Updated: Oct 29, 2021
When it comes to the big proposal, we look to the media and movies to help us come up with ideas for that #showstopping moment. We’re aiming for Hollywood rom-com vibes that will make your partner feel like a Princess. So, we’ve gathered 8 of our favorite movie proposals.
But, what’s the use if you can’t use them? Not to fear! We’ve also added a section for each scene to tell you exactly how to replicate it in a budget friendly way. It may not be unrealistically movie-themed, but it will make her feel like a star.
So, without further ado, let’s crack on with the countdown.
Number 8: Friends with Benefits
Okay, okay, so this isn’t strictly a marriage proposal. But it is a proposal of being together and gets us fawning with wedding vibes.
Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, (the hottest couple in the world), become friends with benefits. Of course, this doesn’t work out as they fall head over heels for each other.
However, in an attempt to bury his feelings, Dylan (Justin Timberlake) tells his mom that Jamie (Mila Kunis) is “damaged goods”. She, of course, overhears and cuts off all contact with him.
At the beginning of the film, Jamie sets up a flash mob scene for Dylan’s work. She’s a hopeless romantic who wants her love life to be like the movies.
So, in an attempt to win her back, Dylan organizes a flash-mob in the city centre.
Jamie thinks she’s meeting her mom and is initially disappointed when she first turns up and has been bailed on by her mother. But, her mom tells her to take a look by the stairs.
Low and behold, there’s Dylan waiting for her. Everyone starts dancing and Dylan breaks into his speech. He gets down on one knee and proposes by saying “will you be my best friend again? Because I’m in love with her.”
There’s something so touching about this ‘proposal’. It could be the goofiness of the leading characters or the efforts Dylan went to. Whatever the reason, we love it.
How to replicate it:
Best to avoid telling your mom that your partner is ‘damaged goods’. Let’s skip that part, shall we?
This proposal requires planning. You’ll need to confide in either her friend or her family member and ask them to make plans with her. If you can arrange a flash-dance, bonus points! It doesn’t necessarily need to be full of strangers. You can, instead, organize it between family.
If you decide to say ‘no’ to the dancers, it’ll still be a beautiful surprise. We recommend wearing formal attire to make the surprise truly pop and pick a song that means something to the two of you: just like Dylan did for Jamie.
Number 7: 50 First Dates
We adore this proposal because it’s so simple. It’s raw, heartfelt and super easy to replicate.
Lucy suffers from severe amnesia due to a car accident. She replays the day before the accident every single day. When dating-addict Henry first meets Lucy, there’s something different about her. He has no idea that she was involved in an accident, so tries his luck to impress her.
The two have coffee and pancakes, bond and start to fall for each other.
The only problem, of course, is that she forgets about him the next day. Henry decides to go to the same restaurant every day after he finds out about the accident and tries to impress her, secretly hoping that she’ll eventually remember him.
After creating a videotape that explains her accident and his role in her life, Lucy watches it every day. She falls in love with him over and over again. That in itself is touching enough. But, it’s the proposal scene that makes us weak at the knees.
He takes her on a date at the aquarium where Henry works and writes her a song. When they return back to her house, they are laying in bed. Henry asks her not to fall asleep for fear that she will wake up terrified of a ‘stranger’ in her bed. She promises she won’t. He then says, gently:
“Lucy? Will you marry me?”
To which she replies: “of course.”
How to replicate it:
This proposal is beautiful because there’s a clear build up. He takes her on a slightly unusual date to an aquarium before popping the question.
And he performs a song he wrote for her. Keep this in mind for later, as we come back to this higher on our list.
However, this is special because, while the date may be unusual, it doesn’t scream out ‘marriage proposal’.
To replicate this, take her to an aquarium or a zoo and marvel at nature. If she’s anticipating a proposal, she’ll be expecting it mid-date. However, hold out until you get home for the ultimate surprise.
Number 6: Mamma Mia
Mamma Mia uses traditional Greek theatre, meaning it could either end in tragedy, (death) or love, (marriage). Luckily, it’s the latter.
However, the audience as well as lead protagonist, Donna Sheridan, doesn’t expect it.
Donna is a single mom to her recently engaged, 20-year-old daughter, Sophie.
The film revolves around Sophie’s desperate attempt to have her father at her wedding, yet she discovers, after reading her mom’s diary, that she has 3 potential dads.
The movie celebrates Abba’s songs alongside the beauty of Greek theatre in the stunning surroundings of Skopelos.
Despite the 3 potential fathers, Donna was, and still is: madly in love with Sam.
After discovering that he is a potential father, he finally manages to put into words how much he loves her.
After Sophie tells her partner that she doesn’t want to get married and instead wants to see the world, Sam turns to Donna and says: “How about it, Sheridan? You’re gonna need someone to boss around this island of yours. Why waste a good wedding?”
