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Planning on a proposal in the near future? Learn how to propose and other tips to create the most perfect, unforgettable moment and story you’ll be telling for the rest of your lives. From choosing the engagement ring to the speech you’ll give them to celebrating post-yes, here are nine things you need to know.
#1 Get Blessings and Permission
Tradition and just general etiquette state that you need to get the father’s blessing before proposing. However, with all kinds of modern families, it can really be the blessing of anyone who raised or grew up with your significant other. However, it even depends on how traditional the family is and if your partner has hinted that asking permission is a must before getting down on one knee. So when your S.O. is out of town, at work or busy with other plans, invite their dad or family member to dinner or swing by the house to get their blessing and ask for your partner’s hand in marriage.
#2 Buy the Engagement Ring
Not sure what will take your partner’s breath away? When searching for the perfect engagement ring, first get a sense of their style. Whether you peek through their Pinterest boards or ask a close friend or family member, you want to ensure you choose something they will be comfortable and pleased to wear every day. Not sure where to start? Browse a jeweler’s diamond engagement rings settings and semi-mount rings.
Unsure of their ring size? Sneak away a ring they wear often and bring it to a jeweler for sizing. If you can take an estimated guess based on where it fits on one of your own digits, you can always make adjustments and resize later.
#3 Make It Sentimental
Proposals should reflect your partner’s personality, even your personality as a couple. Whether it’s a grand romantic gesture in front of a crowd, a family gathering or for just the two of you, make it sentimental. One of the easiest ways to do this is to choose a favorite location. It could be an overseas trip or even to where you had your first date or first kiss, even if that’s simply on your living room sofa. Whatever you choose, make sure it means something. Make sure to set a romantic ambiance and mood, too. Choose sunset or midnight and light some glowing candles.
#4 Collect Your Thoughts and Practice the Proposal
Think of what you want to say to your soon-to-be-fiance and lifelong partner. Reflect on their personality, the moment you met each other and how you knew they were “the one.” Even if you are a hopeless romantic who can spill your heart out, nerves can set in and make you forget even the color of their eyes. So do yourself a favor and jot down some notes. Keep it short and sweet and genuine, expressing your love and how you envision your future together.
#5 Keep the Ring Safe
From the moment you pick up the engagement ring all polished and clean, keep it in a secure place. Purchase insurance on the engagement ring just in case, too. Hide it well until the day approaches and the moment arrives. When the time comes, tuck it in a zipped pocket or safely in its own box out of sight.
#6 Prepare for a Celebration
Get ready to celebrate your brand new engagement! Plan ahead and buy a bottle of champagne, hiding it in the fridge, or make a reservation at your favorite brunch spot for the following morning. You can even invite a few friends to join in on the celebration, too.
#7 Hire an Engagement Photographer
Have a photographer secretly waiting in the wings. A proposal will make lasting memories, but be sure to capture it in real-time, too. Hire a photographer to take snapshots of your partner’s reaction as you get down on one knee and even the moment they say “yes.” It makes great photos for an engagement party or save-the-date cards, too! It doesn’t even have to be a professional photographer, especially if you propose being surrounded by family members who know what’s up. Have their sibling or friends grab a phone for some Instagram-worthy shots or even a video.
#8 Remember to Be Flexible
As hard as you plan for the perfect proposal, remember to keep on your toes and go with the flow. Because sometimes, things simply don’t go as you planned. If you envisioned proposing at sunset after a meal at your favorite restaurant, but dinner is running late, don’t rush it. Weather can put a damper on a proposal, too, as can just having a stressful day at work. In the end, make sure the moment feels right, even if you have to reschedule.
#9 Don’t Rush It
Speaking of not rushing, when it comes to popping the question, pause and take a deep breath. When the moment arrives, get down on one knee and retrieve the ring carefully. Extra tip: If you secured the ring in your sock, kneel on the opposite knee. Give your speech, ask the big question and give them plenty of time to take in this special occasion — cries, hugs and all! Embrace the moment and each other and then you can officially slide the ring on their finger.
Choosing how to create a grand gesture and propose to the love of your life is not an easy task. But with these tips and tricks, you can pull it off effortlessly. So good luck and in advance: congratulations!