Springtime engagement in Paris?
March 8, 2007 7:59 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to get engaged in Paris that's not the top of the eiffel tower?

Next month my girlfriend and I are traveling to Paris for a week and it's time to give her a bump in status. The eiffel tower thing seems a bit overdone. So given thats out, what's the next most romantic way to get engaged in Paris?
posted by bitdamaged to Human Relations (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
At the Moulin Rouge.

No, not at the Moulin Rouge.
posted by Dasein at 8:02 PM on March 8, 2007

In all seriousness, I don't have much of an inside track, but there are various lists of the 10 most romantic spots in Paris; maybe one of them would be good.

This one is even of the best places to propose.

As an aside, while you're there, go for the world's best hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots.
posted by Dasein at 8:11 PM on March 8, 2007

The reconstructed chapel or in front of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry at the Musèe de Cluny.
The midpoint of the Pont Neuf.
In front of Sarah Bernhardt's grave at Pere Lachaise.

It's Paris!....you'll know the right place when you're there.
posted by brujita at 8:11 PM on March 8, 2007

Honestly, Paris has many beautiful public gardens full of statues and lakes and whatnot. Anyone would be better than a tourist-crammed Eiffel tower. For example, the Luxembourg gardens.
posted by vacapinta at 8:13 PM on March 8, 2007

Okay, at the risk of commenting too much, do not, in fact, go to some monment to propose. Just walk around a lot, find yourself in a park, or on a terrace (maybe at the Deux Magots), or somewhere where you are both overcome with love for each other by the circumstances - then whip out the ring/question. Be ready, but don't decide ahead of time that at X place you're going to do it.
posted by Dasein at 8:13 PM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

NO! The best hot chocolate is at Café Angelique.
posted by brujita at 8:15 PM on March 8, 2007

brujita, it's pistols at dawn for you.
posted by Dasein at 8:20 PM on March 8, 2007

Is there anything she is particularly fond of? (rivers, churches, food, morning walks, evening walks, particular types of buildings?)

Is there anything that would likely be a callback to a memorable early relationship moment?

I mean... it could be anything ranging from giving it to her while splitting a picnic lunch in Le Bois de Boulogne, or Parc de Bercy, or as a finish to a meal at Pierre Gagnaire... or maybe just as a follow-up to cafe and croissant breakfast...

Or if she loves art, you could do it in one of the inner squares of the Louvre or something...

Lots of options. Congrats!
posted by PEAK OIL at 8:21 PM on March 8, 2007

pistols at dawn

I don't think that's the best way to propose. Seems a bit too brash and American.
posted by PEAK OIL at 8:22 PM on March 8, 2007

I asked my wife to marry me on top of the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs-Élysées a little over two years ago, with the flickering lights of the Eiffel Tower for a backdrop. I don't think we could have asked for a better view.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:31 PM on March 8, 2007

The ten top spots might be nice and traditionally romantic, but you've got to think outside the box here. I'd suggest a nice, quiet, dark, well established place in the Latin Quarter after (or before) a good dinner. It may not have fountains or gigantic stone or iron facades, but it's a place that can be yours in a way the Eiffel tower can't be just yours.

With luck and (why I italicized "well established") research, you can come back to the place in ten years, or in more years bring the kids. Hell, maybe the owner will take a liking to you and will remind your kids of the lovebirds your parents once were that came all the way to Paris, to his little bistro, to put a touch of permanence on a great love affair.
posted by ontic at 9:03 PM on March 8, 2007

Find a romantic painting at the Louvre. Drop to one knee in front of the painting.
posted by frogan at 9:11 PM on March 8, 2007

When I got engaged in Paris, my now-husband took me to the pond in Luxembourg Garden where, as a little boy living for a couple of years in a Paris suburb, he used to sail his toy boat. And there he proposed.

I was very happy to be able to point it out to our children in their copy of Madeline not long ago.
posted by padraigin at 9:11 PM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

The night time skyline of Paris is just absolutely gorgeous from Sacre Couer. On the plus side Montmartre is a neat area to explore before or after the question is poped.

Good Luck BTW!
posted by mmascolino at 10:05 PM on March 8, 2007

Me, I'd be delighted if it was at the carousel in Montmartre.
posted by xo at 10:05 PM on March 8, 2007

You know, I think pretty much any place in Paris will be just fine.

