So you're looking for some engagement ideas? I'm a guy (no, not Lavara, the husband Jeremy) and have heard my fair share of great and dastardly engagement ideas over the years. Here's three random engagement tips for you from stories I've gleaned...
Don't rely on someone else to plan the romance.
My brother learnt this the hard way. Called up the restaurant at the top of a romantic gondola ride. "Can you leave a bottle of bubbly out on the secluded balcony near your restaurant, I want to propose?" He calls to confirm and is assured it's all OK.
On their arrival there was a beautiful view but the bottle was only visible on a table in the half closed restaurant nearby. With his girlfriend wondering what's going on he walks into the restaurant and begins to grab the bottle, as she follows. The waitress interrupts and says "I'm sorry, this bottle is reserved for a couple getting engaged tonight. <pause> Oh that's not you is it...<awkward silence>" Way to kill the surprise.
If you're going with fire keep it hidden.
Or your quiet evening on a secluded beach might get interrupted by a couple of overly zealous fire fighters. It makes for a great story afterward as my cousin found, but wow the awkwardness as you try to maintain romance with red lights and a bunch of burly guys hanging around waiting for you to finish.
Is your lady friend thinks she's got you all figured out and is expecting a ring any minute? Bring back the balance of power and keep her guessing. Take her on a romantic date or three during the lead-up and the real event is bound to be a surprise again. Be sure to include a box and bended knee somehow on each date. As a mate of mine found though, you'll have the female friends sticking their nose up at you and all will be expecting something huge when it really happens.
That's it from me for now. If you've heard any stories that could act as lessons in the 'do's and don'ts of proposals' - feel free to share them by adding a comment below. I'm sure I don't have an exclusive on this stuff.