Proposals are just as nerve-wracking as they are delightful. The stress of planning it all out can get overwhelming and even ruin the mood. Here are five smart strategies that are guaranteed to help your milestone moment go off without a hitch.
Consider how to handle the blessing
Many cultures have a tradition where the person proposing marriage has to obtain the blessing, i.e. permission or approval, of a family member before popping the question. This is typically one or both parents of the person being proposed to.
In some circumstances, the blessing may be required of another parental figure (e.g. grandparent, godparent), other family member (e.g. elder sibling, uncle, etc.), close friend, or mentor figure. This usually happens if the parents are departed or otherwise absent from the partner’s life.
If your significant other values tradition, you might want to include the blessing request in your proposal plans. Consider everything you know about their family dynamic and figure out who to talk to. If you’re unsure, ask their long-time friends for some insight.
Generally, your safest bet is to ask the blessing from their closest family member, even if that’s not a parent. You can also choose to forgo this step entirely, if your significant other isn’t that big on traditional arrangements.
Choose an appropriate location
The particular spot where you pop the question will play a significant role. Choose a place that’s meaningful to you and your significant other. This will elevate your proposal from simply memorable to entirely unforgettable.
You don’t have to hassle yourself with some exotic destination. It’s okay to stay close to home as long as the place has personal significance to you two. Consider these ideas:
- the place you two met,
- the place you had your first date,
- the location of any significant milestone in your relationship,
- a spot from which you can see their favorite landscape,
- a spot they previously said they consider particularly romantic, etc.
Choose an appropriate ring
There is a ton of gravity assigned to this accessory. Some believe it should be an extravagantly expensive item; others insist that custom, handmade rings are more significant. You know your partner best. The one bit of advice we’d like to give is to not get stuck on default diamonds.
Consider creative alternatives such as double band engagement ring, amethyst rings, sapphire designs, or even nicely cut zircons. They’re all popular choices for non-diamond engagement rings. If your significant other values the environment and fair labor, consider a lab-grown jewel instead of a mined one.
If you want to preserve the surprise, plan some sleuthing in advance. Ask parents, siblings, and trusted friends to subtly tease out your sweetheart’s jewellery preferences. Discreetly check out their Pinterest and Instagram for clues. You also need to figure out their ring size. You can always take the ring for resizing if necessary, but why not get it right the first time?
Prepare a backup strategy
Once you have your proposal planned out, plan a backup. What happens if you want an outdoors moment but the weather turns foul? What if one of you gets stuck in traffic, has to work late, gets there too early, falls ill, etc.?
If you’re planning a proposal away from home, have a few locations in the vicinity in mind. You need both indoors and outdoors options. What if your chosen venue is too crowded or unexpectedly closes?
If you really want your proposal to be unforgettable, you may have to shift it around a bit. Mentally prepare yourself for alternate scenarios or even complete rescheduling. Remember, you’ve waited this long to pop the question. Better wait a tad more than let impatience ruin your moment.
Keep it between you two
Finally, a word of caution. Your partner should be your only focus, even if you propose in a public place. Some people prefer a completely intimate proposal with nobody else there. Others love spotlight scenarios like parties or packed restaurants. Still others go for a middle ground and would appreciate a cozy proposal in a family circle.
Whatever your scenario, don’t put your partner in the center of attention until you receive your answer. Of course we’re all reasonably expecting a delighted “Yes!” but the unsolicited audience pressure can be a dealbreaker for some people. You also want to avoid making your significant other feel as if they’re being forced to share this intimate milestone with others before they’re ready.
It’s generally considered in poor taste to demand everyone’s attention for your moment unless they’re close family and friends. If you’re in the living room at the future in-laws’, it’s okay to say you have an announcement. If you’re in a setting with strangers, like a restaurant, just do your thing and let the onlookers catch wind at their own pace.
In summary, your perfect proposal depends a lot on your partner’s preferences. Consider their taste in jewellery, how they feel about mined vs. lab-grown gems, and whether they’d prefer a public or private proposal. Figure out who you should ask for a blessing, if anyone at all. Finally, prepare a backup plan in case your ideal scenario doesn’t work out. Think of a few meaningful locations so you have alternatives lined up, and no matter the context, make sure your partner is your primary focus.