23 Proposal Ideas San Francisco

Best Proposal Ideas in San Francisco (with photos)

Looking to propose and wondering what kind of proposal ideas there are? Whether you want to do something traditional or something extravagant, take a look at the proposal ideas in San Francisco and beyond to help you in your planning!


A vast majority of my Clients go the traditional route of talking, getting down on one knee, and proposing. There is a reason why this classic way of proposing is the most popular choice! You are nervous enough, so keeping it simple might be one of the best marriage proposal ideas for you.

Flowers / Candles in a Heart

Flowers make everything better! There is nothing like walking up to a heart of flowers / candles to let your partner know how much you love them and they get the point across without any words.
Check out this Baker Beach marriage proposal


If you are the outdoors type, incorporating a hike like it is any other adventure would help disguise the proposal and not raise any real suspicion. Marriage proposal ideas don’t have to be anything out of the ordinary to be effective.
Check out this Yosemite marriage proposal

Pre – Wedding Photoshoot

Want to ensure your partner dresses up and looks their best? Why not say you are doing a photoshoot and then guarantee great photos of the proposal without the need for your photographer to hide in the bushes!

Scavenger Hunt

This is one of the more fun marriage proposal ideas you can do. Having clues for your partner such as going to the first date location, to picking up flowers at a local shop, can make for a fun hour or two while you prepare for the proposal. 


Incorporating your pup (or hiring a famous Instagram dog!) is always a great choice to add a more familiar feel to your marriage proposal. 

Check out this Baker Beach proposal for animal related marriage proposal ideas.

baker beach marriage proposal spotted humphrey dog proposal with guy kneeling in front of the girl who is covering her mouth wearing a black skirt


Needless to say, asking permission from the parents and children gains immediate brownie points. Using your partners’ children in the actual proposal would be super cute and meaningful.

Surprise Guests

Having friends and family pop out of nowhere after the proposal makes for a great double surprise. I’ve had proposals where the guy flew in his girlfriend’s best friend from out of the country even!
Check out this Lafayette Park marriage proposal

After Party

Whichever marriage proposal ideas you decide on, you can always keep the party rolling! Having an after party surprise with friends and family can be a great way to continue the celebration with all the VIPs.


No words needed when you have them spelled out! Perhaps having the words, “Marry Me?” spelled out in lights or signs is more your thing to make it obvious what your intention is!
Check out this UC Berkeley marriage proposal

Napa Valley Winery

Being that San Francisco is so close to Napa Valley, it makes sense I add this as it is one of the more common marriage proposal ideas I come across. Wineries provide a beautiful natural backdrop and allow private tastings as well.
Check out this Gargiulo Winery marriage proposal

Personalized Bottle

Having a personalized wine bottle commemorating the day is one of my favorite marriage proposal ideas because it lasts a lifetime and can easily be stored as a decorative piece in the house.
Check out this Hilton Hotel marriage proposal

cityscape lounge hilton union square marriage proposal with the wedding ring and a personalized wine bottle side by side

Message in a bottle

There are numerous companies that can customize a note for you to make your marriage proposal ideas more special. Custom bottles that relate to your relationship add a nice touch.
Message in a bottle company

Album of Photos

Having an album full of photos documenting all the dates you have had might give it away, but even knowing it is about to happen won’t stop the natural emotions that come with it.
Check out this Disney marriage proposal

Propose Where You Met

Proposing at the place you met holds more significance than you might think. What better backdrop than the same library or building you used to spend hours and hours getting to know each other?
Check out this UC Berkeley marriage proposal

UC berkeley marriage proposal with the library in the background and the man on his knee wearing a black vest with the girl holding her mouth

Flyover Banner
Perhaps having a plane fly overhead with the words, “Marry Me?” interests you? This epic marriage proposal idea can potentially get complicated if the weather isn’t clear, so choose a location with a more predictable climate.


Similar to the banner above, but with a longer lasting message in the sky! Let your love and intention be known for all the eyes to see for this awesome marriage proposal idea that I have yet to photograph! Will you be my first?

Helicopter Flight

Want to take your proposal to the skies? Local companies offer flights covering San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and Silicon Valley. Check out Epicaer my favorite flying tour company 

Caricature Artist

Located naturally in Pier 39 and along Market St. in SF, having this cute caricature with you on your knee in the artwork makes for a fun keepsake for years to come. Keepsake marriage proposal ideas are my favorite, similar to the custom wine bottle idea.


Having a picnic in the Park or somewhere casual allows your photographer to move in closer than usual for the marriage proposal, since your partner would be distracted with all the food and drinks. Plus, its an easy place to hide the ring box!

Boat Ride

Being out on the water allows you to get away from big crowds and potential photo bombers in your photos / memories. And there is nothing like proposing with the full San Francisco Bay surrounding you as if you were the only ones there.
Check out this Boat marriage proposal


Adding music to your marriage proposal is one of the most fun things you can do to spice it up! Playing your favorite song, or simply recreating your favorite trip in New Orleans with a full brass band, for example, really makes it special.
Check out this musician marriage proposal with the above addition.

Recreate First Date

Recreating your first date seems like something straight from a movie, but it definitely has all the best intentions and meaning to you as a couple. If your memory serves you correctly, this would be a very cute and romantic idea for your marriage proposal.

Check out this Paragliding marriage proposal

ed levin park paragliding marriage proposal guy is on his knee holding out a ring as a paraglider is coming down to meet him

Hopefully these proposal ideas help in your decision making process! Ultimately, regardless of where you propose and what you do, the moment will be memorable for both of you! Having personal and out of the box proposal ideas are definitely fun (jumping out of an airplane?!), and I’d love to see what you can come up with on your own! 

Let's Talk About Your Proposal!