How To Present Ring When Proposing: Step by Step

Michael Bold
Written by Michael Bold · Posted in Rings Last Updated February 17, 2024 · minute read
In This Article

    One of the most important parts of any relationship is the proposal. You’re showing that you want to be committed to this person for the rest of your life. Maybe you do this by surprise (we’re always a fan) or it’s something you just discuss over coffee. There’s still one aspect you need to get right and that’s how to present the ring when proposing.

    There’s a multitude of possibilities. Maybe you’re a creative type who has something truly spectacular planned. Perhaps you present the ring on stage at a Taylor Swift concert (always a high-risk strategy) with weeks of planning or maybe you take your beloved away for the weekend to a romantic location. Getting the presentation of the ring right will be something that stays with you and your partner forever.

    How do we know so much about the best ways to present the ring when proposing? Well, over the years we’ve been hired to capture this special moment for wonderful couples. We’re often booked by the proposer and work covertly to document this special moment. 

    couple posing after proposal on cliff

    How To Present Ring When Proposing?

    It’s always really exciting and we love feeling like private investigators for a few hours. We’ve seen some great ways of presenting the ring when proposing and we’d love to share some of them with you.

    In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for the perfect proposal, tell you about some of our favorite methods and answer some frequently asked questions about how to present the ring.

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    What is a Proposal?

    You’ve probably seen your fair share of viral proposals on YouTube and TikTok, right?

    Simply put, a proposal is your opportunity to ask your partner if they’ll marry you. If they say yes, congratulations! You’re getting married. Let’s not talk about the other possibility…

    Some people who propose like to honor tradition and ask their partner’s parents’ permission. This is becoming a little old-fashioned but we think it’s a nice touch to inform them of your intentions. Letting them know can also help you with the organization if you have anything elaborate planned.

    The proposal is traditionally performed by the groom but there are no rules here and anyone can pop the question. The proposer will typically purchase a ring and plan to pop the question when they find the perfect opportunity.

    Steps to Traditionally Presenting the Ring When Proposing

    In our opinion, there are some key elements that every proposal needs. Hit these points and you shouldn’t fail to make a lasting memory for you and your partner as you present the ring. 

    Get down on one knee

    Classic, isn’t it? It’s what every good presentation of the ring needs. 

    This is the way proposals have been done for years. It shows your partner respect and also puts you in a very vulnerable position. 

    Getting down on one knee also makes this a very formal moment. It forces you both to stop and stand still for a second. This is great to capture on camera and we love to see it! 

    Tell them what they mean to you

    Once you’re down on one knee it’s your opportunity to tell your partner what they mean to you. Tell them what you love about them, how they make you feel, and why you want to spend the rest of your life with them. 

    At this point, they’re sure to know what’s going on and might be overcome with emotions. 

    You can either write these words out or try to memorize them. In our opinion going freestyle is a little risky as the emotion might get the better of you.

    Ask them to marry you

    After your preamble, it’s time to ask the main question. For example, “Jane Ellis Darby, will you marry me”

    Place the ring on their finger

    At some point, between those first three steps, you will have got the ring out and presented it to your partner. Now it’s time to place that ring on the fourth finger of their left hand.

    Whether it fits or not will depend on whether you’ve done some prior research into their size. Try to maintain eye contact as this will further enhance the moment.

    Hug it out

    Hopefully, they say yes! Now’s the perfect time to have a big old hug, a smooch, and a hug spin. Whatever takes your fancy.

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    Creative Ways to Present the Ring When Proposing

    You can’t really go wrong with the tried and tested traditional way of proposing. 

    However, if you’re looking for a little more creative way of presenting the ring when proposing we’ve got your back. 

    This can be the first step to your partner discovering the ring and realizing what’s going on. 

    You can then combine this reveal with the traditional way of popping the question.

    Fortune Cookie

    Placing the engagement ring inside a fortune cookie will be the ultimate surprise for your partner. It’s also a great excuse to eat Chinese food! Win win!

    One note of caution is that it might be best to bring your own fortune cookies. You don’t want yours containing the ring to get mixed up with all the others. 

    Additionally, make sure your partner likes fortune cookies. You don’t want to make it too obvious by insisting they crack one open.

