So you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Mazel tov! That's a huge decision, but now another looms: how—and where—to pop The Question. The choice of locale is paramount—and as every aspiring spouse should know, some scenarios capture the mood better than others. Certain classics, of course, stand the test of time: the sunset stroll along a deserted beach; the postcard moment in front of an iconic backdrop; the candlelit dinner at a chic restaurant. But how to narrow down the list (and avoid becoming stuck in a cliché), given this is a story you'll be telling for the rest of your life?
Creativity is key. Consider an element of surprise, or a destination that has special significance for the two of you. (Your paramour's always yearned to get their pilot's license? Book a night in a helicopter at sublime Connecticut hideaway Winvian, whose stylish and whimsical rooms are all themed.) But don't necessarily overlook the classics either: Paris is an amorous mainstay for good reason. Famed New York–based wedding planner Colin Cowie sings the praises of the City of Light, suggesting "the Ferris wheel at the Tuileries when at the 12 o'clock positio," for extra impact.
Warm-weather destinations, not surprisingly, topped our experts' lists (nothing kills a love buzz like frostbite). Certain tropical spots like Fiji and Hawaii seem custom-made for great proposals, thanks to their wealth of secret beaches and castaway-style islands where couples can be assured of having the place to themselves. For seriously adventurous couples, meanwhile, an African safari has all the trappings of high drama…particularly when you're floating above the savanna in a hot-air balloon.
Not everyone wants to blow a big-ticket overseas trip on a proposal, though. If you'd rather save up for the honeymoon, consider a nearby urban setting. New York's Central Park provides an inimitable setting, as does a candlelit corner table at one of the city's acclaimed restaurants. Whatever the context, each of our favorite settings is packed with enough romance to pretty much guarantee the right answer. Now all you have to do is choose the ring.