You can’t wait to call her fiancé and then wife, but trust us you should wait – at least until you’ve planned the perfect proposal. She loves you and will probably say yes regardless, but this is a moment she’s dreamed of since childhood and the only time you will ask a woman to spend the rest of their life with you – not a small request – so it’s worthwhile doing it right. Plus the pride and joy you’ll feel once you pull it off and watch your betrothed relaying the story to her friends and family with sheer bliss is worth every second.
The engagement is about your relationship and committing to spending your life with the one you love, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to drop a knee. That said, if her parents are in her life, chances are they –and your lady love – will appreciate you asking for their blessing. More than anything it’s a traditional gesture of respect and bearing in mind that you might be asking them to pick up the wedding tab, babysit your kids and share family holidays, it’s worth while getting into the future in-laws’ good books.
Surprise = Score
For ultimate thrill-factor, try keep your proposal a surprise. Discuss marriage with your partner to get a feel of whether she is ready to take the next step on your journey to happily ever after, but once you know you’re both on the same page, it’s time to go underground. Friends and family will be excited for you to pop the question, so much so that they might let the cat out of the bag with their weird behaviour or hints. So only let a few (if any) people in on the plan and keep the details on the low down unless you need help executing the perfect proposal.
When it comes to proposals, its crucial to keep it personal and not get so carried away with an extravagant plan that you forget that the occasion is first and foremost about the two of you. Sure a proposal on a yacht in the Mediterranean is flash, but it’s more important to her that your proposal is intimate and special for you, that it reflects her values, your love, an understanding of what she holds dear. What place holds a special meaning to her or your relationship? Does she like you in a certain outfit? What’s her favourite wine? Focus on the details and come up with a few ideas to make her smile (aside from the prospect of marrying you of course).
Practice Makes Perfect
So you’ve got a plan and you’re working on the flowers, the ring, the bubbly and the playlist, but don’t forget the reason you’re planning this romantic spectacular – to ask the woman of your dreams one really big question. Don’t choke up when the moment arrives and your heart and the adrenalin is pumping, think beforehand how you want to phase your question and practice it a few times.
Will you get straight down to it with a basic “will you marry me” or start with a few words about your relationship and how she has changed your life forever? It’s one sentence you’ll both remember forever, and there’s no second take (no pressure).
Bring The Ring
Not presenting her with a ring when you pop the question is simply bad proposal etiquette. We’re not saying she won’t say yes if you don’t, but studies say that in general women think this is a mistake. She might not be too phased, but she will be asked constantly to produce her left hand for admiration and it’s nice for her to have something to show – even if it’s a ring fashioned from a cable tie. It also makes the whole event feel more official. If you would like her to choose her own ring, then get a stand-in ring and make it clear very quickly that’s its only a prop and that you’re planning a trip to your nearest Shimansky boutique to choose her dream engagement ring together.
So she said yes! Now what? She is going to want to celebrate and you will be giddy with relief that you pulled off the whole thing successfully, so festivities are most certainly in order. You don’t want to leave her thinking “and now?” so have a plan of action (yes another one).
Will she want to celebrate alone, a romantic evening for two? Or would she want to share the moment with friends and family in a big “She Said Yes” party at her favourite eatery? If you’re including others in the celebrations, ensure all the key players can make it by booking them well in advance – these include parents, siblings and best friends.
Anything we’ve left out? Share your thoughts on what makes the perfect engagement below.