At Nowboat we’ve been asked quite a few times about the best way to propose. Is there a checklist of things that mustn’t be forgotten and what are the things a man has to think about before popping the question? It’s always particularly exciting for our customer service team - who are mostly women - to get to participate in the organisation of such a special moment. We asked Valentina, Tania and Dhan to compile a list of suggestions and tips, based on everything we have learned so far… and here it is!


1. The Date

It is important to plan something at least 12 weeks ahead. Even if you don’t plan to do it on a boat with us, you will need to make sure that the ring, the weather, the atmosphere and everything else is just right, so allow yourself enough time to think about all the details and don’t rush it. Hopefully you will only get to do this once… Also, it’s nice to remember the date you proposed and a memorable anniversary is always a good idea.

2. The Place

We’ve organised many onboard proposals. A boat can be a very special place to propose, where there is intimacy, wind, freedom, silence, great scenery and it doesn’t cost much more than you would spend in a nice restaurant anyway. It all adds a bit of the ‘unforgettable’ magic dust to the moment. You will see that there are plenty of options and as a matter of fact we always try to find the perfect match for the type of proposal or wife you have in mind. For example: if your girlfriend is a wild kitesurfer, we probably wouldn’t recommend renting a gondola in Venice. The place matters because it builds the atmosphere, so be open-minded and just start off by thinking about what would match her personality and what environment is a good representation of your love story. From romantic European rivers to wavy oceans - everything is possible!

3. The Ring

Ah, the ring! Here are a few very helpful tips for when it comes to choosing and buying an engagement ring. If you have one from your grandmother, mother or auntie, it’s always nice to use that to propose. It’s a family story and it will save you some money (which you will probably end up spending on some wedding extra or other!) Don’t be afraid it won’t fit or if the style isn’t quite right - if necessary, you can go to a jeweller and have it altered. If you feel like it looks too old and you have the owner’s permission, you can always rearrange the stones and refresh its design. If you are not lucky enough to have such an heirloom, then you can always buy one especially. Do be aware before you rush in and buy anything, that there are online diamond price calculators such as this one > Diamond price calculator so BEFORE you go visit a store, be aware of the price range on offer and always make sure you have a second opinion on the stone. Size is not the only thing that matters, clarity and colour are fundamental, too. And yes, if you find someone that sells loose diamonds and then get the diamond set later you will probably save a lot.

4. The Surprise

Don’t get caught, please! It’s very easy to get excited, leave browsing windows open, talk to too many friends about it... Don’t let her find out - try to act as normal as possible and it might be best to leave the ring at someone else’s house too, if you live together, you will know women have a tendency to clean and put stuff away, and we would not want her to find out that way - it happens more than you think!

5. The Champagne

Not everyone likes it! Maybe you want to have mojitos, because that’s what you had the first night you kissed. Maybe you want to have beer, because your proposal will happen aboard one of our surfing cruises in the Maldives. It’s fine, but plan it. Make sure yours or her favorite drink is there with some snacks. The french picnic mood is always appreciated, so having a nice wooden bucket with some cheese and crackers is also a good idea if you really don’t know where to start.

6. The Video and the Pictures

Being filmed while you propose may not be something that puts you at ease in all probability, however it will be nice, years later, to look back at the younger version of the two of you. If you are proposing aboard a boat, most of the operators we work with will agree to place a camera or GoPro or phone somewhere. We suggest you let them put it in a steady place and just press play or something - asking them to hold it may result in a blurry and slightly nauseating movie.

7. The Speech

Rehearse it, try to be ready and know what you want to say. Yes, there are things you told her before, yes, things you can tell her later, but she will remember what you say during this precious moment. So have something else to say besides “Will you marry me?” if possible!

8. The Aftermath

Enjoy some stillness. Many men want to organise the proposal and then a dinner and then the cruise and then fireworks and then this and that... It can all become too much and quite overwhelming - once you are sailing at sea, or cruising on a Venice canal or the French sierra, or the sun has set on the Caribbean, just enjoy the stillness and the silence and the moment. Drinks and snacks are fine - then it’s time to both get excited about what is about to happen and just let your fiancé go a little bit wild, thinking about dresses and wedding locations and all the rest.

9. Forget Social Media, please

There is nothing sadder than a couple who, instead of hugging and watching the sunset, clicks on “got engaged” and blah blah blah. Wait one day, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. In terms of telling friends and family, of course it’s up to you how you manage it - remember family always wants to know first and cousins can get offended if instead of a phone call, they get the news from a status update!

10. Need more tips?

Here are our favourite locations and proposals so far: The gondola champagne proposal in Venice - it’s traditional and cheesy and right to the point. The summer two days cruise in Greece - it’s a perfect way to spend a night aboard and two unforgettable days. If sailing is not your thing, that’s fine, you can check out motor yachts. We’ve also loved adrenaline proposals - these can happen aboard our surf cruise in the Maldives with Quicksilver , or aboard our kitesurf cruise in the Caribbean or South East Asia. Urban proposals are great too, Paris , London and Hong Kong all offer some pretty amazing options. So… you have no more excuse to delay! Remember, our porters are here to help you choose and organise everything and they can also advise on what to wear if needed. We love what we do and it makes us incredibly happy to be a part of such a special moment!

Email porter if you are ready!

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