The Better Safe Than Sorry Proposal The Better Safe Than Sorry Proposal

The Better Safe Than Sorry Proposal

If you’ve ever wanted a secret passage or panic room for your home but couldn’t justify the expense (or because you’re a renter or maybe the condo-board hates you) the next best bet for home-secrecy is a wall safe. Floor safes are cool too, but you can’t hang a framed work of art in front of those, just a rug (and maybe you’re not a rug guy). You’ve got valuable documents (5th-grade reports cards) and priceless heirlooms (that one rare Magic: The Gathering card) that need safe keeping. But what you really need this safe for is to pull off a proposal.  

By John Mihaly, Illustrations By Adam Stafford


Degree of Difficulty

3 on a scale of 1 (Easy) to 10 (Expert) 7 if you do it yourself.  

What You’ll Need

  1. An engagement ring
  2. A wall (or floor)
  3. A safe
  4. Ideally a professional for installation


Your home (seriously, this is the only place this will work)

The Plan

As you’ve begun your engagement ring research and shopping, start to drop some hints about how you think it would be awesome to have a home safe. Don’t press it, just put it out there. If the lady doth protest, then just shrug it off as, “I always that would be pretty cool!” She’ll probably forget about.

Install safe in wall

OK, the next step could go in two directions with varying degrees of success. If you’re super handy (and you should really know that by now) you might want to try installing a home safe with your own two hands. We’d suggest having a professional handle this and even though that’s going to cost you some cash, it will assure you that the job is done right and quickly—especially if you guys live together.

Pick a wall with a framed picture or painting that won’t suddenly feel out of place. Better yet, pick a wall that doesn’t have one and hang an amazing new framed piece of art that has some connection to you and your fiance-to-be. Maybe it’s a Cézanne or maybe it’s a Banksy, whatever you feel is a style you both will enjoy (a Scarface poster is never this style).

Place engagement ring in safe

Once your safe is installed place the engagement ring inside (and for fuck’s sake, don’t forget the combination or password). For real, practice opening and closing it as often as possible. Bonus points if you can set the password for the day you’re going to propose.

Now, whenever you’re ready to pop the question, make sure that the house is squeaky clean. Having a nice dinner and some drinks at the ready also goes a long way. At some point in the conversation drop an, “Oh guess what? Remember how I said I always wanted a wall safe? Well, I got one.” She’s going to be really confused. You’re going to get “that” look. Yes, that one. Ask her if she can guess where it is.

Chat her up about the safe

As she’s questioning your decisions about why in the world you installed a safe, start to talk about what the safe means. It means you care about protection, about safety, and the things you value in your life—past, present, and future. When she’s finally found the safe, take down the painting, and have her put in the combination/password (again, awesome if it’s the actual day this happening).

Tell her that whatever goes in the safe, as valuable as it might be, will never come close to how much you value her, your relationship, and what you’re building together. Now reach into that wall and pull out the engagement ring, drop to one knee, and ask her those four words she’s been waiting to hear. Then start deciding what you’ll both keep in the safe.

Pop the question

What To Watch Out For

  1. Property damage.
  2. Load bearing walls.
  3. Forgetting the combination.


You’ve got a totally sweet wall safe for hiding all sorts of awesome and not awesome stuff.

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