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Best Island Vacations for Marriage Proposals

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Consider these five romantic Island vacations and the settings they offer for making your marriage proposal extra special and magical.

Marriage numbers might be down, divorce numbers might be up, but when people get married these days, they do it with a bigger splash than ever before. Weddings are bigger than ever (and costing more than ever too), and destination weddings in particular have become all the rage, as international travel becomes ever more accessible.

All this focus on making weddings bigger and better has led to a trickle-down effect. Instead of just having wedding photos on the day of the ceremony, people now have engagement photos and bridal shower photos. It’s not enough to rent a church hall and a hotel ballroom for one day. Instead, they want themed stag and stagette parties, week-long engagement vacations, and the most elaborate proposals imaginable.

While destination weddings have long been en vogue, destination proposals are quickly gaining momentum. It’s long been popular to pop the question while on vacation with your special someone, but now more than ever, people are crafting an entire vacation to accommodate that one big question. These destination proposals now serve as a kind of “pre-honeymoon” to bookend the arc of a marriage along with the actual honeymoon to follow the wedding.

While cities like Paris and Venice will always have their appeal as spots to propose marriage, idyllic islands are probably the ideal spot to pop the big question. With their white-sand beaches, warm climates, and luxury accommodations, island destinations already ooze romance. Whether you head to Bora Bora to sample the world’s most famous honeymoon island prior to your actual honeymoon, surf the waters off Bali, relax on a private beach in Fiji, dine in an underwater restaurant in the Maldives, or get down on one knee on the top of a cliff in Santorini, you’ll find many island vacations ready to make your proposal as romantic as possible.

Tropical Romance.

Sunset Proposal Off Bora Bora

A Couple Drinking a Cocktail on the Beach of a Luxury Vacation Resort With View of Bora Bora, Tahiti
Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora

Bora Bora is the most famous honeymoon island on the planet. It attracts more than its share of romantic travellers keen to experience its justifiably-famous lagoon and impeccable accommodations. It’s hard to go wrong with a trip to The Islands of Tahiti, regardless of whether you want it to be the spot where you ask your partner the big question.

While there are plenty of ways to pop the question on a Bora Bora vacation, few options seem more romantic than a sunset cruise out onto the water. The sunsets in Bora Bora are breathtaking and there’s no better spot to watch the sun sink below the horizon than on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Hire a wooden boat for a sunset trip and arrange with the captain to store some champagne on board for after you ask the question (and your partner hopefully says yes!). Just as the sun dips and starts to disappear into the water, turn to your partner, get down on one knee, look your partner in their eyes, and say those four magic words. With the setting sun as your backlight and the ocean breeze filling the air, you’ll conjure a memory you’ll never forget.

Luckily, a Bora Bora vacation has so many options for romance and excursions, you’ll have plenty to fill your time after you propose and spend the night in romantic revelry. Snorkel through the reefs surrounding the island or hike to the top of Mount Otemanu for an incredible view of the island and its surrounding waters.

Tahiti Sunset, French Polynesia
Tahitian sunset

Champagne Picnic in Fiji

Much like Bora Bora, Fiji is another popular spot to have a honeymoon. As such, it’s also a destination of choice for romantic travellers and anyone wanting to create lasting memories with their partner. Sounds like a good spot for a proposal, eh?

While you’d be well-suited most anywhere you decide to propose (except a gift shop or a lobby of the island’s many resorts), a trip to a private islet is a particularly ideal proposal idea on a Fiji vacation. Fiji has over 200 uninhabited islands to explore and any one of these would be a great spot to be alone with your partner, ask them the question, and bask in the possibility that question holds for your future. These islands are like something from the dawn of time, pristine and untouched by human civilization. The high tide on these islands washes away any footsteps left by visitors, making it seem like they haven’t been trod on until you decide to visit.

You can hire a boat out to one of these islets and arrange for a private champagne picnic on the beach. You’ll dine on exquisite Fijian barbeque and toast your future together. It’s a great way to celebrate your coming marriage and create the sort of memory that seems almost too good to be true.

Picnic on Horseshoe Bay on Matangi Private island, Fiji
Picnic on Horseshoe Bay on Matangi Private island, Fiji

Jungle Retreat in Bali

While it might attract more surfers and backpackers than folks heading on a honeymoon, don’t be disarmed by Bali’s reputation as a party paradise. Located in Indonesia, it’s also one of the most romantic destinations on the planet. With its pristine waters, lush jungles, and long sandy beaches, how could it not be?

