Popping the big question is one of the most important moments in you and your partner’s lives. Nearly 65% of engagements happen over a meal, proposing over appetizers, the main course, or dessert are popular times to pop the question. 

If you’re thinking of asking your partner for their hand in marriage, you may need a bit of inspiration to decide what type of meal setting you prefer for the moment. You may choose a fancy dinner at a high-class restaurant or opt for a low-key, inexpensive proposal while the two of you watch your favorite movie or Netflix series.

Explore the following restaurant and meal proposal ideas with cost estimates to pick the perfect setting to propose.

Restaurant-Meal Proposal Ideas with Cost Estimates-Info

Romantic Dinner at Home - $100+

Some of the best proposals involve only the two most important people, you and your partner. If you are an experienced cook, find a recipe in a nice cookbook, buy some top-shelf ingredients and whip up a meal with a lot of love and tons of flavor.

Try a meal in a box app or subscription if you are worried about messing something up or ruining the moment with undercooked or burnt food. These services deliver a box with all the ingredients, including small packets of oils and spices you might need, and detailed instructions on how to cook it perfectly. This can help even a beginner cook look like a Michelin Star chef. 

Cook her favorite food or recreate a special meal you’ve had in the past. The extra touch of homemade food made with love is always the perfect setting for the big question. 

Romantic Picnic - $75+

A romantic picnic in a beautiful location can be the perfect setting for the big question. Choose a spot that holds meaning for you or has a particularly beautiful vista. 

A picnic lunch can be less expensive than a full dinner, but this doesn’t mean you should scrimp on the details. Prepare their favorite finger foods and appetizers to munch on, or get some nice cheeses and fruits for an amuse-bouche. Get an expensive bottle of wine or champagne to drink, and prepare a light main course that you know your fiancée-to-be loves. 

Some people might be worried about inclement weather spoiling their plans. If you want to propose over a picnic, it is important to be flexible with the date. This might not be an option for those looking to propose on a specific date like Valentine’s day or a birthday.  But for those with a bit of flexibility, this can be a romantic, memorable way to pop the question.

Restaurant-Meal proposal ideas with cost estimates

Romantic Movie Night at Home - $50+

Few things set a romantic mood like a good movie. A movie night at home can be perfect for those looking for a low-key, just-the-two-of-us-style proposal. Though this might seem like a simple approach, a movie night allows your creativity to shine through and allows you to show your love in a simple, intimate way. 

Choose a movie that has meaning for you, or is a favorite of your partner’s. It should be something happy or funny too; this is not the time for something serious or heavy. You should also watch any new movies beforehand to ensure they are suitable for the occasion. Choosing a particular moment in the movie can be a fun way to ask your big question. If timed right, this can be perfect, so watch the film several times to get your timing down. 

Don’t forget to go big on snacks. Get fancy popcorn, gourmet cheese, kettle chips, olives, dates, and other small snacks that will turn the night from ordinary to decadent. Choose whatever drinks you prefer, sit back, and wait for your big cinematic moment. 

Breakfast in Bed - $70+

The best part of waking up is an engagement ring in your cup. A surprise breakfast in bed is always a fun treat and can be a great occasion to pop the question. Here, the small details will pay dividends. Be sure to wake up early and cook as quietly as possible. Get flowers to garnish the plate and have it ready before they get out of bed. 

Cook their favorite breakfast food, but make a fancy version of the dish. Buy free-range eggs, expensive French cheeses, fine meats, extra thick-cut bacon, and Spanish or Argentinian Chorizo sausages. 

For their drinks, squeeze your own orange juice and make a cup of exotic fair trade coffee. The differences will be minor but noticeable enough to make this moment extra special.  

Ask the big question with a sweet dessert and a mimosa made with premium champagne, and get ready for the smile and yes of a lifetime. 

Breakfast in bED

Flowers and Chocolates - $60+

Sometimes simple is best. Flowers and chocolates might seem the most boring, stereotypical way to pop the question, but it is a basic formula that you can customize with your creativity. 

The flowers don’t need to be a bouquet of red roses. Choose flowers that have meaning for your future spouse. Every state has a state flower, as do most cities, such as sunflowers for Kansas and bluebonnets for Texas. Add some to a bouquet to remind her of home. Some tropical orchids like Miltassia and White Egret have a unique look and smell that will impress and look fabulous in pictures.

Finally, some flowers have unique stories, and some only rarely bloom or open under special conditions like cacti flowers and cereuses. A flower with a story can impart significant meaning to the occasion. 

Chocolates should be more than a simple box from the supermarket too. Perhaps choose some chocolates from a place you have been together, a location they want to go to, or the place you plan to visit for your honeymoon. Pick up the chocolates alongside some fancier sweets to show them you want to be part of their extraordinary life story. 

Romantic Dinner Cruise - $200+

Sometimes the setting of an event makes it perfect. A dinner cruise at sunset is one of the most romantic settings for a proposal. You can do this near home if you have a suitable body of water, or you can combine this with a destination proposal trip to a place with an incredible sunset. 

The key to pulling off the perfect dinner cruise proposal is choosing the right cruise. Not all dinner cruises are the same; some are more family-oriented, some more for tourists, and others are more romantic, classy affairs. Choose the romantic cruise, particularly one that is smaller and has table service instead of a buffet. Even if it is more expensive, it will be worth the money. 

Some great locations for a dinner cruises are Key West, FL, around the San Francisco Bay, CA, Lake Michigan near Chicago, IL, through Boston Harbor, or a spectacular Luau cruise off Maui’s coast in Hawaii.

Dinner Cruise

The Perfect Place for the Perfect Yes

Popping the big question is a significant, often nerve-wracking, moment. You want it to be incredible, memorable, and what your spouse-to-be has always dreamed of. You already have the perfect partner and their dream ring; now, you just need to pick an ideal setting and time and place to pop the question. Take time to prepare the proposal in advance and practice asking for their hand in marriage. 

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