Let's face it, even if you're 110% sure she'll say yes, proposing is still scary! Emotions are running high, little details might get overlooked, and you're constantly praying in your head that she loves the ring. We're here to give you a few tips to help ensure that your special day goes perfectly!
1. The Plan
Pictured: The Infinity in black
Before you look for a ring, a location, or any other aspect of the proposal, there are a few things you need to take care of first:
- Asking her parents. Is she a traditionalist? If she is, the first thing you would need to do is to ask for her parents' blessing. Even if she isn't a traditionalist, if she's close with her parents it might be the best thing to do.
- Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. There's nothing worse than proposing to someone who has no intention of getting married the same time you do! Even if it might be uncomfortable, talk to your partner to make sure both of you are ready for marriage.
- Recruit some help. Planning a proposal can be very stressful! While we don't recommend letting a bunch of people in on your surprise, choose who to help you plan (only ask those who are necessary) and make sure nobody else finds out!
2. The Ring
Pictured: The Amore in sterling silver
What may seem like the most daunting task is only as intimidating as you allow it to be! Here are some tips to help you find the perfect ring:
- Get her correct ring size. It doesn't matter how beautiful or shiny the ring is if it doesn't fit! If she's aware that the two of you are planning to be engaged soon, we suggest taking her to a local jeweler for accuracy. If you're trying to stick with the element of surprise, you can take a ring she already owns that she wears on her left finger and get it measured!
- What metal finish does she prefer? A good way to get an idea of what metal she prefers is to look at the rest of her jewelry collection. Does rose gold dominate her collection, or is she more of a silver gal? If it seems like it's an even mix, there's no harm in asking her!
- Don't feel pressured into spending grand amounts of money. Remember that a ring is only a symbol of your love, so don't feel pressured into buying an expensive ring. There are many affordable engagement rings that are alternative to a diamond that shine just as bright (if not brighter). If you buy a ring that's a lot more affordable, you can put that money towards other things like the wedding, your honeymoon, or your future house.
3. The Location
Just like real estate says: location, location, location! The ambience sets the mood and will help create an unforgettable memory. If you're stuck on where to propose, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Private or public? If she's into grand gestures, it's time to go big or go home. If she's shy and reserved, pop the question during a romantic moment just between the two of you. Does she value family above all else? Consider proposing with her loved ones around. Remember, you want her to be comfortable!
- Bring on the nostalgia! Do you still remember the first time you met, your first date, the first kiss you shared? If you can take her back to where it first started, the proposal will be so much more meaningful.
- Or start a new adventure. Is there a place she's been dying to see? Maybe she's been wanting to go trekking in Thailand or wants to breathe in the Italian sea. If you can swing it, taking a romantic trip to propose to her will mark the next chapter of your adventure together.
4. The Moment
She'll want to cherish this moment forever, so don't forget to document it! Not sure how to capture your special moment? Here are a couple suggestions:
- Set up a camera. Pretend you want to take a couple pictures of the two of you on self-timer. Important: make sure you press record!! Once you're positive the camera's rolling and you're both in frame, pop the question!
- Ask a friend or family member to hide out! Friends and family make great photographers/videographers. Knowing that there's someone out there taking care of the photos and videos, you can focus on making sure the moment's right.
- Hire a professional. If you're able to, we suggest hiring a professional photographer and videographer to capture the moment for you. If your friend or family member is spotted by your soon-to-be fiancée, it might ruin the surprise and she'll quickly figure it out! For the utmost secrecy, this is your best bet.
5. The Nails
Once the ring is on, she'll definitely want to take photos with it right away. If her nails aren't looking too great or if she's about due for an appointment, treat her to a nice manicure to make sure her fingers are prepped for the big day. Just make sure to be slick about it (you don't want to give it away)! Here are a few sneaky tips:
- Have a girl friend take her. Tell her best friend, her sister, or even her mom about the plan and have them take her out for a manicure. This is the best way to make sure she doesn't suspect anything!
- Tell her you want to treat her out. If it's not possible for someone else to take her, don't worry. A good trick is to tell her she's been looking tired recently and you want to spoil her a little: take her out for a manicure, some shopping, and/or dinner! If you pass it off as a random act of love, she won't think twice about it.
6. The Speech
Even the most confident and charming man can stumble over his words under high pressure! To help you out, keep these tips in mind:
- Write it down. Keep a hand-written copy of your speech in your pocket and bring it out when you get down on one knee. This is great if you're the forgetful type or if you want to make a point to say everything you've been feeling to the girl of your dreams.
- Speak from the heart. If you're a simple man, keep your speech simple as well. Don't bother writing something that's out of character! A short and sweet speech that was written genuinely will mean more to her than a poem you made up to "impress" her. Be you, above all.
- Tell her what you love about her. Here's your shot to make it count! Let her know everything you love and appreciate about her. Explain to her why she's the one for you before popping the big question. This is your chance to really express how you feel, so don't hold back.
7. The Afterparty
Pictured: The Abbey in sterling silver
Once she says yes, what will you do after? Make sure to have something planned to celebrate the good news right away! Some ideas are:
- Make reservations at a romantic restaurant. How good will it feel to unwind over some food and a couple drinks after a whirlwind of a day? Don't be stuck waiting in line though! Reservations will allow you to get to your table right away without dealing with the hassle of wait times. Bonus tip: when making the reservations, tell the restaurant it's to celebrate your new engagement!
- Continue the celebration with a party! What better way than to be surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones who have watched the two of you grow together? If this is the route you want to go, be sure to spend some time afterwards with just the two of you – grab a drink at a bar or get some dessert after the party's said and done.
8. The Details
Pictured: The Halo Emerald
You did it! You pulled it off without her knowing – phew! What else can you do to ensure the day goes smoothly? We have some suggestions:
- Have some tissues on hand. Especially if your future fiancée is a little more emotional, tears will definitely be shed! Keep them in your back pocket and bring them out when the waterworks start. She (and her makeup) will thank you!
- Complete the set. Take your surprise one step further: give her matching accessories that will go perfectly with her ring. No need to splurge, gift her some affordable accessories that are within your budget but sparkle like a million dollars.
- Have a backup plan. Sometimes things just don't work in your favor! The weather might not be ideal, an unexpected fight may have occurred, or the timing might not be right that day. Whatever the case, don't be discouraged! A well thought out backup plan is much better than a rushed and disgruntled plan A.
- Keep who knows to a minimum. Loose lips sink ships! The more people that know, the higher the chance of your secret being spilled. Only tell those directly involved in the proposal, and even then try to keep a low number.
- When in doubt, keep it simple. What matters most is that the proposal is meaningful and comes from the heart. Don't put on a huge, elaborate display if you're unsure of the turnout. Genuine actions trump frivolous gestures!
If you're planning on proposing soon, we hope this guide helped you out! Remember that this is between you and your loved one, don't get too caught up in the stress of planning and lose sight of what really matters.