- How to Propose 101: 14 Things to Do for the Perfect Marriage Proposal
- How to Have the Perfect Marriage Proposal
- 20 Ways To Nail Your Engagement Proposal – How Do You Propose
- 1. Go in with the singleminded sureness of a pro athlete
- 2. Get specific about why you love her
- 3. Be strategic about romance
- 4. Make it a full-blown event, not just a question.
- 5. Keep the humor to a minimum.
- 6. Be unplugged.
- 7. Get a crowd on your side.
- 8. Make sure your proposal is the only special occasion present
- 9. Foreshadow your eternal happiness
- 10. Don't copy your buddies.
- 11. Press record.
- 12. Don't give her friends “jobs.”
- 13. Highlight how she made your life better.
- 14. Always plan ahead.
- 15. Incorporate details specific to your relationship
- 16. Don't propose in a super public way.
- 17. Make sure she looks and feels amazing.
- 18. Make sure she's distracted.
- 19. Involve family with caution.
- 20. Be Flexible.
- The Man’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage Proposal
- The First Meeting Place Proposal
- The Parisian Proposal
- The Natural Proposal
- The Valentine’s Day Proposal
- The Spell-It-Out Proposal
- The Weekend Getaway Proposal
- The High Seas Proposal
- The Elemental Proposal
- The Spontaneous Proposal
- The Overnight Proposal
- 18 Romantic and Unique Wedding Proposal Ideas for Every Couple
- CREDIT TO VENDORS:
- How To Propose To Her
- 1. What You Need to Do Before Proposing
- Picking the Ring
- How to Ask Her Parents
- How to Know If You’re at the Right Point in Your Relationship
- 2. When, Where and How to Propose
- 3. How to Actually Do the Proposal
- 4. How Not to Propose
How to Propose 101: 14 Things to Do for the Perfect Marriage Proposal
Photo by Chuy Photography
Whether you’re high school sweethearts, met through a mutual friend, or both swiped right, somehow you found love—and it’s time to make it stick. But as we're sure you already know, figuring out how to propose is a major undertaking (hello, ring shopping and memorizing that speech).
To make your long-awaited moment run as smoothly as possible, we tapped the expertise of Alexandra Uritis, event design and proposal planner. The Yes Girls. Ahead, Uritis weighs in on 10 things you can’t forget to do before you get down on one knee, as well as four tidbits to keep in mind once you're actually putting your romantic plan into action.
Plus, for any women planning to pop the question to their partners (power to ya), we broke down the table-turning protocol.
Meet the Expert
Alexandra Uritis is an event design and proposal planner for the OG professional proposal planning company, The Yes Girls.
This might seem obvious, but before you start plotting, it’s important to make sure you both have marriage on the brain. Talk to your partner about the future. Let them know that one day you’d to be married, and ask if they see marriage in their future, too.
Nervous about making this conversation feel too much a proposal? Keep it broad by discussing your best friend’s recent engagement, and lead into it that way. Is it a hard conversation? Yes.
But hopefully, you’ll come away from it with an idea of what your partner will say when you open that ring box.
Old school? Yes. Important? Also yes (depending on the family). If your partner has hinted in any way that you need to ask his or her parents for their hand in marriage, do it.
That doesn’t mean your partner is anyone’s property, though. Try something this: “I am deeply in love with your son/daughter, and we want to spend our lives together.
I am planning to propose, and want you to be involved in this exciting moment.”
The engagement ring is a piece of jewelry your partner will be wearing every day for the rest of their life, so get a sense of what they’ll really love. Snap photos of the jewelry they wear every day, take a peek at their secret Pinterest board, or ask a close friend or family member to help you narrow it down.
As for jewelers, get some recommendations (or see if there’s a friend or family member in the biz who you should talk to) to make sure you’re purchasing from a trusted store with great reviews and service. Last but certainly not least, investigate their ring size. If it’s not a secret, just ask.
If you’re going the surprise route, check your partner’s jewelry. Find a ring that he or she wears regularly (and make a note of which finger it goes on), then either bring it with you to a jeweler or mark how far it fits on your own finger.
Many jewelers can also make a good guess at a ring size your partner’s height and weight. And there’s always resizing.
Now that you have a ring, it’s time to plan the proposal. Think about the type of proposal your partner will love, whether it’s a grand gesture, an intimate moment, or a surprise surrounded by family and friends.
No matter your budget, Uritis says to first hone in on a beautiful, sentimental spot, which you can easily glamorize to set the mood.
“Find a cool space that means something to them—it can just be your cozy living room, but you deck it out with tons of candles and it completely changes the feel of the space, and you can make it special to them,” she advises. Earn major points with personalization, too, and steer clear of one-size-fits-all ideas.