The pair sing a song, fall into each other’s arms and, in traditional Greek style, tie the knot.
How to replicate it:
Here’s the good news: you don’t need to know all the words to ‘Dancing Queen’. This proposal is touching because it’s so unexpected. You can replicate this proposal by proposing at someone else’s wedding.
The tricky thing here, though, is to tread carefully. Some brides and grooms don’t want to share their big day, so it’s important that you let them in on the secret first. Make sure they’re happy with you proposing. You could even ask for the music to tie into your proposal.
If you’re into this idea, perhaps asking the bride to pretend to throw her bouquet to the crowd but then simply turning around and handing it to your partner would be a fantastic way to initiate the proposal. The bouquet symbolizes who will be next to marry, which, when she says ‘yes’, will be fitting.
Number 5: The Proposal
As the title of the movie suggests, ‘The Proposal’ is all about a wedding proposal.
Career driven Margaret is about to be deported back to Canada, so asks her assistant, Andrew, to marry her. There’s zero romance at the beginning. It’s simply a marriage to keep her in the country.
However, the guilt of using her assistant got to her, so she came clean to his family at the wedding.
After, she returns home to pack, facing deportation head on.
When she returns to work to pack her things, Andrew strolls in and confesses his love for her. He asks her to marry him “because I’d like to date you.”
All the while, her coworkers are watching, eyes glued to the pair for the moment she says ‘yes’.
How to replicate it:
Your partner doesn’t need to be facing deportation to replicate this proposal. In fact, that’s simply a subplot within this scene. The reason this ranked high on our list is because of the unapologetic public confession of love. And, that, my friend, is an easy thing to replicate.
Andrew picked her work office to propose. However, you could have the same impact anywhere that is full of people. The subway, perhaps? Making a toast at a restaurant where you know nobody?
The beauty of this is his speech and how he is so in love with Margaret that he doesn’t care who hears it.
Just make sure you have a speech prepared. Practice it a few times. And don’t make the same mistake as Andrew - make sure you’ve got a ring.
Number 4: Serendipity
Serendipity is a movie about fate and destiny. If you believe in star-crossed lovers who are destined to find their way together, this film is for you.
Sara meets Jonathan during Christmas when they are at a department store. The two both want the same pair of gloves, so decide to split it by taking one each. They fall head over heels for each other at first sight, but Sara believes in destiny, so tells Jonathan that if they are meant to be together, they will find each other.
However, this adorable proposal was actually executed by Sara’s then boyfriend, Lars.
While Sara and Lars didn’t end up together, his creative way of proposing is one of the highlights of the movie.
Sara returns home to see a massive gift box with a big, red bow on it and a note saying ‘open me!’
The house is lit up with romantic candles and a large log fire, which is perfect for a cold winter’s night.
She opens the box to reveal another box inside, though slightly smaller. This box contained, (you guessed it), another box.
Until she finds a ring box.
However, the ring isn’t in the box. She then turns around when he says “you’ve got to say ‘yes’ first.” He’s stood in the doorway with a ring in his hand. He makes his way over to her and she agrees to marry him.
While he wasn’t the best partner, (far from it), his proposal got him firmly on our list at number 6.
How to replicate it:
Invest in some tissue paper, too, to make the boxes pop. If you want to make it extra special, you could also include some handwritten poetry or photos at the top of each box. The world is your oyster with this proposal, so get creative.
Make sure the room where you set up the box of boxes is dolled up with romance. Put up some fairy lights and candles. You could even scatter some flower petals on the floor. Plus, a bottle of champagne and two glasses will be the cherry on the cake.
When she’s opened the final box, then come into the room and propose.
As a bonus tip, make sure you set up your phone in the room and hit ‘record’ so she can keep the memory for eternity.
Number 3: When Harry Met Sally
We casted a vote for the most romantic movie proposals and the vote between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place was incredibly close. Coming in at number 2 is ‘When Harry Met Sally’.
A classic which never gets old.
The scene takes place at a New Year’s Eve party. Harry comes rushing into the room after he broke Sally’s heart previously.
The moment they look at each other, the audience knows that Sally isn’t in the mood to chat.
He tells Sally that he loves her. She rolls her eyes and puts his ‘love’ down to boredom and loneliness. But, Harry then cracks into a speech that’ll go down in movie history as one of the most romantic moments of all time.
He tells Sally that he loves her for all the small things that make her ‘annoying’. Things like:
“I love that you’re still cold when it’s 71 degrees outside. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re lookin’ at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.”
The moment that everything changes is when Harry confesses: “I came here tonight because when you realize that you wanna spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Granted, Harry doesn’t actually propose. But, the pair explain that only 3 months later they got married. So, we’re taking his outpour of love as a proposal.
