by Trevor Dickerson
You’ve found the love of your life, the person who completes you. The one with whom you’re ready to commit forever.
Coming to the conclusion that you're going to propose may feel like the end of a long road of decisions. But as someone who recently got married, I can tell you that the planning is only beginning.
So let's help you through the first part: Where should you pop the question?
It’s something you’ll both remember forever, and probably a moment you’ll want a photographer or friends to help you capture on camera. Luckily, Richmond affords plenty of picturesque backdrops. Here are five of my favorite proposal spots:
The T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, which opened in December 2016, is named for the late city planner and preservationist of the same name. It provides a beautiful backdrop to start your engagement. The bridge’s simple, understated chain link fencing and metal decking don’t detract from the beauty of the James River or city skyline. The bridge also includes several alcoves that jut out to the left and right, providing a place to stand as you pop the question, safely out of the way of other pedestrians and bikers.
The beauty and variety of scenery of Maymont is unsurpassed, found throughout the sprawling grounds of Richmond’s Gilded Age-era estate. If you’re looking for a unique place to propose, take your partner on a hike through the Italian or Japanese gardens, go for a carriage ride throughout the property, or enjoy a picnic in the arboretum. Then, when she or he is least expecting it, you can top off a fun day spent outdoors with that ring burning a hole in your pocket.
The Church Hill overlook, pictured above, is located on East Grace Street at its intersection with North 22nd. It offers stunning westward views of the city’s skyline and historic Shockoe Bottom below. The terminus of Grace offers a couple of benches where you can enjoy spectacular sunset views -- especially in the summer and early fall -- and might provide the perfect moment to ask your partner for their hand in marriage.
VMFA is an outstanding place to see some of the best traveling art exhibits or grab a fancy cocktail or bite to eat. But it's also one of the most serene, laid-back spots in Richmond. The modern, understated walls of the museum are surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds with art installations, water features, and multiple terraces perfect for an evening stroll on a warm night, and perhaps a great spot to propose to your sweetie.
You can take your proposal idea to new heights at Richmond City Hall’s observation deck, perched 315 feet over Downtown Richmond. The observation deck offers 360-degree views of the State Capitol, James River and the city’s entire commercial district from its 18th-floor space. Best of all, it’s totally free to visit this little-known, typically quiet, gem.
Photo by Trevor Dickerson of the Church Hill Overlook.
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