You know your love best, but sometimes it's worth it to outsource for a bit of extra proposal help. Companies The Yes Girls take care of everything from logistics to sourcing vendors—just know that such a luxury will cost you.
With thousands of proposals under their belts, these planners know a thing or two about making your bent-knee milestone all the more memorable, and most importantly, worry-free. “You can stay calm and collected and enjoy this time because it’s a huge moment for you, too,” Uritis says.
“We can do all the backend things so you can take all the credit and look fabulous.”
You don’t need to have your speech totally written out, but spend a little time jotting down what you’d to say. Getting your thoughts on paper will give you some direction when it’s time to pop the question, even if you end up winging half of it anyway.
As for what to say when you actually propose, Uritis's clients typically hit on their partner's best qualities, or even recap the moment they knew their S.O. was the one.
“It’s just really being genuine and making [them] feel so loved and excited in that moment,” she adds. “And it can be short—it can be a couple of sentences.
But talking about what they love about them and how excited they are for their future together would be the two best things to bring up.” Of course, don't forget to tack on the “Will you marry me?” bit.
You don’t need to plan a full-on engagement party, but make sure you’ve got an idea of how the two of you will celebrate the big moment. Book a table at your favorite restaurant, tuck some champagne in the fridge, or have a few friends waiting in the wings.
Really read into your partner's personality to determine whether a private one-on-one celebration or a full-fledged family affair would make them feel the most comfortable.
Life happens, so be prepared to go with the flow. Don’t rush the proposal just because the sun is about to set or dinner is nearly over—wait until the moment really feels right. And if you’ve planned something a little more low-key, that very well might mean waiting a few days if your sweetheart is stressed from work or the weather isn’t cooperating.
To avoid blowing the surprise, come up with a foolproof ruse that leads your S.O. off track a bit. They may know something's up, especially if you're taking a trip or have out-of-the-ordinary plans, but a fake game plan “keeps the proposer calm if he or she feels they're really insecure in this 'lie,'” Uritis says.
From the second you have the ring in your hands, keep it safe. Invest in insurance right away, then find a safe place to hide the ring until it’s time. When you’re ready to propose, safety is still key. Make sure the ring is secure in a zipped pocket or safely in the box—somewhere you’ll be able to reach easily without dropping it.
Nothing ruins the spontaneity faster than your partner seeing the bulge of a ring box from your pocket. To save the day, The Yes Girls actually invented the ultimate proposal hack: the Box Sock. This wearable accessory comes with a small pocket and tiny ring box, ready for immediate retrieval as soon as you stoop down to one knee.
Whether you hire a professional or trust your future sister-in-law and her iPhone, your soon-to-be fiancé(e) will love you all the more for finding someone to document the occasion.
If they have no idea the proposal's coming, you can expect absolutely epic reaction snapshots.
In fact, Uritis highly recommends that her clients book a photographer, “especially in this day and age when you do it for the ‘gram and they have these gorgeous pictures to announce that they're engaged.” Bonus: You can even double down for an impromptu engagement shoot.
Take a deep breath, get down on one knee, and pitch the sentimental speech you've probably rehearsed a million times. According to Uritis, it really doesn't matter which knee you go down on, but if you've stashed the ring in your sock, then kneel on the opposite side.
After you've asked for your partner's hand in marriage, let them have a moment. Ample time must be given to process/cry/hug it out. Then, once they've collected themselves, read the situation to figure out when to officially put on the ring. Or your partner may beat you to the punch and hold out their hand for you to do the honors.
Okay, ladies, now let's get down on one knee—more and more women are stepping up and taking engagements into their own hands. In this instance, Uritis considers traditional proposal etiquette fair game, ring and all.
“I think all the same rules apply: Do something super special, something that he or she would really love,” she says. “Try to keep it a surprise, definitely get a ring, include friends and family if that’s what they would love.
But if not, just keep it really personal. Come on, ladies!”
How to Have the Perfect Marriage Proposal
One of the biggest moments in your life is when you propose marriage or are proposed to. This is also one of the most exciting and memorable moments you will probably ever have.
There is a lot of pressure to get it right. Just remember, there is no perfect proposal, just what is perfect for the two of you.
Keep the most important part in mind: make sure you are in love and also choose the right person!
- Although it may seem a dated tradition, know enough about your future in-laws to know if they would it if you ask permission from them before you propose marriage. It is better to err on the side of caution if you are unsure and ask both the mother and father for permission.
You can also ask a parental figure whom your future fiance is closest too (for example, a step-parent or grandparent who raised him or her).
- Know enough about your future spouse so that you can create an ideal and meaningful experience.
