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How to Propose?

The thought of proposing is an intense blend of joy and anxiety, more so than any of life's other special occasions. At this point, you know a few things — that you love your girlfriend, that she's your best friend, and that you want to spend the rest of your life with her. You know how to propose...pick out that perfect engagement ring, get down on one knee in a romantic spot, present the ring in a grand flourish, and pop the big question. You're pretty sure you know what her answer will be, too.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Kind of. While the general idea behind every proposal is the same, if you really want to make your special lady feel... well... special, it’s essential to craft a proposal that truly honors who you are as a couple. The best part? A proposal that's uniquely designed around you and your bride-to-be is one that she'll always remember.

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Get Personal

You know your girlfriend better than anyone — after all, that's how you know you want to marry her — so think strategically. Take all of that knowledge and put it to use in your proposal. Think about the things she really likes. What songs does she especially love? Does she have a favorite romantic movie with an especially breathtaking proposal scene? Work her fantasies into your proposal.

Now think about your relationship. How did you meet? Where was your first date? Your first kiss? Where were you when you first said, "I love you" to each other? Write down these milestones and special elements; they form the backdrop of your relationship and your proposal should tie them together creatively.


Now that you have a big picture for your proposal, get down to the details. Incorporate her dreams, her favorite things and the wonderful, quirky elements that make your relationship unique to the two of you in a concrete way.

Bring in elements from your relationship, whether that's photos of fun events, special music that reminds you of fun times together, or even certain foods. For instance, you could hire an acoustic guitarist to play her favorite song as you leave the restaurant where you had your first date, or arrange a private screening of her favorite movie with a "Will You Marry Me?" added to the trailer. Your proposal doesn't have be over the top, especially if you include lots of little touches that show how carefully you've thought it through.

Whatever route you choose, plan, plan, plan down to the last detail. That means rehearsing what you'll say ahead of time, having the engagement ring — safely — on hand, and making any necessary reservations well before the big day. Not only will the proposal go more smoothly, you'll feel more confident, too.

Go Time

When the time finally comes, keep it simple and sweet. If you've got a speech planned, try to get most of it out before you go down on one knee and slide the ring on her finger, because she probably won't remember much after that point. Make sure your phones are charged, because you're going to be calling and texting friends and family.

Overall, remember to relax and be yourself. After all, that's who she fell in love with in the first place!

With lots of customization, a bit of planning, and many deep, calming breaths, your proposal will be a fond memory that you'll both enjoy retelling for the rest of your lives together.

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