Are you ready to get down on one knee and pop the question? Ask for her hand in marriage? Put a ring on her finger? This is a momentous occasion, and one that requires some planning.
Once you know you’re ready to propose, where do you start? There’s a lot to consider: the ring, the venue, the right words to say and more. We have it sketched out for you below, ready for you to customize to fit your relationship and partner’s preferences.
Are you ready to write your perfect proposal story? Here we give you five tips to plan the perfect engagement proposal.
1. The Right Fit: Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring
Do you want to have the ring when you pop the question? If so, there are many factors to consider when selecting the perfect engagement ring for your future fiancée. Will she want a diamond or a colored gemstone? Does she wear white metal or yellow? Would she prefer a vintage look like Art Deco, or a modern or avant-garde style?
If you know she wants a diamond, then a diamond’s 4Cs is a great place to start: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These are the factors GIA defined to describe the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. By asking for a diamond grading report from an independent laboratory like GIA, you can know exactly what you are about to purchase.
Once you have a diamond shape and cutting style picked out, there’s the setting to consider as well. Look through her jewelry collection (if you can) to see if she prefers yellow gold, rose gold, or white metals. Think about her lifestyle too – is she active, sporty, on-the-go? Then perhaps a more protected setting is best. Consider a bezel setting or channel set diamonds. If she’s more fashion-forward, a ring with square side stones or a modern tension solitaire setting might be more up her alley.
Here’s a tip: Take her with you when shopping for a watch. If she wanders over to the women’s jewelry section, pay attention to what style of jewelry she likes and points out in the display case. If it’s appropriate, you might consider asking her friends or family members what setting she would like.
When in doubt, talk to your jeweler about buying a simple solitaire ring – one that you can exchange in the future should your fiancée want something different, like another diamond shape. This is a safe way to go for two reasons:
- You can still have a traditional proposal with a ring.
- Your bride-to-be has the option to select the ring of her choice.
2. Make it Memorable: Finding the Best Location and Time
If a flashmob in Times Square or jumbotron at the ball game are not quite your style, there are still a few ways to make the moment memorable. Consider her personality: does she like to be the center of attention or shy away from the limelight? If your future fiancée is a romantic at heart, then here are a couple of ideas to build a romantic atmosphere:
- Make it a part of the holidays
- Decorate the venue
- Prepare a nice meal
- Propose in a location significant to the both of you -,where you first met, where you went on your first date, or had a memorable vacation
- Hire a professional photographer or record a video of the proposal
- Invite close friends and family to share in the surprise
This is a momentous occasion no matter where and how you ask her to marry you. Just make sure you are thinking of what works best for your relationship and personalities to create a memorable proposal.
3. Speak from the Heart: Finding the Right Words
You have the ring and the location set, now what do you say? Some would argue that this one’s a toughie – how can you sum up how you feel about her in just a few words? That’s why you’ve got to plan ahead. Do some research and get inspired by scenes from her favorite romantic movies. Consider incorporating music into your proposal by playing a special song in the background. Your speech does not have to be perfectly rehearsed, as long as you speak from the heart. Whatever you say, make sure you include the iconic question, “Will you marry me?” and be ready with the ring in hand.
4. Tell Your Friends: Announcing Your Engagement
Now that you’re engaged, you will probably want to tell everyone you know! Of course, your parents and closest friends will probably be among the first. But don’t forget that there are a slew of other people who will want to hear all about the engagement too. Some couples have engagement photos taken by a professional photographer before they announce the news. Others might want to post a photo of the ring on social media and their couple photo right away, maybe even on the same day. Check out our blog post with tips on how to photograph your jewelry to get the best looking images possible to share with family and friends online.
5. With This Ring, I Thee Wed: Finding Your Wedding Bands
This might come as a bit of a relief after all of that engagement ring shopping and proposal planning: you can choose your wedding rings together. You might opt for a simple band while your partner could choose something with a touch of flash – diamond studded or engraved. Since you will be wearing your wedding band for the rest of your life, make sure it’s a style you love.
Wedding bands come in a variety of styles. You could also opt for matching wedding bands for a romantic touch. Many couples choose to have their bands engraved with their anniversary date or a short, meaningful phrase. There are many wedding jewelry traditions to incorporate into your wedding bands so choose what’s best for the two of you.
Now that you have your proposal all planned out, have you ever wondered why we wear engagement rings in the first place? Find out in our info-graphic: The History of the Engagement Ring.
Main image courtesy: florin1605 – Fotolia