    Treasure Hunt

    Step up your ring presentation by organizing a treasure hunt. This is something you could do around your own home or at meaningful locations. 

    Once your partner finds the ring you can then ask them the all-important question. 

    This is something you could leave with them on the weekend or something you do together. If choosing the first option you could be waiting at the X on the map on one knee with the ring.

    In a Bouquet

    A classic way to present the wedding ring when proposing is by including it in a bouquet of flowers.

    This can be especially good if you regularly get your partner flowers anyway. Therefore the addition of the engagement ring will come as a huge shock.

    This is such a subtle way of presenting the ring in our opinion but one of the most effective.

    The pet and ring combo

    One of the other biggest commitments a couple can make to each other is getting a pet. If your partner has always dreamed you’d both get a puppy then why not combine the two?

    Your partner will be so surprised and overwhelmed they might not even notice the ring you’ve subtly attached to the dog’s collar. 

    Let them discover this for themselves and then watch for their reaction. This will be well worth it! 

    By surprising your partner with a pet and an engagement ring you’ll demonstrate your commitment. And who can say no to those puppy dog eyes?!

    On the Water

    Provided you and your partner have good sea legs this can be the perfect romantic spot. 

    For added flair try to combine it with a sunset to really amp up the drama.

    You could either look to hire a row boat so it’s just the two of you or you could have someone sail you around the sights at your favorite location.

    A very high risk maneuver would be to have already placed the ring at the end of a fishing line that you then casually reel in. Your partner will be flabbergasted until they realize what’s going on.

    Fruit Picking

    For those nature lovers out there we’ve got you covered. Arrange this with a local fruit farmer in advance so that you can ensure some privacy. 

    Suggest to your partner that you want to go fruit picking at the weekend. Beforehand place the ring on a stem or have it dangling on a string from a tree. Casually make your way over and let them discover the ring for themselves.

    As they turn around to tell you what they’ve found in the tree you can then pop onto one knee. 

    In a Box of Chocolates

    Timeless and classic, much like the bouquet but still highly effective. Make sure your partner is a chocoholic of course so that they won’t refuse the offer of a sweet treat.

    “Hey Jane, do you want a chocolate?” “Yeah sure” she says. You open the box of chocolates only to reveal the engagement ring occupying the center stage. 

    With this method, there’s also the added bonus of chocolate afterward!

    Think outside the box with the box

    The wedding ring you purchase from the jewelers will likely come in its own box. However, this can sometimes be generic or display the branding of the jewelry or the ring.

    Instead, we think it’s a great idea to look for something a little more personal. 

    We love custom wooden boxes with your initials engraved onto the lid. This is a great keepsake to remind you both of the proposal.

    At the same time, your partner can also use it to store other jewelry or it can be used on your wedding day. It’s just an added touch to your ring presentation that takes it to the next level. 

    The classic tied up method

    Keeping it simple is sometimes the best way to present the ring when proposing. Maybe you could use a ribbon to tie the ring to a teddy bear or balloon. Or, another option is to tie the ring to a bottle of champagne or a champagne glass.

    If you’re planning on doing this at a restaurant you should pick somewhere that you trust implicitly. Engagement rings cost a lot of money so you don’t want it going missing because you trusted the wrong people.

    The obvious bonus of choosing the champagne over the teddy bear is the option to pop the cork and celebrate afterward.

    Drone Delivery

    For a real element of surprise, you could arrange with your friends to deliver and present the ring via a drone.

    You and your partner could be out for a romantic stroll in the park. Your friend could fly the drone to you both. Obviously, you look shocked not letting on that you’ve planned this meticulously. Your partner investigates, picks off the ring, and hey presto!

    The added bonus of this method is that you could also film the action from the drone. This will be a great video to share with the kids in years to come!

    Nestled in a Book

    Does your partner love to read before going to bed? Think about placing the ring on the same page as their bookmark. That way when they come to open the book the ring will fall out. 

    Equally, you could place the ring in an envelope with a note inside. This is particularly good if you’re better at writing down your thoughts rather than saying them out loud.


    Perfect for a beach proposal is to present the ring in a seashell. As you’re wandering along the shoreline, pretend to bend down and say something like “Hey come and look at this interesting shell”. 

