The marriage proposal is a milestone life event for many, one made even more epic when it happens while on vacation. It’s also quite popular: If you Google “How to propose while on vacation,” it yields more than 2.6 million results.
While saying or hearing “Yes” from your sweetheart in any locale is pure magic, there is a beautiful metaphor in doing it while on the road. In the process of exploring a destination, whether it be a beach, a glacier or a jungle, the start of an even bigger adventure is sealed with that “Yes.”
Here are 14 couples who began that journey together while on vacation. Perhaps these swoon-worthy stories will spark a few “Awwws” and maybe even some inspiration to pop the question yourself.
“When Lia and I were planning our trip to Alaska, she asked if we could take an excursion for a hike on Mendenhall Glacier. I felt like this adventure would be appropriate for a proposal. It was a hike of a lifetime. The spot our guide secretly picked was majestic; we even drank fresh glacier water directly from the proposal spot to celebrate the ‘yes’.”—Dan Lougheed from Detroit, MI
“I proposed to Todd aboard a yacht that I chartered in St. Martin. We took a sunset cruise to Tintamarre Island where I proposed. But my proposal almost didn’t happen. As we were sailing, we encountered a bit of rough water. My now-husband started to get sea sick and said he wanted to go back to shore. Fortunately, the captain (who was helping me with the proposal) and I convinced him to continue on to Tintamarre. Very glad that we made it there and even more glad that he said ‘yes’.”—Rodney Wright from New York
“After ten years of dating, Zach and I planned a two-week Italy vacation. Friends and family said we’d return engaged or married. We became so annoyed by these claims that Zach told everyone he definitely would not propose on this trip, as if he was supposed to do so on cue. Thus, I didn’t expect anything. After a week or so in Italy, we spent a day at a chianti festival in Greve, then ended the day checking into a B&B in Castellina in Chianti. After walking the gorgeous grounds, we opened a bottle of wine from that day’s festival. Zach got down on one knee, without a ring, and asked me to marry him. I love that he was so inspired by our experience that he had to propose; no amount of pressure made that happen—just the beauty and romance of Italy.”—Angela Shannon from Chicago
“I was fortunate enough to get a spot on a free trip to Israel with 40 other young adults and was beyond excited that my 27th birthday fell in the middle of the trip. While I was excited to spend my birthday in Jerusalem, I was a bit sad that my boyfriend David would be traveling on business, so would miss both the trip and my birthday. My birthday fell on a Friday, and at sundown my group and I walked to the Western Wall to join in the celebration. Just as we began to walk towards the actual Wall, I felt a tap on my shoulder—it was David! He had been lying the whole time about his business trip and conspiring with the tour operator for months to surprise me on my birthday! After I got over the initial shock of seeing him, he revealed the true purpose of his trip: He got down on one knee and proposed in front of all of the girls on my trip and thousands of onlookers. As I screamed ‘Yes!’ my answer was met with hundreds of congratulations, hugs, crying, singing and dancing as the sun set over the Old City of Jerusalem.”—Chandra DiGregorio from New York
Big Sur, California
“Wes and I were on vacation in Big Sur when we got engaged. We spent the day driving along the coast, stopping to hike at several overlooks. We had just finished a two-mile hike when Wes asked me if we could find a beautiful, remote spot for the sunset. We walked down to the McWay Waterfall at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, but it was way too crowded, so we climbed around to the other side of the waterfall. We walked down the hill to get a better look at the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, and then Wes asked me, ‘Would you be mine forever?’ He handed me a gorgeous vintage engagement ring. It was perfect and a complete surprise.”—Erica Gannett from Brooklyn, NY
“About a year after I started dating Rick, his mother planned a family cruise to the Bahamas. Leading up to it, he kept getting phone calls from the public relations department from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. I didn’t think much of it. As we were going up the escalator to check in at port for our cruise, I look up and there’s a huge banner: ‘Maureen, It had to be you. Will you marry me? Rick’ When we got to the top there was a band playing ‘It Had to Be You’ and everyone around us was applauding. I said ‘Yes’ and so began our wonderful life, sailing aboard the Nordic Empress [now Empress of the Seas], where the champagne kept flowing and we received congratulations at all the island stops.”—Maureen Fingerman from Buffalo Grove, IL
Siem Reap, Cambodia
After 16 fabulous days traveling Vietnam and Cambodia with my soul mate, on the night before we thought were scheduled to travel home, Julie and I realized we had read our itinerary wrong and had another full day to enjoy Siem Reap. On our ‘free’ day we went to check out a local craft fair featuring artisans from around Cambodia. Julie and I knew we wanted to get married since the first week we were dating, but since we were two feminine girls who didn’t fulfill typical gender roles, we couldn’t quite figure out how to handle the whole proposal thing. So when a silver jeweler caught my eye when walking through the craft fair, I turned to Julie without thinking and said, ‘What if we got two rings and got engaged right now?!’ So we bought two simple silver rings—the artist explained they symbolized a knot or two things coming together, how perfect!—and then walked to the edge of the Siem Reap River in front of a beautiful Buddhist statue and took turns proposing to each other. No makeup. No fanfare. And nothing but love.”—Susan Betteridge from Chicago
