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  • Writer's picturePeter Roehrich

Ready to Propose? Read On!

You found your person! They make your heart flutter and bring a smile to your face. Congratulations on deciding to take the big step of proposing!

What next? What should I know? Well, the first thing to know is that you can make the proposal something that's authentic to your relationship; you don't have to follow the Hallmark movie script if you don't want to. What follows are some ideas to help you pull off the proposal. These aren't rules you have to follow and these aren't step by step instructions, just some food for thought!

So, let's get down to it.

Start by taking a mental (or write it down if you like) inventory of your relationship. What are the important dates? Where did you first meet? Do you have a favorite spot? Anything you think of is worthy of being included in the inventory. These details will help you down the line as you form your plan to pop the question.

With inventory in hand consider the items that mean the most to you and your partner. This might be what comes to mind immediately when you think of your relationship. Make a short list of the most important attributes of your lives together: dates, places, feelings, you know. These are the items on your inventory that you'll keep coming back to in your planning. Cook up your plan based on your inventory. Let's say that you're first date was walking around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC during cherry blossom season. Maybe that's where you'll choose to propose.

It only makes sense to propose while doing something fun, where you both feel relaxed and carefree. Plan an enjoyable activity. Picnics, anyone?

Now for the surprise. The activity you plan dovetails with your ruse. If you plan to surprise your partner then you need to find a simple and natural reason for going to the proposal spot without giving anything away! You could suggest going to eat a picnic dinner on the grass by the Tidal Basin and then stroll around the monuments.

Let's talk about documenting the big moment. Do you want photos or a video to reflect upon down the road? Probably so. They will be treasured reminders of the memory you make that day. One option is to hire a professional photographer or videographer. If you propose in a public place, they will just blend into the crowd, but if you pick somewhere secluded, they'll have to be a creeper in the bushes so as to not give it away. On the other hand, you could simply pass your phone to a friend or stranger, asking them to snap a pic, then dropping to one knee. (Relying on a bystander to take your pics can be risky. An amateur might not frame the pics in a pleasing way, and a finger over the lens will ruin the shot. Plus, you'll miss out on professional editing!)

It’s customary to propose with a diamond ring costing two-month’s salary. But that’s just custom. Whatever you choose, make sure it's a genuine reflection of you and your relationship. Sometimes, whether for ethical or financial reasons, a diamond is not an option. A sapphire is beautiful stone to set in a ring, for example. Maybe a diamond, or ring entirely, doesn’t fit with your amore’s likes. Some male couples have used a watch instead of a ring. You could even go with a single rose. While it’s not imperative that you give something to your love when you propose, doing so creates a tangible reminder of the occasion. (Something to show off in those pics, too!) If you haven’t talked with your partner about rings, or other gifts, do so.

Who would you like to share in the moment with you? A picnic comes with an easy opportunity to invite people important to you, but it also leaves the option of an intimate proposal, alone with your partner, on the table. You could clue your guests in to your plans, but if you want it to be a surprise make sure they're people who can keep their mouths shut!

Get ready for the big question. What do you want to say? You could jot some lines down and rehearse them in the mirror. Sure, you might trip up when you actually ask, but going over your lines will help, and it just might calm your nerves. If you do clue a loved one in, you could even do a dry run (just be sure to keep it secret). Also, think about when in the event you want to pop the question; you could do it right when you arrive, after some reminiscing, etc.

Prepare yourself. That means take a shower and put on fresh clothes. It'll make for better pics and you'll feel more confident. Put the ring (or whatever you decide on) in a safe place because you definitely don't want to lose it! Grab the other accessories like your picnic blanket.

Now it's go time! When you reach your planned location, and at the appointed time, drop to one knee, pull out whatever you're going to propose with, and ask for your love’s heart! When your love says “Yes” give them a romantic kiss. If you're in a public place expect onlookers to applause!

Congratulations, you're engaged!

Did you propose? Tell us about it!

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