In particular, Nusa Dua, at the southern tip of Bali, should attract your attention if you’re heading on a Bali vacation with marriage in mind. It is home to some amazing luxury resorts that would love to pamper you and help you arrange your ultimate wedding proposal. In particular, the Mulia at Nua Dusa has views over the ocean and incredible accommodations that offer the height of luxury. It also has an overwater glass wedding chapel, if you want to transform your destination proposal into a destination wedding. Imagine the looks on your friends’ faces when you head off on your Bali vacation and return not only having gotten engaged but also married. However, even if you aren’t taking the extra plunge after your destination proposal, the Mulia at Nua Dusa is an ideal spot to soak in Bali’s unique take on the island paradise.

Bali is also great because after popping the question, you can head to Kuta and Leigan to hit up the nightlife and celebrate your new engagement. It’s an island where you can easily combine the relaxation of an island getaway with a taste of excitement and a world-famous party culture.

Beautiful Beach at the Mulia Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
Beautiful beach at the Mulia Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali

Private Islet in the Maldives

If you really want to go all out for an island wedding proposal, consider heading to the Maldives. No other resort destination can match the Maldives’ luxury and exclusive nature. Most of these islands have solitary resorts with restricted numbers of guests, ensuring that you’re given maximum privacy and comfort while on your island vacation.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives

The Maldives offer plenty of romantic spots to pop the question. However, the specifics of how you do so really depends on where you stay. If you stay at the Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island, you can plan a romantic dinner for two in the incredible underwater restaurant. Dine on gourmet cuisine and pop the question as manta rays and reef sharks swim overhead. It’ll be as if you’re proposing on the bottom of the ocean floor.

No matter which resort you stay at in the Maldives, you’ll have the ability to either charter a boat for a sunset cruise out onto the Indian Ocean or visit a private island for a romantic lunch or dinner. Either excursion would be an incredible way to propose. If you opt for the sunset cruise, you would enjoy the sunset breezes and the incredible sights of the setting sun over the Indian Ocean. Crack a bottle of champagne and cheers each other on the water. If you’re lucky, dolphins might be swimming alongside. If you visit a private island, you’ll have complete privacy and an unobstructed 360-degree view of the ocean. It’ll be as if you and your partner are the only people in the world at the moment you pop the question.

Private dining in the Maldives
Private dining in the Maldives

Cliffside Dinner on the Island of Santorini

Romantic island getaways are not just restricted to the tropics. Europe has plenty of islands that offer ideal locations where you can propose. Chief among these is Santorini, in the Greek islands of the Cyclades. Santorini is one of the most popular destination wedding and honeymoon spots in Europe.

Romantic dinner for two at sunset in Santorini, Greece
Romantic dinner for two at sunset in Santorini, Greece

If you head on a Greece vacation to Santorini in order to propose to your partner, you’ll probably find yourself alongside many like-minded individuals, but no matter. The island is so gorgeous and the atmosphere so intoxicating, you’ll hardly notice the crowds. Or rather, even the most obnoxious fellow travellers would have a hard time distracting from Santorini’s natural beauty and charming culture. The small town of Oia on the northwestern edge of the island is probably the most popular spot to propose in Santorini. The restaurants that line the cliff edge are more than happy to accommodate elaborate proposals, and the white houses and rugged hills make for photogenic backdrops.

However, you do have plenty of options if you want a little more privacy while proposing on the island of Santorini. You could climb to the top of the hill above Oia and propose with the panorama of the island as your backdrop. You could charter a boat to Red Beach or one of the other secluded islets of this volcanic archipelago, spending your time after the proposal taking a dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. You could even visit the ancient site of Akrotiri and propose alongside classical ruins or opt for a private balcony on one of the many hotel terraces that line the island. No matter where on the island you choose to propose, the incredible people, food, and landscape will ensure the proposal is like no other.

Young Couple Embracing on the Island of Santorini, Greece
The island of Santorini, Greece

A destination proposal is a smart way to combine a relaxing island vacation with a monumental life event. It adds a bit of extra magic to an already special day, transforming the island destination into an eternal monument to your romantic bond. So when you’re ready to pop the question, look beyond the nearest gourmet restaurant and imagine an idyllic island proposal. Your eventual spouse will surely appreciate it.

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Aren Bergstrom
Aren Bergstrom

Globetrotting Editor - You might say that Aren was destined to become a Globetrotter after his family took him to Germany two times before he was four. If that wasn’t enough, a term spent in Sweden as a young teenager and a trek across Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand confirmed that destiny. An independent writer, director, and film critic, Aren has travelled across Asia, Europe, and South America. His favourite travel experience was visiting the major cities of Japan’s largest island, Honshu, but his love for food, drink, and film will take him anywhere that boasts great art and culture.

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