New York City
“Braden planned a surprise weekend away for the two of us in New York City. After a fun day of shopping and sightseeing, he took me to the Top of the Rock to see the sunset. As the lights in the Empire State Building popped on, he dropped onto one knee: ‘Would you and the girls do me the great honor of creating a family with me? Would you be my wife? I want to grow old with you.’ It was an amazing moment.”—Tania Howard Pritz from Annapolis, MD
Seoul, South Korea
“I was in South Korea visiting my boyfriend for the holidays, and we decided to go to Seoul for New Year’s Eve weekend. We went to N Seoul Tower, which is one of the top spots to visit because it’s almost 800 feet above ground, and put our lock of love onto the ‘Love Fence’ area. In that moment, he got on one knee, pulled out the ring in front of a crowd and asked me to marry him, 800 feet in the air in Seoul, Korea. It was very romantic and unexpected.”—Jenise Hughes from Sacramento, CA
“In our second-to-last evening in Dubrovnik, Ciaran and I went for dinner besides the pier in Old Town. I should have known something was up, as Ciaran was so nervous. However, I was blissfully unaware he had been waiting for the ‘right moment’ to ask me to marry him. After dinner, he suggested going for a walk down the pier. At the end of the pier, he proposed. I am pretty certain he didn’t get to the end of the question, as I shouted, ‘Yes!’ and jumped into his arms.”—Jeanette O’Laughlin from Elmhurst, IL
“My husband proposed via helicopter over the Black Hills of South Dakota because he knew I’d always wanted to go on a helicopter ride. He led me to believe that we were going hiking in the mountains; but when he picked me up, we headed in the opposite direction of the mountains. We made our way quickly down the highways and squealed around hairpin turns into the Black Hills of South Dakota. I had no idea where we were going or why he was in such a hurry. Then I saw a sign for Black Hills Aerial Adventures. As soon as we pulled in, the pilot started up the engines and prepared for take off. My husband proposed (of course I said ‘Yes’!) before we were whisked away on a magical tour where we saw Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument and the beautiful rolling hills of South Dakota. It’s easy to say the magic of that day left me feeling sky high!”—Jennifer P. from Wyoming
“While in Paris with my boyfriend, Anthony, we decided to climb the Eiffel Tower. The view from top was perfect. We took a few photos, then Anthony asked for one more photo. After it was taken, Anthony turned to me and dropped to one knee: ‘Morgan, will you marry me?’ My hands were over my mouth and tears were flowing; he asked again because I didn’t answer the first time. He shakily put the ring on my finger—but not after choosing the wrong hand first!”—Morgan Charleson from Perth, Australia
“While on vacation in Colombia, my boyfriend John and I planned a day trip to Tayrona National Park with the goal of going to a beautiful, isolated beach. Getting there wasn’t so easy. We rode on horseback through dense, muddy, insect-ridden jungle paths for about three hours. The heat and humidity were torturous. When we finally arrived, I was in awe of how peaceful and pristine it seemed. I rapidly started heading to the water, about to jump in … but John wouldn’t let me! He started walking towards the other side of the beach, and I had no clue why. He set his camera tripod down in the sand and commanded: ‘We’re taking a photo here.’ I got mean and snippy because I wanted to swim, but he coerced me into the photo by saying my hair would look better dry than wet. He had a remote to make the camera take the photo. When I suddenly sensed movement to my left, my initial thought was, ‘Oh my God! John is passing out from the heat!’ When I realized he was down on one knee, it finally clicked. Now, after two years of marriage, I still laugh about how mad I was at him the moments before our jungle beach proposal. He knew me well enough to know that I’d always dreamed of a proposal abroad, and as a travel-obsessed Spanish teacher, an isolated beach in Colombia surrounded by jungle was the ideal place to do it!”—Michelle Weigold from Villa Hills, KY
Walt Disney World, Florida
“The day before the proposal, Nic and I spent the day visiting the different ‘countries’ at Epcot. When we got to China, I wanted to browse through some of the shops to see if I could find any strange or funny presents to bring back for my family. On our way out, Nic and I noticed a small jewelry section with mood rings. Nic asked me for my ring size because he was thinking about getting me a promise ring. I immediately got upset. After dating for five years, I think we had passed the ‘promise ring’ stage, so I walked away pouting. Fast forward to the following day, when Nic and I were exploring Magic Kingdom. While it had been raining most of the morning, the sun finally peeked out around noon, and this was our cue to take our pictures by the Cinderella Castle. After the first few pictures, Nic started digging in his pocket. I assumed that he was grabbing his phone. To my surprise, he pulled out a black velvet box. At first I was confused … Then upset because I remembered our conversation about promise rings. Then he got down on one knee and said, ‘Danielle Nicole Tucker, you are the love of my life. Will you marry me?’ Needless to say … I said ‘Yes!'”—Danielle Tucker from Lincoln, NE
Were you part of a wedding proposal moment that happened while traveling? Inspire others with your story by sharing it in the comments below.