Proposals are nerve-wracking yet exciting, as they’re the gateway to a new chapter in your lives. However, you want to make sure that when the time comes to propose, you do everything right. We don’t want you struggling to come up with the perfect plan, so we’ve got a guide to help you nail the marriage proposal.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marriage Proposals
Don’t Plan a Last-Minute Proposal:
A marriage proposal shouldn’t be a “spur of the moment” deal. It needs to be planned out, at least to an extent. A last-minute marriage proposal idea isn’t romantic and seems like you didn’t make an effort to win over your potential fiancé.
Do Something Sentimental for the Both of You:
You know your significant other better than anyone else does, which means you know exactly what will make this surprise proposal monumental and memorable. Think of the little details that mean the most to the both of you- your first date spot, your song, anything that indicates a moment you spent together can help elaborate the proposal.
Don’t Propose Without a Ring:
Your soon-to-be fiancé is going to remember the exact moment they saw the ring, because that’s the moment you committed the rest of your life to them. Proposing without a ring isn’t the end of the world, but we have a hunch your significant other will want to be rocking that jewelry on their finger.
Do Get Down on One Knee:
This classic and traditional move is a clear indication that you are going to propose. To make it even classier, it is said that knights would get down on one knee in front of their lord as a display of respect and loyalty. Therefore a courteous gentleman pledges his allegiance to his significant other and declares his undying love by getting down on one knee.
Don’t Share Your Plan with Everyone:
If you talk too much about the proposal, your significant other has a better chance of finding out. It will ruin the surprise proposal and make it less special and exciting. That being said, only tell the people who can either help you plan the proposal, help on a special day, or know how to keep a secret!
We know a marriage proposal will never run as smoothly as you’d like it to, but practicing makes it near-perfect. If you practice what you want to say, you won’t jumble your words as much. If you rehearse the scene, then those who are helping you (including the photographer) will know their place.
Step by Step Guide to a Perfect Marriage Proposal: What to do? How? When?
Make Sure You and Your Partner are on the Same Page
You want to make sure your partner is going to say “yes,” when you have your surprise proposal. Because if you get down on one knee and they say no…that’s awkward for the both of you.
It’s important to have a talk just to ensure you both know where your relationship is going. You don’t have to propose directly after, because that may ruin the surprise, but at least this will give you the green light to plan.
Find the Perfect Timing
You want the date of the proposal to be a special time for both of you. With that being said, think of some significant dates for you and your significant other.
For example, the day you met, or the day of your first date. Also make sure your significant other doesn’t mind sharing your proposal date with another holiday, like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc. If they mind, then maybe plan for a random date to make it your own holiday.
Consider Asking the Parents
If your partner is a family-oriented person, odds are they’re going to want to make sure you get their blessing. Asking the parents is a sign of maturity and respect, indicating that you are the right person they’re going to want to send their child off with. Parents want to make sure their “baby” will be taken care of for the rest of their lives.
Make a Proposal Budget
Depending on what it is you’d want to do, proposals can get expensive. This is why planning out your surprise proposal is good for the event, and for the wallet. After deciding on the timing, find a location, props, anything you want to use to make the moment extra special between the both of you. In the budget, including the ring as well.
Buy THE ring
Speaking of the ring, after you and your significant other talked about getting engaged, they might have dropped some hints on what kind of ring they’re looking for. You want to purchase a ring that they will be proud to wear. Something they will show off. Plus, an engagement ring is something that stays on their finger for pretty much ever, and you want to make sure that it looks beautiful on their hand. It always helps to ask your partner’s friends and family for advice, as they have an idea of what preferences your partner has.
Have a Plan, and then a Backup
As life goes, nothing ever goes as planned, even if you practice. Something always turns up unexpectedly, and that’s when you have to roll with it.
For example, you can’t control the weather. If you’re planning an outside proposal and it rains, think of a backup plan on what you can do or where you can go. Being one step ahead will always help ease your mind, especially when you’re nervous about proposing!
Book a Proposal Photographer or Videographer
Having a professional photographer or videographer at the scene of your proposal is perfect for capturing every single moment of the big event. This is also going to be something you’ll never want to forget. You can have the photographer or videographer hanging around your proposal spot nonchalantly and then the moment it begins to happen they can sneakily start snapping away.
Our proposal photographers know exactly what angles and lighting to get for the perfect look. Plus, once you’re done, your private photographer can turn it into an engagement photo shoot and take some extra shots of the both of you post-proposal, including smiling into the camera, posing, and shots of the wedding ring.
Paparazzi Proposal Photoshoot:
Pros and Cons
Pro: You Have the Memory Saved
Although you’ll always remember the moment of your proposal, it’s nice to look back at that special day and reflect together. There are also so many emotions flying around at that moment, you may not remember every detail of the proposal (which is totally normal). A proposal photographer will capture every element of the marriage proposal, from small details to large ones, so you never have to feel like you missed out on something.
Con: They’re in Your Moment
If you’re trying to create an intimate proposal, sometimes a photographer may seem “in the way.” It’s their job to capture all that the proposal has to offer, but at the corner of your eye, you may see them walking around, snapping away. That may feel like it’s taking away from the overall experience, and that you’re not fully paying attention to the special moment that’s happening right in front of you.
Pro: You See Your Expressions
One of the best pieces of a surprise proposal is the reaction of the soon-to-be fiancé, which always tends to be priceless. They may cry, you may cry. They may cover their mouth out of shock, and your smile may be so wide. The combination of emotions is endless, and you’ll be able to see them written on your face with an experienced professional photographer there to capture it all.
