How to propose

Asking someone to marry you is one of the biggest questions you will ever ask. The answer could change the course of your life forever – so, naturally, you’re going to want to make it as perfect as it can be for the both of you. Now, more than ever, the way you propose is important with 45% of unmarried couples feeling there is increased pressure for men to propose in an extravagant way. If you are thinking of proposing but feel slightly daunted by the expectations your partner may have, do not worry - our handy tips will help you plan a proposal you’ll both remember forever.

9 Proposal Tips

  1. Make sure this is what both of you want The very first thing to do is make sure your potential fiancé actually wants to be a fiancé. For most couples nowadays, a proposal is not a complete surprise, it comes after months of talking about the future and being together for a long time. Approach your partner in a subtle way: perhaps ask them about a friend’s recent engagement or bring it up when someone gets married on TV. Your partner should feel comfortable to tell you how they feel. Not only does this ensures that your partner is involved in the big life decision about to happen, but it also gives you some reassurance that they will say yes when you pop open that ring box.
  2. Ask yourself: should I involve other people? It is quite an outdated tradition to ask the potential bride’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. It implies that a woman is the property of her father until she becomes the property of her husband. However, the tradition is still important to some so try to gage what your partner would like and react accordingly. If your partner shows an inclination towards the practice, instead of ‘asking permission’ you could phrase it in a more informative way: for example ‘I am in love with your daughter and I would love to marry her. I am going to ask her and I would love for you to be involved.’ This shows your future fiancé that you respect her decision but also values an age old tradition that a lot of families still deem as important.
  3. Create a plan Now that you’ve determined whether your partner will say yes and who to include in the proposal, you can start to outline a plan. Consider your partner’s preferences – do they prefer large gatherings or small intimate affairs? If they prefer crowds, why not invite both of your loved ones to celebrate the moment with you? Try to tailor your proposal to your relationship – if you both love travelling and this has been a major theme during your years together why not propose abroad? Personalised touches like these will show your future fiancé how much you care.
  4. Buy the engagement ring With a plan in place, you can begin browsing for the perfect ring. This can be a very daunting process particularly if you have no experience with jewellery - but we are here to help with our ring buying guide. A trend that is particularly popular at the moment is buying a more affordable placement holder ring and when your finance has said yes, you can go ring shopping together and find the perfect engagement ring whether that be a princess or marquise cut. For more tips and advice, visit our guide on how to choose an engagement ring.
  5. Enlist a pro photographer Something your fiancé will thank you for is enlisting a photographer to take pictures of your moment. Whether you ask your sister to snap a few pics with her iPhone or you splash out for a professional photographs, the pictures captured are those that you’ll treasure forever. It also means that you share the event across social media – and why shouldn’t it be, you spent a lot of time on this!
  6. Write your speech It can be hard to know what to say when you propose but if we can give you one piece of advice it would be to write it down beforehand. No matter how good you believe you are at off the cuff speeches, you want this moment to go perfectly so having something planned is only going to benefit you. Begin by writing down all the things that come to mind when you think of your partner. Write down what you love about them, your favourite memories of them and what you can see for your future. Once you have all these things down, you can start to form a beautiful speech straight from the heart. We recommend taking the piece of paper with you to the proposal – you can read off the sheet or just ignore it when you’re in the moment, but it’s nice to have some points down that you can refer to if it all gets a bit too much.
  7. Create a backstory One of the hardest things about proposing is keeping it a secret. Most couples know their partner’s whereabouts at all times of the day so sneaking around can make your partner very suspicious. We recommend telling a trusted friend and saying you are with them. Having a backstory that’s backed up can certainly make you feel less stressed when lying to your partner.
  8. Dress up Make sure you look dapper on the day you get engaged by planning your outfit in advance. Don’t just put on your skinny jeans that will show the engagement ring box in the pocket – plan an attractive outfit that you feel good in. Your partner will thank you for making sure they look good too so make sure they know you are attending a special event, even if the proposal is a surprise.
  9. Plan an after celebration Finally, make sure you plan some kind of celebration afterwards. If you’ve chosen a small, private proposal then perhaps you’d like to continue the quiet celebrations with a celebration meal. If you have invited all your loved ones to view the iconic moment, why not have a bit of a party? Either way, plan something so the moment can continue for the rest of the day not just the two minutes when you’re on one knee. Now you’ve learnt how to propose from our detailed guide of proposal tips, get in touch with a member of our expert team for more information on how to find your perfect engagement ring or visit us in our Jewellery Quarter store.