The Art of the Proposal
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The art of proposing is one that has developed over the years, and the modern-day proposal comes in a variety of formats, styles and contexts. Whilst many of us grew up dreaming that a handsome prince would romantically ask for our hand in marriage, the reality of how two people choose to spend their lives together is starkly different, and is not expressed or lived in any one way. Love is unique!
Most married couples know that the ‘Proposal Story’ is one that, at least in the beginning, is told often. This shouldn’t make you feel pressured to propose in an elaborate way however, as the best stories are the ones that are perfectly unique to the couple. The bride loved skiing, so the groom carved the words, ‘Marry Me?’ into the snow beneath the ski lift. The groom loved Hawaii, so the bride proposed during a private dinner at their favourite resort. The couple weren’t too excited by romantic gestures, so they discussed their life goals and popped open a bottle of champagne and some beautiful roses UK. Whatever the method, showing your significant other that the proposal is tailored to them will make an already special moment even better.
It you’re unsure of all the things you should be considering prior to popping the question, read our guide to find out what we recommend to make your moment memorable, beautiful and as unique as your relationship.
Choose a ring
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This may sound simple, but may people struggle with choosing something they think their partner will want to wear for the rest of their life. It’s becoming more commonplace for brides to actually choose their own ring, either before or after the proposal. If you’ve decided to surprise your partner by selecting a ring for them, there a few steps you can follow to ensure you find a gorgeous ring within your price range.
- Decide on your budget before you start looking. Depending on your situation, you’ll probably have a lot of expenses in the near future (a wedding, perhaps?), so don’t feel pressured to sell your home because the pushy salesperson shows you a large diamond. Of course you want to make your partner happy, but committing to a marriage is about so much more than a shiny rock. Choose an amount you’re comfortable with, and don’t budge.
- Do some research. Ask around and do some reading online to find out where the most trusted jewellers are located. If there are any issues with the ring, you want to be sure you can easily access the jeweller who made it, and trust that it is a high quality piece.
- Measure your partner’s finger by inspecting other rings they have, or taking along a friend who has a similar finger size (you can always have the ring resized too, so don’t worry if you’re unsure!)
- Subtly ask your partner about their jewellery preferences. Do they like gold or silver? Do they like their friend’s ring, or is the diamond too big? What kind of jewellery to they usually wear? Can you see them wearing a coloured stone? You’ll have to be extra careful when asking these questions so as not to set off any alarm bells, so be creative.
- Confide in a trustworthy friend of your other half, and ask their opinion. Your girlfriend’s best friend probably has some idea of what she likes, and may even be able to try some rings on to show you how they look. Consider giving her a gift by way of saying thank you, like a dinner voucher or something from your local florist
Choose a time and place
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This doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, but it should be personal. Some ideas include:
- A beach proposal, with the words, ‘Will You Marry Me?’ drawn in the sand.
- A picnic proposal with champagne, lilies and a box of chocolates containing the ring.
- A scavenger hunt that takes your significant other to all the places that mean something to the two of you, with romantic clues and fun puzzles for them along the way. With any luck, they’ll find their way to you at the end, holding a ring.
- A video of you, your friends and your family talking about your relationship, including footage of the two of you together.
- An airport proposal where you surprise your significant other with a large sign with the words, ‘Let’s Travel Together Forever - Will You Marry Me?’. If you want to include family, ask them to hold a word each whilst you present the ring.
- A family affair, where you ask your children to be involved in the process, like by presenting your partner with a ring whilst wearing shirts that ask the question. If you have well trained pets, involving them can be a lot of fun, too.
- The getaway proposal, where you wait until you’re away together and pop the question during a romantic dinner or whilst taking in a beautiful view.
Proposals can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like, so be creative!
Check in with loved ones (optional)
Asking a father for permission to marry his daughter is an antiquated and old fashioned ritual, and for most modern couples completely unnecessary. You may wish to discuss your impending proposal with your or your partner’s family, perhaps to involve them in the process or to ask for their advice, but this should be done at your own discretion. Send roses to significant family members to show that this is their celebration, too!
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Write down what you’d like to say
Regardless of whether you’re planning a week long celebration, or if you’re going to ask your partner for their hand in marriage during a football match, it’s important to plan what you’re going to say. If you anticipate nerves, there’s nothing wrong with reading your notes word for word, but for some it’s simply a useful exercise in clarifying thoughts, and on the day they speak spontaneously. Consider what you want to communicate about your relationship, your love, why you want to get married and what your partner means to you.
Relax and enjoy the moment
Although you’ll probably be very nervous in the lead up, try your best to enjoy the proposal and subsequent days. Many people like to hire photographers to secretly catch the special moment, and take subsequent photographs of them as they celebrate - just don’t forget the 50 red roses!