I'd go for something quiet. If you don't mind the slightly macabre, the grave of Abelard and Heloise in Pere Lachaise is terribly romantic. Otherwise I'd pick pretty much any beautiful spot in Paris without a zillion people in it. The western tip of Ile St. Louis, somewhere in Parc Monceau, anywhere in the Tuileries, on any of the bridges over the Seine.
posted by Nelson at 10:14 PM on March 8, 2007

I would say "in the Paris catacombs". But I'm weird that way; I dig ossuaries. I took the tour on Halloween day and it was the highlight of my Paris trip.
posted by browse at 10:16 PM on March 8, 2007

In the parisien flea market. I know, it's paris and all, and everyone expects the big eiffel tower proposal and all, but go anti-establishment and do it this way:

Go to the flea market and talk to one of the sellers. Give him your ring, and hire a gypsy violinists. Take her there and go to the stall. Look at the cheap rings there, and then ask the seller if he has anything else. He will motion to some gypsies standing around, and they will suddenly start playing violins. While you girlfriend is amazed at what is happening, the seller will bring out a lovely ring in a beautiful box, and hand it to you. You say: Perfect, and kneel. Say, will you marry me just as the gypsies reach the cresendo. The crowd will cheer and your girl will cry with joy.

Just a thought.
posted by markesh at 12:57 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think the mur des je t'aime is pretty cool, it's a wall with I love you written in many languages. It's not too crowded usually, just some couples standing there kissing, very special athmosphere.
posted by dhoe at 3:08 AM on March 9, 2007

If you're in Montmartre, after proposing, you could go to a shellfish bar to eat Colchester oysters. They're the best and should still be in season next month.
posted by brighton at 4:24 AM on March 9, 2007

Ooo ooo. If you're not against doing it in a church, I would suggest San Chappelle. It's lovely and gorgeous.

There are also linear parks in Paris, which are nice places to walk through and might be a good choice if you're looking for something less full of humanity.
posted by that girl at 5:33 AM on March 9, 2007

I second Sacre Coeur. It's where the film Amelie ends and your marriage begins.
I lived in Paris 4 years and the view of the city and the spiralling walk to Place du Terte (sp?) is unique to the entire city.
Good luck and congratulations.
posted by squidfartz at 5:58 AM on March 9, 2007

I immediately thought Sacre Coeur.
posted by KAS at 6:54 AM on March 9, 2007

On one of the bridges across the Seine next to Notre Dame. There's a lot of pedestrian and car traffic, but frankly that's part and parcel for Paris.
posted by tkolar at 8:57 AM on March 9, 2007

I do it just before getting into the car for the airport, and say "I thought about asking you in Paris, then I realized I don't need the City of Lights to want to marry you."
posted by eriko at 9:35 AM on March 9, 2007

If it's a quiet bridge you want, the Pont Louis Philippe is closed to cars and generally fairly quiet. Just west of their on the Quai de Bourbon is the quiet spot on the Ile St. Louis I was talking about. There's a little park down by the river that's pretty much entirely quiet couples in love. It's a beautiful spot when the weather is good.
posted by Nelson at 10:33 AM on March 9, 2007

My 1st thought was a boat on the Seine. But St. Chappelle is so incredibly beautiful, and Montmartre has such views and great cafes, or the Arc de Triomphe is also good.

What movies or books does she love? That would help you personalize this very romantic event.
posted by theora55 at 11:20 AM on March 9, 2007

In front of "The Kiss" at the Musée Rodin.

[And brujita is right! The best hot chocolate is at Café Angelique]
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on March 9, 2007

A couple people beat me to the "on a bridge over the Seine" idea. But I was going to mention the Pont des Arts, which is a pedestrian-only bridge, which has a lovely view in either direction.

Or, go to Berthillon on the Ilse St. Louis and get a cone of the world's best ice cream, then go for a walk to the end of the isle where you'll come upon a fabulous view of Notre Dame on the neighboring Ile de la Cite.
posted by dnash at 2:05 PM on March 9, 2007

Okay, I'm going to concede the hot chocolate issue. Google is pretty clear on this. But don't miss the Deux Magots.

/walks off in a huff
posted by Dasein at 2:13 PM on March 9, 2007

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