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Proposing in Paris: 5 romantic spots for an inspired proposal

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Happy in love on the Pont Alexandre III in Paris. Photo: Waqas Ahmed
Happy in love on the Pont Alexandre III in Paris. Photo: Waqas Ahmed

By Bryan Pirolli in Paris—

Whether you’re a gay couple from New York celebrating your newfound right to wed or you’re simply inspired by the romantic aura of the City of Light, proposing in Paris never goes out of style. From the top of the Eiffel Tower to the padlocks of love lining the Pont des Arts, people have long been popping the question in Paris.

But for those looking for a more inspired scenario that won’t evoke images of Tom Cruise proposing to Katie Holmes (at the Tower), here are a few romantic spots to consider, depending of course on you and your partner’s style.

Paris Luxe

Brides in white flowing dresses with husbands in tow can be seen along the Pont Alexandre III (pictured, top) taking their photos after their weddings – but why not start the engagement there? When we think of Paris, we think of the Champs Elysée, gold-domed buildings and splendid views of the river. The Pont Alexandre III offers it all.

A bridge over the Canal St. Martin. Photo: Sylvain Bourdos

The most ornate bridge in Paris with glowing globe lights and gilded statues, it’s one of the perfect places to get romantic at night as the Eiffel Tower glitters in the distance and the lights of the boats reflect off the Seine. It’s a jolt of old world glam that never seems to die in Paris.

Bohemian Paris

If you like the idea of something less glitzy but more gritty and real, head to the Canal St. Martin and choose one of the arching bridges for your special moment. The neighborhood is known for many artists and bohemian-bourgeois locals that dress shabby-chic with carefully de-coiffed hair.

The pedestrian bridges have a rustic, quaint feeling that evokes Amélie skipping stones along the still water. Local picnickers along the banks of the canal will surely applaud if your partner says yes and then you can share a romantic meal at the trendy Hotel du Nord, ending the evening with a candlelit dinner among the other bohemian lovers that fill the neighborhood.

Fairytale Romance

For something a little more whimsical, head to the top of the Parc Buttes Chaumont. Crowning this little man-made hill is a gazebo fit for Rapunzel that, despite the graffiti, can be a splendid place for the question. The views overlooking the park and the rooftops of Paris are simply breathtaking, like looking upon some far-off kingdom where the animals dress you in the morning. You even catch glimpses of the gleaming white Sacré Coeur basilica to the north.

The tip of the Ile de la Cite. Photo: Tom Flemming

If all goes well, have the picnic and obligatory bottle of Champagne ready to celebrate a fairytale engagement.

Historical Romance

As featured in the 2009 film An Education, the tip of Ile de la Cité overlooking the famous Pont des Arts and the Louvre, can be a very intimate spot to say, “I do” while being surrounded by the best of Paris. It has been a popular place for romance ever since the 1600s when King Henry IV brought his lovers here, which is why the square is called Galant-Vert, an allusion to his many mistresses at an old age.

This historical spot, in the shadow of the Pont Neuf, Paris’ oldest bridge, boasts magnificent views and could be the perfect place to slip the ring on his or her finger.

Fit for a King or Queen

Just outside of Paris in Versailles, the possibilities are endless. It’s not free to enter, but if you’re going to make a special trip to the chateau and its gardens, stop over at the Trianon, Queen Marie Antoinette’s private getaway. The aptly-named Temple d’Amour is a beautiful Romanesque gazebo tailor-made for royal wedding proposals.

Afterward, a romantic stroll through the vast gardens is the perfect way for lovers to steal a kiss, like the countless royals that have courted lovers in days long gone.

Your proposals?

So what do you think? Do you have any other ideas for places to pop the question? Propose some more locations in our comments section!

About the author

Bryan Pirolli

About the author: With his college diploma fresh off the press, Bryan Pirolli headed for Paris and four years later he’s still there. A journalist and a tour guide, his main M.O. is pursuing a doctorate degree in communications at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. Bryan regularly travels on a budget, experiencing the best of European culture while still trying to make rent.  So far, so good. You can follow his adventures on his blog: www.bryanpirolli.com.

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2 Responses to “Proposing in Paris: 5 romantic spots for an inspired proposal”

Lindsey says:

At a quintessentially Parisian café! You’ll never forget it. My husband proposed at Le Grand Colbert, the restaurant made famous by the Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson film “Something’s Gotta Give” – the food is decent but the ambiance made the moment!

Great suggestions! But some of them are “clichés”, and to really surprise your beloved, you have to avoid some “touristic” spots… Sometimes, they are less romantic than you imagine, with many tourists around. To propose, you really have to do something creative and exclusive…

Being a proposal expert, in Paris, with more than 1000 extravagant proposals planned since 2006, I could suggest you some of the 30 proposal packages I offer: projecting your giant message of love at bottom of Eiffel Tower, enjoying a 1000 red roses shower during a private dinner-cruise, a Cinderella’s carriage ride with a magic shoe, or even a private fireworks with a giant heart blazing only for you!

Nicolas, proposal expert in Paris

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