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Putting the ‘Pro’ in Propose

Feb. 20 2014
Struggling with proposal ideas? Or even the basics of how to propose? Here are some tips.

Kay was round for dinner the other night while F was out with the guys. We shared some wine and chatted about how difficult it was for men to come up with proposal ideas.

I joked about proposing myself, but secretly I am glad us girls haven’t got the pressure that the men have to come up with novel and imaginative ideas to make the moment unforgettable. When we thought about it, we decided that it must be pretty scary for men who want to do the right thing, make it perfect and even try and enjoy the moment themselves.

Kay is very practical in her thinking, as am I, and we decided to imagine we were writing a piece on proposal ideas and how to propose. It was an interesting idea and turned out to be an equally interesting discussion.

Timing is Everything

When planning a proposal, it is hard to decide in what order things must be done. However, we are starting with ‘when’, as this can sometimes dictate the ‘where’, which comes next.

Pocket Watch by Artiom Gorgan, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

When establishing your proposal idea: start by deciding on the timing

For example, if you decide you are going to propose in a park, surrounded by wildlife and stunning scenery, but your proposal is in the middle of January, your dreams of beautiful flowers and the fresh scents of nature may be thwarted somewhat by the torrential rain, not to mention the extra burden of dirty trousers after you’ve knelt down in the mud.

So, for this reason we chose ‘when’ as the first priority on our checklist. You may want to consider a date that bears special meaning for the lady in question, such as a birthday or Valentine’s Day, or a date important for the two of you as a couple, such as your anniversary.

Alternatively, you may be more concerned about the time of year as opposed to the specific date. Maybe you love the idea of curling up by the fire afterwards, enjoying some mulled wine and good cheese to go with it? Or are you more concerned with choosing a time when you’ll be able to spend an extended period of time alone together, such as on a holiday or at a weekend?

Location, Location, Location

This category seems quite self-explanatory so no lengthy introduction is needed here to clarify why you need to decide where to propose. There are a million and one options to choose from when it comes to deciding on where you want to propose, so start by asking yourself the following questions: Do you have a special place you share as a couple? Does she have a favourite restaurant or bar?

Finding a place that has meaning to either her or you both can add an extra element to a proposal, as it shows thought and understanding, as well as enhances the positive feelings she already associates with such a place.

It is also necessary to ask yourself if there were anywhere she really would not appreciate going, perhaps, or could not go for one reason or another? It is no good taking the love of your life to the local Italian down the road if her ex-boyfriend works there, or taking her for afternoon teacakes if she is allergic to gluten.

If you have no specific place in mind when it comes to a meaningful location, don’t worry, as the location is sure to become meaningful once you have popped the question there. You may want to take her to a restaurant she has been talking about trying for ages, or you may want to do it at home over dinner.

Wherever you decide, bear in mind the atmosphere you want to create and whether the venue lends itself to this.

Kay smiles at me, as she knows that F will have thought all of this through and have come up with plenty of proposal ideas and the perfect scenario. Soul mates, is what she calls us, and I have to agree.

How to Make That Move

Although ‘how’ appears last on our list, we are aware that how to propose is the consideration that may cause any soon-to-be-groom the most stress. In short, the ‘how’ refers to the ‘will you marry me?’ part of the proposal, however nothing is ever that simple.

The Proposal Number 2 (43/52) by Tim Parkinson, Used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

The most stressful part remains how to make that move

No one is going to remember that you chose a really expensive restaurant with a six-month waiting list if you simply flung the ring across the table while mumbling a proposal into your welcome cocktail.

Here is where understanding your future bride really comes into play. Is she a literature lover who will go weak at the knees for a Keats poem, or is she the kind who would hate the attention that assembling a flash-dance team to present her with the ring would bring?

Similarly, think about yourself. If you are the shy, reserved type, then you may want to choose a proposal that does not require a great show of bravery or could attract unwanted attention.

3 Main Considerations…

We decided that there are three things for you to consider when deciding how to propose. Do you want to give a speech beforehand, explaining how much you love her, or do you want to let the ring do the talking? Are you limited by the venue you have selected in which to propose? Do you want to go for the traditional time-tested method of getting down on one knee or is that too cliché?

… And the Most Important One

So that completes our checklist of proposal ideas. The rest is down to the individual, but Kay and I agree that, if we could give guys out there one piece of advice, it would be to remember to bring the ring.

Engagement Ring by Stepan Terteryan

Don’t forget it: Engagement Ring by Stepan Terteryan

With so much else to think about, I bet there are many grooms-to-be who reach into their pocket after a romantic speech, only to pull out their Tesco receipt. That would definitely not be on the list of the most romantic proposals.



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