Wimbledon is one of the most romantic sporting destinations in the world. The Championships are a quintessentially British experience, conjuring evocative images of strawberries and cream, Pimms and Champagne on the lawn, and relentless, driving rain.
Changeable weather aside, is Wimbledon a good place to pop the question? This article considers your options for creating an unforgettable day…
Big and bold
The most famous Wimbledon proposal has to be when seven-time Wimbledon winner Steffi Graff was proposed to, mid-match, by a particularly enthusiastic fan.
As the German prepared to serve, a spectator shouted: “Steffi, will you marry me?” causing widespread laughter around Centre Court.
Graff made a show of readying her serve, waiting for the crowd to settle, and replied, “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, with the moment broadcast on the Jumbotron. Many real-world venues will arrange a similar experience (for a fee), but Wimbledon does not.
If you are planning to propose from your seat, a proposal during play may not be strictly against the rules, but is probably a breach of etiquette. There are plenty of other locations within Wimbledon’s extensive grounds that will offer (somewhat) more privacy, and a little more room to get down on one knee.
You also won’t be able to leave the court until a change of ends or between matches, and must not make any noise during rallies. These restrictions could mean the romance of the moment is cut short.
A low-key proposal
Wimbledon was certainly a memorable place to propose for a happy couple of tennis fans, 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 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 Pimms, 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 quiet, picturesque spots.
If you would like a little privacy, consider being flexible and ready to seize the moment if you find a quiet bench.
There is an 11pm curfew at Wimbledon. Although big Centre Court matches have run long in the past, the crowd tends to thin out as the evening wears on. If you can bear to wait all day, an evening proposal should mean you can find a little more privacy.
Where can you propose in the Wimbledon grounds?
Around the grounds
The Wimbledon grounds are well-kept, with vibrant flora and wonderful views of London. However, the grounds are also very busy during the tournament.
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider taking a walk around the smaller courts or through the orchard during a big match.
Henman Hill (now Murray Mound?)
The Hill is an iconic location with amazing views, but can get particularly crowded. All eyes will be on the huge screen broadcasting play from the main courts, but don’t expect to get down on one knee without drawing attention.
This could be an option if you don’t mind risking that your proposal is live-streamed by 20 smartphone-wielding influencers.
Debenture holders’ restaurants and lounges
If you have bought Debenture tickets, you could also propose in one of the exclusive debenture holder lounges. Debenture tickets also provide access to the world-class debenture restaurants, including the Champions’ Room and Courtside Restaurant.
A proposal over an elegant lunch at Wimbledon may offer the best mix of a traditional proposal in a unique setting, but be aware that you must make a reservation for some of the Debenture restaurants. Reservations open in May, and are quickly filled.
The Champions’ Room is so popular that reservations are now assigned by ballot.
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 during the day you plan to pop the question.
Expect an audience, never trust the British weather, and prepare a back-up plan. Good luck lovebirds!