathway lined with candles leading them outside or to another room. They’ll know something is happening but won’t have enough time to fully process.”
Transform a Singular Room
Make the place you are proposing in—whether it’s in the living room or out on a patio—“warm and magical,” says Cove, by creating a beautiful backdrop for the proposal. “This can be done using a lot of your partner’s favorite flowers, more candles, and a special bottle of champagne ready to be popped.”
Think About How to Discreetly Capture the Moment
An at-home proposal is meant to be intimate, sure. But Cove still advises to “have a photographer hidden nearby to capture this moment.” After all, what if in ten years you want to look back at the memory?
Perhaps you want a professional, but if you’d like to keep things simple and unfussy, consider or close friend, or even a camera with self-timer.
Consider Inviting a Close Few
Your partner may prefer complete privacy when it comes to the proposal. But they also may appreciate having a few members of their inner circle present to celebrate after the question is popped. “Invite close friends and family to be part of the surprise as well,” says Cove.
Plan a Delicious Meal
Don’t let the evening stop just because the ring is officially on a finger. “So the fun doesn’t stop at the proposal, have their favorite meal ready to go,” Cove says. “This can be one of their favorite homemade meals or, perhaps, a fun tasting dinner for the group prepared by a local chef onsite.” (If you’re a home cook in need of inspiration, Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle over Ina Garten’s roast chicken.)