There are plenty of stories online about extravagant marriage proposals, from hiring bands, to writing ‘Marry Me’ in six-foot-tall letters somewhere, but the reality is that most people pop the question in a simple, intimate way, so how should you go about it? Here are our easy, straight-forward steps to success:
1. Know the answer!
The first step in a successful proposal is to be reasonably sure that the answer is going to be ‘yes’. You may have already discussed getting married (usually a good hint!) and you may have started to find yourselves looking at rings in store windows, but if you think hard, the signs should already be there.
2. Should I Ask the parents?
This one all depends upon the two of you, and his or her family. Is the father traditional? If yes, then he may like to be asked for his daughter’s hand; it is something he is unlikely to have spoken to you about, but his family members will be a good judge on that. This is especially important to understand if her family comes from a culturally different background to yours. Take your partner’s wishes into account too, they may love the idea of asking the parents – or they may hate it!
3. Think about where to propose.
Where you should propose should have some special significance for both of you – but be careful it is not a significant place for you but not her. If you’re really into football, and she isn’t, you may think Wembley Stadium is a great place to propose, but really?
Go back to a sentimental location, perhaps the restaurant which you first went to together, or the place where you shared your first kiss.
4. Work out what you are going to say.
Don’t get tongue-tied at the big moment, think about what you want to say in advance, and have a little practice. You don’t need to rehearse a massive speech, but what are the three or four lines you want to deliver like a romantic-pro? If it helps, use props to help it go smoothly.
5. Choose the right engagement ring.
So, this takes a bit of homework, and maybe subterfuge, but the engagement ring is something that will be worn for the rest of your lives – so it had better be perfect! You are going to have to drop some subtle questions into the conversation about this one. Discuss celebrity rings when they are in the news, or casually look in shop windows.
6. Present the ring in its box.
Unless you have a very good, and personal reason, don’t hide the ring somewhere be found, like in the bottom of a bowl of ice cream (a bit naff, and could be dangerous). Present it in its box.
7. On one knee?
Surveys continually suggest that women like their man to go on one knee when proposing.
It may feel awkward, but you’ve just got to get on and do what’s right! And for same-sex proposals, the one proposing is the one to get on a knee.
8. Be serious.
Take the whole proposal event very seriously. Don’t try to joke-it-up or do something silly. Chances are you’ll end up looking like an idiot and it’s not the kind of romantic memory you want to stay with you for the rest of your life.
9. Be yourself.
So yes, take it seriously, but also be yourself, you will feel more relaxed and the occasion will be more enjoyable!
10. It’s all about her.
They say that a wedding day is the girl’s biggest day of her life. Well treat the proposal as similar. You won’t go wrong if everything you plan is focussed on her, not you!