Last updated at 16:00 BST, Thursday, 19 May 2011


Every week we ask you a different question. Hear what people in London say, then join the conversation! What would be your ideal marriage proposal?

Click below to listen to what some people in London told us, and see the words:

Join the conversation. What would be your ideal marriage proposal? Use the form below.

The Express English team

One woman's ideal proposal would be really normal. She doesn't like all the romantic stuff.

Another woman wants a proposal to be simple and natural. She doesn't even want to go to the movies. Maybe you've got some ideas?

Did you know?


According to a survey by website Skyscanner in 2011, the top five destinations for the ultimate Valentine's Day proposal were:
1. A Gondola in Venice
2. The Eiffel Tower, Paris
3. The Spanish Steps, Rome
4. Under the stars on a camping trip, Scotland
5. The Empire State Building, New York

Language tip

If you are proposing to someone and you ask them if they want to marry you, the response you want to hear is 'yes' or 'I do'. At that point you can declare you are 'engaged to be married'.

Cultural tip

A traditional proposal involves the man getting down on one knee and asking the woman to marry him. He is then supposed to present her with an engagement ring, which should cost about the equivalent of a month's salary! Let's hope he has a good job!

End of Section

Now tell us what you think

What would be your ideal marriage proposal?

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    • 1. At 5:45pm on 19 May 2011, Ethellara wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal would be that one coming from my best friend walking together under the rain going back home without any kind of rush and no umbrella to protect us and just listening to his voice talking to me.

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    • 2. At 7:45pm on 19 May 2011, Juan wrote:

      I ´d like to made marriage proposal next to sea under a beutiful starry night. I thing this act is something simple but great and romantic.

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    • 3. At 10:55pm on 19 May 2011, Mahnaz wrote:

      What would be better than a red rose with an expensive beautiful ring?!

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    • 4. At 03:04am on 20 May 2011, francisca wrote:

      My ideal proposal would be in the form of a song. With music, which has magic power, the proposal will be more natural and romantic. It doesn't matter where as long as he says it with a song.

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    • 5. At 04:37am on 20 May 2011, Randa90 wrote:

      Although I am a practical girl, I would like my ideal marriage proposal to be a little bit romantic, for it is the only proposal I will have in all my life. Therefore, I want this moment to be a unique one in my memory. In fact, the romance is like the spices which add taste and deliciousness to the food. And so I think my marriage proposal would be tasteless without this beautiful touch of romance.

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    • 6. At 06:01am on 20 May 2011, EDGAROM wrote:

      In my opinion before the marriage the couple should be such rely and like to each other that without any doubt they both will wait for proposal. I know many cases when not only the man begin the proposal, but also the woman did some marks understanding that it is time to proposal. Thank you for offering such beautiful and nice topic.

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    • 7. At 11:16am on 20 May 2011, Luwia wrote:

      I strongly beieve that love doesn't have any limits or rules. Each of us has its own story and ideals. As for me an ideal proposal would be romantic and only romantic. Something not usual, not boring, and different from others. Something that will be special and unforgetable for sweethearts. And later you can tell your children, grandchildren with proudness about it. Because such a day can't be washed away from heart and soul. To my mind an ideal proposal depends on future groom's ideas and his surprises. That's the part where a girl can rest and feel deep, profound, sincere and true love. I guess the best proposal is meeting sunrise together at the seaside. As for me nothing can be compared with it. Because the sunrise symbolizes the start of a new day, a new page of our life.

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    • 8. At 11:31am on 20 May 2011, Thanh Phương wrote:

      My ideal proposal would be some thing really romantic but natural. He does not have to be on his knee or propose me with flowery words. May be all the thing I need is his true feeling about me, he tells me some thing like you are so beautiful to me ... and then he holds my hand, look into my eyes and say it honestly " Will you marriage me?". All these simplest thing will knock me down, then I will say " I do" happily. ^_^ happily ever after!!!

