I recently got engaged. The proposal came as a complete surprise. I did not see it coming. At all.
It was strange (in the best possible way). Surreal. Tickling.
And it was perfect. I kept playing it in my head over and over. It was like a dream come true, except I never dreamt that dream. The feeling wasn’t comparable to anything else really. Seeing it happen to other people, normal. But to myself? Not so normal.
But it was special, as it should be.
In any case, I said yes!
And I wanted to share some things that my fiancé thoughtfully executed. Hopefully it’ll serve some of you out there who are planning to propose soon in creating your version of the perfect proposal. Best of luck!
1. Plan ahead.
We all love spontaneity. Or at least we love the idea of spontaneity. But some things require basic planning. We’re not asking you to memorize Shakespeare word for word (although that could be good). But planning for the basics—day, venue, ring (doh!), photographer—should lead you in the right direction.
2. Ask for her parents’ permission.
You may choose to do this before or after your proposal to her. Either way, you gotta meet with the folks and ask. Be genuine, let them know your intentions. Be ready to answer questions. And yes, it’s not unusual to feel more nervy during this time than when you actually pop the question to your girl.
3. Include photographic proof.
I cannot stress the importance of having a friend, sidekick, brother, sister, someone, anyone, or even a hidden camera to take snapshots of the moment (even better, make it unknown to your girl). Trust me, you’ll be sorry you didn’t. And everyone will appreciate you did.
4. Get down on one knee.
Yes, it’s orthodox, customary, and traditional. It’s what everybody does. It’s romantic. So do it!
5. Have a plan B.
No, we don’t mean one for in case she says no (although you will need a much more elaborate plan B if that happens; we pray you won’t). Have one for in case the weather turns ugly, if you were thinking of proposing outdoors. Or a time change in case one of you runs late.
6. Be prepared to answer questions.
If you’re on one knee asking the girl of your dreams to marry you, it’s likely you are at least 51-99.9% sure she will say yes. So don’t be surprised (or worse, offended) if she starts asking a billion questions that pertain to the future the two of you will share.
7. Let her breathe.
Out of excitement, anxiety, and suspense, you may not be your usual self. Hey, it’s okay, you are doing a huge deal! But remember, when you’re all nervous and sweaty agonizing about the possibility of humiliation, and worse, having to take the bus home alone, she, too is probably as jittery as you are, maybe even more. So do give her a moment to reply to your colossal request. She may need a few.
8. Make it a surprise.
Although some of us may say we hate surprises, nobody hates a good surprise. Remember that there are some things girls get all mushy over: shoes, cake, boys (in this case it’s singular boy, and that’s you), the perfect picture of herself in a white dress, but before that, the proposal. In case it isn’t obvious, we girls make a whopping deal out of it (like we do everything else). Only because saying yes will entail a lot of things for the future. And because we are girls. So, make it a surprise. A good one. It’ll make us feel special.
9. It’s the thought that counts.
Really. Even though a girl has fantasized about meeting and marrying the love of her life since she was old enough to tie her own shoelaces, and despite the fact that crazy, stupendous, over-the-top wedding proposals are all over YouTube, and while your girl may have romanced about the equally thrilling (and rather unrealistic) proposal you will be making, if she truly loves you and wants to be with you, she will love what you do for her. Albeit your proposal involves no flashmob or unicorn. The thought and meaning you put into the proposal is your own and she will see that. (P.S. Please make some effort, though).
10. Be in the moment.
We know that you probably want to get to the “Yes” right away and take that deep breath and lay on the couch. But no need to rush anything. Just take it easy, let the seconds pass, let it all sink in, savor the instant—it’ll be the only one you’ll ever have. The only one she’ll ever have. And it’ll be the only story you’ll be telling and retelling.