For married couples, the story behind those "she said yes!" and "I'm marrying my best friend" Insta posts is an extra special one — after all, it marks the moment that their happily ever after begins. Planning such a momentous occasion is a super personal matter, and for some, popping the question at home makes a lot more sense than an elaborate public scene. An intimate living room proposal can still be romantic AF — and to prove it, I rounded up a handful of at-home proposal stories that are low-key magical.
There are lots of perks to popping the question at your own pad. For one, it's a super comfortable, relaxed setting where both partners can express the full spectrum of their emotions in private. Not to mention, home also often has sentimental value in the relationship.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many couples are quarantining or at least practicing social distancing, which has obviously meant adjusting proposal plans due to logistics. Fortunately, it seems that hasn't stopped them from pulling out all the stops and making it a memorable moment. If you got engaged at home (or you're dreaming of an at-home proposal), you're in good company. In 2017, Prince Harry popped the question to Meghan Markle on a quiet night at home in their cottage (while casually roasting a chicken, I might add). If an at-home proposal is good enough for (former) royalty, it's good enough for me.
As they say, home is where the heart is — and TBH, these at-home proposal stories serve as the perfect proof.
Cat's Out Of The Bag
Luke, a 33-year-old practicing doctor, decided to incorporate his and his then girlfriend's shared fur babies into the proposal.
"That morning, I woke up extra early and went to a pet store to buy two cat collars and custom tags that said 'Will You' for the girl cat and 'Marry Me?' for the boy cat," he explains. "The day I did it, I was on call so I had to get one of my buddies to hold my pager for me so I could pick up the ring in the afternoon before going back to work."
The couple was already packing up to move from Boston to Newport, R.I., so when he got home from work, his girlfriend Sara was cleaning and putting some of their belongings into boxes in the living room.
"I was super nervous, so I grabbed the two cats by the stomachs and ran in the other room," he says. "She was like 'What's going on?' I put the collars on them, and then I let out the girl cat with the 'Will You?' collar. She didn't notice the message at first. I was like 'Read the tag!'"
She still didn't get it, so Luke sent out the other cat. Finally, she turned over that tag that said "marry me?" and he got down on one knee. Luke says he's glad he popped the question at home.
"I knew I was going to be way too much in my head," he tells Elite Daily. "I wanted to be able to say what I wanted to say without being embarrassed."
A Tweaked Tradition
During college, whenever I knew my eventual wife was going to be having a stressful week, I'd set up a scavenger hunt around the house with a fun prize at the end, usually some candy or a movie. It was a Saturday morning right before finals and she was as stressed as could be. She had an early morning shift at the hospital where she worked. I usually would drive her but I told her that day I couldn't because I had to go to work. It wasn't far to walk, but it gave me enough time to prepare.
While she was out, I set up a scavenger hunt with clues and notes leading her to items around the house that had particular meaning in our relationship: pictures of trips we had taken, movies we enjoyed, food we liked to make. The final clue sent her upstairs to the bedroom where I was waiting with her ring.
— Dave, 32
The Best Xmas Present Of All
Nancy, 32, was proposed to at home in PJs on Christmas morning, right after she opened what she thought was her final gift from her partner: a rose gold watch.
"He then said, 'I think that would go nicely with this,' and pulled out my rose gold engagement ring," she tells Elite Daily. "I’m so glad it was at home. It was great to celebrate on our own without people watching!"
A Run To Remember
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Emily, 28, and her now fiancé Jason had left New York to stay at his parents' home in Maryland. One day, he invited her on a morning run to a local park where he played tennis as a kid. At one point on their run, Jason stopped for a second and Emily assumed he had a cramp.
"I got worried and started asking if he was okay," she tells Elite Daily. "Then, from faking the cramp, he knelt down on one knee, took the ring out of his coat pocket, and proposed! I was so unbelievably surprised. I knew maybe a proposal was coming in the next few months, but I had no idea it would be in that moment (no makeup, hair up, nails unpainted, gym clothes on, etc.). It was so natural and organic which is ultimately what I really wanted for my special moment."
