15 Romantic Ways to Propose Without A Ring

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Jennifer Skulski

Published: Oct 14, 2020

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2020

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No ring? No problem! Proposing without a ring can be more romantic than you may think. With a little creativity and a lot of love, your proposal will be second to none.

So, you’ve reached that stage in your relationship. Congratulations! If you’re ready to share the rest of your life with that special someone, nothing in the world should stop you. Whether a ring isn’t in the budget, you’d rather use the money on something more special, or you’re looking for a creative way to propose without one, there are plenty of romantic ways to make that once in a lifetime moment as perfect as possible. In fact, we’ve got 15 of them. For all those considering proposing without a ring, Wedding Hashers is here to inspire you!

1. Take Your Significant Other On A Trip

There’s nothing quite like a romantic getaway to pop the question of all questions. While planning your vacation, you may also want to plan when you want to propose. If your destination is a beach, you can get artistic and spell out “Will you marry me?” in the sand or with seashells. If you have a flight planned out for a destination a bit further from home, you can use the plane tickets themselves as a symbolic ring and propose before takeoff. If you’re more of the road trip type couple, propose with your trip’s roadmap as a token of love and navigational souvenir. 

proposing with a trip

Choosing to stay at a hotel? Have the hotel staff decorate your room and propose once you both walk in. Looking for safe and socially distant traveling options? Try proposing without a ring at a National Park while taking in the gorgeous views. Or rent out a romantic cabin and get engaged during a private dinner for two.

No matter where you choose to travel or how you choose to propose, this trip will serve as the celebration of your engagement as a couple, making it a special memory for you both.

jessica bishop quote

“One thing I try to impress upon couples is that they should feel free to toss out any tradition, trend, or idea they have about engagement or wedding planning if it doesn’t feel authentic to them. So that being said, a ring is not a necessity for a proposal or even an engagement! 

A good friend of mine is a millennial personal finance expert and she actually *returned* her engagement ring after her fiancé proposed. She and her partner decided together to take the money and put it towards something with a better ROI! Definitely a money-savvy move. It all depends on what matters to *you* and your partner. 

A proposal can be just as meaningful without the bling. Consider your potential future spouse’s love language. Is it acts of service? Surprise them with a fully planned getaway where you pop the question. Is it words of affirmation? In addition to some heartfelt words in your proposal speech, gift them something with words written by you whether a journal, an art print, etc with sentiments that fully express what they mean to you. At the end of the day, meaning and purpose are so much more important than expense or optics.” — Jessica Bishop, Founder of The Budget Savvy Bride

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2. Propose With A Pet

If you’re thinking of sharing a future together, perhaps you’ve already thought about sharing a pet together too. Your proposal may be the perfect time to get both things accomplished. Gift a pet and get engaged. It’s as simple as that.

proposing with a pet

Dress your pet up all fancy or funny and use them as a prop while you pop the question. Or put the pet in a box and get down on one knee while your significant other opens the gift. Maybe you’d rather have your pet do all the talking. If that’s the case, add a tag to your animal or inscribe ‘Will You Marry Me?’ on its collar and send your furry friend over to your future fiancé. 

3. Conduct A Musical Proposal

If your better half makes you wanna jump up on a stage and sing about your love, then this is the perfect idea for proposing without a ring. If you have stage fright but still love music, we’ve got ideas for you too!

musical proposal

Embrace your inner musician for this one and start by writing a song. Profess your love for your partner through artfully crafted song lyrics or through an impressive beat on an instrument of your choice. Whether you’re a well-practiced musician or a musical novice, knowing that this proposal truly came from the heart will score major points.

If you’d rather let music speak for you, there are plenty of ways to execute that as well. You could hire a band or musician to perform a song for you. Music is romantic. Use it to your advantage and propose during the surprise serenade. You could also take a page out of John Cusack’s book and grab your old boombox for your engagement without rings. Stand outside your partner’s window, hold the boombox above your head, and blow out your speakers with your musical proposal. If there’s one particular song that brings back a special memory for you two as a couple, have that be your proposal’s theme. 

