Is the Wimbledon tournament a good place to propose?
By Ed C
Updated 15th November 2021
Wimbledon is one of the most romantic sporting destinations in the world. The Championships are a quintessentially British experience, evoking images of strawberries and cream, Pimm's and Champagne on the lawn, and relentless, driving rain.
Changeable weather aside, are the Wimbledon Championships a fitting place to pop the question?
Famous marriage proposals
The most famous Wimbledon proposal has to be when seven-time Wimbledon winner Steffi Graff was proposed to, mid-match, by a particularly smitten fan.
As the German prepared to serve, a member of the crowd shouted, "Steffi, will you marry me?", causing widespread laughter around Centre Court.
Graff then made a show of readying her serve, waiting for the crowd to settle, and then replying, "How much money do you have?"
Should I propose during a Wimbledon match?
A sports stadium makes for a dramatic proposal setting in the movies - the moment often being broadcast on the Jumbotron. Many real-world venues will arrange a similar experience (for a fee). Wimbledon does not offer this service.
Proposing from your seat during play is not strictly against the Wimbledon spectator rules, but it would be impractical and probably a breach of etiquette.
Seating are tightly packed in the various Wimbledon courts, so getting down on one knee will be awkward. The Wimbledon rules prohibit any noise during play and won’t be able to leave the court until a change of ends or between matches. When there is a change of ends, spectators make a beeline for the toilets, so you might get trampled on as you kneel down to propose.
If you do decide to pop the question between points, the need to keep quiet during play could cut the romance of the moment is short.
Where can you propose in the Wimbledon Grounds?
There are plenty of other locations within Wimbledon’s extensive Grounds that will offer (relatively) more privacy and space, in which to get down on one knee:
Around the Grounds
The Wimbledon Grounds meticulously-kept, with vibrant flora and wonderful views of London. However, the Grounds are also very busy during The Championships.
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider taking a walk around the outdoor courts or through the orchard, during a big match.
Henman Hill (Murray Mound, Radukanu Rise etc.)
The Hill is an iconic location with amazing views, but can get very crowded. All eyes will be on the huge screen broadcasting play from the Show Courts. However, don’t expect to get down on one knee without drawing attention.
If you don't mind the attentions, a spontaneous round of applause from fellow fans could even complete the moment. Don't be surprised if your proposal is live-streamed by nearby smartphone-wielding influencers.
Debenture bars, restaurants and lounges
If you have Wimbledon Debenture Tickets, you could propose in one of the exclusive Debenture Ticket holder bars, restaurants and lounges, including the famous Champions’ Room and Courtside Restaurant.
A proposal over an sumptuous lunch at Wimbledon, might be the most practical setting for a traditional proposal, without sacrificing any of the romance of the venue. You will, however, need to make a reservation for some of the Debenture restaurants. Reservations open in May and are booked up quickly.
The Champions' Room is so popular that reservations are now assigned by ballot.
A low-key proposal
Wimbledon was certainly a memorable place to propose for happy couple, Clare and Matt.
"We’d been a couple of years before so I’d said ‘let’s go to Wimbledon again’ and just thought we’d have a lovely day," said Clare.
They joined the Wimbledon Queue as everyone was donning ponchos, preparing for imminent rain.
Fearing a downpour, Matt considered his options, "At what point do I decide not to do this? Where do I do this where it’s nice and dry. Where’s the most romantic place to try and do it in the dry?"
"My original plan was to take her down to the training courts, find a nice bench and have some lunch and do it there. Back then it was nice and quiet, and you could sit there for hours and just watch the tennis. So that was my plan, but it kind of rained all day."
Clare added: "I had absolutely no idea whatsoever. I was just enjoying my Pimm's, getting my strawberries and doing what we normally do, having a nice time. I had my poncho on, and had no idea what he had up his sleeve."
"And I didn’t know he was nervous at all, I couldn’t tell. So he hid it well anyway."
When is the best time to propose at Wimbledon?
Although Wimbledon can get very busy during the day, and until play ends, the Grounds do have many secluded and picturesque spots.
If you would like a little privacy, consider being flexible and ready to seize the opportunity if you find a quiet bench.
There is an 11pm curfew at Wimbledon. Although marathon Centre Court matches have been known to run up to the curfew, the crowd tends to thin out as the evening wears on. If you can bear to wait all day, an evening proposal should let you find a little more privacy.
Preparation and flexibility are key
Wimbledon is an ideal setting for a unique, memorable proposal, but make sure you have thought about where and when to pop the question.
Expect an audience, never trust the British weather, and prepare a back-up plan.
Secure your place at the 2024 Championships now
We currently have Wimbledon Debenture Tickets available to buy for Centre Court and No.1 Court, for every day of the 2024 Championships.
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