New York Engagement Ideas: 9 Best Places to Propose in NYC

Ahhh New York , New York! What an amazing place to propose – we help capture multiple engagements here per week! Coming up with great NYC proposal ideas and planning the details may feel like a challenge… there are just so many beautiful places to choose from! But don’t let all the details overwhelm you. The most important thing is that your proposal reflects you both as a couple, no matter how casual or grandeur it is. We have tons of ideas for the best place to propose in NYC!

Whether your style is uber-romantic, unique and eccentric, or private and intimate, we have some great suggestions to help you pick the perfect (and most photogenic!) proposal spot. Below we list some of our favorite New York City proposal ideas, the best places to propose in NYC, as well as our tips on hiring a proposal photographer to capture it all.

New York City Proposal Ideas

We’ve helped so many couples just like you plan and capture this momentous occasion, so we’d like to think we have learned a thing or two along the way. Allow us to give you some pointers.

Your proposal moment is not the best time to wing it. You want your future fiance to feel like some serious thought went into it – it’s a big deal! You have probably already been stressing about the big moment, but take a deep breath and start with our 4 tips to pulling off the perfect NYC proposal:

  1. Choose a special location. Our favorite places to propose in NYC are listed below! You have probably already daydreamed about the big moment, and it’s important to imagine the type of proposal you want to have – romantic, intimate, adventurous, unique, or casual. Most importantly, your proposal should reflect you both as a couple. Once you have your proposal vibe in mind, you can start thinking about locations.
  2. Ensuring that your proposal remains a complete surprise is all about having a solid backstory. If you are going somewhere you wouldn’t normally go, make sure you have a story in place to explain why you are going there.
  3. Consider hiring a secret proposal photographer to snap professional photos of the special moment. Tell your photographer all your proposal ideas and goals, and they can help you plan the location, where to stand, and the ideal time for the best photos. On the big day, your photographer can be ready at the designated spot to capture the moment, paparazzi-style. If your partner has no idea that the proposal is coming, you’ll capture all the joy, the tears, and most importantly, the yes!
  4. Practice getting down on one knee beforehand and think about what you will say. You don’t need to have your speech memorized, but spend a little time jotting down what you’d like to say. Stick to an idea, not a script. Of course, don’t forget to finish with: Will you marry me?

Best Places to Propose in NYC

How does one get NYC engagement ideas and plan for the perfect proposal? Choosing a gorgeous destination is an almost certain step towards success, so you are already on the right track! Below are all the best places to propose in NYC for an epic surprise engagement.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Proposal in DUMBO

DUMBO stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. It is one of the most picturesque locations in NYC since you have views of all of Manhattan. The park is also large enough to find a quiet spot for your more private NYC engagement ideas.

The High Line

This relatively new pathway was built on the former New York Central Railroad line. It is almost a mile and a half long, so there are plenty of proposal spots along the way with great views of the west side of Manhattan.

The High LIne

Statue of Liberty Proposal

There are 2 places to propose here. First, you can grab a cruise (we recommend Statue Cruises) or a private boat and propose on your way to the island. Otherwise, you can climb the 354 steps to Lady Liberty’s crown get engaged on the very top!

Times Square Billboard Proposal

The coolest part about proposing at Times Square is being able to put a personalized message on one of the billboards in the heart of the Big Apple!

Times Square

Private Places to Propose in NYC

Maybe you are looking for more intimate NYC engagement ideas? Or you may prefer something simple yet creative? Finding a proposal spot in NYC that is private, quiet, and intimate can be challenging. Here’s some ideas to get you started!

Ideas for a private proposal in NYC:

  • Private picnic in a quiet area of a park
  • Cater a private dinner and celebration at a luxury Airbnb
  • Rent a boat for a proposal while you cruise on the water
  • Book a private table at your restaurant of choice
  • Take a private cooking class and propose at dessert

Central Park Proposal Spots

Our two favorite places to propose in Central Park, NYC are both bridges. First, the Gapstow Bridge is near 62nd street and it has one of the best views of the New York City skyline. You can even take a Gondola ride from here. Also, the Bow Bridge is a great Central Park proposal spot. It was finished in 1862, and they say it resembles the bow of a violinist. If you want to go all out, imagine hiring a flash mob or musicians for your proposal!

