7 Do’s (and Some Don’ts) of Marriage Proposals

7 Do's (and Some Don'ts) of Marriage Proposals

Proposing is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event. Whereas the wedding day is generally regarded as the bride’s day to shine, the proposal is where the groom really gets a chance to show off his creativity and thoughtfulness. Proposals are one of the most important moments of your life. Whether you’re planning an elaborate proposal or a simple one, there are several dos and don’ts you should follow to ensure a memorable moment that she’ll never forget.

Here are a few basics to keep in mind when getting ready to pop the question:


Get Down on One Knee. Some traditions are important — and this one certainly is. Even an alternative, unromantic girl still wants to have her boyfriend proposal on one knee. This is a key element that can’t be missed.

Have a Ring. Whether it’s the ring you looked at together months ago, a diamond that her sister helped select or even a giant candy ring as a symbolic gesture, having some kind of band to slip on her finger is crucial.

Make it a Surprise. Chances are your girlfriend can read you like a book. If you suddenly suggest a romantic weekend getaway out of the blue she’ll know exactly what is coming. It’ll take a little wind out of your sails and she won’t have that truly surprised reaction to make it special.

Time it Right. That may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s true: if you ask someone to marry you at the wrong time, they might actually think twice about saying yes.

Know the Woman You’re Asking. If she doesn’t like surprises, don’t ask her to marry you during a crowded party. If she prefers a more intimate and romantic style, plan the proposal around that type of setting.

Consider What Happens After “Yes.” If you propose on a weekday morning you won’t have time to celebrate and call your loved ones and still make it to work on time. And most bosses won’t give you a free day off because you got engaged. Before selecting the day and time, consider the commitments you’ll both have after she says yes.

Create HER Dream Proposal, Not Yours. Just because you are a die-hard football fan does not mean you should propose to her on the pitch during half-time. Make a list of the things that she loves and incorporate those elements into creating her dream proposal.

7 Do's (and Some Don'ts) of Marriage Proposals


Be a Cliché. Dinner at a restaurant where the ring is delivered with dessert. The proposal package at a local hotel. Both are clichéd ways to propose. Don’t fall into the trap of these generic proposals — plan your proposal so that she’ll be proud to tell all her friends (and your grandkids).

Joke Around. It may have been funny when Jim jokingly proposed to Pam on The Office. But in real life, joking about popping the question will undoubtedly result in a painfully awkward moment. When you’re asking her to spend the rest of her life with you, make sure she knows you’re serious.

Be Longwinded. Even the most experienced public speaker would forget their line when they’re proposing. Plan to keep your words short and simple, yet meaningful. It will help reduce your stress and ensure that you say what you intend to.

Tell Everyone Beforehand. Besides one or two trusted buddies and possibly her parents, don’t tell all of your friends and family before you’re going to propose. Many surprise engagements have been ruined thanks to someone’s slip of the tongue. Keep things to yourself and in the end, it’ll be more fun to break the news to your family and friends together.