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    • 9. At 11:39am on 20 May 2011, shahed wrote:

      i think proposal is not important.confidence and power of talking is more important than any beautiful have to be powerful and funny without nervousness.

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    • 10. At 6:11pm on 20 May 2011, anna_nguyen wrote:

      a proposal in a romantic place, simple and nature! we will stand sides by sides, look straight into my eyes and kiss me tenderly after a say " i do". :)

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    • 11. At 8:53pm on 20 May 2011, Buby26 wrote:

      I would like my proposal to be unique.. I want him to propose at a time I least expect knocking me out completely.. Its not important where he does it but what's important to me is what he would say which would make the moment a precious memory forever.

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    • 12. At 9:55pm on 20 May 2011, Taro1979 wrote:

      Although I'm not sure what is the ideal marriage proposal for women because I am a man, I think romantic mood is needed for men too. At this point I failed my proposal. I proposed to my wife at just in front of her house. Nothing special, nothing romantic, it's just simple. She accept my proposal and we got married, and we are happy now. But sometimes she says "I wanted you to propose at more romantic place and situation".

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    • 13. At 03:34am on 21 May 2011, Yusheng wrote:

      Yeah, simple, plain, and natural would be my ideal proposal.
      When two have got together for sometme, the big moment would just come naturally. All I need is confidence and sincerity.

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    • 14. At 04:32am on 21 May 2011, Naheed wrote:

      I would like it to be simple but romantic.

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    • 15. At 05:54am on 21 May 2011, castleontheriver wrote:

      Like ideal marriage proposal would be enough a simple words, but, said of heart…

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    • 16. At 12:31pm on 21 May 2011, Arancina wrote:

      I'm a rather romantic and traditional woman. Then my ideal marriage proposal would be in a special location as a marvellous sea/mountain landscape or, why not, the wonderful city of Venice, given the fact I live very nearby. Of course I'd like to receive my proposal in the classical way, with the man down on one knee, looking up to my eyes. That would make me go mad!!! But the most important thing, even though I've already expressed my desires, would be the surprise effect. I shouldn't be aware of the exact moment and place which my proposal would come in. That would make all even more unforgettable!

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    • 17. At 8:49pm on 21 May 2011, Tereza wrote:

      I like surprise, therefore my ideal proposal would be in a kind of situation when I wouldn't expect it. It can be everywhere.

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    • 18. At 06:00am on 22 May 2011, chiholee wrote:

      I have been dreaming of confessing my love to one that I really love. Thing is I haven't met her yet. If I find her I would propose while we are going on travelling around the europe and I will kneel on the ground to give her ring as a promise that we will be together for long long time and the moment should happen at most happiest time so that it remind us of greatest moment.

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    • 19. At 07:36am on 22 May 2011, Svetlana wrote:

      Frankly speaking, i will not be honest to say i've never imagined this moment, the moment of a proposal... And the only thing i DO know that i don't really care about the place but it should be unexpectedly and the main point is with a desirable man whom i am ready to share my future life with! And as for me, i like this traditional way when a man stands on one knee and asks for getting married with a ring in his hand and i think its romantic as well! But i am sure the main thing is not the place or the moment or atmosphere but the right person making a proposal !:)

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    • 20. At 07:45am on 22 May 2011, yuice wrote:

      For me, romantic marriage proposal is not really important. What most important is the confidence level of the man during the proposal . It might turn to something silly if the man not make well preparation on it.

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    • 21. At 12:40pm on 22 May 2011, davdavdare wrote:

      In my opinion, as a proposal is something that a couple never ever forget, even when they'll be fairly elderly, I think any proposal should be prepared carefully to turn into a unforgettable and magic moment. Anyway, it depends on the kind of person. On the one hand, it could be doing some sightseeing in the seven wonders of the world, on other hand, the proposal could happen during a romantic dinner.

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    • 22. At 3:59pm on 22 May 2011, ghazal wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal would be very romantic.Wether in the full moon or in the bright sunlight. I think most important thing the person you like most and when He will be infront of you every place become romantic automatically .Important thing is that He will propose me I will forget all other thing in the world.