You won't want to take her to a vineyard to propose if she is in AA or to an amusement park if she gets motion sickness, right! Think about your partner's s/diss, tastes, current activities and so on. You also will want the element of surprise. So, perhaps doing something you usually do would not tip him or her off.
- Decide if you are going to purchase the engagement ring before or after you propose marriage. It may seem odd to not have the ring, but it is okay if you want to let your future fiance pick the ring. This can be a very exciting part of the process of getting engaged. When purchasing an engagement ring, make sure you stay within your budget or financial capability.
- Pay attention to timing. Don't plan on proposing marriage when your future spouse is stressed or overwhelmed.
- Pick something that has become memorable during the course of your relationship. For example, a particular place, hearing a specific song, or an occasion such as where you first met, first kissed, had your first date, etc.
- Set a romantic tone for your marriage proposal. If you fight that day or something negative took place unexpectedly, you may want to put off the proposal if possible.
- It's not recommended that you do something silly ( tying the engagement ring to a kite string or fishing line), you should try to keep your marriage proposal fun.
If you do choose the silly route, make sure your girlfriend or boyfriend has a good sense of humor.
- Keep your marriage proposal simple. The more complicated the marriage proposal is, the more things that could go wrong with your proposal plans!
- Make sure you don't lose the engagement ring if you've purchased one and hid it.
Some folks hide an engagement ring so well that even they can't find it. Purchase the insurance before you carry it the jewelry store as well!
- It's best to keep your marriage proposal private. Proposing in front of your future spouse's family or at a sports stadium may be exciting in the movies, but in real life, it is best to keep your marriage proposal just between the two of you.
Sometimes your best-laid marriage proposal plans fall apart. Be prepared for this and go easy on yourself. Focus more on the moment than on the engagement ring and other externals surrounding the proposal. Do your best to not give your plans away by showing how nervous you are.
Lastly don't forget the things you'll need: aplan, a location, an engagement ring, lots of love, confidence, and a sense of humor.
20 Ways To Nail Your Engagement Proposal – How Do You Propose
So, you're ready to pop the question. For some guys, the whole process of planning a proposal that's foolproof and majorly impressive is a no-brainer, but if you're not naturally a “planner,” it can be daunting.
How do you even go about planning a proposal? Instead of wondering how to propose and whether things will go smoothly, it's better to map out how you want it to go, figure out how to make it special.
This way you can feel confident that you'll be hearing an overjoyed “yes” when you do make the big ask. Plus, don't forget that the proposal is your time to shine.
Here, we've laid out the top proposal tips, along with dos and don'ts of pulling off the ultimate engagement proposal without a hitch, straight from relationship and wedding experts who have seen thousands of successful (and not-so-successful) ones.
1. Go in with the singleminded sureness of a pro athlete
The most important factor in winning her over? Ensuring that you're completely certain you're making the right move.
According to Audrey Hope, celebrity relationship expert, you should know the answers to the following questions before asking for her hand: Does she want to get married? Are you positive? How do you feel about marriage? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Do you being single?
Being secure in the answers to these questions will help you feel sure that you're doing the right thing, and as you probably know, confidence is the key to getting what you want.
2. Get specific about why you love her
During the actual asking, make sure to tell her your exact reasons for wanting to spend the rest of your life with her.
“It's easy to say you love her because she's kind, caring, or considerate, but telling her about specific instances where she has really wowed you with these traits will be sure to get some tears and smiles,” says Slisha Kankariya, co-founder of Four Mine, an online jewelry retailer specializing in unique diamond engagement rings and wedding bands.
3. Be strategic about romance
Simply put: romance means different things to different couples.”Think about what romantic means to you two,” suggests Lindsay Docherty, a wedding photographer who has photographed many proposals. “Public or private? With family and friends or alone? Grand gesture or quiet moment? What is on the highlight reel of your best moments together? Start there,” she advises.
4. Make it a full-blown event, not just a question.
Obviously, the proposal itself is important, but the whole experience can be even more special if you really make it into an event. “Proposals aren't just about the five seconds before and after you get down on one knee,” says Stacy Stahl, Founder and Director, How He Asked, by The Knot.
“We hear from men and women who plan full-day or even weekend-long proposal events. Some proposers create extravagant scavenger hunts with meaningful people and places involved, others book surprise trips across the globe.
To create a memorable and celebratory proposal, consider planning a post-proposal engagement party with friends and family to add to the surprise,” she suggests.
5. Keep the humor to a minimum.
During the proposal itself, it's better to keep things as sincere as possible. Now isn't the time for practical jokes or silly comments. “Be sure to make it heartfelt and honest,” says Kankariya. “Don't talk about anything embarrassing or distasteful. Even if she loves your sense of humor, she will appreciate a show of romance during the proposal.”
