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The Unspoken Rules of the Proposal

The Unspoken Rules of the Proposal

Planning a proposal is tough, and the pressure is very high. There are the basic logistics of planning an important event, along with all of the specifics—what will make your proposal specific and perfect for you and your partner? 

Luckily, there are a ton of resources out there. There are checklists and guides and step-by-step instructions from A to Z, thank God. But those guides don't always make suggestions as to what works best. Obviously, you know what's best for your proposal. But more than basic information, we want to share the truth of what's worth your time and what's not.

Hire a photographer, or take your own pictures

This is important. We know, we know—hiring a photographer and having them meet you at a specific time and place amplifies the pressure by about a gazillion times. There's no escaping that. It's also more expensive. But believe us: when you're asking your partner to marry you, or, when you're being asked, everything becomes a blur. There's frantic nodding, and stuttering, and big hugs, and shaky hands.

There is not, under just about any circumstance, enough mental acuity or ability to freeze frame the details of that incredible moment. Hiring a photographer is worth every penny. Having a professional along to capture the most important moment of your life is a decision you will be grateful for, forever. Seriously.

If a photographer is out of your budget (and you don't want to enlist a friend), bring your own camera. Not an iPhone. A real camera. Take photos of your surroundings ahead of time, snap candid pictures of your partner as you get near to the moment itself, and take photos immediately after the proposal. Get that fresh new ring fit. Get the tears in your partner's eyes. Save that moment forever. 

Photo of our Sierra Ring.

Send your partner for a manicure

Whether your partner is a man or a woman or someone in between, make sure their nails look nice. This is easy for folks who enjoy a nice nail pampering. Get in touch with their best friend, and send them some cash to take your partner out for a surprise manicure. This seems like it's just a sweet gesture from a dear friend, and doesn't at all draw attention to you. Then those nails will be in tip top shape for the inevitable ring photos.

If your partner is a man, or someone who doesn't necessarily think of going for a manicure, make a day out of it. Convince them to come along with you, or, at home, offer to pamper them a little. Even baby steps towards a nice looking set of nails is better than terrible hang nails!

Photo from Dirty Boots and Messy Hair.

Dress up!

In the same spirit as making sure your nails look nice, make sure you're dressed well when you pop the question. Unless the intimacy of sweatpants and cozy clothes resonates with you, consider putting on a nice pair of slacks or a sweet dress. Especially if you bring in a photographer, you don't want to look like a slob in the images that you'll show your kids!

Your partner will also appreciate this. Don't you dress up in a tux or dress and let your partner show up in yoga pants. You'll need to formulate a bit of a fib to get your partner dressed up, but you'll figure it out. Just keep it simple. Invite them out for a date night, or tell them your friend wants to take photos of the two of you to build out their portfolio. Easy! And everyone looks cute.


Photo from Pinterest.

Make it a private affair

Flash mobs are over. They're over. That's it.

This is where a pretty serious value judgement comes in. But we must say, if you want our advice at all, make your proposal private. Do not bring in all of your friends and families. Do not pop the question in a crowded place (restaurants count!). You want to have enough space to revel in your engagement for a little while after you propose. You don't want to have to rush out of that intimate moment and into all of the emotions and energies of your family and friends. You also don't want to rush your partner out of that special moment and back into real life.

God forbid, just as well... What if they say no? You do not want to have to walk out and face your hundred closest friends.

Photo by Jessica Perez.

Plan the whole day

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is planning only up to the proposal. If you propose at the end of the evening, this is less of an issue, but even so—how are you getting home? Are you going to have more champagne after your proposal? What will you do when you get home—and by extension, are there any chores that you should take care of ahead of time? Nobody wants to take a bus home from the pier at which they got engaged. 

Start at the beginning of the day, and work all the way through to the next morning. Breakfast, lunch, romantic dinner, proposal, cocktails, more cocktails, romantic walk, cab ride all the way home, more champagne and some fun times at home (if you know what we mean), and end the day with a movie and snuggles.

Next morning? Make a big, fancy breakfast. You can stretch this out to an engagement weekend if you propose on a Friday. The more celebration, the better. In every case. 

There's the tea! Those are the secrets—the unspoken rules of the proposal. Any other pro-tips you can think of? Tell us below!

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