It’s no secret that engagements are a big deal. It starts when a little girl begins planning her dream wedding to her math class crush, and it doesn’t stop until vows are exchanged. Yes, engagements are magical. And weddings have taken on an ever larger than life hype with the creation of things like Pinterest and Say Yes to the Dress. So how does a mortal couple compete with all the over-the-top glitz that has become par for the course when you’re ready to tie the knot? How do you strip it down and bring the focus back to what it’s really about: committing to spend the rest of your life with the person you love? If you’re a guy planning to propose, how do you make that moment picture perfect without ruining the surprise? Though I’ve never been married–but I did spend many days playing “wedding” with a bride costume and my mom’s heels– I’ve got a few thoughts:
Seven Things to Consider Before You Propose
1. Think about who she is:
Even if your lady isn’t wedding-crazed, you can tell a lot about her engagement ring style just by thinking about what she likes in general. If her taste is simple, she will probably find a more classic ring style appealing. If she’s artistic and off-beat, you may consider selecting a unique stone or an eye-catching band to match her personality.
2. Listen, listen, listen:
If you’ve been together for a while and it’s pretty clear where things are heading, paying attention to detail may leave you with some clues about what your girlfriend likes. Comments that may have gone over your head before you were thinking about popping the question will stand out to you now. If a friend, family member, or co-worker gets engaged, take note about how she reacts to the ring. Does she “ooh” and “ahh” over the diamond’s cut? Does she fall in love with the style of the band? These things can help guide you in the right direction as you begin your own search.
3. Find a trustworthy friend:
If you’re close with one of her friends, you may want to enlist her help as you search for the perfect engagement ring. Chances are that the friend knows your girlfriend’s tastes, and has probably had conversations with your lady about what she does and doesn’t like. If you’re feeling unsure about your decision, show the accomplice a few pictures and get her opinion.
4. Consult her family:
Besides the tradition of asking for their daughter’s hand in marriage, your girlfriend’s parents can be very helpful when it comes to planning a proposal. They may be able to suggest a sentimental spot or other important details that would make the moment special. They may also help guide you in terms of her taste in rings.
5. Use movies for inspiration:
So many movies and TV shows have proposal scenes. Pay attention to how she reacts during these moments. Does she cringe when a man proposes in the middle of a crowded restaurant? Does she tear up when he writes a special poem to recite to her? Take note of these things and use them to help shape your own proposal. However, keep in mind that these aren’t real life scenarios that are unfolding before your eyes. They’re scripted, therefore everything works out perfectly. Don’t expect the rain to fall gently in your faces as you’re down on one knee. Know that a spontaneous fireworks display from a neighboring town probably won’t begin as soon as you finish popping the question. Real life isn’t a romantic comedy, and that’s okay.
6. Consider the element of surprise:
In recent years, a new trend has developed among soon-to-be engaged couples. Whereas before proposals were all about the element of surprise, now more and more couples are going together to look at engagement rings. This ensures that the ring meets any and all expectations. However, suggesting a visit to the jewelry store is a delicate subject. For a lady who’s hoping that the proposal will be a surprise, this idea can ruin that key component. So how do you know how to proceed? Chances are that you’ve had a conversation about taking things to the next level. The next time this topic comes up, ask some subtle questions about what she imagines the proposal to be like. Find out if she’d like friends or family around, or if there are other elements that she’d really like incorporated into the special moment. This conversation may help you understand whether a surprise proposal is something important to her.
7. Have confidence:
Finally, and most importantly, have confidence in your choice. While a proposal is a milestone in a relationship, ultimately it’s about something much more than a piece of jewelry. You’re expressing a lifetime commitment to this person. That means more than any diamond you could put on her finger. Make your words come from the heart, and know that what you’re saying means more than the situation in which you say it. Just enjoy it and savor it.
Though planning a proposal does create some element of pressure, thinking about your lady’s style and personal tastes can help lead you in the direction of the perfect ring. Asking close friends or family for help is also a good option if you’re feeling stuck. Above all else, remember that it’s about more than how you say it, it’s what you’re promising that counts.
Are you thinking of proposing to someone you love? Or have you proposed and have some tips of your own to share from the experience? If you have any questions or thoughts to share then be sure to comment below.