The perfect proposal: How to prepare for the big day
The perfect proposal: How to prepare for the big dayPublished: 14 February 2022
There are so many things that make a proposal one of life's highlights. From the act of getting down on one knee to surprising them with the perfect engagement ring, there are many long-standing traditions that have stuck around, but others that are starting to change with the times. If you're hoping to take this step together soon, then here's how to plan the perfect proposal for your better half.
Knowing your partnerAmidst all the organisation (and a healthy dose of nerves) that goes into a proposal, the most important thing to remember is that it's all about you and your partner. While some may dream of public, elaborately planned events that come as a complete surprise, others may appreciate a more understated moment like popping the question at the top of their favourite hike. Everyone's idea of the perfect proposal is different: so, first and foremost, try to base every choice on what makes them happy.
Sticking to tradition or a modern takeOne tradition that may be less popular today is asking the bride's father for his permission. While some feel it's a little stuck in the past, for others this is simply a nod of respect to the bride's family before popping the question. Despite the fact this etiquette is somewhat fading out, a recent marriage survey found that while only 31% of men said they would ask their future father-in-law for permission, 57% of women still thought they should. Keeping your partner in mind, consider: would she find traditions like asking permission a little outdated and prefer to surprise her parents with the news? Or, has she long been dreaming of a fairy-tale wedding and holds a soft spot for the more traditional ways? To help find a happy medium between tradition and modernity, you could speak with both of her parents before popping the question, and rather than asking for permission simply tell them how much you love their daughter and that you intend to ask her to marry you.
Finding the perfect ringOne tradition that's certainly stood the test of time is the engagement ring, and when you get down on one knee, you'll want the ring in your hand to be just as beautiful as she is. Not only this, but finding the perfect ring is one of the best opportunities in life to show your partner how well you know them. While picking out such an important piece of jewellery may seem like a daunting task, try to base your decisions not just on what will capture your fiancée's heart on the big day, but also what she'll cherish wearing every day after. For instance, is she someone who likes to keep things simple and a little more understated? Or does she want her jewellery to be bold, playful, and make a statement? Considering how her personality is reflected by the ring is just as important as the cut of the diamond or the colour of the band. If you're struggling to choose from the vast array out there, then letting one close friend or family member in on the secret means they can give you a helping hand to choose something she'll adore. However, another slight departure from tradition is that more couples are designing or picking a ring out together. In fact, a 2021 survey of newly engaged people found that around 75% had at least some say in the ring they received. While it may take away the element of surprise, many feel like this a great first step to take together and it reduces some of the pressure on their partner making this big decision on their own.
Choosing a special time and placeAlong with anniversaries, Christmas and Valentine's Day are still the most popular times that men choose to propose. But these don't have to be the only dates that stand out for you as a couple: your first date, your first kiss, or the day you moved in together can all act as moments to show how your relationship has come full circle. To really sweep your partner off their feet, you could propose on a date that they may not even know themselves, such as the day or even the spot you were stood on when you realised you wanted to marry them. Location is often considered one of the crucial parts of a proposal. Stunning scenery certainly helps, and more proposals are happening outdoors since our increased time at home over the last two years. However, if you don't happen to live near any jaw-dropping vistas, then choosing a location that holds lots of sentimental value and adding your own touch of romance like candles, flowers, and music can be equally — if not more — meaningful. Again, consider what they would want here: would a public event with someone taking photographs be their ideal proposal? Or would an intimate moment between the two of you suit them better? For many of us, even the simplest gestures can mean the most. Proposals are one of life's special milestones that we remember forever. And while this makes them all the more magical, it can feel a little daunting to plan. With these tips in mind, you can start to feel more confident when getting down on one knee and hoping for a 'yes'.
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