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    • 23. At 5:48pm on 22 May 2011, rouaa wrote:

      I think the most thing in this subject that the correct choose {Who lasts to get married me }.....he must love me so much,care about every thing in my life and protect me

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    • 24. At 6:37pm on 22 May 2011, Tohyd wrote:

      To tell the truth,I always wanted to find a love in a very romantic way and I did it.You know in some countries or traditions there is some one who called Matchmaker, so I
      think this is really meaningless, love is more than this, it has to be compeletly pure. Both sides of a relationship ought to feel the
      flame of love.To swim in the ocean of love you have to be in love to be ready to tackle the problems of matrimony.In other words, it is a kind of mutual relationship that needs being patience and love.The first step to be a part of it is proposal which is the most exciting and colorful part before the wedding party,consequently,it should be done FANTULOUSLY ,on the boat ,in the middle of class.,but I DID IT ON TH PHONE...:)

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    • 25. At 9:49pm on 22 May 2011, amimz5 wrote:

      My idea marriage proposal must be unique and spontaneous. she must remember it all her life.

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    • 26. At 02:50am on 23 May 2011, Chunhua Li wrote:

      Maybe a lot of girls want a traditional proposal , but in fact many people would have a normal one. For me, because my husband and I had not enough money to buy a diamond ring before marriage, and my husband is a indrawn man , so I had not a ring and red roses at all. After one year of our marriage my husband bought a diamond ring for me with his one month' salary which we were on business in Shanghai. So I believe that maybe the most important thing is not the style of the proposal but the person who you would marry with is the real one you love, I know that some time people who you love indeed may not become the marriage partner at last.
      For the Valentine's day in every year, it is a heart-struck time for me, for about 8 years ago, I had a boyfriend and I loved him so much, and in the Valentine's day in 2003 he sent me a big bundle roses but after six months he left me. Even now I am afraid of seeing red roses although I have a family with a five months old boy and my husband is good to me , but I know the Valentine's day dose not belong to me forever. I can not tell anybody around in my real life even to my husband, and it is the first time that I can say this and face the truth directly, so thank the opportunity offering by BBC that I can say this to myself and other people.

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    • 27. At 10:34am on 23 May 2011, stevenchou wrote:

      For my way, i think i would like a marriage simplely. Don't need a grand place or any planning, just do myself and fall in love with my partner . it's enough !!!!!

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    • 28. At 10:49am on 23 May 2011, stevenchou wrote:

      Hi Chunhua Li
      I am totally agaree what you said, the style of proposal is not the most importatn, the main point is who you marry?? if you need to marry a man you do not love him. i think even there are a huge diamond or 100 rose, it is no use !!!!
      Thanks for you sharing ... it inspires me a lot !!!!

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    • 29. At 4:01pm on 23 May 2011, crystal wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal would be traditional and romantic. To be honest, I proposed to my husband " I would like to live with you forever" and he replied '' If you want''. At that time I was satisfied with something like that. But now I would always dream of romantic proposal from a man who present me a glossy diamond ring as a symbol of proposal. It is good to be natual and simple proposal but if someone is a woman who dream princess, she would want a romantic proposal.

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    • 30. At 4:56pm on 23 May 2011, Lorenzo wrote:

      I think this question is something personal. All of the marrige proposal are beautiful. I'e like the exciting ones, all that could be sensitive and you can told to your brothers or friends like something special for you and your partner. In my opinion the special events needs be done with special things or actions.

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    • 31. At 5:02pm on 23 May 2011, hoangphuong0806 wrote:

      Last sunday, I had two wedding. One was my best friends and other was my colleage. They were so beautiful, romantic and exciting. In that moment, I wish my wedding would be like them. My ideal marrige proposal would be something that my boyfriend make me surprised and touching. I hope it would be one of my happiest memories I ever have.

