For some couples, the day that they get engaged is the happiest time in their lives. Many people choose to have small weddings, or lavish, grandiose celebrations, but there is one thing that all weddings have in common: They have to begin somewhere. For many people, asking the question at the right time and choosing the right venue to do it at is almost as important as the wedding itself.
Now, this isn’t a list of the most romantic or best places to propose to a significant other, just the spots that are the most common. Maybe this list will deter you from dropping to a knee in front of the Eiffel Tower (although I doubt it, because if that is your plan, you’ve probably planned it for years), but for better or for worse, these are the ten most frequent places for marriage proposals in the world (not based on many hard facts, just some research and inferred speculation).
10) Disneyland or Disney World
Many girls have dreams of becoming a princess, planning their fairytale weddings by the time that they learn to walk. There is no place on the planet more conducive to reliving those childhood fantasies than the Happiest Place on Earth. Year in and year out, people pop the big question in front of the Magic Kingdom because it allegedly brings forth happy memories. And these magical cities inside of real cities aren’t just popular proposal destinations, they’re also huge players in the wedding industry itself. With the help of a Disney wedding planner, couples can have their weddings at either resort, with their favorite Disney characters present at the reception, and the castles and characters in the background of their wedding photos.
This mostly-gloomy city may look peculiar on this list, but there are a few specific spots in London that have seen more proposals than we’d like to know. In front of Buckingham Palace or the Kenwood House, these glorious building-fronts have famed histories as engagement locations, but one place in particular beats all of the other historical landmarks: The London Eye. This giant ferris wheel overlooks the Thames at its peak, which may sound romantic, but the Eye has also seen over 5,000 engagements and 530 weddings, so it’s hardly the unique destination that people may wish for when popping the M word. Also, you’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists, so getting down on one knee might be a little difficult when it’s crowded.
Jamaica is a scenic island with beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and mountains. It is certainly one of the more popular marriage destinations in the world because people can combine their wedding and honeymoon into one big, special occasion. Sandals Resorts has more all-inclusive properties in Jamaica than they do anywhere else in the world, so you can assume that they’ve nailed the demographic that involves lovers and soon-to-be-married folk. In Jamaica, there is only a 24-hour waiting period to get a marriage license, with island resort coordinators and planners taking care of the paperwork for couples. So you can go straight from popping the question, to getting married, to being on your honeymoon all in less than two days.
Like Jamaica, Hawaii is a popular honeymoon destination and wedding spot because of its great culture, sublime beauty and weather, and all of this might add to the inspiration that proposers feel when visiting the islands. Maybe it’s the fact that Hawaii is a pretty long flight from anywhere in the world that gives men ample time to vanquish those butterflies and bouts of anxiety. Dinner cruises, lookouts, beach sunsets, writing “Will You Marry Me?” in the sand – these are all perfectly suitable, romantic places and ideas to propose your undying love to another. Just know that you won’t be the first to have done any of it. And also, once you get that resounding “Yes,” you can immediately begin your honeymoon!
6) San Francisco
The City by the Bay could be the country’s most romantic, European-esque city. Golden Gate Park (and the bridge for that matter), the top of Lombard Street, the Conservatory of Flowers – these are just a few of the places that frequently see people getting engaged. You can rent a luxury yacht and sail around the Bay, cab it to the local wineries, stroll through the city and gaze at the beautiful Victorian houses. There are viable options and locations everywhere in the City. Part of the appeal of San Francisco is the wide range of rich cultures, traditions, and histories, all of which help keep visitors and residents constantly refreshed and inspired.
5) Niagara Falls
If you want to pop the question in both the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls has been the go-to destination for eons. Straddling the borders of Ontario and New York, this 3-waterfall location is a tourist heavyweight. It has been marketed as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” so whether you drop to one knee on the famed Maid of the Mist, or try to find a spot that no one’s ever proposed at, the odds are against you. There are numerous chapels nearby, and hundreds of people have planned weddings through the various Niagara Falls wedding sites and coordinators. While the Falls are a bit of a played-out convention for engagements and weddings, there’s another small fact that might kill the romanticism a bit: Besides being the Honeymoon capital of the world, it is also one of the suicide capitals of the world, with 20-25 per year and over 2,780 suicides between 1856 and 1995… Oof.
Ahh, the beautiful people and landmarks of Italy, the language, the culture, it’s all very romantic, and many women love that stuff when getting proposed to. It’s hard to find a more memorable place than Italy, and even IN the country it’s hard to pick a spot. You have Florence, Tuscany, Rome, these are all great suggestions. But the number one place to present the ring? On a gondola in Venice. A nice ride down the city’s lovely canals may seem like a great time to ask the question, but remember that there will likely be other tourists with you, and it’s far from an original idea. In fact, Venice’s canals are so choked with gondolas that the city has had to enact a 26-point plan to keep people from getting into crashes and dying.
3) New York
New York: The City That Never Sleeps. Through all the hustle-and-bustle of the economic capital of the world, people still find time to propose engagement. The city has a long list of sought-after locations to do the proposing, too. The observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building has its own saxophonist on staff so that soon-to-be’s can request a song after the proposition. A hansom cab in Central Park (or just the park in general) is used frequently, and even has four different spots to hold a wedding, from the Conservatory gardens to the Bow Bridge. The Top of the Rock – the observation deck of Rockefeller Center – is very popular. And then there is Times Square, Broadway, the shopping centers, the Belvedere Castle… the list of fancy spots goes on.
The City of Love – the romantic capital of the universe – Paris could be the most cliché’d spot to drop to one knee in the world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and lovely and I’m sure there’s nothing more picturesque than floating down the Seine on a river cruise, but boy is it ever unoriginal. There’s nothing wrong with unoriginal, of course, plenty of girls dream of getting proposed to in front of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, the Eiffel Tower sees hundreds of proposals every year, making it one of the most frequent sites of will-you-marry-me spots in the world. So if you’re planning on proposing in Paris, try and give the Tower a break, go to the beautiful bridge Pont des Arts, or the Louvre, or Montmartre, or any of the other thousands of places that are just waiting for you to pop the question.
1) Las Vegas
By no means the most romantic place on this list, Las Vegas sees more wedding proposals and weddings than anywhere else. Blame it on the glitz and glamour, the heavy boozing, the single-lifestyle, the 24-hour wedding chapels, the Strip, whatever. The fact is, what might begin as a single’s night on the town can often end with a married couple in the morning. This city is known for gambling and shotgun weddings. Vegas Balloon Rides average one proposal a week, and the fountains in front of the Bellagio is another popular betrothal spot. There is no blood test or waiting period to get married in Nevada, and the marriage license is only $60, making the “Marriage Capital of the World” the easiest and quickest place to tie the knot. Weddings are the second-largest industry in Nevada behind gambling, with an estimated 315 couples getting married in Vegas every day, and over 110,000 marriage licenses issued out every year.