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Outdoor Proposal Ideas: A Quick Guide

Proposing in the great outdoors can be a wonderful experience. If you're looking for some outdoor proposal ideas and inspiration, our quick guide can help.

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Proposing in an outdoor setting can be a wonderful experience. Many people who pop the question outdoors do so out of a shared love of nature with their partner. These proposals can range from sweet and simple to adventurous and dramatic. If you're looking for some outdoor proposal ideas, our quick guide can help.
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Advantages to Proposing Outdoors

Are you leaning towards an outdoor proposal but still not sure? Consider the advantages.

  • Mother Nature will set the mood. This will be the easiest romantic setup you could possibly have. If you want to keep it simple, proposing outdoors is the way to go.
  • You'll have some flexibility when it comes to the exact date and time. If you have an unexpected change of plans, you won't have to cancel hard-to-get dinner reservations or lose a security deposit for a venue. Nature won't mind. Bad weather might delay you, but it probably won't cost you.
The deep red of the ruby in this 14K yellow gold ring is reminiscent of a beautiful sunset.
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  • If you and your partner frequently spend time together outdoors, you can easily keep your plans a secret. Just put the engagement ring in your pocket before you leave. 
  • Finally, there's no shortage of beautiful outdoor places for the big moment. You can return to a beloved location where you shared a special moment with your future spouse. You can also use this opportunity to travel to a new, exotic environment.
The blue topaz and peridot stones decorating this 14K yellow gold engagement ring give the impression of green plants against a pure blue sky.
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Let's take a look at some outdoor proposal ideas and how you can turn these into an unforgettable experience.

Take a Hike

One of the most popular outdoor activities, hiking offers many great setups for proposals. If you want to keep the moment simple, just hide the engagement ring until you reach the right destination. When you're ready, present it to your significant other.

Do you prefer something a little more dramatic? Include a treasure hunt during your hike. Hide clues in trees or under rocks that will lead to the ultimate prize. You'll need to plan ahead, but it's a fun way to propose.

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For Animal Lovers

If you and your future spouse love animals, proposing at a nature preserve could be a wonderful idea.

Horseback riding can also offer some romantic opportunities for proposing. Rides can range from a few hours on a familiar trail to professionally guided, long-distance, multi-day trips.


There are few sights as spectacular as a starry night, and moonlight can bring out the romance in many people. Popping the question under the night sky just seems right.

You can make this scenario as simple or complex as you want. Watch the night sky in your backyard or at a resort that caters to stargazers. You can use just the naked eye or use binoculars or a high-end telescope. For a more adventurous setting, hike to an area far from city lights and do some stargazing before you propose.

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The Water's Fine

Many people love the water. Just being near water can bring instant relaxation and happiness. Of course, some people rather jump right in. Whether you're by it or in it, bodies of water can offer a perfect stage for a romantic marriage proposal. You can even combine a trip to the water with other outdoor proposal ideas on this list.

You can propose by a backyard pool, but if you prefer a natural setting, there's one big decision you need to make: freshwater or saltwater?

Freshwater Activities

Freshwater bodies include rivers and lakes. Some of the more popular freshwater activities include fishing, boating, and white water rafting. Many of these activities are already a regular part of people's lives. If that's the case for you and your loved one, it's easy to sneak in a surprise proposal during the course of a normal expedition.

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Saltwater Activities

Saltwater activities can really ramp up the drama for an outdoor proposal. Surfing and scuba diving are exciting options, if you have the right training and experience. If you don't, learning how to engage in these activities together can also be fun. Plus, you can pop the question on your first outing.

The ocean also opens up an entirely new world of possibilities for animal lovers. You can make plans to sail alongside dolphins, watch whales, or even snorkel among sharks. Just imagine proposing during one of these romantic moments.

Gazing into this eye-clean aquamarine set in 14K white gold accented by diamonds could remind you of a proposal by a pristine sea.
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Luxurious Outdoor Settings

Proposing outdoors doesn't mean you and your partner have to rough it. There are plenty of ways to spend time surrounded by nature without sacrificing comfort. For example, a glamping trip can combine the best of both worlds. You can also reserve a beautiful home in a remote environment.

Visiting a vineyard is another way to combine the outdoors and luxury, without having to get too remote. You can even add a romantic dinner and wine tasting to your rustic getaway.

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Get a Bird's-Eye View

Imagine the breathtaking landscapes your loved one adores. Now imagine treating your partner to view of those natural spaces from high in the sky.

You can charter a plane or helicopter for an aerial tour over any kind of terrain. Frozen, forested, or mountainous, nature in all its forms looks especially majestic from above. Seeing such natural beauty will certainly foster the perfect mood for a proposal.

For Adrenaline Junkies

There's a subset of outdoorsy people who truly love daring adventures. They live for the activities that make their hearts beat out of their chests. If this group includes you and your future spouse, why not consider incorporating your favorite high-octane activities into your outdoor proposal? Sharing an especially adventurous proposal experience will make the moment more vivid in your memory in the years to come.

For daredevils, skydiving can be the perfect proposal setting. You can present the ring just before or just after a death-defying jump. (Get some insurance first, for you and your jewelry). If this is something new that you'd like to try, most cities have skydiving schools. You and your partner can take the classes together. If you're both seasoned jumpers, it's relatively easy to find a local skydiving company that can help you take the plunge.

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For those who love heights but don't want to leap out of a plane, consider bungee jumping. This gravity-defying activity will get your blood pumping and make your proposal extra special.

For those who want to add a physical challenge to their outdoor proposal, mountain climbing can get you high off the ground and place you at a stunning location. 

Go on a Road Trip

Another outdoor activity that can set the stage for a proposal is driving. If you want something relaxing, take a long drive along a scenic highway. If you want something thrilling, try driving a race car. Look for a professional race track or racing school near you that offers lessons or the chance to drive a race car at some famous venues.

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Emily Frontiere

Emily Frontiere is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She is particularly experienced working with estate/antique jewelry.

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