6. Be unplugged.
If possible, Hope gives the proposal tip of heading “to a place where there's little to no wifi reception, no interruptions, and no work-related things that could disturb your plan.” That way, you'll both be totally focused on the moment.
7. Get a crowd on your side.
This doesn't have to mean you're making a big public spectacle if that's not your thing, but if it is—even better. “Do something big, romantic, and life-remembering,” says Hope. The more creative and sentimental, the better. You could also try popping the question at one of these picture perfect proposal locations.
8. Make sure your proposal is the only special occasion present
One major rule of thumb? “Don't pop the question at another person's event, where it's a wedding, baptism, engagement party, or funeral,” advises Docherty. “It's not cool.”
9. Foreshadow your eternal happiness
Another way to make your proposal especially meaningful is to look to the future. “Talk about all the dreams you have for your life together,” suggests Kankariya.
“Whether it's getting a puppy, traveling the world, or climbing Mount Everest, think about all the amazing things you want to accomplish with her by your side, and then tell her about it all in detail!” This really hammers it home that you've thought about what your lives will be together as true partners. This would be a good time to make sure you and your prospective fiancee have hard these ten crucial pre-marriage questions.
10. Don't copy your buddies.
Sure, your buddy might have had a lot of luck proposing to his fiancée in a super elaborate and public way, but if your girlfriend isn't into major public displays of affection, it probably isn't the best idea to follow in his footsteps.
“Tailoring the experience to your specific relationship will be more memorable that doing it the same as everyone else,” says Betty Robinson-Owens, Owner & Head Planner at Your Turn Weddings. You'll definitely be better off in the end if you take the time to think about what you and your S.O.
doing together, what your values are, and which experiences have been meaningful to you both.
11. Press record.
A great proposal tip is to capture the moment. “Set up a video or hire a photographer,” recommends Docherty. Whether you do the recording yourself, recruit a friend to snap a few photos, or hire a professional, you won't regret being able to relive the big moment. “That reaction is one that is worth capturing and treasuring forever,” Docherty adds. “It is raw and perfect.”
12. Don't give her friends “jobs.”
It's definitely a good idea to give friends and family a heads up about the proposal if you want them to be involved or celebrate with you afterwards, but there's one thing you should never do, according to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking.
“Don't enlist anyone to get her ring size. It ruins the surprise,” she says. “No matter how casual they come off, she will always suspect something.” After all, a jeweler can very easily adjust the ring size if you get it wrong. One pro tip: on the sly, take one of her rings and push it into a bar of soap.
Then take the soap with the outline to your jeweler, who will know the size.
13. Highlight how she made your life better.
Another way to be sure you win her heart is to tell her exactly how being together has changed your life. “Be specific about her qualities that you love most. Tell her about all the ways (big and small) that she's made you a better person,” says Kankariya. “Be honest and personal. The more specific you are, the more genuine it will feel to her.”
14. Always plan ahead.
One thing you should never, ever do? Propose on the fly. “We have often seen impromptu proposals,” says Trombetti. “They are awful.” Period. Take some time to figure out when (or at least approximately when) and how you're going to do the deed.
15. Incorporate details specific to your relationship
Above all, tailoring your proposal to specific memories you share will make it feel more memorable and special. “Think through your relationship from start to finish,” says Stahl.
“Is there somewhere or something incredibly special to both of you that you could include in your proposal? It can be a favorite movie scene or quote, a certain walk on the beach, a trip you always take, or a favorite dessert you love sharing. Challenge yourself to think about what makes you both happy.
You'll be surprised how many wonderful ideas come to mind when you reflect on your beautiful relationship!”
16. Don't propose in a super public way.
Just say no to the jumbotron, experts say. “Don't propose in a super public way, because it's putting both of you on the spot,” says Trombetti. “You can also get a fake yes, which she will wiggle later,” she says.
It's true that it's harder to say no in such a public setting, so unless you're 100 percent sure she'll say yes and that she'll love having so many people be in on your special moment, it's best to avoid this option.
17. Make sure she looks and feels amazing.
If you're hiring a photographer or recording the experience yourself, pay special attention to this tip. “A lot of women want to look and feel great during every big, important occasion (you know this).
Since you're ly surprising her with this one, think of a clever way to get her in her favorite dress and make sure her hands are in good shape,” recommends Stahl.
“Team up with one of her good girlfriends and have her invite your significant other to get a manicure a day or two before you pop the question—it can be as simple as that.”
18. Make sure she's distracted.
If you want the proposal to be a complete surprise, it's a good idea to ensure your fianceé-to-be is distracted in the weeks and days leading up to the proposal.
That way, she won't have time to wonder about when it might happen.
