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Can I propose in a hot air balloon?

20/08/2021 Mark Features

While UK law currently prohibits marriage ceremonies on a hot air balloon flight, there are no legal issues with proposing while you’re up in the air. One of the most important questions you’ll ever ask in your life demands an epic setting, so what could be more outstanding than asking someone to marry you high above the world in a hot air balloon?

Drifting on the breeze, passenger baskets hang beneath the balloon envelope, experiencing no chilly winds or unwanted turbulence. This makes them a comfortable environment for asking the big question. Add to this the astonishing scenery all round you, and the exhilaration of being up in the air, and you have the recipe for a wedding proposal you and your intended will never forget.

Imagine in the years you’ll share together telling your story to friends and new family members, like children and grandchildren. You can even record the moment with video camera equipment, which is welcome on many hot air balloon flights.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the ins and outs of proposing in a hot air balloon to ensure you’re prepared. You’ll find the answers to some commonly asked questions, a checklist to get you ready, some handy tips and some guidance to help you avoid common mistakes.

Your hot air balloon proposal checklist

Before you even begin making any plans, make certain that your true love has no fear of heights. If no such issues exist, you’ll be ready to get started.

First, you need to book a date for your hot air balloon ride, but the truth is, to avoid disappointment, you’d be better off selecting a few different dates. The reason for this is that hot air balloons need specific weather and temperatures to fly safely in. If the conditions are deemed unsuitable by your chosen hot air balloon operator on the date you’ve picked, your trip might be cancelled.

If you’re set on a specific date for your proposal for sentimental reasons, have a backup plan in place, like dinner at a restaurant on the same day, and make the rain-checked balloon flight part of the celebrations when the weather is willing.

When you book your hot air balloon ride, let the balloon company know of your intention to propose so they can inform the ground crew and pilot.

On the day of your flight, make sure you have your engagement ring in a secure place on your person so you can easily access it and present it smoothly.

Remember to be practical. While they might not be the most romantic options, wellington boots or comfy trainers should be worn on your flight, as balloons tend to touch down in fields and a walk is sometimes required to reach your ground crew.

When you arrive at your launch site, approach the hot air balloon pilot privately and inform them of your plans to propose so they can help. Familiar with scenes from the skies, hot air balloon pilots will know the best points in any journey that offer the most romantic views. By talking discreetly beforehand, you can arrange a signal between you, so you’ll have the most wondrous backdrop when you ask the one you love to marry you.

An additional option chosen by some who propose in hot air balloons is to add a banner to the passenger basket celebrating the event. This is an option that either the balloon ground crew or pilot can help you get in place.

Once you’re back on the ground, the balloon pilot can also produce a bottle of champagne, and you and your intended can toast your love and the wedding to come.

What kind of flight would you like?

It’s worth considering what type of proposal you’d like to make, and what your partner might prefer – whether that’s an intimate affair with just the two of you and your balloon pilot, or a proposal where family and friends are present. Both types of proposal are perfectly possible in a hot air balloon, as they can carry multiple passengers or be booked for just two people when privacy is desired.

If you do decide to have the family present, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll share your proposal plans with them or make it a surprise for them too.

While personal preference is of paramount importance, a benefit of having family and friends with you is that someone can record your proposal. However, if you choose a more intimate occasion, you’ll find many balloon operators will be able to produce a high-quality picture of the two of you as keepsake.

Proposal traditions to remember on your hot air balloon ride

Just like weddings, proposals have their own set of time-honoured traditions you’ll need to observe. While it’s not entirely known where it started, kneeling is a prominent feature in many ceremonies involving religion, royalty and the receiving of knighthood. When it comes to proposing on one knee in the balloon, traditionally, the left knee should be on the floor of the passenger basket when you pop the question.

When you place the ring on your partner’s finger, you must slip it on the fourth finger of their left hand. The reason for this dates back to the Romantics, who referred to the vein of the fourth finger as the “vena amoris” (vein of love) and believed it ran directly to the human heart.

Proposing in the air

By considering these useful tips, you should be well prepared for all that may come to pass, allowing you to make the most of this monumental occasion. Whatever you decide is best suited to your hot air balloon proposal plans, when you slide the ring from your pocket and ask your love to marry you up in the air, with rolling countryside or stately cities far below, it will be a moment that the two of you will share for the rest of your long and happy life.

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