Planning and pulling off a marriage proposal is daunting, and for good reason: it could be one of the most important things you'll ever do. But this, like much of engagement ring shopping and wedding planning, is another opportunity to be overwhelmed by options. The sky really is the limit, so the key to pulling off a proposal you will be proud of is staying focused. Here are our 7 top tips for pulling off a proposal to which your partner will definitely answer yes.
Know the answer before you ask
This one might seem a bit funky—how can you be sure they'll say yes before you ask? But this is where you need to start. Have you and your partner discussed marriage at all? Is this a shared goal for your relationship, or have you decided that you're ready for marriage all on your own? When you buy the ring, or go into your proposal, you should know with absolute certainty that your partner will say yes. Not only will this save you potential heartache and wasted money, this is the respectful thing to do: don't spring this question on someone who is not ready. Have a conversation about your future first.
Photos from this adorable post on Brides.com.
Know what your partner wants
You can't go wrong planning a proposal if you know your partner well. Are they dramatic, extravagant, and a lover of attention? Go full Jumbotron at your favourite sports team's home game. Are they quiet, sophisticated, and inclined toward fewer, better things? Buy a great bottle of wine to share on the beach and then pop the question. Tailor your proposal to perfectly match you as a couple. It can be tempting to go big and romantic, but if that doesn't feel honest to you now, it never will—you want to look back on your proposal and feel proud of your decisions. This goes for other wedding and proposal etiquette too—does your partner want you to ask their parents? Would they hate it if you did? These are things you need to know! Which leads us to our next point...
It's not about you
That's right. The proposal is not about you. It's about your partner, and you two as a couple. You are proposing—it will only be successful if your partner agrees to marry you. So don't glorify your role in the moment. Use the proposal to demonstrate to your partner all that you love about them, and all of the things you remember and consider special from your time together. Don't take your partner to your favourite restaurant—listen to their hopes for a proposal and make those dreams come true.
Use a trusted friend as a sounding board
If you're feeling confused or on the fence, turn to a trusting friend (or a planner!). Just be sure this friend can keep quiet—there's nothing worse than the rumour making it back to your partner before the ring is on their finger. Run through timelines, spit ball ideas, talk through what you both consider your partner to be like, and what they might enjoy. This is a great way to double check your estimations and also check any dramatic plans... It's always good to have a second opinion).
Plan your ask
This might sound a bit micro-manage-y, but it's the truth. When you get down on one knee, and your partner realizes what's going on, you don't want to fumble. No one is expecting a perfect sonnet recited in time, but you might want to keep things on theme. Surefire winners to share: when did you know that your partner was the one for you? What do you love most about them? What do you appreciate about how they contribute to your relationship? Keep it short—get the sentiment across and then pop the question, because you know they'll be so excited to say yes.
Don't rush it
Some proposals are regimented, timed down to the moment—flash mobs, brass bands, and Jumbotron proposals included. If you are opting for anything else (which we encourage), the most important thing you can do is to go with the flow. So the sun is almost down, and you wanted to propose at sunset, but there's a super loud truck idling near the beach, or there's a noisy bachelorette party at the restaurant. Just wait! Yes, the sun will go down, but the night sky is just as romantic and this time, it'll be much quieter.
Photos from Brides.com.
Keep it simple
This is perhaps the most important tip we can offer. Yes, your love is worth millions so your proposal should be proportionally massive, we guess—but stuff and dramatics, and big public gestures, introduce more stress than is necessary for a beautiful, personal, romantic proposal. Our suggestion? Rent an Airbnb somewhere beautiful, make a nice dinner, maybe print some of your favourite photos or assemble mementos to look over together. Then, with a bottle of wine on hand, and pop the question! It's as easy as "will you marry me?". If you do decide for a public or semi-public proposal, however, we implore you to hire a photographer. You will never regret having that moment captured by a professional.
Do you have any tips to share? What worked for you and your fiancé(e)? Let us know below!