8 creative ways to propose


Courtesy of Jake Lovette

A story featured in the Daily Tribune on Jake Lovette and Annalise Russell.

Pei Chi Teh

It was the morning of their three-year anniversary. Annelise Russell was still sitting on the couch in her pajamas, when Jake Lovett handed her the iPad and asked her to read it. It must be her anniversary gift, she thought.

She looked at the iPad and discovered a two-page PDF with an intricate story recording the moments when they first met, detailed paragraphs of everything Lovett loves about her and challenges that they’ve gotten through hand-in-hand.

At the very end of the PDF, the last line read: Will you marry me?

Lovett and Russell first met at the College Media Convention in 2011, when Lovett was working as the editor-in-chief of The Iowa State Daily and Russell was a news editor of The Oklahoma Daily at the University of Oklahoma.

After dating for three years, Lovett decided to pop the question.

“Well, I thought about having a friend of hers who had the key to our apartment to come up one night while we were out at dinner to set up some flowers, candles and all that romantic stuff but [Russell’s] sister suggested me to write a news story, so I designed a couple pages [to propose],” Lovett said.

It seemed like the perfect thing to do since Lovett was skilled in writing and designing.

“The surprise factor was a plus,” Russell said. “It was adorable and cute and I loved it. After I read to the very end I just looked at him. I waited for him to say something and when he actually asked me, I said yes. I don’t think there was any hesitation in my voice.”

Designing newspaper pages to propose probably isn’t for everyone, so here are seven other creative ways you can propose to your significant other.

Geeky proposal

From video games to the latest gadgets, it’s not hard to find a little bit of geekiness in everyone.

If you’re a geeky couple belonging to a certain fandom, try geeking up the box or the ring. “Doctor Who” fans are in luck as a TARDIS engagement ring box is available for sale on etsy.com. The Pokeball engagement ring box is also available for Pokemon fans. Besides, you can actually order engraved rings with your recorded sound wave such as, ‘Yes, I do,’ from Japanese artist and engraver Sakurako Shimizu.

To step up the geeky game, you can even propose in binary code or a secret cipher that your significant other can understand. A retro games and collectors community website, RetroCollect, showed a loved-up gamer using a Super Mario hack to pose a proposal to his girlfriend.

Scavenger hunt proposal

What better way to propose than to make your significant other work for it? Although it takes more effort to prepare, it’ll make the proposal unforgettable for your fiancé to be.

According to Mashable.com, LinkedIn employee Bryan Haggerty developed an entire treasure hunt iPhone app for his elaborate proposal that sent his girlfriend around San Francisco with her route forming a heart shape. At the last stop, she found Haggerty waiting for her, ring in hand, at the top of a hill.

Video proposal

Creating a video for your other half may make the proposal more personalized. No one is going to have the exact same video. Plus, you’ll be able to show it to your grandchildren.

In a YouTube video titled “Greatest Marriage Proposal EVER!!!,” Matt Still tells his girlfriend Ginny he has to work on a Saturday and gets Ginny’s brother to take her see the movie “Fast Five” at a local cinema. He created a trailer that shows him asking for her father’s blessing and rushing to the theater, before appearing in real life to the complete surprise of his girlfriend.

Special moments proposal

If you haven’t seen the latest Extra gum commercial titled “The Story of Sarah & Juan,” which went viral, it’s about high school sweethearts, whose first interaction comes when Sarah offered Juan a stick of gum. It was shown that Juan always had the habit of keeping the gum wrapping.

In a final act twist, Juan invites Sarah to a private gallery, where a series of Extra chewing gum wrappers adorn the walls. Each wrapper presents a sketch of everything they’ve done together. The last wrap shows a drawing of a man proposing to a woman, and when Sarah turned around, Juan was sure enough on one knee, holding out a ring.

If you’re looking to propose in a way that nobody else has done before, incorporating a specific item that reminds you and your significant other about your relationship can make your proposal remarkable.

Bookworm proposal

Try hiding the ring in a book if your significant other loves to read. Get a new copy at the bookstore, or you might get into trouble for hollowing out his or her favorite book.

According to The Guardian, Lloyd England from London used a copy of a book titled “Marriage Material” to propose to his girlfriend. He wrote the line, “Will you marry me?” and cut away the pages in the shape of a heart to reveal a ring. He chose it because it was a book on his girlfriend’s reading list. Don’t worry, he bought her another copy.

Puzzle proposal

Pop “The Question” by spelling it out during game night. Whether you’re in the middle of an intense Scrabble battle, or just finishing it, this is a sweet way to get your significant other to marry you.

According to The Washington Post, Corey Newman had been trying to figure out how to propose to his girlfriend Epstein and got the idea after watching her sit immersed solving a crossword puzzle. With the help of a veteran crossword creator in The Washington Post, he created a crossword puzzle specifically for his girlfriend and managed to get it in the newspaper.

Epstein didn’t realize what the plan was until she came across clue 51, which had the answer, “Will you marry me.” At that moment, Newman pulled out a diamond ring and got down on one knee before repeating the words back to her.

Song proposal

Surprise your bride or groom-to-be with a sweet serenade. If you’re not vocally inclined, you can get your family and friends to help you in a live lip-dub proposal too. Before that, make sure your significant other wouldn’t mind an audience.

In YouTube video “The 19:57 from Euston,” Adam King ambushed his partner with a 25-person singing marriage proposal on her commute from work. The unusual proposition began when one traveller in the carriage began to sing “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. Before long, two-thirds of the fellow passengers had joined in with the hit tune.

Little did she know that the impromptu vocalists were in fact members of the Adam Street Singers, of which her husband is a member. After this had gone on for some time, King emerged and asked her to marry him.