Countdown to marriage: proposing on New Year’s Eve


As the old year ends and a fresh start is just around the corner, what better way to get the new year off to an amazing start than by a proposal? Of all the special occasions in the calendar when you can propose a New Year’s Eve proposal is definitely one of the most popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Parties, revelry, a feeling of positive change… a New Year’s Eve proposal can be magical in many ways.

Why a New Year’s Eve proposal will guarantee a yes

New Year’s Eve is naturally a time when people think about the future and any changes they want to make in their lives, so a proposal is a perfect fit with this mood. What better way to ask this life-changing question than on the day when your partner will be thinking about what lies ahead in the coming year? 

While New Year’s Eve is a very popular time with couples for proposing, if your partner has their suspicions that a proposal is on the cards during the holiday season then they may well expect it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Waiting until New Year’s Eve to ask could be a lovely way to keep them on their toes and ensure an element of surprise!

The celebratory nature of New Year’s Eve is also ideal if you’ve been keeping the idea of proposing under your hat. Your partner won’t be suspicious if you book a restaurant for a meal, order a bottle of Champagne, start talking about the future – all of these are normal activities for 31st December, and shouldn’t alert them to what’s about to happen.

The perfect locations for a New Year’s Eve proposal

New Year’s Eve is celebrated in style in many locations around the world, so if you’re planning on combining your proposal with a trip then you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Marking the turn of the new year with fireworks is something done around the world, and many cities put on some spectacular public shows. For amazing firework displays to make your proposal go with a bang, you could consider London, Sydney, Dubai and Paris. There’s also Reykjavik, which not only has an amazing firework display but will also give you a gorgeous snowy landscape – and maybe even some natural fireworks courtesy of the Northern Lights!

New York’s Times Square celebrations are known for the famous ‘ball drop’ at midnight from the One Times Square building, and a proposal at this iconic moment would definitely be memorable. On the other side of the Atlantic, Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations are legendary   – think bagpipes, torchlit processions, dancing and a wee nip of whiskey or several. (The New Year’s Day open water swim is optional, however.)

If you do decide to turn your New Year’s Eve proposal into a destination proposal, wherever you pick is sure to make for a memorable holiday – and even more so when you come home and announce your engagement. And with proposal planners able to co-ordinate and organise proposals across the globe, you could easily organise something truly spectacular even if you’re travelling abroad.

New Year’s Eve proposal ideas

Of course, a New Year’s Eve proposal closer to home can be just as spectacular, and there are lots of creative ways to pop the question at this time of year.

One simple way is to host a party and then turn it from a New Year’s Eve gathering into an impromptu engagement party! This would guarantee you’d have your friends and family around you to help celebrate your good news. Surprise your loved one as well as your guests when you propose, or you could get your loved ones involved in the proposal, too – perhaps holding up a series of signs at midnight that spell out your proposal, or being completely silent at midnight so your partner can hear what you’re asking! 

Your partner might prefer a more intimate proposal, however, so a romantic dinner a deux would be an ideal backdrop. Get in all of your favourite food and drink, decorate your house with candles and flowers, and then ask the question over dinner. It will guarantee that you’ll have something to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight! Or if your decorations are still up, why not point out a ‘forgotten’ present under the tree and have your partner unwrap it to discover an engagement ring?

Another intimate way of proposing on New Year’s Eve is to go for a quiet walk with just the two of you, and bring conversation around to talking about the year that’s passed and your hopes and dreams for the next. Then, simply ask your question at an appropriate point. You could also write a list of resolutions and include ‘get married’ on it – share this with your partner and then just be ready with a ring when they look up at you in surprise!

However you decide to plan your New Year’s Eve proposal, it’s guaranteed to be a momentous one on such a special date, and a memory that you can continue to celebrate year after year. And of course, as well as being a great date for a proposal, 31st December is a fantastic date for a wedding, too… 

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