Here are our other favorite Central Park proposal spots in NYC:

  • Bethesda Terrace & Fountain
  • Bow Bridge
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Wagner Cove
  • Cat Rock
  • Conservatory Garden

Rooftop Marriage Proposals

Best places with a view to propose in NYC.

If you are looking to pop the question with some altitude, you may want to pull off a rooftop proposal in NYC. The best way to guarantee a private proposal is to book a room or hotel with a nice terrace. This way, you’ll have exclusive access and you can propose on your own schedule.

  • Midtown Rooftop: This is our favorite spot for panoramic views of the skyline. You can see all the highlights, including the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, and the Hudson River.
  • Manhattan Rooftop: This private patio has the best view of the Manhattan skyscrapers. The elevator will take you to the very top floor for breathtaking views. Our proposal planners can help set a romantic mood by including music, champagne, or even musicians.
  • Westlight Rooftop: This top-floor terrace is on the top of the William Vale Hotel. There is a large indoor area with floor-to-ceiling windows, but if you will be proposing you will probably want to be outside… just make sure to make a reservation.
  • Harriet’s Rooftop in DUMBO: It has a large outdoor patio with an impressive view. You can see the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. Keep in mind that there is a $20 USD entrance fee if you aren’t staying at the hotel.
  • Elsie Rooftop: Although this terrace is very close to Times Square, it doesn’t feel touristy. Take the elevator to the 25th Floor and enjoy the views.

Top of the Rock Proposal

If you want a Rockefeller Center proposal, you can choose from the Top of the Rock or (if it is winter) the ice rink and Christmas tree. These spots create a romantic and iconic backdrop for a marriage proposal in New York City. After popping the big question, you can stroll down 5th Ave for your secret NYC proposal photographer to capture the post-engagement glow. There are various packages to choose from… for more information, check out our article below.

EDGE Observation Deck Proposal

The EDGE is the highest open-air deck in North America! Proposal at the EDGE is easy, and all you need to do is buy tickets for yourselves and your photographer and up you go! The best light is just before sunset when there is a nice shadow on the buildings.

Empire State Building Proposal

This open-air observatory is probably the most famous viewing deck in the Big Apple. For an Empire State Building proposal, you are above it all & right in the middle of everything.

The Empire State Building website actually encourages people to propose when their saxophonist is on the 86th Floor Observatory (Thurs – Sat 10 PM–1 AM). You can even request a special song to help set the mood for your NYC engagement ideas.

How to Hire an NYC Proposal Photographer

The moment you reach for the ring, adrenaline and emotions start to kick in and you might not even remember the moment! Hiring a secret NYC proposal photographer for your surprise engagement will allow you to capture and relive that moment again and again.

Your marriage proposal is a story you will never tire of telling, so it definitely deserves better than selfies! Capture it with New York City proposal photography that you’ll look back on for years to come.

How does a proposal photoshoot work?

Before choosing a photographer, we recommend having some NYC proposal ideas in mind first! There are two ways a proposal photoshoot usually happens:

  1. Hire the photographer for a “normal” photoshoot with your partner, but let the photographer in on your secret proposal plan! This is the best way to ensure the photographer captures the moment perfectly, usually at a closer distance and better positioned.
  2. The photographer can be waiting at the designated spot to secretly capture the moment, paparazzi-style. You will want to make sure that you are positioned in a way that the photographer captures your partner’s face and their reaction. After the big moment, the photographer will introduce themselves and you can enjoy an engagement shoot after to capture that post-engagement glow.

After your photo shoot is booked, you will be able to plan and coordinate with your photographer directly.

What’s included in an NYC proposal package?

With every engagement photography package, you’ll get high-resolution engagement photos that are professionally edited and delivered by email in a private online gallery within 5 business days. In your gallery, you will be able to see all the photos from your proposal shoot and get to download a certain number of your favorites, depending on your package.

With each NYC proposal package you’ll receive:

  • one-on-one planning with your photographer
  • photos of the big moment and post-engagement
  • private online gallery
  • high-resolution photos that are professionally edited
  • photos delivered within 5 days

How much does an NYC proposal photographer cost?

We have photographers on our team that specialize in proposal and engagement photoshoots. Check out our list of the best NYC proposal photographers to see pricing, compare portfolios, read customer reviews, and check date availability.

Below are our 3 different New York City proposal packages & pricing:

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