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    • 32. At 5:22pm on 23 May 2011, mimijune wrote:

      I've been in love with my man for not too long, but i know since the frist days we were together that i will marry him and so does he. No matter how he proposes me but i will accept it for sure a thousand times !!!

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    • 33. At 06:04am on 24 May 2011, Simonchen wrote:

      In my opinion "women talk". So sometimes romantic marriage proposal is need. You need special location, with
      music,flowers,beautiful words,engagement ring,get down on one
      knee and ask her to marry you.But confidence is more important.Don't forget it.^_^

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    • 34. At 07:04am on 24 May 2011, Fazeela wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal would be very special for me. That is what I feel. My partner will get me on a candle light dinner, where we both will be alone. He'll come closer to me, give me diamond ring and say "Will you marry me". I think that is very common in most of the movies but it is the dream of thousands of girls like me. So let's see! may be my partner is more romantic than me or would do something different to make the moments more special for the rest of our lives.

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    • 35. At 08:49am on 24 May 2011, Ye Shiwei wrote:

      I don't think there is no contradiction in daily life for couples.Therefore,it's a significant aspect to be generous as much as possible.

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    • 36. At 11:12am on 24 May 2011, bana wrote:


      Well nice to ask us about this heart-touching topic and definitely it may helps to most of us to memorize about that time which we have had and now may be thrown away in past with the passage of time.

      Anyways in my suggestion best proposal would be in the traditional way like seen in the movies that man bend himself on his knees and raise his hand toward the lady to get his agreement about her coming life to be set with him with sincerely and honestly.

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    • 37. At 12:38pm on 24 May 2011, BBC Learning English wrote:

      Hi everyone,

      Have you seen this proposal video, which was published online recently? I think you'll enjoy it.

      BBC Learning English

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    • 38. At 7:00pm on 24 May 2011, Olga Stepanenko wrote:

      Wached this just seconds ago and got inspired. While watching the clip I was having same emotions as that girl in the cinema. Great) Thanks indeed BBC)
      I would like my marriage proposal to be very unexpectable, something like when having a dinner as we have it everynight together but without any anticipation of the upcoming... and then he says he would like to ask me about smth very important and he makes a pause just assuming an air of seriousness and says looking into my eyes "Will you marry me?" and gives me a ring. That should ideally shock me, otherwise if there is any romantic stuff around I can guess it right away and there will be no fun afterwards.
      Nothing else, without thousands of other words, just being simple, confident, honest.

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    • 39. At 7:06pm on 24 May 2011, Jo wrote:

      It should be happened in a place with little music or no sound and no one would [disturb] the serious thinking of the girl while the man is making his proposal(romance/simple). Don't say yes/I do in a moment just affected by romance without deep thinking, because you need to spend a life long to think/feel what love is.

      Maybe girl can make proposal to a man too......!?

      [Edited by Moderator: I think you mean to say 'no one would disturb' or nobody would interrupt the proposal. 'Distribute' means to share out or allocate something.]

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    • 40. At 01:26am on 25 May 2011, insane_alx wrote:

      I think it will be wonderful do this on a happy day or a romantic dinner, the best place would be in Paris (for me) or Canada but most of the times it would be impossible for both, so in that case I´m sure that can be great if you´re with the correct person and you already in love.

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    • 41. At 02:22am on 25 May 2011, bajeeda1 wrote:

      hi everyone,
      i think it should be simple as much as it can be

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    • 42. At 3:32pm on 25 May 2011, marcovecellio wrote:

      Hi everyone,

      In my opinion, marriage is only a formalities, if two people love each other and want to live tigether fot the rest of their days, the don't need to marry. when you are married, you can sometimes feel forced to do something and many times you don't realy and deeply love the other person you stay with she/he only because you are married. it is a forcing.
      It is a bed thing and it shouldn't be so, however that is realy.
      In conclusion, It doesn't matter if talk the woman instead the man, it's only a stupid.

