Plan the Perfect Proposal
The season is upon us...
No, not the festive season, although that is here, too. I'm talking about proposal season.
Yes, there's a season. Around 40% of proposals occur between ChristmasEve and Valentine's day.
If you're one of the almost half of people planning to propose to your significant other in the next few weeks and months, I have some tips to help it go swimmingly.
I Choose You! ...Do You Choose Me?
Before you even plan how you're going to pop the question, you want to be fairly certain they'll say yes. Have you talked about marriage before? Does she want to get married? Has he expressed his commitment to you? If you don't know, have a conversation.
Now, I'm not suggesting you say, "I want to propose, will you say yes?" Simply make sure you're on the same page about marriage and your relationship. Talk to friends and/or family, too. We're well past the era of asking the parents' permission but, if they're a close family, the 'rents are probably a good barometer for your chances of a "yes". Likewise, friends — just make sure they're friends that can keep a secret!
Make it Meaningful
Don't mistake meaningful for extravagant. What I mean is, put some thought into it. What would they like? What is significant in your lives that would make a great "will you marry me" moment?
If you're dating an introvert, they won't thank you for the flashmob and brass band in the high street, but they might love it if your dog brought in a ring with breakfast in bed. A homebody won't appreciate the two-hour climb uphill so you can get on one knee at the top of Arthur's Seat; if they're outdoorsy, they might love it.
If he loves the beach, why not take a walk and pop the question on the sand? If she lives for Friends, take her to St John's Church in Wapping (the one where Ross and Emily got married) and remember to say the right name. Bring out a ring during a quiet dinner for two, or at the end of Brighton Pier. Take a trip to Diagon Alley, Disneyland Paris or the comic book store.
Whatever you do, make it meaningful.
Plan Your Moment
No matter how confident you feel, nerves can still hit at inopportune times. It doesn't have to be detailed, but a few bullet points can keep you on track. Rehearse what you want to say so you don't ramble or clam up at the vital moment. Practise your speech in the mirror or with your goldfish.
Give Them a Ring?
Unless your intended has explicitly stated that they expect your proposal to include an engagement ring, you don't need one. The Haribo ring or Ring Pop options always make for a sweet story (sweet... I love puns) and a simple stand-in from Accessorize or Claire's gives you the present-the-ring moment without the pressure of finding the perfect ring in advance.
You don't need a ring at all. You can propose without any jewellery — or opt for a necklace, earrings or bracelet instead. Present a keyring with the "key to your heart" attached, get matching tattoos or plant a tree together.
Whatever you do to propose, relax and be yourself. Remember, you are the person your partner loves. You. And you love them. In the end, that's what matters most.