Con: The Future Spouse May Feel Overwhelmed
Aside from the fact that the photographer may ruin the surprise if they’re caught early, your future spouse may feel flabbergasted because they felt like they were underprepared. Did they dress well enough for a proposal? Was their hair too messy? Are their nails done to show off the ring? You don’t want your fiancé’s first emotions to be overwhelmed; you want them to be happy. Make sure that they’re comfortable in the spotlight, at least for a bit.
Pro: You Can Use the Photos at Your Wedding
The photos will make for great decorations around the venue. Proposals are full of pure love and real emotion, so what better way to celebrate your love than with these pictures? You can also use these pictures for other wedding-related products such as save-the-dates, wedding invitations, or ceremony programs. With these professional photographs, you’ll never feel like you’ve wasted them, as you can take full advantage of them.
Con: You Can’t Change Your Proposal Plan
Even with having a backup plan, it’s hard to communicate with your professional photographer last-minute that something’s changed. Meaning, you and your photographer may not be on the same page. This can cause last-minute delays, confusion, and panic, which is not what you want right before you propose. Hiring a professional makes it necessary to keep a scheduled itinerary, and there’s no room for change, even if the future bride wants to do something unplanned and not according to schedule.
Pro: They’re Professionals, They Know How to Capture the Experience
There’s a reason they’re called “professional” photographers. They have a trained eye, meaning they know how an engagement photo shoot is supposed to look. They will make sure your proposal looks great on-camera, even if you don’t think it ran as smoothly as you would’ve liked. Plus, local photographers can offer advice and tips to make sure you do everything right on your part, and everything can run smoothly.
Con: It’s an Added Expense
If a photographer wasn’t originally in your wedding budget and you’re deciding to look into one, a lot of dollars may have to be shifted around. A photographer can sometimes set you back hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. If you are worried about finances, try getting a few different estimates and decide which photographer is best for the cost. Or, get one of our packages at Localgrapher. We offer different bundles to make sure you can find something affordable and just as magical as you wish.
What to Wear to a Surprise Photoshoot (& How to Make Your Partner Wear Something Cool)
If it’s a surprise photoshoot, it’s hard to make your potential fiancé dress accordingly because you don’t want them to find out. There are some different ways to sneakily dress up nice without revealing the big secret, you just have to try and execute it as well as you can.
Take Them Somewhere Fancy
One way is to tell your significant other that you’re going to a fancy restaurant for lunch or dinner. They’ll immediately know how to dress up and do their hair and makeup for the occasion. It also doesn’t have to be dinner, but it can be drinks, a show, or anything you may feel fits in the “I must dress nicely” category.
Another way is for you to tell your partner how much you loved them in a certain outfit the one time they wore it, which also brings a nostalgic feeling to the outfit.
For example, tell them you loved an outfit they wore on your first date, or to a wedding you went to together. It brings back memories of a special time together, and it gives you bonus points for remembering an outfit they wore.
Use the Opportunity
You can also plan around the timing of something seriously important to them. For example, if your partner loves the cherry blossom festival and they want to get dressed up to take pictures during the day, then that is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of. They will already be getting dressed up for pictures, now all you have to do is play the role.
Birthday Party or Corporate Event
Keep in mind, you don’t actually have to attend one of these events, but it’s a great excuse to dress up without it seeming too suspicious. Tell your almost-fiancé that you have to attend a farewell party or your boss’s birthday party on the rooftop or somewhere extravagant. Then, surprise! It’s just you two on the rooftop and it’s all decorated for a proposal.
Make it a Gala
If you really want to make it elegant, a gala is a perfect cover-up, as you have to dress pretty phenomenally for one of those. You will both be looking sharply dressed as you act like you’re going to a gala and then take a detour to the location you actually need to go to and propose at.
Match the Setting
You don’t have to dress up fancy for an engagement. Sometimes, the best outfits are low-key. Say you’re hiking and you propose at the top of the mountain. You’re not going to be wearing a suit and tie; you’ll be wearing hiking gear. The location is beautiful and it’s an activity you both enjoy together, making it an outfit that speaks volumes.
If you’re proposing during a vacation, there are a lot of opportunities to dress up in elegant yet simple attire. Dinner overlooking the sunset on the beach, poolside in a cabana sipping fruity drinks, or even riding horseback through the rainforest, are all potential options to dress accordingly. Whatever that option may be, it sets the scene and the look. Plus, your fiancé will probably get their nails done before your big trip, so you don’t have to worry about that part of it.
Things You Should Not Forget About THAT Day
We know a proposal is a serious stuff, and it’s super nerve-wracking. But if you can take any advice, it would be to not forget certain things the day of.
Practice What You Want to Say: Even if it doesn’t go exactly how you want, at least you have an idea in your head.
Confirm Any Reservations: If you have any pending reservations (dinner, a show, a timed proposal location, etc.) make sure you call to confirm you are good to go.
Don’t Forget the Ring: You spent all this time picking out the perfect wedding ring; the last thing you want to do is forget it when you’re down on one knee.
Make Sure Whoever is supposed to Be There is there: If you invited family and friends to watch or help, you don’t need to forget about them!
Make Sure Your Photographer Knows the Plan: If you hired a professional photographer or videographer, you can’t leave them out of the loop. Just confirm your plan with them and they’ll be set to go.
Remember Your Backup Plan: Just in case something doesn’t run smoothly, don’t forget you planned other options for this very moment!
Get Down on One Knee: This seems like something you wouldn’t forget, but when you’re nervous in the moment, who knows what you might forget to do.
Pop the Question: Don’t forget to ask your partner to marry you, that’s kind of the reason for this big day!
Breathe: You’re not going to be able to propose if you’ve fainted. Just remember to take deep breaths and know that you both want this. It’s been talked about and you’re both ready for the next step. You’ve got this!
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