How to Plan the Perfect Proposal
It's engagement season and we couldn't be more excited!
Make sure you check our list before you pop the question.
So you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, for better or worse and it's time to pop the question. You've got the ring, but where to start?
(for tips on choosing the right engagement ring, check out this great article here)
1) Timing is everything:
Is it the right time to propose? Are you sure both you and your intended are thinking the same thing? Have you talked about your future together and do you know where you stand?
If all of these questions are a "yes", then the next step is to make sure you pick the right moment. Make sure you think about how private or public your significant other would want to moment to be. Do they like grand gestures or are they more private and would be prefer an intimate setting?
Are they interested in being surrounded by family and friends or would it be better with just the two of you?
Is the location and timing of the proposal appropriate?
There are a few places and times that it is NEVER appropriate to propose (ie: Weddings/Wedding showers, Funerals, Baby Showers, Birthdays, Engagement Parties etc..)
The only two exceptions are wedding and anniversary parties with explicit permission from the couple hosting the event. Occasionally, these are a good idea, but you have to be 100% sure that the proposal will be well received by EVERYONE involved.
2) To ask the parents or not?
Nope. Don't do it. Not unless your partner specifically mentioned this as an important tradition in their family.
Why? Well, you might not get the answer you were expecting and your partner is the one you are marrying, not their parents. There's really no going back if they say "no". You'll have to ruin the surprise of the engagement to talk to your partner about their parents answer if that's the case and then decide if you can go forward with the engagement after that. It may completely ruin the moment for you both. So in our opinion, not worth the risk.
3) Consider getting a photographer.
If you know your partner loves being the centre of attention (and needs to document everything on Instagram), make sure you hire a covert photographer for the moment and choose a well lit and romantic location that is easy for the photographer to navigate behind the scenes.
If they are more low key, don't worry too much about getting a photographer and focus more on personal details. You can always take an engagement selfie afterwards if needed.
Everyone always asks to see the ring and you can bet it will feature predominantly in photos after the proposal, so if nail care is something your partner is into, make sure you have a nail appointment booked at a reputable salon or they've had their nails done in the last 1-3 days before the proposal.
5) Practice what you want to say.
Make sure you know what you want to say and repeat it out loud a dozen times (at least) to make sure you don't get tongue tied. When in doubt, just remember, short and sweet is best. Try something like "I've known for a long time that you are the one for me. I love you. Will you marry me?" and personalize as needed. It's up to you how traditional or modern you want to keep things.
If the moment you are planning comes and something comes up that might make it less than ideal (ie: weather, their ex walking into the venue, a bad week at work) just wait for the right moment. You can and will have to think on your feet as proposals, much like life, don't always go smoothly.
6) Hire a professional
Looking for a show stopping proposal and not sure you can pull it off yourself? Some cities have companies that exclusively plan proposals and many wedding planners can coordinate proposals and are happy to help you plan to the perfect proposal for you and your future spouse. As a bonus, you can let them know you've already found a wedding planner for your wedding. (Here at Watson & Co. we are happy to help you with your proposal. Click here for more info.)
7) Take a moment for yourselves
Once you've asked, they've said "YES" and the proposal has gone off without a hitch, it's time to take a moment to yourselves. And by moment, I mean at least one day, if not two. Book a couples massage, get a nice bottle of wine, go to that nail appointment. Then, talk about wedding plans and most importantly, decide together what your response is going to be to all those well wishers.
The moment you get engaged, everyone always asks a million questions you can't possibly have the answers to (Have you set a date? Where's the wedding going to be? What type of dress are you wearing? Who's in your bridal party?) so if you have answers to those questions, great! If not, try something like " We're excited to start planning all those details in a month's time" or " We've decided to enjoy our engagement and won't be deciding for awhile." Just make sure you are both on the same page to avoid any miscommunications with family and friends.
Congratulations and good luck to all you lovely people out there who've finally found your person. Follow these simple rules and you are well on your way to planning the perfect proposal.