4. Use An Heirloom

Rings are so last year. Show how much your special someone means to you by proposing without a ring and with a family heirloom instead. The backstory and sentimentality behind the item are sure to make the proposal unique. If your family has an important artifact that has been passed down through generations of family members, now is the perfect chance to put it to use. It could be your grandmother’s pearl necklace, your great aunt’s bracelet, or even an ancestor’s engagement ring. The heirloom can be anything from jewelry to an antique tea kettle. No matter what the item may be, expressing your love through gifting a piece of your family history to your partner is the ultimate method of asking them to join your family.

heirloom

5. Go Skydiving

Take your relationship to new heights with this ringless proposal idea. For the adventurous duo who are looking for extreme ways to show their love, you can propose while you plummet. Or maybe you’re not that adventurous and skydiving sounds way out of your comfort zone. Looks like your engagement without rings could be a time to conquer your fears while asking to share your futures. You could even get this action-packed proposal on video for an exhilarating memory you can repeatedly relive. Your partner probably won’t see it coming and their reaction will be priceless. It will be a proposal to remember, but you definitely wouldn’t wanna risk it by bringing a ring along on your dive.

people skydiving

6. Propose With Flowers

For a romantic engagement without rings you could opt to have flowers instead. Order a custom arrangement of your significant other’s favorite flower breeds in their favorite colors. Or decorate an entire room with flowers galore and propose while surrounded by their beauty. You could also head to a public rose garden or botanical garden to propose among those flowers. Or if you yourself have a green thumb you could secretly work on planting and caring for a garden of your own and pop the question when all the flowers nicely bloom. Need more ideas? Get crafty and design a sign made of flower buds or petals that spells out ‘Will You Marry Me?’ Any of these creative flower options for proposing without a ring are sure to help your relationship blossom into an engagement.

using flowers for a proposal

 7. Cook Up A Delicious Proposal

Get creative with your cooking and ask for their hand in marriage over a delicious meal. You could hire a professional chef or do all the cooking yourself. Let the meal do the talking by having your significant other discover the question while they eat. Perhaps at dessert time bring out a cake with ‘Will You Marry Me?’ written in the frosting. Or maybe the cappuccino has the question inscribed in its milk froth. The plate or drinking glass could have it printed on the bottom, leading your partner to discover the question only once they finish their meal or drink. However you decide to serve up this proposal, no ring is required, only love and food.

proposing with a meal
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8. Get Tatted 

Ready to express your love through some ink? Whether you’re a veteran to tattoo parlors or considering your first, getting tattoos can be your romantic way to affirm your lifetime commitment to each other. If you’re proposing with a ring, you could get creative and opt for tattoo rings instead. Or go for the matching tattoo option which serves as a cute and romantic reminder of your love. If you’re feeling rather trusting, you could even allow each of you to design the other’s tattoo and have a surprise reveal once all is done. Whether you chose to go elaborate or subtle, visible or hidden, black ink or watercolor, the decision and design should be special to you as a couple. Getting tattoos together will be your first adventure and memory as an officially engaged couple. 

engagement tattoos

9. Handcraft A Keepsake

Use your crafty talents to your advantage when proposing without a ring. A work of art handcrafted with love is sure to delight your significant other. Make a romantic card expressing your love and desire to get engaged. Paint a picture. Make a collage or mosaic using pictures of your adventures together. Or create a scrapbook or photo album of your memories over the years. If woodworking is a skill of yours, make a ring box and carve the words ‘Will You Marry Me?’ on the inside of the box. Then you can go out together to pick out an engagement ring. 

making crafts for your proposal

Maybe you’re an expert in ceramics or pottery. Craft up a romantic keepsake for your proposal. If you’re super into technology, try 3D printing a special gift. There are so many ways to express your love whether it’s through written words or lovely crafts. Take the skills you have and create something special for your partner to keep and cherish forever as a reminder of your romantic proposal.

diana adjadj quote

Before I dive into the story, you should know that I can’t imagine my life without books. That gave my husband an idea of how to combine my two biggest loves – him and books.

My proposal story starts with me going away to a seminar for the weekend. My husband used my absence to put his proposal plan into motion. He took the book I was reading at the time and added a new page a few pages further from the bookmark. That page was thin and slightly smaller than the pages in the book, so there is no way for me to notice that someone meddled with my book.