How to replicate it:
We’ve taken a creative spin on this proposal, because we’d never advise picking an argument to throw her off. That’s a no-no. It may work in movies, but in reality, there’s a massive risk involved and it may spoil the moment entirely.
Instead, we’ve unpicked Harry’s speech and used that as the basis of this replication.
Harry’s speech is so touching because he dives into all the reasons he loves Sally. So, that’s exactly what you need to do to replicate this movie scene.
You can do this verbally through your proposal speech. Or, you could use a pen and allow her to keep these moments for the rest of her life.
There are a few ways you can do this. First off, you could use post-its. On each post-it, write one reason why you love your partner. Try to make this as personal and specific as possible.
If you’re not a post-it fan, consider purchasing balloons. Make sure they’re the helium kind, though. Attach a piece of card to the string, and write one reason per balloon why you love your partner. You can then fill the room with balloons.
Be cautious of using candles with this idea, though. If the string catches fire, that can become dangerous pretty damn quickly.
If you want to keep it simple, get yourself some paper and some envelopes. Write down one reason per piece of paper and put them in separate envelopes.
On each envelope, write “Reason” and the number that it correlates with.
EX: “Reason 1”, “Reason 2” and so on.
After she’s read the reasons, get down on one knee and propose.
Number 2: Love Actually
Love Actually is a Christmas classic that gets us feeling all gooey inside for all the right reasons, and it’s well worthy of a number 2 spot.
When Jamie, (played by Colin Firth), first meets Aurelia, (played by Lucia Moniz), he has retreated from Britain to France after discovering his girlfriend was having an affair with his brother.
Jamie, who is classically British, can’t communicate with Aurelia, as she speaks no English and he speaks no Portuguese.
However, when he returns to England, he learns Portuguese so he can fly back and propose to her in her native language.
What’s adorable is that she had been learning English too. Well. Enough to accept his proposal!
How to replicate it:
Languages are sexy. That’s just a fact. However, if your partner is the same nationality as you, you can’t do a direct replication of Jamie’s proposal.
But, you can still use languages.
Google ‘will you marry me?’ in different languages. Write them all down and scatter them around the house.
When she asks what they mean, get down on one knee and propose.
Or, you could cook a meal inspired by the language you choose. Say you picked Italian, you could cook a three course meal of a risotto, pasta and tiramisu. You could even make sure the language you pick reflects a special vacation you went on.
Get creative and befriend Google Translate. It’s your key to a globally adorable proposal.
Before we reveal the number 1 most romantic movie proposal…
Before we reveal the number 1 spot, there are a few honorable movie proposals that we need to mention. While they didn’t make the top 7, they’re still beautiful moments and could inspire some proposal ideas.
Just click on the links for the proposal scenes.
That’s some serious movie magic.
Number 1: The Wedding Singer
Just saying the words ‘the wedding singer’ gets our eyes watering.
The Wedding Singer lands first place on our list of the most romantic movie proposals for it’s utter heart-felt adorableness.
Robbie Hart, (played by Adam Sandler), meets Julia, (played by Drew Barrymore) during a work shift. Robbie is a singer who plays at weddings and Julia is the new waitress.
Robbie’s recent heartbreak made falling in love with Julia even more unlikely, but thankfully, he saw her for her wonderful character.
Julia agrees to get married to her, (-cough- loser -cough), partner, but Robbie is determined to win her over. Julia knows she doesn’t love her partner, but she feels forced into marrying him.
When the pair get on a plane to elope in Las Vegas, Robbie gets on board the plane, befriends Billy Idol and the rest of the cabin crew.
He uses the airplane’s announcement system to sing Julia a song titled “Grow Old With You”.
While he doesn’t flat out say ‘will you marry me?’ the whole song revolves around them growing old together. The next scene is their wedding, so we’re taking his serenade as a proposal.
How to replicate it:
Are you a musician? If so, this may be your style. Get your song-lyricist on and write her a song. If you’re struggling, you can always hire your own writer to help you.
Crack out the guitar and sing to her. You could even get away with doing it acapella, (ie: with no music).
If songwriting isn’t your game, perhaps writing her a poem or a letter which asks her to marry you is more suitable.
The key is to be transparent about how you feel when you’re with her and why you want to spend the rest of your life with her.
We love this proposal for his promises: “I’ll get you medicine if your tummy aches, build you a fire if the furnace breaks, It could be so nice, growing old with you.”
The lyrics are simple, beautiful and summarize the wonders of marriage. If you can creatively do this too, you’re in for a number one spot on our ‘Most Romantic Movie Proposals’ list.
Was your favorite romantic proposal on the list? Do you agree with the order? Let us know in the comments!