Thinking of popping the question? There are no rules to proposing, but if you want to make it a special moment for your fiancée-to-be to remember, you most likely want to put some thought into it. Here are just a few ways to plan the perfect marriage proposal.
Find the right ring
The engagement ring may be the first thing you want to think about. Engagement rings can be expensive and you’ll want to spend some time shopping around as well as possibly saving up money.
There are different places to look including high street jewellers and online jewellers. The former will generally be more expensive, but it can give you the advantage of seeing each ring in person. Online jewellers may be able to offer customizable rings, which could be handy if you can’t find the design you’re after.
Knowing which design to buy can be difficult. If your partner hasn’t dropped any hits, you could always talk to one of their friends and ask them to do some prying.
You’ll also need to find out their ring size. If they already own rings, you may be able to try these on to get a feel for their size. Fortunately, most modern jewellers offer free resizing if you do happen to buy the wrong ring size (providing that you buy the ring through them).
It’s tradition to propose with a ring, but that doesn’t mean that you have to buy a ring for the occasion. Not buying a ring has its benefits. If – worst case scenario – they say ‘no’, you won’t have wasted money on a ring. Meanwhile, if they say ‘yes’, you can both shop for a ring together and make sure it’s the right design and size. You also don’t have the stress of having to hide the ring until the proposal.
Decide whether to go public or private
Will the proposal be a public event or will it be done in private? This is the next question to consider – the answer depends very much on the type of person your partner is.
Private tends to be the safe option. Some people may find a public proposal embarrassing, plus it puts pressure on your partner to say yes. By doing it privately, you’ll get an honest answer and you make the moment more intimate. You could do a private proposal at home, in a hotel room or whilst out on a walk somewhere beautiful.
A public proposal is better suited to an outgoing partner that loves their PDA (public displays of affection). You also want to be certain that they’ll say yes, otherwise if could be quite awkward for the pair of you. A public proposal could be done in front of friends and family or in front of strangers. Some people even hire a professional photographer to capture the moment. There are all kinds of places to propose publicly from restaurants to tourist hotspots to family parties.
Decide exactly who to tell
Knowing who to tell in advance is important. You may need people to help you create cover stories or you may want to simply get permission from certain family members (it’s tradition to ask the father for your partner’s hand in marriage).
Whoever you do decide to tell, you need to be certain that they won’t give the game away. Avoid telling people that you think may not be able to keep it a secret.
Create a cover story
Keeping the proposal secret may involve inventing a cover story, particularly if you’ve got an event planned such a meal or a night in a hotel. You may be able to make it a joint birthday gift or anniversary gift of when you both met so that they don’t suspect anything. Alternatively, you could get friends and family to plan a fake party so that your partner can’t make any other plans for that day. Try to keep the cover story simple so that you’re not creating extra stress for yourself.
Plan what you’ll say/how you’ll propose
How you deliver the proposal is also something to consider. Most people go down on one knee and deliver the words ‘will you marry me?’, but you don’t have to do it this way.
You could surprise them by hanging up a banner somewhere or you could serve them a champagne glass with a ring in it. You could even prepare a poem that you’ve written yourself and end it with a line asking for their hand in marriage. It may depend a lot on the setting as to how you deliver it. Get other people to help you if needs be.
Plan what to do after
Once you’ve proposed, what will happen next? A lot of people make the mistake of not thinking this far ahead, however planning an event for after to celebrate the occasion can make it all the more memorable.
You could for instance plan to have a romantic meal out somewhere after proposing (or you could take them home to have a romantic meal in). Alternatively, you could plan a party with family and friends for everyone to celebrate the occasion together. What you choose to do is likely to depend on the circumstances of the proposal itself.
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