After she said "yes," Jason ushered her down a path where he had a picnic set up with cheese, champagne, and chocolate. That evening, Jason's parents set up a formal candlelit dinner for the couple in their dining room. Of course, no quarantine proposal tale would be complete without a Zoom sesh — and Emily and Jason hopped on a video chat to share the news with friends. They closed out the evening with a private dance party in the basement, and their friends threw them a surprise virtual engagement party the next day.
As it turns out, Jason initially had a totally different plan to take Emily out to dinner, propose at the restaurant, and then jet off to Miami.
"That fell through due to the situation, but I honestly love what he did even more," she adds. "I felt like we had time to celebrate just us without any interruptions."
A Breathtaking View
On March 21, after many long days of being isolated with no one but each other, my boyfriend asked me to go on a walk up to our favorite hilltop. Once we got through the snow and were at the very top overlooking the valley, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
— Reilly, 28
A Sentimental Sofa
For Kellyn, 31, an at-home engagement held a lot of nostalgic charm — especially because it happened on the same couch where she and her now-hubby first kissed and said "I love you" for the first time.
"I think what made it the most special was the significance that my now-husband put into it — it was by no means a lazy at-home proposal," she explains. "Home was significant for us because something we had said frequently to each other throughout our relationship was that the other person felt 'like home.' I also loved that it was very private and intimate, so no random onlookers, or even friends and family — just us... and our dog."
A Peaceful Reminder
My boyfriend proposed on Lake Huron in Oscoda, Mich. It was such a magical day. It was the last time we saw our parents and families due to COVID-19 and we have been isolated in our home and only going to work. I work in a COVID-19 ICU unit at my hospital. I continuously look down at my ring and smile. It calms me down in this world of craziness.
— Kacie, 27
A Wake-Up Call For The Books
Molly, 33, met her now-husband when they were 19, and they got engaged nine years later. His original plan was to propose to her while opening Christmas gifts, but when his flight home from a trip got repeatedly delayed, he had to adjust his plans.
"[He] woke me up at 5:30 a.m. after returning from a red-eye — I was in PJs, retainers in, hair a mess!" she explains. "He got down on one knee next to our bed and proposed the second he got home because he knew he couldn't wait any longer. It was special because it was organic, and it was just us — I always said I wanted to be proposed to at home, nothing wild and crazy... I just didn't expect to be woken up so it was definitely a surprise!"
Molly and her partner waited 48 hours to share the news on social media so that they could celebrate in peace before all the congratulatory messages rolled in.
"Totally worth it to be able to bask in the happiness just the two of us," she adds.
A Birthday Surprise
For my birthday, we were supposed to go to downtown Chicago for a weekend away together but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. On the day of my birthday, my now-fiancé asked if I wanted to go out and take a walk in Milwaukee to get some fresh air after being cooped up in the house. We ended up in front of the Calatrava Milwaukee Art Museum where he got down on one knee and proposed! Although this was not his original plan, it was the most perfect proposal.
— Aleisha, 29
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Lauren, 31, thought she was just having a regular Wednesday date night when her SO asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. Not only did he recreate their first date (which involved a walk into their neighborhood to stop at a brewery, a wine bar, and then a restaurant), but he snagged the same exact table they had dinner at.
Despite the romantic setting, Lauren wasn't expecting a proposal that night — they had a trip to Punta Cana planned about three weeks later she had an inkling it might happen then. Back at their condo, Lauren noticed all the lights were off and the stairs leading up to the living room were sprinkled with rose petals. In the living room, their song was playing, and there were candles in the shape of a heart on the coffee table.
"I'm pretty sure I blacked out from excitement/shock as he proposed," she says. "He had a video camera set up to record the whole thing, which was so special. I loved that we could share the moment with friends and family later, while still being alone while it was actually happening."
Lauren says she was always a little nervous about the idea of a public proposal because she didn't want to worry about being the center of attention during such a personal and emotional moment.
"The fact that it happened at home meant everything to me because this condo is where we fell in love, moved in together, and started our life as a couple together," she adds. "I love that we will always be able to visit the spot(s) where the proposal happened and that we were in a comfortable setting that carried significance for our relationship and our future."
Home is where the heart is. As Johanna Tzur, chief marketing officer for JamesAllen.com points out, "Home is often where couples have made the majority of their memories together so it's the perfect venue for a proposal." These stories prove she's right.