You’ve found the one! They're your best friend, your soul mate, and you can’t wait to spend the rest of your lives together. Now how the heck are you going to pull this off?
Step 1 – Making sure the answer is YES
You’re ready for a bigger commitment, but before you start planning an elaborate proposal make sure they are ready too. If you haven’t already been given a few subtle (or not so subtle hints) dig a little deeper. Pay attention. Gauge reactions to other friend’s proposals and wedding talk in general. The last thing you want to do is catch your partner off guard with an untimely proposal. Have you talked about marriage or a future together? Do you both believe in marriage and are you ready for this? If yes, then great, permission granted to move onto step two.
Step 2 – Getting each parents blessing
This may seem a little old fashion and is not completely necessary in all cases, but it is an important sign of respect to include their parents. Ask yourself: is this something that would be important to your loved one and their family? How close are they with their parents? How close are you with their parents? Are they traditional or more modern thinking? Ultimately, what would your future spouse want? Also, yes, PARENTS is plural. Please include both their mother and father. This is the 21st century for goodness sakes!
Step 3 – Choosing the right ring
It’s time to do your research and get a little resourceful. Figure out their ring size and listen to any clues given on what is their ultimate ring style. Do they love their friend’s vintage engagement ring, or does a more simple and classic style seem like the better choice? Maybe a minimalist engagement ring would be appropriate if they don’t wear much jewellery? Perhaps a more non-traditional, coloured gemstone or unique shape would be ideal. If they keep a Pinterest board then take a peek, as it may have some inspiration for you.
Think about your wedding bands as well. Will it compliment the engagement ring and what type of metal is preferred? As for quality, get to know your 4C’s (Colour, Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight) and pay attention to the karat and manufacture’s mark on the inside of the band. This is the only significant piece of jewellery, to be worn with every outfit, all the time, which means that a lot of thought needs to be put into selecting the right rings.
Step 4 – Picking the perfect location
Although many movies suggest that a large, elaborate public engagement, putting you and your partner at the centre of attention of strangers is the most romantic thing in the world, I’m going to advise to think of a more private location. This doesn’t mean that your proposal can’t be in public and yes, maybe the grand gesture of you shouting their name from the rooftops would be absolutely loved (you know better than I do). All I’m saying is that your proposal is about the two of you and making it an intimate moment for you both to share can be much more romantic.
Whatever location you choose should have some meaning behind it that reflects your relationship together. The restaurant where you had your first date, the park where you shared your first kiss, the rooftop of the first hotel you stayed together, a weekend away trip to a destination, which will create a new and memorable experience. You could even consider keeping it simple and proposing in the seclusion of your home.
Step 5 – Making it personal
Incorporating the favourite things and unique pieces of your relationship will let them know that you put some real thought and effort into your proposal. Do you love to hike together? Climb up to the top of a mountain with a gorgeous view and pop the question. Do you share some quirky inside joke that only the two of you understand? Try to include it. Was there something you said on your first date that resulted in laughter? Repeat it during your proposal. Would creating an intimate and charming setting at home be optimal? Start the morning with a champagne breakfast in bed and your proposal, followed by a whole day together, just the two of you. Do you share an admiration for the stars and the moonlight? Take a drive to a secluded spot with the best view of the night sky.
Step 6 – Being prepared and asking for help
Even with all the preparation in the world things can and may not go exactly as planned. However, it is important to think of everything and anything that could happen. Prepare ahead of time for last minute changes in your proposal and have a back up plan for things like weather, traffic and hiding the ring.
As well, think ahead about the details of your proposal and whose help you may need along the way. Is there set up required that you will need assistance with? Would your significant other want it caught on camera? Will they want to be prepared with an outfit and a fresh manicure?
You will of course be tempted to ask friends for advice each step of the way. Although it can be helpful at the time, keep in mind that the more people that know the more likely someone may let it slip. Also, the more opinions you receive the more overwhelming each step can seem.
Step 7 – The Proposal
While your heart is beating out of your chest and you feel like you may vomit from nervousness, how are you going to remember all the words that you’ve been reciting for the last few weeks? Let me give you some peace of mind and reassure you that the shock and awe of your romantic gesture will most likely leave them in a complete and exhilarating blur. So just relax, speak from your heart and include these simple tips of what to say and do for the perfect proposal:
1. Dress for the occasion
2. Get down on one knee
3. Say their full name
4. State the reasons why you want to spend your life together
5. Use the words "Will you marry me?"
Step 8 – The Aftermath
Congratulations you did it! Now before you both go running in opposite directions to tell every person you’ve ever met about the great news, take a moment to enjoy it, just the two of you. You will have plenty of time to let all your loved ones know (seeing as you’ve just committed to spending your whole lives together.) Plan to spend the rest of the day or evening with one another, taking in this new and exciting step in your relationship. Once you are both ready be sure to phone your closest friends and family before sending out a mass post on social media. The last thing you want is for your brother’s, girlfriend’s second cousin to find out before your best friends.
Ultimately, in every decision you make put your future spouse first; style, interests, values, etc. Your goal should be to create the dream proposal and in the end as long as you put some real thought and effort behind this, it will be unforgettable!!