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Make yours a proposal to talk about for years beyond your first anniversary
Unforgettable memories in Bali...
A lot of people only get one shot at a wedding proposal. So, no pressure, but it’s a pretty important thing to get right the first time. Here are some things to think about before you pick out your magical destination – and long before you drop down on one knee.
How should I ask for a father’s blessing?
Nowadays it’s seen as good form to ask your future father-in-law for his blessing, rather than seeking permission. That can take some of the pressure off. After all, he can’t really say ‘no’! Therefore you should view the experience as a positive one: it’s a chance to bond with your soon-to-be newest family member, while expressing your feelings about your lifelong mate. Ideally you should ask face to face – or, at the very least, on a video call if geography’s an issue.
Should I ask in public or in private?
That will really come down to the kind of partner you have. Have a really good think about what your beloved will look back on with fondness for years to come. To be blunt, if your beau can be painfully shy then they probably won’t appreciate something too big. The wallflower type of character may prefer a private, more intimate setting: perhaps a place with significant memories of their childhood, or a secluded holiday spot. On the other hand, if your beloved is an extrovert then they might be thrilled to see themselves on a big screen amid grinning faces at a busy event, or in the middle of a packed restaurant which has just fallen silent.
What about the ring?
Having some info about the type of wedding ring your partner wants will of course be helpful. But if you can’t find this out without giving the game away, then you might decide instead to get a temporary ring – and you can always get another one together after you’ve proposed. Lots of people would prefer to choose their own ring.
However, if you do know exactly what your partner wants, your next step is to work out their ring size. Can you find a ring they currently own? Could you ‘borrow’ this and get it sized up? There’s lots of information online about how to measure your ring size – as well as more general guidance about finding the perfect engagement ring. If you feel you do need to take the plunge and buy a ring and you’re not totally certain it’s the perfect one, then be sure to check the returns policy very carefully before you buy.
How should I propose?
The first four words – ‘will you marry me’ – are in the bag already. Now, jot down some of your deepest and strongest feelings for your partner. Ask yourself: what is it that made you fall in love in the first place? Try to swerve the obvious clichés, such phrases like: “will you make me the happiest person on the planet?” If you do choose to ask the question at a holiday destination, or somewhere of significance to your relationship, then by all means mention this and use it as good material to write with. That could be a useful lead-in, as you confidently meet your lover’s eyes before starting your spiel.
How should I capture the magic moment?
Think of it this way: not having any video or photographic evidence of your proposal is something you’ll really live to regret as you grow old together. Pictures can be taken easily enough, in most cases, but you may well need to acquire some help for a video. So whether it’s a kindly hotel staffer you met on the first day of your trip, or you’ve managed to rope in some help further in advance – make sure you’ve got a waterproof plan in place before you make your move.
What are some of the best-known places to propose?
Picking where to propose can feel overwhelming, as there’s such a wide range of options out there. Maybe you should start by thinking about whether your lover would prefer a local option, or something a little more adventurous. It’s easy to slip into a hackneyed mindset and to think of places like the Eiffel Tower, or the London Eye, or one of the many options offered by a big city like New York. Instead, here’s some help to find the ideal place to pop the question with our top list of recommended proposal packages and hotels.
When and how should I tell friends and family?
You’ve got the answer you dreamt of. After your initial jubilation there’ll come a point at which you realise that the work has just begun. Do you want to take some of the pressure off with a simple Facebook post? Or maybe you’d prefer to go old school and call a parent (or parents) first. Start by writing out a list with a hierarchy of all the most important people in your life who you’d like to tell with a personal or face-to-face message.
The beautiful thing is that, when it comes to telling the world, it’s totally up to the two of you. Just make sure that the gossipy friend in your group isn’t the first to find out…
Home sweet home. What should I do now?
Once the (magic) dust has settled and you’ve gratefully accepted all of the little gifts and well-wishes from your family and friends, it’s time for the serious planning to begin! Why not tick one off the list by planning your perfect honeymoon spot? Or maybe you aren’t really the planning types – and eloping is your thing instead? If that’s the case, here’s a guide to some of the best runaway wedding locations around the world.