A step-by-step easy guide to a fool-proof proposal right from making sure you both are on the same page to telling people about your successful engagement.
When it comes to finding an engagement ring, planning a marriage proposal and most importantly getting that ‘Yes!’, it all comes down to what's right for you two as a couple.
In saying that, here’s a few things to make your life a little easier and ensure that your whole engagement process runs as smoothly as possible. Feel free to skip to the parts that are most relevant to you and your soon-to-be fiancé.
Before the Proposal:
Ensure that she's the one
You’re often told to trust your gut when it comes to making a business deal or buying your first home or car. The same goes for choosing the woman you want to 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, it’s not quite this simple. That being said, there’s an abundance of online quizzes that you can take to find out if this is the real deal, so give one of those a try if you’re unsure. However, chances are, if you’re reading this, you already know that you’ve found your girl.
Make sure you’re both on the same page
This may seem like an obvious one but before you start planning your entire proposal, it’s important to ensure that you and your partner both have marriage on the brain. Talk about your future, being together and mention that one day you’d like to get married. 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.
Picking the ring
No matter how well you think you know your girlfriend, chances are she’s imagined her engagement ring at least a thousand times. Even if her usual jewellery choices are bold and pretty out there, she might actually prefer a more subtle, classic engagement ring that symbolises your love and commitment for one another. Either way, you’re going to have to do some research and find out what she likes and more importantly, strongly dislikes. This can be done as simply as subtly listening to her preferences, walking past jewellery stores and seeing if she hints at any diamond cuts that she likes, the styles she prefers, etc. She’s going to be wearing this jewellery for the rest of her life, so it’s important that she loves it.
If you’re willing to let someone in on the secret who’s not your best mate, ask her best friend or sister to help you pick out the ring and give you some insight into the types of ring’s she’s awed over in the past. – If you feel they can keep the secret that is.
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Choosing the right time
Timing is crucial when proposing. There are numerouse things that can affect your situation such as careers, holidays, family drama and just your lives in general. While there may never be a ‘perfect’ time, it’s important you choose the right time.
For example, can you afford to get engaged and married right now? Are the two of you in a good place? Do you have the same views on marriage? These are some things to consider before popping the big question.
Asking the parents
This one completely depends on how close your future misses is to her parents — while asking the parent’s permission for their daughter’s hand in marriage is very traditional, if it wouldn’t matter to her or her parents, it may not be necessary.
Asking the father for her hand in marriage is an old tradition stemming from when marriages were more business related than love related. Nevertheless, if your girlfriend is from a more traditional background and is close to her parents, it may be deemed as respectful on your part.
A new trend that is coming is involving the parents but not straight up asking for permission… a dumbed down version would be: ” Hey future Mum/Dad in-law, you may want to keep your phones to hand on xyz date as i’m sure will want to giving you a call”.
When and where to propose?
Not sure how to go about the actual planning of your proposal? Again, this one is entirely dependent on your own personal preferences. Think about a specific date that is important to the both of you (such as your anniversary or an upcoming holiday) and go with that. That being said, if you two are in a really happy place right now and life is bliss, just go for it. There’s no rule saying you have to propose on a specific day, do whatever feels right.
When it comes to where to propose, a few location ideas could include where you went on your first date, a romantic restaurant, a private holiday beach spot or at a famous landmark. Make the whole thing about her — even if you want to rent out an entire football stadium and make this grand gesture, she may prefer a more intimate and casual affair. She has to be the priority. After all, ‘Happy wife, happy life’.
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To kneel or not to kneel?
Kneeling down on one knee is certainly the most traditional gesture for a marriage proposal and not doing so might make the moment too casual, or fail to make it clear what you are doing. While times have changed, there is something rather charming and romantic about a man on one knee asking the love of his life to marry him. Even if you’re not too traditional yourself, it will make the proposal more momentous.
How to propose, be creative
Incorporate bits of your personality, think about the hobbies you two do together, your favourite locations, inside jokes you may have, etc.,into the proposal. This needs to be special and unique to you two as a couple —not a cookie-cutter proposal!
You need to be thinking along the lines of;
How you’ll capture the moment
These days you can work with dedicated engagement companies that help bring your proposal to life and discreetly capture that priceless moment on film. Or you can just factor in your timing of asking that stranger to take a “picture” and then take a knee. Set up a camera, rope some friends/family or use an Engagement Cam.
What to do with the ring
Up until the proposal you need to (obviously) hide the ring somewhere safe and hidden. This should preferably not be in your sock drawer or the pocket of your favourite coat. You could keep it in a locked drawer at work, a safety deposit box or even ask the jewellers to hold it for you until you’re ready to propose. Either way, you just want to make sure that there is zero chance of your girlfriend finding it and ruining the surprise. – The amount of stories we hear that partners have found the ring before then waited weeks/months for the question to come.
Plan what you wear
The last thing you want is a bulky engagement ring box shaped bulge in your skinny jeans. You need to plan ahead when it comes to picking your outfit for this special occasion. Wear something comfortable yet smart that has big pockets. This will significantly reduce your stress levels leading up to the big moment and prevent her guessing what’s about to happen!
TIP: Subtly encourage your other half to also wear something nice — chances are she’s going to want to take an engagement photo to remember the occasion.
It’s important to be prepared for your ideal proposal to not go quite to plan. Things happen, the weather may not be on your side, your partner may come down with the flu, etc. Make sure you have a Plan B just in case.
How not to propose
The biggest mistake you could make when proposing is not putting your girlfriend first. As previously mentioned, this is all about her and her happiness. So listen to her hints, think about a special location that would mean something to the both of you and stay calm. – You can slip in bits of you, just keep the focus on them.
After the Proposal
How to tell people - Bonus round
There’s a million and one ways to do this. Make sure it’s personal, creative and reflective of both your personalities. Take some time to plan something special together. Announcing the engagement is often an after thought.
Some pre-planning can add a huge bonus to whole event, we all know the little things make a difference and your wanting to create the perfect memory.