Portland marriage proposal
February 5, 2020 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I want to propose to my partner on a trip to Portland. Snowflakes inside.

My partner and I are going on trip to Portland, Oregon in March. I want to propose to them. They have already proposed to me, so we know for sure we are getting married, but they also want to be proposed to.

When we are traveling we like pastry (ie. missions to find the best croissant in a particular city), infrastructure (bridges, locks for boats, etc), quirky museums, and eating and drinking nice things.

I have never been to Portland before, but my partner has. We will be travelling there by Amtrak.

I am looking for creative ideas for how to propose. I would also not mind hearing your cute stories about how you were proposed to, as long as you don't mind the possibility that I may harvest any particularly good ideas from your stories.

Proposal ideas needn't be completely private, but I'm not looking to hire a sky-writing plane or livestream it on Twitter or anything, either.
posted by unstrungharp to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh also - their love languages are acts of service and quality time. Mine are words and gifts.
posted by unstrungharp at 9:30 AM on February 5, 2020


If your timing is right, (late March to early April) - the cherry blossoms on Naito Parkway might be lovely.
posted by msamye at 9:37 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


Acts of service? Quality time? Elaborately-planned picnic w/ all of their favorite foods/drinks at a place that is/will be their favorite. Is it a little cliche? Maybe, but if you make it extremely tailored to things they love, I promise it will not feel cliche.

Addendum: there are approximately 8 billion singing songwriting guitar playing people in Portland. If your SO is music prone, maybe you could pay one of them a hundred bucks to show up at the appointed place/time, suddenly perform a special, meaningful song, and then disappear?
posted by nosila at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


They make an excellent croissant and fabulous bonbons at JinJu. It's not as atmospheric as some of Portland's other patisseries, but the product is superb (and the owners/chefs are a wonderful couple). How this fits into a proposal scenario is left to you. I've never asked Jin or Q about custom work, so I don't know what they'd be up for. Or you might just make it part of the eating-and-drinking-nice-things portion of your trip!
posted by mumkin at 10:40 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


When I was proposed to, we were on a trip to Quebec City. My now-husband scheduled a nice dinner for his bday (so we were dressed up, which he knew was important to me). He found a gorgeous spot on the promenade (which is on a cliff) in front of the Chateau Frontenac, overlooking the scenic St. Lawrence River. He timed it so we finished dinner and went down to the promenade for a stroll just before sunset so we had golden hour lighting, grabbed a stranger and asked him to take our photo, then got down on one knee and proposed. Afterwards we went into the chateau restaurant, got a table with a view, and had champagne.

The universal things that I think would any proposal great:
-I love French things/culture (so played to things I like)
-It was quiet enough along the promenade at that time that although it was in a public place, it was a very intimate and private moment
-He had an after-plan so we could celebrate

So I don't know Portland at all, but I would aim for a bridge or boat-watching area with a view, and time it so if you want a "proposal photo" you're getting ace lighting.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:13 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


I live in Portland, and this is going to sound super cheesy, but there's a boat, the Portland Spirit, that does sightseeing trips every day. You'd go under several bridges, and you get some pretty amazing views of the city and Willamette Falls. I went as part of a local conference and thought it was a tourist trap, but it was actually a pretty fantastic experience. This might be the sort of thing where you could arrange some in advance with them, too.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:30 AM on February 5, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's a relatively short walk from Nuvrei (a truly excellent pastry shop) to the Broadway Bridge. (Or the Steel Bridge, if vertical lift bridges are more your thing.)
posted by sportbucket at 11:49 AM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


I had a beautiful peaceful time having tea and looking at the koi pond in Lan Su Garden(here!) It’s right downtown and it feels like finding a secret
posted by velebita at 12:01 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


You might also be interested in this article about some well-regarded croissants in Portland.
posted by sportbucket at 12:12 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you are wine people, there are some wonderful wineries in the Willamette Valley which is south of the city.
posted by mmascolino at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


Hide a note in a book at Powell's? You could take books to sit down and read, and slip an easy to find note in your partner's.
posted by beyond_pink at 4:50 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


Bonneville Dam is 40 miles east and Cascade Locks 5 miles further; that's some major infrastructure. Willamette Locks closed a decade ago, but there're great views at a rest stop on I-205, some great views below that on Willamette Falls Drive, and there's the Oregon City Municipal Elevator across the River. There are excursion boats to the falls, and you can kayak as well.

I'd consider Pittock Mansion. Don't even have to go inside, just walk around the grounds and do the actual proposal at the vista point.

The Tram is a charming bit of infrastructure.
posted by at at 10:37 PM on February 5, 2020


When we proposed to each other, we wrote each other letters and read them to each other. I loved that a) it meant I got to share really thoughtful thoughts and hear his thoughtful thoughts. and b) I have that written artifact forever. It's hard to remember what we each said, emotions were running high...but I can go read it! We are probably on the more verbally expressive end of the bell curve, so this may not be a perfect fit for everyone.

We also decided to wait about 48 hours before doing all the phone calls and texts and things -- we actually had our phones turned off. It was wonderful to bask in that moment together and really be with each other. And I LOVED the sharing part when we were ready!


On the Portland note...baked goods and bridges?? Portland is perfect!

Council Crest park is the highest point in the city and has great views. +1 to the boat ride. I am not sure if donuts count as pastries in your book, but Voodoo Donuts is a Portland classic! The Oregon Maritime Museum would probably be right up your alley.
posted by amaire at 12:24 PM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


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