Top tips for great proposals

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

From A to Z, everything you need to know about popping the question

Assumption is the mother of all screw‐ups

Planning is crucial, so never leave anything to chance. Make sure that prior to popping the question, there are no unresolved issues between you and your intended that could cast doubt into her mind. Like you being unemployed for instance.

Best things in life are free

Throwing cash at the proposal is all well and good, but it’s being thoughtful that will win the day. Remembering her favourite meal, wine, holiday location, view, music etc will mean a great deal to her. Just make sure you don’t get her details muddled up with your ex.

Champagne scenarios

Have a bottle of Champagne ready to celebrate ‐‐ it’s a nice touch. Remember that cider, lager, Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch (even if you have put it through the soda stream) won’t be quite the same.

Diamonds are forever…on your credit card

This is one item that she (theoretically) will be wearing for the rest of her life, so treat the cost as an investment and you’ll find you won’t resent it so much. If it’s horrible, she’ll only loose it ‘by accident’ down the waste disposal. Tiffany’s diamond engagement rings start from just £800…which is a good place to start. Click here to find engagement rings in our supplier directory.

Each to their own

Do your own thing and don’t be pressured by friends or family if you seek advice on how to propose. Your father’s lunge over a plate of fish’n’chips thirty years ago may have secured your mother, but by now you should have your own style.

Finally, it’s happened to me (I feel a song coming on)

Rule number one about proposing is: don’t ask if you’re not 100 per cent certain. It’s much easier to keep your mouth shut now than to have to explain to each guest individually why you didn’t turn up on the big day. Also, changing your mind once you’ve asked her is just plain suicide.

Get me to the church sometime

The first question to follow your ‘Will you..?’ will be her ‘When?’, so give this some advance thought. Couples can be engaged for years, although the average engagement period is twelve months.

X‐files (beware of ex‐girlfriends)

‘There are hearts breaking all over the world tonight’ (name that film). You getting hitched will doubtless cause some girl, somewhere, to sob into her pillow; unless you’re ugly and boring of course. Keep your head down. Now is not be a good time to have second thoughts.

You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Make all the plans you can, but in the event that your plans go astray, just roll with it and pop that question anyway. You’ll still get an ‘A’ for effort.

You want a friend? Buy a dog.

Dogs and other pets make excellent substitute babies. Take one step at a time, if the ‘f’ word is mentioned (family), pop down to Battersea ‐‐ that should buy you some time.

Zzzzzzz, make sure you choose the right moment

Bad timing: when she’s asleep, hung‐over, tired or pre‐menstrual.

Good timing: while you’re on holiday, out of the old routine, in a place of natural beauty.

Happily ever after… yeah, right

Marriage is a long road: it takes compromise, patience and love. If she doesn’t like the ring (which will probably emerge over the following week), smile, don’t take it personally, fish the receipt from your wallet and resign yourself to endless weekends of ‘Ooh, but what about this one…?’

‘I’ve never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back’.(Zsa Zsa Gabor).

Make sure your partner understands that she only gets to keep the ring if she marries you. A number of people have had their fingers burnt when the girl pulled out of the marriage proposal, followed by a shifty, ‘What ring?’

Just say no

If you’re not sure, say no. If you don’t believe in forever, get a pre‐nup. While you’re at it, get a life.

Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs

On hearing of your proposal, you will notice most girls break into a state of near hysteria ‐ happy hysteria generally. Be warned, this will continue up until the wedding and for a few months beyond, to the extent that you will probably require therapy once it’s all over.

Laugh

If she says no ‐‐ laugh ‐‐ hysterically. Follow it by shouting out “kidding!” or something. It might not work, but it’s worth a try. You can cry later.

Marriage is an institution, so is Broadmoor

Don’t expect life to be easy ‐‐ let’s face it, you’ve spent your whole life practising being selfish. Try and do something special once a week that you haven’t done before that is just for her (and I don’t mean taking her to see your team play).

Never say never again

If she says no, remember it’s her loss. You never liked her anyway. Cash in the ring and go on a bender with the boys.

Of all the weddings, in all the world, she had to walk into mine

Make sure there is not another lady in your life lurking in the wings. Chances are, the moment you commit to one person, another will start showing interest. Make sure you get closure on all your exes.

Paris, New York, Milan…London Zoo? (location, location, location)

Don’t be dull, who wants to go to another wedding in a cute parish church? Put your foot down. How about London Zoo, Stamford Bridge or even Silverstone?!

Pre‐nups

Only a good thing if you have your own personal fortune, or trust fund, or several previous children to support. It is inadvisable to ask a solicitor to draw one up just for your CD collection.

Quickies

With all the traditional wedding palaver, it’s little wonder Gretna does such a roaring trade. Quickies, as in sex, keep the spice alive. Get on a flight to Vegas and get it over with.

Rock of Gibraltar

The bigger the diamond, the longer she’ll put up with you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Stage fright

You may have planned on asking for her hand for months, but every time you get close to bending your knee, you lose the power of speech. Well get a grip, you loser! Be brave and pull yourself together. March up, take her in your arms and ask her if she wants anything from the newsagents. If you can’t honestly get the words out, you are allowed to do it drunk.

To kneel or not to kneel, that is the question

Kneel.

Under no circumstances trust your best man

Worse than proposing is choosing your best man. Friendships soon plummet into playground politics and, ultimately, you just have to go with your gut instinct. Ask yourself this. Which friend won’t leave you tied up naked on a ferry to Boulogne?

Vicar with attitude

More wedding than proposal, really, but here’s a book early tip: try and find a vicar with an equity card.

What is a secret? something you only tell one person at a time

Don’t tell anyone, be that dark horse you’ve always wanted to be, keep it zipped. The only person that is allowed to know about the proposal before you partner should be her father.

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