1. Choose a favorite place—whether it’s a fountain, hotel rooftop, monument or national park—that has personal significance to the two of you. Once you’re there, ask someone nearby to take a picture of you together, and instead of posing, drop down on one knee.
2. Have a choir, brass band or drum line show up for a surprise performance of your fiance-to-be’s favorite love song in a park or public location for your proposal. For a really personal touch, ask the performers if they can incorporate your fiance’s name into the lyrics.
3. Get in touch with the stage manager of your favorite production and propose after the cast’s curtain call. Call ahead and see if you can have a special note or ad placement added into the playbill, so you have a keepsake of the proposal.
4. Arrange a surprise proposal with a street caricaturist. Have the caricaturist sketch a picture of you two with word bubbles that say, “Will you marry me?” and “Yes!”
5. Ask the divers at an aquarium to put on a proposal show inside their biggest fish tank. Give them a (waterproof) sign that says, “Will you marry me?” to hold up against the glass and then position yourselves for what will, at first, seem like feeding time.
6. Send your unsuspecting fiance-to-be on a treasure hunt that ends with your proposal. Start with a clue at home (a handwritten note or text message) that leads to a tour of your favorite spots all over town.
7. Go out for a night of dancing and ask the DJ or bandleader to pass you the mic so you can dedicate a song and propose on the dance floor.
8. Hire a skywriter to spell out your proposal for everyone around to see.
9. Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper, and then pick the perfect spot to have a relaxing morning of catching up on current events. Another twist on this idea is to call into a radio station and then make sure your fiance-to-be is listening when your proposal is on the air.