“You have to make sure the person you will be proposing to is already preoccupied with something, whether it's work, volunteering, or hosting a dinner party,” notes Robinson-Owens. “You want to catch them completely by surprise.”
19. Involve family with caution.
If you're close with her family or vice versa, it's fantastic to involve them in the proposal, and it's quite common to do so, especially around the holidays. If you don't know them that well or have never met them before, though, it might be better to keep the moment private, says Trombetti.
20. Be Flexible.
Know that things might not go completely according to plan, especially if you're headed to another city or country for the proposal. One of the top proposal tips is to be flexible just in case.
“Take the ring with you to propose when the right romantic moment hits you,” advises Trombetti. “If you plan to do it under the Eiffel Tower, it never works out. Maybe she is tired, irritated, feeling nauseous, or whatever.
Opt for whenever it feels right on your trip. It should be natural and a happy moment.”
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The Man’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage Proposal
Asking for a woman’s hand in marriage is one of the most important things a man will do in his life. Therefore, a good deal of consideration should be put into the timing and setting of this event.
You are certain that she is the one, and have gone ahead with asking for her father’s blessing of your proposal, solidifying her family’s approval of the union.
Now that has been done, and you are ready to propose marriage to your future wife.
There are a few things you must keep in mind when contemplating the way that you will propose marriage to your lady. First, this is a memorable moment, which will be told and retold over the years to your friends, family, children, and grandchildren. Make it a story worth telling.
Secondly, every woman is different; make your proposal specific to her taste and personality. Some women would love nothing more than to have all their friends and family be witness to the event, while others would much prefer a private and intimate moment with you alone.
First and foremost, make sure the way in which you ask makes her comfortable.
Finally, many romantic displays, a marriage proposal that seems cliché to one woman is a dream come true for another. This must be left to your personal discretion. However, kneeling in front of your lady with a ring and a rose, whatever the setting may be, is timeless. The following are some tried and true methods for a man proposing marriage to his love.
The First Meeting Place Proposal
Show your lady that you remember and appreciate the little details of your relationship. Taking her to the place where you first met will let her know how grateful you are to have found her. That special location has proven a solid foundation for the first half of your relationship and is an especially symbolic and appropriate location to ask her to spend the rest of her life with you.
The Parisian Proposal
If you have the time and means, ask her the most important question of her life in the most romantic city in the world: Paris. Avoid locations where tourists dwell; rather, choose a place that is quiet and quaint, as that is the true beauty of the city. A dimly lit café or restaurant, or a remote spot on the banks of the Seine is a perfect setting for a romantic proposal.
The Natural Proposal
If your wife-to-be loves the outdoors, employ the help of some of God’s natural creation. Hiding the ring somewhere for her to find on a hike you both enjoy can make for an exciting and meaningful discovery along the trail. Also, asking her to be your wife underneath a waterfall or at the top of a cliff will provide an awe-inspiring view and add a dramatic effect to the moment.
The Valentine’s Day Proposal
However you may choose to propose, February 14th is a great day to do it. While she will expect a certain amount of romance already, your proposal of marriage will far exceed her expectations for the day. It will make for the best Valentine’s Day your future fiancé will ever have and ensure it as a memorable date for you both in years to come.
The Spell-It-Out Proposal
Write it out for her, but make it grand. There is no better way to get her attention than to write your marriage proposal across the sky.
Hire a plane to spell it in smoke, or carry behind it a banner with your offer. She will be both entertained and impressed that you have announced your love for all to see.
If you don’t have the means, or you want to make it more personal, write it in the sand while at the beach.
The Weekend Getaway Proposal
Disguise your proposal behind another occasion, such as a vacation or her birthday. Take a trip to the country and get town for the weekend. You will be able to enjoy your time alone together, and she will remain unsuspecting. After a great weekend together, asking her if she would to spend the rest of her life with you will be the grand finale.
The High Seas Proposal
There is nothing the serenity and solitude of being on a boat surrounded by a vast body of water. Charter a boat with just the two of you, or plan a cruise to a tropical location.
This will provide an intimate setting where you can express undying love for your lovely lady. If you want seclusion during your proposal, this is the place to do it.
A sailboat is the most romantic option, but make sure you know what you are doing, as popping the question on a U.S. Coast Guard rescue dinghy lacks the desired effect.
The Elemental Proposal
Use the weather to your advantage. Take your special someone to the mountains and propose to her in the snow. If you can execute the timing to perfection, surprise her with the question just as the snow begins to fall.
A walk through the city streets at night in the rain is equally beautiful. For added dramatic effect, disregard personal comfort and kneel in the water. She will see that you are concerned with nothing but her at that moment.
