9 of the Most Romantic, Low Key Ways to Propose Ever

When I was dating my now husband, the most romantic proposal I'd ever seen was one without any pomp or circumstance. It was from the movie Stepmom (I realize I'm dating myself here) and Ed Harris crawls into bed with Julie Roberts and gifts her a ring box with a spool of thread inside. Having been married before, he tells her - while tying the thread to her finger - that he allowed the thread of love to break once, then slides the ring onto the string where it beautifully falls onto her finger, promising her it will never break again. I die. It was warm and intimate and relaxed and easy. And that to me is romance. Alongside with a STUNNING proposal shoot by Hannah Alyssa - with florals by Branch Design Studio, design by WED and paper by Dear Jane Designs - here are 9 of the most romantic, so low key ways to propose ever.

Take her to one of the most romantic cities in the country. 

Our picks? Charleston all the way for the number one spot. "From the cities’ cobblestone streets to their hidden alleyways, from their cozy cafés to their sophisticated style...Charleston is perfection." --Photographer, Hannah Alyssa

Followed in random order by Aspen, Savannah, San Francisco, Honolulu, New Orleans, and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Write a love letter.

There are few things as special in this technology filled world as a simple, handwritten letter. In it, tell him/her about WHY you love them. When you fell in love. Where you hope to see your love go. Really think about those moments that made your story all come together.

Take her/him to the city, and the street, where you met. 

I will never forget walking around the streets of San Francisco with my husband after he proposed, getting a coffee at our favorite coffee bar, having dinner where we had our first date, just wandering around and seeing the beautiful homes that outlined the place where we spent those early days in our relationship. So so romantic.

Plan a luxurious dinner set for 2.

Flowers, candles, a beautiful backdrop and a wonderful meal. The recipe for the absolute most perfect proposal. Even if it's takeout from your favorite restaurant in your own backyard, setting the ambiance in a way that feels special is what will turn a regular dinner into a proposal worthy dinner.

Or rent out the whole place. 

While this may not be very budget friendly, there are pretty incredible bed and breakfasts, small restaurants and even homes in most cities around the world where you can rent out the space and bring in a small team to help you build the dinner and proposal of your dreams.

Write a fictional story based on the two of you...and as she reads the end, get down on one knee.

It may sound cheesy but writing down "your story" is something that you will treasure for years and years. Something that you will share with your children, that you will read to your grandchildren. Something that you can visit each anniversary as a tradition that will make you remember why you fell in love, how you fell in love.

Drive around to all of your favorite places and propose at the very last one. 

It's a far neglected past time...going for a drive. Visiting the places most meaningful, watching the sunset, "parking" with a kiss and a great song. While visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea my husband and I parked the car, cranked up the heat, rolled down the windows and turned up the music. It was overwhelmingly romantic and frankly, he should have proposed all over again.

Hire a photographer to do a couple shoot ... though have her really shoot the proposal.

There are very few times in your life where you have a photographer come follow you around. And while bringing up a "couples shoot" might clue her in, it's still a wonderful way to get this once in a lifetime moment on camera AND will give you both an excuse to dress up.

Gift her a keepsake box filled with memories...and a ring.

From pressed flowers to ticket stubs, birthday cards to emails printed. From souvenirs to receipts, photos to train tickets. Fill the box with the mementos that tell your story and deep inside, tuck a beautiful ring.

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