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    • 43. At 07:33am on 26 May 2011, abdulkadir wrote:

      I think wedding proposal should be romantic.of course , romantic tips can change human to human.

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    • 44. At 11:03am on 26 May 2011, KaterinaKK wrote:

      As already stated above, does not matter what the proposal of marriage would be, it is important WHO make it.
      Girls have to not forget that most men are not actors, billionaires and romantic heroes from romance novels, reading in youth and expect them to not only make a marriage proposal, but also make a romantic Performance and Show, in my opinion, is not entirely correct.
      The main thing is to hear that the man with whom you are willing to spend all life wants the same. This is ideal.

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    • 45. At 12:08pm on 26 May 2011, love you 12 wrote:

      in my opinion a marriage proposal need not romantic but natural.she and i take acamp in the wonderful forest .it will be a starry night.everything is slient,we could hear each heart-beating.i hold her in my arms then i tell her the happiness, the sadness when i loved her.i whisper in her ear that i love you.then, kiss her tenderly

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    • 46. At 09:33am on 27 May 2011, rahat wrote:

      i am only 22 years old. i am confused to tell something about a significant subject like marriage. in my opinion marriage is the most eventful occasion after birth and death. so decision about this has huge impact on our life . i don't think we should make our decision to marry someone at instant. before of this we should know each other better.if she is attached to you and you think she is the girl and you are made for each other then you can propose her . to be honest proposing someone directly is much better. however there is a risk if she refuses you. for this i suggest to know each other before. one think can be mentioned that it also varies from country to country as well as different culture.....

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    • 47. At 5:18pm on 27 May 2011, jenny wrote:

      For me, a simple and straight forward marriage proposal from the man I love would be the most wonderful thing. Remember to choose the one you love him and he loves you, then no matter what the proposal is, everything will be wonderful.

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    • 48. At 1:44pm on 31 May 2011, vikosss wrote:

      We all dream about a fantastic proposal like in movies, but in a real life everything is not so romantic. As for me, I have been in the status of a wife for one year and before the wedding we had dated with my boyfriend (my husband now) for 5 years. We understood that we loved one another, but there was the high time to advance our relations. Moreover, we wanted to get our own accomodation (I live in Belarus and we have a special system: you may get cheaper accomodation if you are "a young family"(although, it may mean that you'll get that accomodation when you are a grandmother)). So one evening while siting on the sofa, watching TV and discussing our future appeared a question: Why not to marry? OK. So. That's my example. but frankly speaking sometimes I have a strong desire to reproach my husband with such a proposal...

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    • 49. At 4:47pm on 31 May 2011, Soler wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal is In Gondola in Venice with one nice flower and with ring . Of course the proposal must be very natural and must be done by [heart], for finish with long and passionate kissing.Oh, very romantic!

      [Edited by a Moderator: a hearth is another word for a fireplace. I think you mean to say 'by heart'.]

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    • 50. At 10:10pm on 01 Jun 2011, HELGA wrote:

      My ideal marriage proposal is in Rio de Janeiro - Corcovado - only me and my future husband. I`d like a ring from H Stern jewellery store with a romantic proposal and must be done by heart. So, my dream came true on 23 april 2011 and I'm very happy! Marco and I will be marry on april 2012.

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    • 51. At 3:11pm on 05 Jun 2011, maihue wrote:

      My ideal proposal is in a green park, on a sunny day, little windy morning, I hope that he will play guitar and sing a love song, then give me the proposal with a bouquet of yellow rose...

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    • 52. At 9:38pm on 06 Jun 2011, kayaserhatt83 wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 53. At 8:06pm on 11 Jun 2011, royperu wrote:

      I'm not really a romantic person and marriage is not something that I wish right now but I think that if I had to do that, I'd just say it in a simple way. And if had to do something romantic for one time in my life, Why not putting candles in the ground in front of her house with her name and the words 'Will you marry me?' I think....By the way could someone tell me if there's any difference between 'Will you marry me?' and 'Would you marry me?' Please ...thanks..XD

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