The Spontaneous Proposal
Once you know that she is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, let her know right then and there.
Tell her that you cannot wait another minute to know if she shares the same feeling for you. She will be struck by your passion for her and your certainty that she is the only one for you.
This is a perfect option for the adventurous romantic, so make sure your lady is not a traditionalist.
The Overnight Proposal
If you are more of the silent type, slip the ring on your love’s finger while she is sleeping. You don’t have to say a word. She will wake up to the best surprise of her life sitting on her hand. Be sure to be near when she shrieks with glee upon noticing her new jewelry in the morning.
Listen to our podcast on saving your marriage before it starts:
18 Romantic and Unique Wedding Proposal Ideas for Every Couple
Asking for your partner's hand in marriage is one of the biggest moments of your life. Special as it is, surely you want to ensure that this proposal is impressive and unforgettable.
In this article we have compiled 18 proposal ideas for an irresistible proposal. Adopt one of these ideas and add a little personality to make it different and unique.
Surely she will say yes before you know it!
Photography: via How He Asked
1. Irresistible cuties
Who can resist cute things? With the help of babies or animals, you can pop the big question and expect her to squeal over their cuteness. Either a pet or family relative, asking for her hand with their help will add a sense of sincerity and innocence to the proposal.
Tip: For a next level idea, hire a trained dolphin and ask her during a scuba-diving trip!
2. Photo booth proposalAs the shutters start to click, pull out the ring and surprise her. There's no way she can hide that surprised expression and you can get it on camera as well. How convenient!
Tip: Have your family and friends waiting outside the photo booth for the ultimate surprise!
Photography: via The Knot
3. Scavenger huntTurn your proposal into a treasure hunt by scattering clues for your partner to find. It can be done in your home or neighborhood, depending on how grand you want the hunt to be.
Be sure to give relevant clues and ask for a family member or friend to guide her as well!
Tip: Bring her back to places you've had your dates or take her to pamper herself before meeting you in the final spot!
4. Family dinnerAn intimate proposal with your closest people witnessing the happy moment is always a good idea. She simply wouldn't forget the intimacy of the moment.
Tip: Propose a toast to get everyone's attention and then go for the big question!
5. Destination proposalAnother way to make a proposal worth remembering, do it during a holiday trip with your loved one. It doesn't have to be somewhere far away, a weekend getaway to a nearby city is also a good idea!
Tip: You don't have to do it when you reach the city, do it on the plane or in the car, and then celebrate the engagement during the holiday.
6. A walk down memory laneCreate a collection of memories of you and your partner, beautifully kept inside a box. Leave a note behind each photo and let her immerse in a nostalgic bliss before she gets to the question.
Tip: Before she starts opening photos, you can ask her to play a specific song, or your song together, to set her mood for a walk down memory lane.
Photography: via Pinterest
7. Love poemIf you are one of the literary couples, this idea would suit you very well. Create a poem or short story ending in asking for her hand in marriage.
Patiently wait for her surprised expression as she gets to the end part!
Tip: Not a writer? Worry not. Hollow an old book, put the ring inside, and ask her to read a specific page from the book.
Imagine her surprise when she finds out!
8. Sing me a love song
One of the best ways to express your love is through a love song. Sing them a song you write especially for this moment or perform a significant song before you propose.
Tip: If you can get a song you wrote recorded professionally before the proposal, even better!
Photography: via Green Wedding Shoes
9. Wall climbingIf both of you love extreme sports, this idea might be suitable. You can put your proposal on top of the wall or do it after she comes down.
Tip: Take this idea to the next level by going on a real tracking up the mountains and then propose to her once you reach its peak.
10. Up in the air
For the long-distance couple, you can propose while your partner is visiting you.
Hold a sign in the airport doors as you pick her up and put 'Mrs' in front of her name and put your last name behind it.
Or, propose to her up in the air while you are travelling together
Tip: Work with the flight attendant or pilot to create an entertaining proposal for all the passengers to enjoy as well.
Woo your partner by creating a short movie from your memories from pictures and videos. Then at the end of the video walk up to her and pop the question.
Tip: Rent the entire movie theater and play your movie as a trailer before the actual movie comes up!
Photography: via Inspiring Pretty
12. Jigsaw puzzlePut your question on a customized jigsaw for an added sense of fun. Imagine how intrigued she will be to finish up the whole puzzle!
Tip: Add some photos to the puzzle and prepare a frame to remember it for a lifetime.
Photography: via Bored Panda
13. Crossword puzzlePop your question through a crossword puzzle with the words forming the big question as answers.
Tip: To not make it so obvious, insert other general questions so she will not suspect a thing before she gets to the end of the puzzle.
