Within each calendar year, there are five days when a marriage proposal can be seen as de rigueur: Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, your darling’s birthday and the couple’s anniversary. There’s nothing wrong about picking a predictable day to get down on one knee, but creating a memorable experience can be the icing on the cake. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of five non-traditional places (read: not the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building) to pop the big question.
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
This popular waterfront district is far removed from Parisian views, but it’s no less romantic. Incorporate the element of surprise into your proposal and start the event by taking a stroll along the Avenue of Stars (Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame) and posing for cheesy photos beside statues of some of Hong Kong’s most popular film stars. Once you’re ready to get a bit more serious, pull aside a passerby to take your picture as you take a knee. Time the proposal just right, and your first memory as an engaged couple can be the world’s largest permanent light and sound show, “A Symphony of Lights,” which fills the skyline with dazzling illumination displays each evening.
Piton Valley, St. Lucia
Sure, jetting off to St. Lucia with your sweetie may arouse some suspicion of your romantic intentions. Play it cool by taking a hike among the Pitons, two majestic volcanic spires on the island’s southwestern coast. The valley between these structures is a perfect place to observe a cornucopia of rare and exotic plants and animals. Best of all, you’ll be treated to two unbelievable views: the serene natural world laid out before this Unesco World Heritage Site, and your love’s surprised face as you procure a ring from your backpack.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas
We know what you’re thinking — Vegas? — but hear us out: Just as there’s more to Sin City than casinos and opulent resorts, there’s more to this multi-faceted destination’s fairy-tale offerings than drive-through chapels and Elvis impersonators. In March 2012, The Smith Center opened its doors to cater to a different type of Las Vegas visitor. After taking in a Broadway show or an evening of classical music, linger on the balcony of the Reynolds Hall theater for a special show of your own to end the night.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
You may get a peek at a star-filled Texas sky in cities such as Austin and Dallas, but to really experience the beauty of the Lone Star State, you need to get away from the bright lights of the big cities. Camping at Big Bend National Park is a rustic and dreamy way to disconnect from the world. While you’re setting up camp in this secluded preserve, you’ll be in a prime position to pack a midnight picnic for an impromptu stargazing session. Or, wake up early for a leisurely hike among some of the prettiest wildflowers in the world — either way, you’ll have plenty of privacy for when you decide to pop the question.
St. Augustine, Florida
Dubbed the nation’s Oldest City, St. Augustine walks a fine line between tourist haven and hidden gem. There’s a definite sense of charm in this Florida city, especially for history buffs, as this year marks the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing on the sunny Florida coast. For the top proposal spot here, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the oldest surviving brick structure in the entire city. And while we can’t say with any scientific certainty that a proposal here means your marriage will last for all eternity, our romantic sensibilities hope that choosing this site to lay the foundation for your marriage will at least give you an edge.
Photos Courtesy of Adam Baker, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Kduclos and Geri Kodey