10 Ways to Propose on the Beach

Man making propose to his girlfriend at the beach

A pristine stretch of soft white sand and the gentle murmuring of the waves can provide an exquisitely romantic setting for a marriage proposal, but the setting is just one facet of the plan. You still need to decide how you're going to carry it all out.

Ideas for a Classic, Romantic Beach Proposal

Think about your partner's personality, and then try to create an ideal proposal that's bound to inspire an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

Message in the Sand

There are many ways to make a romantic proposal in this setting. Picture the two of you on the beach, perhaps walking along hand-in-hand as you listen to the rolling waves and the breeze drifts across you. As you walk along, you come to a spot where something is written in the sand.

Marry Me Message Handwritten in Sand

You pretend you've never seen this message before but, in fact, you wrote it just a few hours earlier in a spot that won't get washed away when the tide comes in. You ask your partner what the message says, and as they read it, you pull the ring box out of your pocket and have it ready for them when they turn around toward you.

Romantic Bonfire

There's something magical about building a small bonfire on the beach. Pick a secluded location where high tide won't reach and wind isn't very strong, and set up the bonfire ahead of time so it's ready for lighting when you get there.

As the two of you snuggle together, gazing at the burning embers, tell your love that they're very much like that fire. They're the light of your life and set your heart on fire every time you look at them. Say you can't imagine anything more wonderful than coming back to this beach every year to celebrate the anniversary of this moment, and then pop out that ring and propose.

Picnic on a Moonlit Beach

In another scenario, imagine the two of you having an intimate, romantic picnic at the beach on a moonlit night. Keep the meal light with wine, cheese, bread and fruit. When you've finished eating, pour another glass of wine for each of you and tell your partner you have one more treat to share.

Reach into the bottom of the picnic basket where you have carefully hidden the ring box, and set it gently on the blanket between the two of you. Say the only thing more beautiful than the reflection of the moon on the water is the sight of their face, and that you can't imagine sharing your life with anyone else. Make your heartfelt proposal and then wait patiently for a reply.

On Bended Knee

Part of a great proposal is creating an image you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives. Take a lazy, barefoot stroll along the water's edge. When the moment is right, stop and gently drop to one knee. This gesture alone is going to send your love over the moon because they'll know exactly what's about to happen. Choose your words carefully, make them sincere, and end with that phrase every marriage-minded person dreams of hearing one day, "Will you marry me?"

man proposing to his girlfriend at the beach

Creative Ways to Propose on the Beach

Being creative can make a proposal even more unique, so consider one of these ideas.

Proposal in a Bottle

Take your partner to the beach for a picnic. When you're just about finished eating, pretend like you see something along the shoreline. Trot over there as though you want a closer look, and take the opportunity to pull a small bottle out of your pocket in which you have a note with your proposal.

Bring the bottle back to your partner and ask them to open it and read you the note. When they read it, pull out the ring you bought and give them a moment to put the two together. Once your partner clearly catches on to what's happening, pop the question.

Buried Treasure

If you want to make a proposal that truly fits the setting, and you're sure your potential fiancee will appreciate an off-beat proposal, consider burying the engagement ring in a small treasure chest in the sand at a secluded area of the beach. Better yet, pick the location, and have a trusted friend bury it for you and keep watch over it until you get there.

Leave one end of the treasure chest sticking out of the ground slightly so you can spot it and ask your partner what it might be. Encourage them to dig it out of the sand and open it. When they find the ring, tell them they're the real treasure and ask them to marry you.

Jewel in the Shell

Finding a pearl in an oyster is an amazing thing anyone can appreciate, so why not try an engagement ring in a shell? You might need to purchase a shell big enough to hide the ring in without getting it jammed inside.

Take your partner to the beach and say you want to look for pearls. They'll probably think you're being a little silly, but just convince them to go with it. When they're looking the other way, pull the shell out of your pocket and place it in plain site. Point it out and ask if they checked that one. Watch carefully in case the ring accidentally spills onto the ground when they pick it up. When they find the ring, tell them how lucky they are and ask if they'll make you the luckiest person in the world by marrying you.

Extravagant Beach Proposal Ideas

If you're prepared to go all out with your proposal, here are some great ways to do it.

couple sitting on boardwalk against sea

Exotic Vacation Proposal

Splurge on a tropical vacation for the two of you. Spend the day seeing the sights, and then plan to have a romantic dinner followed by a walk on the beach.

When you think it's the right moment, tell your partner how glad you are that you're here in paradise together, and that the only thing that could make the night more perfect is if they would agree to marry you. Make sure you have a ring so your partner realizes your proposal isn't an impulsive one and feels more inclined to say yes right away.


When money is no object, fireworks can make an amazing backdrop for a marriage proposal. Hire a party planner to arrange a fireworks display at your favorite beach.

As you and your partner are watching the display, say you arranged the fireworks for them to show what goes on in your heart every time you look at them. Pull out your engagement ring, and say this diamond is just a symbol of one sparkle from the fireworks, but it's one the two of you can share the rest of your lives if they'll marry you.

Spa Retreat Proposal

An ocean-side couple's spa retreat can set the scene for a very romantic proposal. Spend the day partaking in relaxing treatments together, like a warm mud bath and a hot stone massage. Take your partner for a candlelight dinner on the beach, and order Champagne for a toast. Work your proposal into that toast and present the box with the ring. If the answer is yes, you can clink your glasses together to seal the moment.

Tips on Choosing a Beach

Before you head out to the beach with a ring in hand, visit it a day or two in advance at the same time the proposal is planned to make sure it will be a clean and picturesque location to pop the question. Some of the most important points to consider include:

  • Smells: Is the ocean breeze the only scent, or does the beach smell like an old aquarium?
  • Sounds: Waves vary in volume, and a whispered question won't be heard over thunderous breakers.
  • Sand: Is the sand easy to walk across? Is it clean or dirty? How far is the walk to the water?
  • Company: Is the beach crowded or isolated? Will an intimate proposal be disrupted by other beachgoers?

Make the Proposal Unique and Memorable

Every anxious and hopeful person looking to turn a relationship into a marriage can find different ways to propose on the beach whether they're interested in a romantic, creative or extravagant marriage proposal. When the natural beauty of the water combines with the beauty of your love, the only trick is to avoid drowning in the moment.

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10 Ways to Propose on the Beach