    Your partner will never suspect that on the other side of the shell you’ve housed the engagement ring. The beach is always a beautiful and romantic spot anyway but this will be a memory you can cherish forever.

    Location, Location, Location

    As they say on all the real estate programs it’s all about location, location, location. The same is true for where you decide to present the ring when proposing.

    Whether you pick somewhere you both love or someplace completely new make sure that it’s the perfect spot. 

    Somewhere that you both love will hold significance. Maybe it’s the place you went for your first date or somewhere you had a particularly nice meal.

    Equally, if you can find the ideal new location to present the ring that becomes its own important place in itself. Maybe your partner likes hiking. Well, investigate a new and epic place you can go to together. That’ll become known as the place you presented the ring.

    You should also think about timing when picking your location. In our opinion, you should choose somewhere nice and quiet without lots of people. You should also choose your moment to present the ring at sunset time. This will just add to the overall majesty of the event and memories.

    Hire a Pro

    If you don’t think you can achieve some of the suggestions on our list alone it might be an idea to hire a pro. A proposal planner will have years of experience and contacts that can help you present the ring in the best way.

    They’ll usually take care of all the logistics of the proposal, leaving it up to you to just bring the ring and your partner to a specific spot. 

    We’ve worked with loads of proposal planners over the years and they always create spectacular events.

    Hire a Photographer

    If you want to immortalize the presentation of the ring to your partner forever why not hire a photographer? Wedding photographers love to capture this special moment between two individuals. It also gives you a chance to sample their work before hiring them for your big day. 

    This will of course be an additional cost but one that’s well worth it in our opinion. Having photos to show your grandkids of the moment you popped the question are priceless in our opinion.

    You’ll of course have to let them know of your location and plan well ahead of time and keep them constantly informed.

    FAQ about How to Present a Ring When Proposing

    What knee do you propose on?

    Like the whole proposal in general there are no rules here. 

    The way most people do it is with their left knee on the floor as they hold the ring box with both hands and slowly reveal the ring.

    However, if you’re more comfortable with your right knee on the floor you won’t be arrested by the proposal police. So do whatever suits you best.

    What do you say when presenting an engagement ring?

    What you say when presenting the ring will be individual to each couple. 

    You could draw on your past as a couple and how far you’ve come. You can keep it short and sweet or make a long impassioned speech.

    Ultimately though we think you should make sure to tell your partner what they mean to you. 

    Also, tell them how you want to spend the rest of your life together and then ask them to marry you.

    A bonus tip if you’re liable to a good old cry. Bring some tissues with you for you and your partner.

    Do you present both rings when proposing?

    There is a difference between an engagement and a wedding ring so it’s not the norm to present them at the same time.

    However, if you’ve talked about marriage for a while and even picked out the rings together this could be the way to go.

    The engagement ring is usually a surprise that one partner buys in secret. For that reason, we think it’s best to just present this ring when proposing.

    Do you show the engagement ring before proposing?

    Similar to the above question it will rely heavily on whether the other partner knows your intentions to propose. Otherwise, it somewhat ruins the element of surprise.

    A bonus of showing your partner the ring is that you can check that it fits ahead of time.

    Do you put the ring on while kneeling?

    Yes. This is how most people do it. However, as we’ve kept saying there are no rules so you just do you. 

    The benefit of doing it in this way is that it makes more of an event of the proposal. 

    It also shows respect to your partner and will force you to slow down. This is the iconic moment that your photographer will be looking to capture if you’ve hired one. 

    Afterward, you can get up and have a big hug and a smooch.

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    To Wrap It Up

    As you will no doubt already realize, proposing to your partner requires a lot of planning. 

    The way you present the ring when proposing can be so varied and will ultimately come down to personal preference. 

    At the same time, it gives you an opportunity to get creative and really impress your partner with your attention to detail.

    We hope this article has inspired you to think outside the box. Make the way you present the ring when proposing a unique experience for the two of you and you can’t go wrong.

    Our advice is to still use the foolproof traditional technique that we discussed at the start of the article. However, we think you should combine it with a creative way of revealing the ring for that added bit of flair.