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Planning your big proposal: Do's and Don'ts

Posted on 19th June 2017


As tasks go, this one is probably the most important you’ll undertake if you decide you want to marry your partner. Sweaty palms, rehearsed lines and an inordinate amount of time debating with oneself about the best venue are common traits of every marriage proposal, but there are some common dos and don’ts that we should all live by.

What you definitely should do for a marriage proposal


1. Make it meaningful

You may not be the sentimental type, but if there was ever a time to swallow your pride and get ultra-soppy, it’s during a marriage proposal.

Go all out and tell your partner exactly what they mean to you and why you want to spend the rest of your life with them. A half-baked or underwhelming marriage proposal will rarely receive a “yes”.

2. Think about whether it should be public or private

Many of us have experienced public marriage proposals, be they in the middle of crowded streets, in a quiet corner of a restaurant or on the biggest stage of all during a music concert interval.

For you and your partner, that might be perfect, but for some people, such a public display of affection can be a little too much, and consequently dilute how special the proposal is.

Think carefully about whether or not your partner would want a public proposal. Even if you’re up for it, they may not be, and the last thing you’ll want is all of that hard work to end in nothing but embarrassment.

3. Have a backup plan

Although a rather unsavoury thought, you need to consider what you’ll do if your perfect plans go awry.

A miserable, wet day or restaurant closure could scupper your proposal, which is why it makes sense to have a backup plan at the ready.

Consider having in your back pocket an alternative venue to which you can whisk away your partner unawares if it all goes wrong with the first - don’t leave anything to chance.

What you definitely shouldn’t do for a marriage proposal


1. Don’t follow the crowd

Sure, you were mightily impressed with the way you friend proposed to their partner recently and it’s inspired you to do the same, but you should stop short of copying them entirely.

A marriage proposal is a very personal thing; you do it for your partner and yourself - no one else. Be inspired by others, of course, but don’t be led by them. Copycat proposals never feel quite as special when you actually undertake them.

2. Don’t tell anyone what you’re doing

Many a marriage proposal has been foiled thanks to loose lips on behalf of a friend or family member (usually, completely inadvertently).

It’s for this reason that you shouldn’t tell anyone about your planned proposal - even if you trust them 100%. It’s just too big a risk to take for something this momentous.

Keep it to yourself.

3. Don’t wimp out

Anyone who has proposed will tell you how easy it is to pull out at the last minute.

Think about it - you’ve planned this moment for weeks (if not months), and like any big task, when the time comes to undertake it, the easy option will definitely be to wimp out and convince yourself you’ll do it another day.

Don’t. You’ve come this far, which means you want to do this. Don’t pull out unless you have a solid reason to do so that makes the proposal impossible.

Have we sufficiently prepared you for the biggest proposal of your life? Go get ‘em!

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