Photography: via My Wedding Concierge
14. SkydivingWith the nature as your setting, this proposal is one she won't forget. Prepare the question largely printed on the drop off location so she sees it the second you arrive.
Tip: Even better, print a large banner so she can see it while you two are on the air together.
15. Merry-go-roundWhile your partner goes on a ride, stand outside the carousel and spell the words as she turns. Afterwards, wait by the gate with a ring on your hand.
Tip: Not a fan of carousel rides? There are plenty of other rides in the amusement park you can use. Ride a Ferris wheel and propose at the very top? No problem. Just be sure you don't drop the ring!
An online deal
If you're one couple that loves technology, create an interactive website especially to propose to her. Indeed a question as important as this should be asked directly so don't forget to be present as well to witness her reaction
Tip: You can pretend to ask her to check out this cool website you found, without knowing its intention!
Photography: via Canva
17. Concert proposalIf a band you two are fans of decides to hold a concert, this might be the perfect time to propose. During a favorite song, sneak up behind her and present the ring carefully.
Tip: If she's one that s grand gestures, you can also ask to get up on stage and propose to her with all the crowds watching.
Photography: via The Telegraph
18. Written on the starsPop a question during a visit to the planetarium while stargazing at the night skies.Tip: Get a star dedicated to your spouse as a present to remember the engagement!
One final tip, be sure there's a photographer or videographer that will document the loveliest moment of your life. This way, the footage can also be shown on the wedding day and you will have something precious to look back upon after years of marriage.
Which one of the ideas above is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below and also add some ideas you think is a great way to propose!
CREDIT TO VENDORS:
- Photography: Catherine Powell , via The Telegraph , via People , via Team Rope Source , via How He Asked , via The Knot , , , via My Wedding Concierge , via Bored Panda , via Inspiring Pretty , via Green Wedding Shoes , via Pinterest
How To Propose To Her
For most men, meeting the right woman is an idea that’s nice in theory, but not top priority for quite some time, especially during your 20s when you’re building your career.
But whether you credit meeting your girlfriend to the universe, chance luck, some online dating site or to nothing at all, when you reach that point when you’re ready to take it from official to legally binding — it’s a big step.
In fact, that one question is what’s so essential — and no, not the one you’ll ask her — ‘will you marry me?’ but the one you’ll be asking yourself: ‘how will I ask her to marry me?!’
While a spontaneous proposal has it’s merit, most men have to think carefully, do some research, examine their finances and ya know, make sure that it’ll be a special memory for their relationship, and a story to tell their families (and ahem, future children). Figuring out how to propose doesn’t have to be so anxiety-provoking that you take all the magic the once-in-a-lifetime moment, though.
Here, relationship experts and therapists give you their best advice on how to approach, plan and consider your game plan for getting on one knee and hoping for forever.
1. What You Need to Do Before Proposing
There’s lots to consider when you’re about to become an engaged couple. And while the real work might come once you’re planning a wedding, for the guy, the anticipation and build-up to the proposal might feel more stressful.
From determining which ring is the best one and asking her parents for her hand in marriage to ensuring you’re at the right point in your relationship to enter a marriage, here’s what you absolutely, hands-down need to do before you ask her to marry you:
Picking the Ring
No matter how well you think you know your girlfriend, chances are pretty high that she’s imagined her engagement ring since she was very young. Even if she usually goes for modern, chunky, gold costume jewelry with her everyday wear, she might want something more subtle and classic for the ring that symbolizes her commitment to you and building your life together.
RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Picking The Engagement Ring
“Make sure you find out her s, and her strong diss when it comes to a ring. While in a perfect world, she would love anything you give her, we all have personal taste, and this is something that she will wear and be looking at everyday of her life. Make sure it is something she loves,” psychologist Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC says.
If you’re willing to let someone in on the secret – say her sister or her best friend — then they can give you a clue into the rings she’s awed over in the past. And maybe, if you’re lucky — a saved screenshot from Instagram or a Pinterest link that’s exactly, to the cut add clarity and carat, that she wants.
How to Ask Her Parents
Before you book a plane ticket or set up a Facetime or Skype call, you should consider how close she is to her parents. While it’s very traditional (and often times, thought of as respectful), if it wouldn’t matter to her or to her parents, it might not be necessary.
“If you know your girlfriend and/or her family are more traditional, asking her parents may be more important than it is to a family who is less traditional.
Asking the father for her hand in marriage is an old tradition stemming from when marriages were more business related than love related.
A suitor had to ask for a hand to ensure the father approved and a ‘deal’ could be made between the families,” licensed marriage and family therapists Courtney Geter explains.
“These days, many people believe asking for hand in marriage shows ownership and opt not to incorporate this into their traditions.”
