Proposing marriage to the woman of your dreams is a big step. Obviously, you want to do it right. But what constitutes “right” exactly? How do you know what to do before you propose? Frankly, there is no right or wrong way to pop the question. There are traditions, but some couples shun tradition. There’s etiquette, but not all couples think etiquette is all that important either. Whether you decide to do your wedding proposal outdoors, at a special dinner party, or even if you decide to write her a marriage proposal letter, there are several steps to follow before you start planning the big event. That’s why we have put together this brief guide to give you some tips on things you might consider doing before you get down on one knee. Do one or do them all, just whatever you do for your wedding proposal, don’t forget to purchase an affordable engagement ring!
Have “The Talk”
Have a conversation with your lady about where your heads are at before proposing. As her boyfriend, you want to pay attention to what your girlfriend wants in the future, aka make sure she's ready to be proposed to. Sometimes you might be dreaming of marriage, while she’s dreaming of, well, not marriage. It’s always a good idea that you both talk about getting hitched, your goals for the future and a family, and whether or not she can see you in her life when you’re both old and grey.
Yes, this can be a tough conversation to have, but it doesn’t have to be. Try to keep it casual, maybe lead into it after discussing a mutual friend’s recent wedding or engagement, or even use a great romance movie as your springboard! The key is to not be scared of having the conversation because it will give you clues as to whether your actual marriage proposal will be well received.
Get the Family’s Blessing
Specifically, her parents, if they are in the picture. However, if they aren’t in the picture, make sure you have the blessing of all the important people in her life. You might not think it’s such a big deal, but trust us, having the blessing and support of the people she loves most in the world will have a huge impact on how she feels about getting married in the first place.
Yes, some women are true rebels and will marry the opposite of the type of man their friends and family wish for them, but most girls do give a lot of weight to what their loved ones think about the guy she is considering spending the rest of her life with. Talk to them before you propose, get their blessing, and then… enlist their help planning the big moment! Just remember that even if they aren’t on board, you and your partner are both adults.
You’re not actually asking anyone’s permission, you are just paving the way for them to be included in the future plans the two of you make together. At the end of the day, you aren’t marrying her friends and family, you’re marrying her, and vice versa. Always keep that in mind, especially if you come from broken families where approval and support are hard to come by.
Get That Ring, Brother!
Do not, we repeat, DO NOT propose without a ring! Unless of course, you are both so totally anti-tradition that a ring just isn’t that important. However, most women are looking for that ring during that special moment when you get down on one knee, so we strongly urge you not to disappoint. Keep in mind when looking for the perfect engagement ring, your partner will be wearing it for years to come.
Pay attention to her style, things she likes and dislikes, and consider enlisting a friend or family member that knows her well to help you narrow down the choices. You’ll also have to be a bit sly to get her ring size. If you’re trying to do a surprise proposal, you may need to ask for help from her family to get a ring size, or sneak off with a ring she wears now, and have a jeweler get her size from that. If you aren’t doing a surprise proposal, you can simply ask for her ring size, or even shop together for her wedding band so that she picks out exactly what she loves.
Always remember that every couple is different. So when determining things to do before you propose, keep in mind the nuances of your relationship, and let that be your guide. Ultimately, if you both love each other, there’s just no way you can get it wrong when you go to pop the big question.