Affordable Proposal Ideas: How to Propose on a Budget

There’s a great advantage to affordable proposal ideas that many, if not most, soon-to-be-married couples don’t realise. You need to be a lot more creative and this results in incredibly unique and memorable situations. You’ll need to save your money for all the wedding expenses. This is a fun guide to all the affordable proposal ideas you can do and helpful tips on saving money on your marriage proposal.

Proposal Ideas You Can Do On a Budget

There’s quite a significant list of ways that you can propose. What makes these affordable proposal ideas exciting is that you’ll never think of them if you had a full-blown proposal budget to work with. This will help you find the inspiration you need to make your proposal an unforgettable one.

Proposing at Home

Proposing at home may seem quite ‘effortless’. But the benefit to a marriage proposal at home is two-fold. It won’t cost you a thing and it’ll be the biggest surprise. Your partner would never expect you to pop the big question at home.

Follow these steps to get the perfect proposal at home right.

  • Find a way to get your partner out of the house – This could be with the help of friends or family. You could choose a day when you know he/she will be preoccupied with activities outside your home.
  • Decorate – It doesn’t have to be extravagant. A few balloons, candles, and flowers can make the biggest difference.
  • Plan how you will do it – Will you have dinner, watch a movie, maybe give him/her a spontaneous massage? Planning is important.

If possible, get a friend or family member to help you. A helping hand will go a long way. There’s so much to do and you don’t want to be a stressed-out mess when you get down on one knee. Find someone to assist you with everything you need to do.

Proposing at a Location

A really romantic way to propose is going to a significant location. This could be the place you first met, your favourite sunset spot, or her favourite café, and propose somewhere he/she will never forget.

Different location ideas for proposals include:

  •     Going for a hike
  •     Going camping
  •     Having a picnic (see our luxury picnic proposal how-to guide)
  •     Going to your favourite park
  •     Visiting a beautiful location
  •     Spending the day at the beach
  •     Going to a rooftop with a view
  •     Going to a sports stadium

When you propose at a location, a good way to get him/her ready for when you get down on one knee is to suggest that you take a photo together. Just like in the movies, this is a classic and effective way to catch your loved one off guard and give them the biggest surprise of their life. And you get to take a photo or video of the big moment.

Proposing with Friends and Family

This is always a meaningful way to propose. You could plan a dinner or BBQ day with your family and friends. Do a potluck gathering and have everyone bring a little something to share. And share the big moment with your loved ones.

This will help you save money on your proposal simply because you can do it at home and don’t have to worry about spending a lot on food. And at the same time, you can have a memorable proposal with everyone you love. 

Proposing on Social Media

This is not for everyone, but it’s a great way to surprise the love of your life. If your partner happens to love social media and scrolls through Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis, then pop your big question through a post.

Different ways to propose through social media include:

  •     Making a video or photos of you together and having the question pop-up at the end
  •     Posting a photo of you and ask through the caption
  •     Making a meme that you can send 
  •     Making an album of your relationship and adding a photo of you down on one knee

The possibilities are endless if you want to get creative. The best part is you don’t have to spend a dime on it. For affordable proposal ideas, this is one that requires zero expense.

Proposing with a Board Game

If you’re looking for a really creative way to propose on a budget, you should go for a fun board game marriage proposal. You can invite your partner and maybe a few friends, and have a go at a good old fashioned game night. Find a way to pop the question in a super fun and unexpected way!

Board games you can propose with include:

  •     Scrabble
  •     Pictionary
  •     Charades

If you have a particular board game you both play often, you can find a way to incorporate the big question as you are playing. Remember to have fun with this one. 

Additional Tips to Save Money on Your Marriage Proposal

There are a few ways that you can plan for an affordable marriage proposal by following these additional tips to help save money:

Buy Your Engagement Ring Online

It’s easy to fall into the trap of overpriced and expensive diamond jewellery if you are shopping for your ring at a mall, on the high street or at a designer jewellery store. But there are really great options for affordable diamond engagement rings online. You can also learn more about this growing trend by reading our recent piece on engagement ring trends 2020.

Cook Your Favourite Meal at Home

You don’t need to splurge on expensive restaurant meals if you can do the sweet, romantic option of cooking a meal at home for the love of your life. With all the great and easy recipes on YouTube, you don’t need to be a trained chef to make a memorable meal.

Go Simple with Your Flowers

A simple single stem of his/her favourite flower is just as special as an extravagant bouquet. It’s the thought that counts. Don’t splurge on a big flower arrangement, it’s not necessary. Instead buy from local florists and shops that sell locally grown flowers. They will have the cheapest options.

Important Things You Need to Do When You Propose

Don’t forget to do these important things when you propose. This will make the entire experience special and as magical as you’ve always wanted it to be. Just because you are planning an affordable marriage proposal, it doesn’t mean it can’t be as beautiful and special as an expensive one.

Take a Photo and Video

You’ll be so caught up in all the nerves and overwhelming emotions of the moment that you might not even realise what’s happening while it’s happening. This is why it’s really important that you set up a camera for photos or videos.

You can hide it somewhere as you propose, or have someone do it for you. What’s important is capturing this incredible moment for you to look back on right after, and for years to come.

Prepare What You’ll Say

Don’t let yourself freeze and get overwhelmed with stage fright and completely get lost in your mind as you think of what to say. You want to get this part right. And preparing ahead of time makes a big difference. Think of what you want to say and how you want to say it before the big day arrives.

Plan for Plan B

As your proposal is likely to be a surprise, it’s possible that things will not go as planned. Always have a Plan B ready to make sure you don’t get stuck or ruin the big surprise.

Ask a Friend for Help

Planning for a Plan B will be a whole lot easier if you have a friend to help you. It’ll also make it a lot easier to carry out all your plans as discreetly as possible if someone is helping you behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts

Enjoy the experience of figuring out what affordable proposal ideas work best for you. Plan everything ahead of time. Don’t rush it. And above all else, have the best time planning an unforgettable marriage proposal for your loved one as it may be a story you tell for many years to come.


Feature Photo Credit: Tori Hinojosa