10 Tips for Planning the Perfect Marriage Proposal

Plan the romantic surprise of a lifetime by following these helpful engagement pointers.
By: 
Sharon Naylor

Ready to pop the question but you aren't sure how to make your proposal extra special? Coming up with the right way to ask those four little words ("Will you marry me?") can be a challenge even for guys who are romantic on an everyday basis. You're probably thinking it has to be a BIG proposal  — something she'll never forget. It should also be personalized to your relationship. Whew, that's a lot of pressure.

But don't worry, we have some fabulous ideas to help make your proposal even more unforgettable. