You might think the perfect proposal needs to involve a huge romantic gesture in a public place, but that’s just not true. Here’s what you need to consider, and how to plan the perfect marriage proposal for the love of your life.
1. Make Sure You are Both Ready
This is the most important aspect of any marriage proposal. If you’re planning to propose because you think it will be wonderfully romantic, or because your partner has given you an ultimatum, or if you have been having problems and feel this will cement the relationship, don’t do it.
If, on the other hand, you are absolutely sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are both head over heels in love with each other (yes, even after years of living together), and want to make a real and lasting commitment to spend the rest of your lives together, then you’re ready to propose marriage.
2. Discuss Your Intentions With Their Parents
It sounds very old fashioned to ask their father’s permission but actually just having an open and honest discussion with their parents, and yours, about your intentions can be very useful for everyone. It will show you respect their child and that you’re serious about making a lifetime commitment. You don’t have to do this but it’s a thoughtful touch and should help to ingratiate you with your future in-laws. Marriage is more than just the joining of two people after all, it is the coming together of two families.
3. Know Their Style
I don’t just mean so you can choose a ring to present on bended knee. It’s important to know whether your partner would rather choose their own ring or have one selected for them, or specially designed even. It’s a risky business to go ahead and guess what their dream engagement ring would look like, even if you’re sure they’d love the surprise. They will be expected to wear it on their hand for the rest of their life, after all, so it’s important to get it right!
If you’re sure they will love to have a ring presented, and you know you have found the most perfect style, you’ll need to discover their finger size next. If they already wear a ring on their ring finger (the third finger from the thumb), and take it off from time to time, draw around it on a piece of paper and take your drawing to a local jeweller who should be able to tell you the correct size from there. You don’t have to propose with a ring at all. It’s fine to propose without a ring, or with a token ring, and suggest you go engagement ring shopping together.
4. Make it Memorable
If you know that your partner would absolutely love a surprise proposal, then make it memorable. No one is ever going to tell their grandchildren how romantic it was when grandpa popped the question in the launderette or over beans on toast. Make it a special moment in a special place. A deserted beach cove in the moonlight, a clifftop restaurant with breathtaking views, or somewhere personal to both of you.
5. Make it Personal
At the end of the day, knowing how to plan the perfect marriage proposal is all about knowing your partner and what they truly want, as much as knowing how you want your future to unfold. And while many of us enjoy being the centre of attention at times, not everyone wants that during such a personal moment. It’s up to you to gauge your partner, and whether they would prefer to be asked such a monumental question in private or public. It’s worth bearing in mind that public proposals do put a lot of pressure on the person to say yes, when in actual fact, they may prefer to think about it before agreeing – which is actually a very sensible move.
6. Be Honest and Realistic
When you are proposing to spend the rest of your life with your partner, and perhaps also start a family with them, it’s important you are completely honest and open. Share your feelings, your hopes and dreams, and be realistic. If you feel that you probably can’t afford a lavish wedding or would prefer to save up, then say so and agree a date together. If you haven’t already done so, this might also be the time to discuss whether you both want to have children in the future, or not. Ideally, you would have have already had this conversation before proposing marriage.
Getting engaged is about making a promise to always be there for the love of your life. It’s about marriage first and an engagement party and wedding second. Your proposal will be the start of a new chapter in your relationship, a new level of commitment, made exciting and romantic with diamonds, but still a serious step for you both. You can read more about how to make a long term relationship last in my Six Secrets to a Happy Marriage.
For more inspiration and ideas on getting engaged and planning a wedding please visit The Wedding Blog.