Indianapolis is chock full of scenic areas, activities, and historic locations that set the stage for perfect marriage proposals. The key is nailing down the itinerary and best options that fit you as a couple. For instance, a downtown proposal for all to see might seem like something straight out of a romantic movie for some couples, but it may feel embarrassing or awkward for others. As Indiana wedding photographers, we’re here to help you navigate your options to pull off the dreamiest marriage proposal! Many of these proposal ideas are in downtown Indianapolis, mostly in the Mass Ave Arts District. But we’ve also added a few quieter, adventurous options near Indy. Whether your visitors or long-time Indy residents, you can easily mix and match these proposal ideas to fit your style and itinerary.
12 Indianapolis Proposal Ideas You’ll Want to Say “Yes” to!
An Evening Proposal at Monument Circle
If your story began in Indianapolis, proposing at Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis might be especially meaningful. Take your other half to dinner (where they might suspect you’ll propose), and then take an evening stroll afterward. Make your way to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument right at dusk when the monument is adorned with sparkling lights. Surprise your loved one with a proposal in the middle of the city. There aren’t many spots as romantic as Monument Circle at night!
A Weekend Retreat to Indiana Dunes National Park
If you both enjoy a more adventurous atmosphere—or maybe you prefer a more intimate proposal away from onlookers—Indiana Dunes National Park provides a stunning natural backdrop for your romantic proposal. Turn it into a weekend getaway to celebrate and make the most of the occasion. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to pop the question. Indiana Dunes National Park offers:
- 15 miles of natural shoreline along southern Lake Michigan
- 15,00 acres to spread out and explore
- Diverse terrain—wetlands, prairies, sandy beaches, rivers & streams, and woodlands.
- 50 miles of hiking trails
- Bird & wildlife watching
- Fishing, swimming, paddling/kayaking
- Horseback riding
- Camping & RV sites
- Biking trails
- Picnic & recreation areas
- Nearby lodging & dining options
A Day at White River State Park
Love nature and city life? White River State Park is the perfect in-between option for your Indianapolis marriage proposal. Breathtaking greenery, waterway trails, and serene seating areas wind through downtown Indianapolis, providing a quiet nature retreat next to the city’s best museums, restaurants, entertainment, and dining. Pair this activity with another on the list (perhaps an IMAX show or art gallery visit) for an unforgettable day.
An Otherworldly Experience at IMAX Theater Indiana State Museum
Dive into an ethereal experience with a 3-D show—and surprise proposal—at Indiana State Museum’s IMAX Theater. Imagine proposing under the sea, in the middle of a glacial icefield, or under the Milky Way Galaxy.
Pop the Question on Safari
Animal lovers? Take your date to the award-winning Indianapolis Zoo, and propose at your favorite exhibit. Make it extra special with a Summer Safari. Or, plan your proposal during one of their special events, such as the Naturally Inspired Paint Out, xZOOberance Spring Festival, Zoopolis 500, Zoobilation, Animals & All That Jazz, or Brewfari.
White River Gardens
The White River Botanical Gardens is a 3.3-acre oasis at the zoo. The floral DaHaan Tiergarten and glass Hilbert Conservatory offer vibrant, perfectly landscaped options for your proposal.
*Check ahead to make sure the gardens are open since they were recently under construction.
Indiana Wine Trail
You don’t have to book a flight to Napa Valley to enjoy great wines. Make your own wine trail adventure right here in Indiana. The scenic drives and gorgeous wineries set the scene for your proposal. You could book reservations at several wineries over the weekend, or book a stay and relax at a single winery that offers lodging and dining on-site or nearby.
To get you started, some of Indiana’s best wineries include:
- Oliver Winery, Bloomington, IN
- Whyte Horse Winery, Monticello, IN
- Lanthier Winery, Madison, IN
- Cedar Creek Winery, Brewery, & Distillery, Martinsville, IN
- Fruit Hills Winery & Orchard, Bristol, IN
- Easley Winery, Downtown Indianapolis
- Country Moon Winery, Noblesville, IN
Local Cuisine & Ambiance
Whether you plan to propose before dinner or at the restaurant, you can’t go wrong with good food! Venture out to one of our favorite local restaurants that provide the perfect ambiance for your proposal and exceptional food, drinks, and service. Book ahead so they can help you coordinate the perfect evening.
- St. Elmo Steakhouse—1933 Cocktail Lounge
- The Rathskeller—19th Century German Biergarten
- Livery—Latin-inspired cuisine at a renovated horse stable rooftop
- Iozzo’s Garden of Italy—romantic Italian-themed garden patio
- Mama Carolla’s—historic bungalow with courtyards, fountains, statues, and an open patio overlooking the Monon Trail
College Campus Visit
If you’re college sweethearts, visiting your college campus could be a nostalgic way to pop the question. Find a location on campus that is especially memorable for the two of you. Since Indiana University is in Bloomington, you’d also be near some great wineries!
For the thrill-seekers out there, try something new together with an adrenaline-pumping dive over the city with certified and licensed Skydive Indianapolis. While you probably don’t want to propose mid-dive (can you imagine dropping the ring?!), it would certainly be a memorable lead-up to your proposal back on the ground!
Bottleworks Hotel & The Garage Food Hall in the Bottleworks District
If you both enjoy trying new things and perusing eclectic shops and dives, the Garage Food Hall in Indianapolis provides a market-like experience with some of the best food and drink vendors in the city. There’s plenty of space to walk around in a laid-back, festive al-fresco atmosphere.
This retro district is the perfect balance of the past and present Indianapolis. Plus, recent renovations have made it the ideal place for couples to book a romantic weekend right here in the city. After grabbing a few bites at The Garage, relax at the Living Room Theater & lounge, featuring indie films…in Indy. You can find all kinds of throwback entertainment like pinball, duckpin bowling, and retro games. Then, book a stay at the beautifully-restored historic Bottleworks Hotel. This luxury 139-key hotel is like putting plush suites inside an art gallery!
Scope out a scenic spot on a bridge, shaded alcove, or park bench along The Canal Walk downtown on the Indiana Central Canal. If you’re up for a little more legwork, rent a pedal boat from the Indiana State Museum (just hold onto that ring!)
Need More Proposal Ideas?
As Indiana wedding photographers, we love a good proposal story! And we would be honored to capture the occasion for you—discreetly, of course. Get in touch to let us know what you have in mind, and we’re happy to offer proposal ideas, recommendations, and ideal photo locations.