A bit of honest communication is important here. In a non-pressuring, casual way, Geter says to chat with your girlfriend about her viewpoints. If you're concerned about not giving away the upcoming surprise, you could relate the discussion to a pal who asked his girlfriend’s parents, or something you see while watching Netflix together.
“I suggest having a conversation before the proposal to understand your girlfriend and her family's viewpoint and preferences. Some families also see asking the father or parents as respect instead of ownership. Knowing the difference and how the family thinks will also help you formulate the conversation,” Geter says.
But if the old-fashioned way is important to her? Then Martinez says to make the effort — and make it count. Because if it is important to her family’s traditions, then disregarding it could start not only the proposal, but your marriage and relationship with your future in-laws, on the wrong foot.
“Leaving them the loop can start you off on a bad footing that is not needed. While it might feel awkward, hurt feelings will be worse,” she notes.
How to Know If You’re at the Right Point in Your Relationship
You're often told to trust your gut when you’re making a business deal or when you’re buying a home or a car, and the same goes with choosing the woman you’ll marry. While it may be beneficial to have a magic, no-fail formula or checklist to follow to know if you’ve found the perfect person, the truth is, you’ll never, ever truly know for certain.
What is a good thing to look at, though? How well you match up on the most important hot topics that will be make-or-break decisions as you age and grow.
“As a relationship therapist who works with premarital and married couples, common themes I see in clients with relationship conflict is they never had a thorough understanding of their partner's thoughts on relationship roles — especially around children, finance, and sex, and living together. I also find that couples never completely understood how their partner functions as a person, which can create conflict if each person's individual characteristics clash with each other,” Geter says.
In some cases, you might even chat about getting married with your girlfriend, long before you decide to propose. If you know you’re both on the same page — and well, you can feel it in that gut of yours — then you’re on the road to getting down that aisle.
2. When, Where and How to Propose
Not sure how to plan this mini-event? Should her family be there? Her friends? In public or in private? In town or on vacation? When, where, how? More than anything else — it’s up to your relationship and your individual personalities. A proposal should represent the experiences you’ve shared, how much you’ve learned about one another over time and more than anything, be something that you know would make her super-happy and feel loved.
“When, where and how to propose is so personal and unique, depending on the type of people and couple you are. You could be with them somewhere that is a special memory or place.
You could do it unexpectedly at home. You could plan a surprise or make a game of it.
The important thing is what feels genuine and memorable to the two of you, and not pressure from what other people think it should be,” Martinez says.
But some good rules of thumb? Make it about her — not about the attention it’ll bring. Even if you would to rent out a theater, she might be more into a casual encounter at home while you’re cooking dinner. Make her the priority. After all, as the saying goes, “Happy wife, happy life.”
3. How to Actually Do the Proposal
When it comes to getting down on one knee, some men find it old fashioned (kind of asking for her hand from her parents). But if you decide to kneel, you should do it the right way.
“Getting down on one knee is still the custom when proposing to someone, and not doing so might make the moment too casual, or may not make it clear to the intended what is happening, and that this is the moment. The custom is from days when men bent down and kissed women on the hand. It is reverting and respectful, and it is a touch that should never go fashion,” Martinez explains.
Once you’re down there, you might worry about what to say. Again, as Martinez notes, it’s really up to the type of person you are and what kind of woman she is, that should inspire your speech. “If you are shy, my husband, your preference is to plan something small simple and private. If you and your partner are extroverts, you might plan something more elaborate and unique.”
RELATED: The Absolute Best Honeymoon Destinations To Kick Off Your Marriage
And of course, last but not least? What to do with that ring. Up until the proposal, you should keep it somewhere safe and hidden (and nope, not the sock drawer).
You could keep it locked with a key at your desk at work or in a safety deposit box, just to make sure nothing unfortunate happens or she doesn’t go searching and stumble across the prized good.
And how about when to hand it to her? When she says ‘yes!’
“You show it to her while you ask, but you do not hand or exchange the ring to her until she officially answers with a resounding yes. Do not start to put it on their finger before she has answered the question, this is an exciting, but nerve wracking time. You do not want to add any additional pressure,” Martinez says.
4. How Not to Propose
The biggest mistakes you can make when proposing are all about not putting your partner’s happiness first. While lots of people have certain proposal expectations, make sure the one you plan is in line with your partner's wishes and personality.
What does that imply? Things : “Having an audience, when this is not in your partner’s nature. Not asking the parents for their blessing, and not subtly finding out your partner’s preferences in the most important piece of jewelry they will wear everyday for the rest of their life are all mistakes that could ruin what would be a very special moment for your future wife,” Martinez says.
Bottom line? Think of her first — and think of how lucky you’ll be to hear that “Yes!”
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