Have you met that special someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with? Congrats! Amazing! This is a huge life event for you. If you’re planning to propose, you likely already have some sort of idea in your head. Or, maybe, you don’t know where to start at all! That’s okay! We're here for you. If you have an idea, this guide will help you perfect it while also avoiding potential problems. If you have no idea at all, this guide will not only help you think of a plan, but it will show you how to pull it off as well.
Getting the Timing Right
You might want to propose the minute you buy the engagement ring, but timing is important. Your new fiancée will be telling your engagement story to friends and family for the rest of her life, so you’ll want to make it special.
Wait for the right moment. It will be worth it.
Make It Memorable
You may want to choose a location or a date that is meaningful to the two of you. Consider the restaurant where you had your first date, or pop the question on the anniversary of your first kiss, for example. This will make it even more special.
Doing What She’d Like
As much as you may have an idea for an amazing proposal in your head, it might not be the same image that she’s picturing. For example, you might want to pop the question in a busy restaurant or in front of your friends and family, but is that what she wants? If it is, great, go for it! But if it isn’t, realize that you’re putting her in an incredibly uncomfortable situation if you go ahead with one of these proposals.
No one wants to feel uncomfortable at this moment of their life. A proposal should be joyous and exciting, not awkward. If you’re not sure if your partner would like a public proposal, it’s often best to avoid one to be safe.
Scout the Location
No matter where you are planning on proposing, you’ll need to do some work in advance. Scout out the proposal location and think about any potential issues that could arise. For example, if you’re planning on proposing at a public place, find out if it has operating hours or if anything is booked there for the day you want to propose. You don’t want to show up at the park with a picnic lunch and a ring in your pocket only to discover that there’s a farmers’ market filling the place that day.
If you’re planning on popping the question at a restaurant, call ahead. Tell them your plan, ask them to keep it a secret, and find out if there’s anything they can do to make the moment more memorable.
How To Keep the Secret
One of the most important – and most difficult – aspects of planning a proposal is keeping it a secret. Not only will you likely be bursting with excitement, but the prospect of slipping up and accidentally revealing your plans always exists.
A key to keeping the secret is to not tell very many people. If you can avoid telling anyone, that’s likely the best option. However, you may want to tell your girlfriend’s parents or your best friend, or someone else who is close to you. That’s understandable. Just make sure you let whoever you tell know that it’s a secret. Don’t assume they already know.
You’ll also need to be quick on your feet. If she asks you why you want to go for dinner at a fancy restaurant or why you want to take a trip to the beach where you first met, you’ll need to have a plausible response already in mind.
You’ll also want to make sure that you hide the engagement ring somewhere where she won’t find it.
Remember: Things Can Go Wrong
You could have planned every single aspect of your proposal down to the very second… and something could still go wrong. That’s life. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes a restaurant screws up your reservation. Sometimes you get sick and can’t get out of bed. While everyone wants a perfect proposal, know that perfection isn’t possible. Try to roll with the punches and remember to have a back-up plan (or two) in mind.