Are you single? In a relationship? It’s too complicated? Whatever the status of your love life may be, we’re sure you have, at one point or another, dreamt about how the proposal would go down. While reality may be far from your dreams right now, it’s always fun to escape it by deep diving into the world of movies, where a marriage proposal (almost always) comprises of the ultimate romantic fantasy—they always make the grand gesture even grander. Scroll ahead for our picks of the most iconic Bollywood and Hollywood on-screen proposals.
Kabir and Naina, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Ayan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani made every millennial want to pack a bag and explore the globe. The movie was high romance as Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor) and Naina (Deepika Padukone) were showcased as opposites with differing outlooks to life. However, things change for good when they meet at their best friend’s wedding after not being in touch for years. Bunny realises he wants to spend his entire life with Naina, and shows up at her doorstep on New Year’s Eve with balloons and a cake, before proposing to her with a fake ring.
Rizwan and Mandira, My Name Is Khan
My Name Is Khan was an unconventional romance between a single mother, Mandira, (Kajol) and Rizwan (Shah Rukh Khan), who has Asperger’s syndrome. This iconic movie had an even more memorable proposal, with Mandira proposing to Rizwan in an impulsive yet emotional moment at sunrise in San Francisco.
Mr Big and Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and John James Preston (Chris Noth), infamously known as Mr Big, had their share of ups and down in the original HBO series, Sex And The City, before they finally tied the knot in the franchise’s eponymous 2008 movie. But in true Mr Big and Carrie fashion, their extravagant wedding plans didn’t go exactly as planned when the groom got cold feet, leaving the love of his life at the altar. Fortunately, the lovebirds reconciled, leading the way for a big proposal moment. In a Cinderella-inspired moment, Mr Big got down on one knee and proposed to Carrie by slipping a blue bejewelled Manolo Blahnik shoe onto her foot—the perfect proposal for every fan of the series.
Yuvraj Vikram Singh Rathore and Milli, Khoobsurat
Khoobsurat, a love story between present-day royalty Yuvraj Vikram Singh Rathore (Fawad Khan) and his father’s physiotherapist, Milli (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), featured a hilarious proposal in the midst of a paintball battle. As if Yuvraj Vikram Singh Rathore wasn’t already making our hearts beat fast enough, he goes on to propose to Milli after being painted like a rainbow by her paintball gun.
Krish and Ananya, 2 States
There were two proposals in the movie. But we’re not talking about the scene where Krish (Arjun Kapoor) proposes to Ananya (Alia Bhatt) and her family—though it was quite thoughtful. If you ask us, the first proposal, where Krish barges into Ananya job’s interview and proposes to her cause he realises that she’s the one that he wants, is a relatable moment that’s memorable in its own way.
Andrew and Margaret, The Proposal
The Proposal is the story of Margaret (Sandra Bullock), an executive who, on facing deportation, decides to marry her long-time assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) in order to stay in the country. Based on the title, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the marriage proposal plays a key role in this romantic comedy. The 2009 feature ends with a panting Andrew proposing to Margaret so that he can date her while living in the same country, naturally.
Jay and Aditi, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
The climax of the movie had all the ingredients of a Bollywood classic—a horse, an airport proposal and perfect background music. Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na is the story of two best friends, Aditi (Genelia D’Souza) and Jay (Imran Khan) who are in love with each other but don’t know it yet, despite everyone else being aware of it. In true Bollywood fashion, the movie’s climax has a comic undertone to it, making it even more memorable.
Akash and Shalini, Dil Chahta Hai
Akash (Aamir Khan) has a very rigid point of view when it comes to love, but it changes when he meets Shalini (Preity Zinta) and falls in love. The long monologue at the end of the film is not only moving, it also completes Akash’s character arc, from scoffing at love and grand gestures to crashing Shalini’s engagement party to propose to her.
Harry and Sally, When Harry Met Sally
From enemies to friends, to being a couple and then exes—it took them 12 years. Harry (Billy Crystal) finally realises on New Year’s Eve that he wants to be with Sally (Meg Ryan) forever. So what does he do? He runs through the street to tell her, “When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!”
Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride And Prejudice
When one thinks of romance, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is often the first thing to come to mind. After a few complicated twists and turns (and an initial rejected proposal), Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) finally set aside their pride to get engaged on one glorious and misty morning. “You have bewitched me, body and soul,” Mr Darcy says, “and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
Kiara and Akash, Anjaana Anjaani
Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) and Akash (Ranbir Kapoor) are two people who have given up on life, before they meet on a bridge in New York right before they are about to jump off. Things take a turn and the two end up making a pact to check off everything on their bucket lists, and come back to the bridge the next New Year’s Eve. They do come back, but for something completely different—Akash proposes to Kiara in the middle of freezing water, declaring that he wants to give life a chance, with her.
Will and Anna, Notting Hill
A famous movie star falls in love with a travel book store owner. Problems ensue, as they must in a situation like theirs, but of course, there was a happily every after. The most romantic moment? Anna (Julia Roberts) admitting her love to Will (Hugh Grant), not as a movie star but “just as a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”.
Ajay and Sonia, Rang De Basanti
Ajay’s (R Madhavan) surprise proposal to Sonia (Soha Ali Khan) in Rang De Basanti was simple, relatable and romantic. On a fort surrounded by their closest friends laughing and cheering for him, he asks Sonia to marry him and be with him forever.
Andrew and Melanie, Sweet Home Alabama
While Nick Jonas did shut down Tiffany’s to buy a ring for Priyanka Chopra in real life, it was Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) in Sweet Home Alabama who probably gave him the idea. To propose to his girlfriend, Melanie (Reese Witherspoon), Andrew shutteren an entire Tiffany store so his bride-to-be could pick out her wedding ring. Though the couple didn’t end up together in the feature, it was one for the books.