You know when she would be least expecting it? At the airport, just before you board! I’m sure you could phone ahead and get one of the airline staff to be ready to take photos. You never know, they might even upgrade your flights! I know not everyone is like me but I dress up to fly so if it was me I’d be looking pretty, not expect it at all and then the trip to Paris would be even more amazing. BUT if she is a quiet, shy person I would not do this as for some people it is really important that the proposal is private and intimate, not in a huge crowd.
I will say this though, if your girlfriend is intelligent and you’ve at least talked about marriage to some extent, of COURSE she will be at least thinking about a possible proposal in Paris. But you know what? As someone not yet engaged (but close), the thought of a proposal crosses my mind all. the. time. He suggests we go out for dinner? (Proposal?!). He suggests we go for a drive (Proposal?!). He suggests almost anything (Proposal?!). I’m not saying that it’s the ONLY thing I can think about or in any way saying that it ruins outings, I’m just saying that it’s always in the back of my/her mind because I’m just as excited about it as he/you are! So the surprise element of it isn’t really THAT important, certainly try, but the romance is more important than the surprise.
In fact, I’ve read some engagement stories lately where the guy had convinced her so well that the ring wasn’t ready that as he started to propose later that day she wasn’t even really paying attention because she was so sure it wouldn’t happen that day. It wasn’t until he got down on one knee that she realised! You want her to at least be paying attention and not miss half of your proposal. I can guarantee you this, as long as you put THOUGHT into your proposal, she will love it, I promise. Just think about her and you and your relationship and what you both like. I’m not a beach person so if my boyfriend proposed on a beach I would find it very odd, but if you are beach people then it would be lovely!
Here are some ideas to think about though:
Does she like having painted nails? Perhaps suggest she go and get them done/have a friend take her the day of or day before you propose so that they look really nice in the photos she’ll no doubt take of her ring.
Is she a photo/video person? Do photos mean a lot to her? Be sure to somehow capture the event.
Does she like love letters? Be sure to write one for her of all your thoughts and feelings on the day of proposing, I’m sure that she would love and cherish it forever. In fact you should write down how you felt during the ring design process and how it feels to have it in your hands now. All the things you would normally tell her about in person if this weren’t met to be a surprise. I’m sure she’d love to know all about the process.
Is she very family orientated? Could you organise a family meet up soon after proposing to go and announce and news and celebrate? Or possibly even involve her family in the actual proposal?
Is she very excited to start wedding planning? Perhaps buy her her first few wedding magazines and give them to her after you propose. It would be a lovely touch to really add to her excitement.
Does she love stuffed toys? Perhaps buy her one that she will forever cherish as her proposal bear/elephant/zebra etc
Hopefully this gets the ideas flowing.
Good luck and please do let us know how it goes.