How Do You Propose? a 6 Step Guide to Teach You the Basics
If you have landed here, we can safely assume that you are considering proposing to your girlfriend or boyfriend.
And while you can search online to find inspiration on how do you propose in the wildest, wackiest, innovative or romantic ways, there are a few standard things that you need to take into consideration no matter how you decide to pop the question.
In this article, we will answer the question ‘how do you propose’ by focusing on all of the formalities and sensible things you need to consider. So that when you are jumping out of the airplane while setting off fireworks and landing in the middle of a brass band, you’ll know that you have everything organized.
The only thing you need to worry about is landing safely and getting the words out when the time arrives.
Here are our 6 steps guide to answer your question ‘how do you propose.’
1. Consider the enormity of marriage
Before we move onto the good stuff, it’s important to consider that marriage is a contract that you sign to spend your life together.
You are committing to building a life together and to working together as you navigate life. You will be continuously learning, understanding, and caring for each other, even at times when you don’t know what to do.
Life is not always romantic, and marriage takes work to remain happy and joyful.
So it doesn’t hurt to stop and think about how you might navigate life with your future fiance and to consider strategies you’d implement for the times when you don’t know what to do.
Pre-marriage counseling is a great way to set your marriage off on the right foot.
You can go independently to learn how to partner with somebody successfully, or you can both choose to do this together before you marry. So that you can iron out any emotional or behavioral baggage and learn how to communicate well.
Trust us it’s an excellent investment for your future!
2. Speak to your partner’s family (optional)
It’s very traditional if the person proposing asks the father of the person they want to marry and whether they can have their hand in marriage.
It might sound a little fake since these days you’ll probably marry them anyway, but you’d be surprised at how far that little token of respect will go with your future fiance’s family and your future Husband or Wife.
While this step is not necessarily required, it’s a great little detail and another fantastic investment in your future marriage.
3. Organize an engagement ring
The chances are that if you are about to propose, you’ll already have an inkling that your partner is probably going to say yes. And you may have previously discussed where you’d like to marry, and how you’d like to propose.
So hopefully, you’ll also have an idea from that about what you should do about an engagement ring.
We say this because jewelry can be a very personal thing and it can be a little awkward if your ‘fiance’ doesn’t love the ring they are going to wear for the rest of their life!
Here are a few strategies for organizing the engagement ring in different circumstances.
- Pick up the right ring
If you have no idea of what ring size your partner is, or what type of ring they like to set a budget (more on this shortly), make an immediate plan to whisk your partner to go and pick out an engagement ring that day or the next day.
- Token of gift
You could purchase a token gift for the purpose of the proposal. The gift can either be an engraved necklace or bracelet to mark the occasion and let your partner know you are going to buy the ring together.
- Celebratory meal and special treats
Add in a celebratory meal and a few other special treats when you are engagement ring shopping. It will create a beautiful memory that you both will cherish for years to come.
- Make your partner pick the ring
If you’ve spoken about marriage, and your partner has said that they’d like to choose the ring, use the first option. This will not spoil the surprise element of the proposal.
- Purchase the ring of your choice
If you know your partner is not concerned too much about the ring, or have a good idea of what they like, then it’s easy enough to purchase the ring, if you know their ring size.
- Ring budget
Morally, the ring budget should be whatever you feel is appropriate between you. But, if you want to meet social expectations, the budget is usually two months salary.
If you have already discussed the idea of marriage, it might be worth paying attention to your partner’s expectations toward an engagement ring. He or she might want something extra special, but equally, they might be just as happy with something simple and symbolic.
4. Plan the location
Now you have the ring planned, know you want to marry for real, and you have the ‘in-law’s’ approval. So, the next step is to plan the location and how you will propose.
Location is everything because it’s where you will propose.
If you are not comfortable proposing in front of loads of people, you’ll probably want to choose a private location or, vice versa, if you are both sociable and outgoing.
If you want to make an event of the proposal, you’ll need to coordinate your family, friends, props and anything else required for the event.
There are no hard and fast rules about how you propose, although traditionally this would be the order by which things are done.
- The person proposes goes down on one knee
- They ask their partner if they will marry them and present the ring
- The partner says yes
Hopefully, at this stage, your partner will have said yes, and you can now celebrate.
So, it’s important to make sure you have thought about how you will celebrate after. Perhaps you might like to celebrate with a romantic meal or evening together or a big party.
If you are not sure if your partner will say yes, it’s probably worth not planning a big party though.
What to do if your partner says no
Ideally, you will have already spoken to your partner about the idea of marriage and will already know their stance on it.
So, your proposal is not at risk of going in the wrong direction.
But, if something has gone wrong and your partner has said no, it will be disappointing. But, it’s important to remember that it probably isn’t the right time.
If you find yourself in this circumstance, accept that there might be some valid reasons why and ask your partner if you can discuss it further either later that evening or the next day.
You can understand where your relationship stands at that moment.
This is a rare situation though because usually, most people propose these days knowing that their partner wants to marry as much as they do.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.