As he knows me very well, he knew that I would rush to my book as soon as I get back. But this time, there was something different. I read a few pages, and then there it is – a new addition to the story. First, I thought that it was some random note, but it wasn’t. On this one page, my husband wrote our love story. He wrote how he felt when he first saw me, when he asked me out the first time, when he told me he loved me for the first time…The story ended by sharing that out of all the firsts, he is the least nervous now, as he is 100% sure that this first will be his last, as there is no one else he wants to spend his life with.” — Diana Adjadj, A writer at an online writing service.

10. Donate To Your Partner’s Favorite Cause

Romantic gestures done out of love and respect can go a long way. If your significant other has a special cause near and dear to their heart that they support or even run, consider donating to that organization. Rather than spending all that money on a ring, let the money be put to good use for a notable cause. This idea is proof that proposing without a ring can be both charitable and romantic, making it a perfect alternative.

mural of hands on a wall

11. Purchase A Piece of Art

For the artistic couple, perhaps you’d rather spend the ring money on a piece of art instead. If your significant other has a favorite artist or painting, you could go that route. You could also get an artist to commission a piece for you. Have the artist paint something inspired by your favorite memory, favorite place, or favorite photo together. Or have an entirely new picture created. If cartoons and animations are more your style, you could even purchase a caricature of the both of you. This special piece of art can easily be put on display as the centerpiece of any room, making for a lovely reminder of the artsy proposal. 

proposing with a painting

12. Propose With A Sketch Of A Ring

If trying to select the perfect ring for your partner seems like too much pressure, proposing without a ring is the clear alternative. Instead, you could propose with a sketch of a ring. Simply get a professional artist to sketch out the type of ring you’d think your significant other would want. When the moment comes to pop the question, propose with the sketch and ask for their input on the design. From their input you could decide to purchase an engagement ring on your own or with their help.

ring sketch
ring sketches for proposal

13. Put A Down Payment On A House

If you’ve been saving up for something a bit bigger than a ring, put the money towards a different monetary project instead, such as a house. Proposals are about looking to share your lives together. What better way to accomplish that than showing off where you’ll be living together. Take your partner to the new house and propose right then and there. If you already have a place together you could propose with a surprise plan to remodel or a shopping spree to furnish the house. Either way, this romantic gesture is fun and exciting as you plan your new lives and living arrangements with one another.

down payment on a house

14. Advertise Your Proposal

Make your love known. Shout it from the rooftops and advertise it all around town. Purchase a section in the newspaper or a magazine to announce your engagement. Surprise your partner by driving by a billboard you designed which asks for their hand in marriage. Buy some screen time at your local movie theater where one of the pre-movie advertisements is a surprise proposal video you put together. Or go all out and have your four-word question written in the sky by hiring a skywriting service. Publicity can be quite romantic.

advertising your proposal

15. Create A Website

Proposing without a ring can lead to some pretty creative alternatives. This one involves creating a website to showcase your love. The website could consist of a montage of memories in the form of pictures and videos you have together. It could include poems or other written sentiments you wrote to express your love. It could include a slideshow or presentation expressing reasons why you two should get married. If you’re into gaming, you could even create some type of video game or mini game on your website where the end screen asks for their hand in marriage. You could code your own website or use sites such as Squarespace or Wix to help you create one. The website can be as simple or complex as you’d like. Just email your significant other the link and get down on one knee as they open the website. The creativity and hard work that went into this proposal will surely be shared within cyberspace for years to come. 

creating a website for your proposal

Now Go Out And Propose!

If you now have newfound inspiration on how to ace proposing without a ring, there’s no time like the present to start putting your plan into motion. Take our ideas and make them your own. This is your special day as a couple so customize your proposal to fit your strengths and interests. An engagement without rings can be a creative and unique way to start your lifetime journey together. No matter how you plan to propose, let your love take center stage. Any gesture to show how much your significant other means to you is sure to be a beautifully romantic moment. 

proposing to you significant other without a ring

With your proposal plan in place, you might also want to plan how you wish to share the news once your partner says ‘Yes!’ An important life update like this is prime content for a social media post. If you’re looking to get real creative with your post, see how Wedding Hashers can hook you up with a special wedding hashtag to announce your engagement. Proposing without a ring can be quite creative so share how you pulled it off with your close network of friends and family. Let us get started on your awesome wedding hashtag right here!

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