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Long distance marriage proposals have enjoyed a bit of a spotlight lately thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns – but LDR couples across the world have always had the added challenge of finding a way to pop the question from hundreds of miles away.

Choosing the right type of proposal is really important – not everyone likes big surprises and not everyone likes a public spectacle… but some people love them! Luckily, there are just as many creative, unique and romantic ways to propose long distance as there are in person. You can easily come up with a plan to suit your particular relationship style and the personality of your S.O. (and you).

How to figure out what kind of proposal to make

If you’re really stuck or just overwhelmed by all the ideas, ask yourself these questions to figure out how to propose:

  1. How has your partner reacted to other people’s proposal stories? Chances are good they’ll drop hints about what kind of experience they’d like to have too.
  2. Similarly, do you know what kind of weddings they like? If they tear up over small, low-key ceremonies, they might just enjoy a similar type of proposal.
  3. Are they more of an introvert or extrovert? Big public displays of commitment might not be their thing if they’re an introvert, but an extrovert might love it!
  4. Do much do they like to get dressed up for things? If they always like to look their best for any occasion, you can bet the time you propose will be on that list. Choose a proposal idea that gives them an excuse to dress up first.
  5. How spontaneous are they? Do they like to prepare for things extensively? If so, a surprise visit is unlikely to be their dream proposal, but perhaps they’d like a low-key experience with a larger celebration later on.

… And now, on with the list!

1. Send your proposal with flowers

Most florists are experts at this kind of thing, so proposing with flowers is always a safe bet! Send a note along with the best bouquet you can find (1-800 Flowers will let you send flowers internationally to 195 countries).

2. ... Or cake

If they’re more of a foodie than a flower-lover, why not mail order a cake with a message, straight to their home?

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Bond Touch bracelets 

Make it possible to feel your partner’s touch, no matter the distance.

3. Create a suggestive playlist

Create a playlist full of songs about getting married or proposing and share it with your love! They’ll soon figure out that you have something to ask them…

4. Wrap the ring in a chocolate wrapper and send it to them in box of chocolates

Simple and sweet.

A little note on sending rings through the post
I once sent a piece of jewellery to a friend and it got lost – lucky that it was only costume jewellery, but it made me realise how risky this is. If any of your plans involve sending an engagement ring through the post, either send a cheaper ‘temporary’ ring until you can meet in person, or get insurance!

5. The lipstick mirror trick

If you have a visit to their place at some point, wait until you’re leaving and write Will You Marry Me? on the mirror in lipstick (tip: don’t use their lipstick for this, bring one for the purpose!).

Make sure this is the very last thing you do before you leave the house, so that they don’t see it until they’ve said goodbye to you at the airport/train station and come home again!

6. Send a love letter

Invest a couple of hours in perfecting your handwriting and craft a beautiful love letter containing the million dollar question.

7. Say it with pizza

Very little is better than pizza, except for pizza with a proposal message written on the inside of the box… let your partner know you’re going to order something for them, then phone up their local pizza place and ask for the staff to write the message.

8. Ask them with a poem

If you have a way with words, why not write a poem to ask the crucial question? It doesn’t have to be super long – what about a rhyming couplet?

9. Propose with a song you wrote

If you’re musical, write a special proposal song!

10. Hide the ring inside a book

Send a hardback book with an area cut out from the pages to hide the ring. Bonus points if you can pick a relevant page or chapter title.

Here’s an adorable example with a Harry Potter book.

11. Highlight different words in a book

Another proposal idea for the book-lover in your life – send them a book and tell them they just have to read it… but first, highlight or circle the words ‘will’, ‘you’, ‘marry’ and ‘me’ where they first appear in the text.

Make sure it is a book containing the word ‘marry’, of course! (Perhaps time to find some Jane Austen…)

12. Propose over FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom

If you’re miles away but want to see their face when you ask them to marry you, organise a video date and hit record. Prepare first by asking them to dress up for a ‘special date’ and use one of these creative video proposal ideas.

13. Propose with Animal Crossing

If you and your partner play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you probably know that you can chat within the game. Why not propose when you’re hanging out on your virtual island?

14. Make a flip book

This takes a little time, but the results are really cute. Here’s an example of this in action!

15. Send an engraved locket

A locket with a picture of the two of you and a custom engraving of your message is a super romantic idea and something they will want to keep forever.

16. Spell it out with geolocation

This guy figured out how to make his running route spell out Will You Marry Me? Genius.

17. With a hidden message in your messages...

I’ve seen people use use this trick to Rickroll others on Facebook, but it’s also a really funny proposal idea.

The idea is that you hide the message by spelling it out with the first letter of multiple other messages. It’s a pretty fun challenge to try and do this during a conversation, or you could spread your messages over several days. Will You Marry Me has 14 letters, so, for example, you could send them a good morning text for two weeks with something like this:

  • Message 1: What did you dream about last night?
  • Message 2: I slept in again!
  • Message 3: Loved that selfie you sent yesterday

And so on… then tell them to read the first line of each message!

18. Send a funny ring-themed care package

Send a parcel with objects that are unrelated except for being ring-themed, for example: A DVD of The Ring, a doorbell (or regular bell), a packet of onion rings… Enjoy their confusion and see how long it takes them to catch on!

19. On the radio

If your S.O. has a favourite radio station they listen to, why not propose on air?

20. At the airport

Create a cute sign with Will You Marry Me? (or whatever phrase you want to use) and greet them at the airport on their next visit!

Then you’ll have the rest of their trip to celebrate…

21. Propose with a surprise visit

Surprise visits aren’t for everyone (see above) but if you know this would thrill them then it’s worth putting in the effort. You could even knock on their door and get down on one knee.

22. Hire a billboard or skywriter

This is peak extravagance, but you only get to propose once!

23. Send a mug with a secret message

You can buy mugs that reveal a secret message when you put hot water in them. Send one to your honey with some special tea and ask them to make it.

24. Send them a parcel with 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'

… and see if they figure it out!

25. Make a video montage

Make a ‘highlights reel’ of all of your best and most memorable moments and finish with your message on the title card.

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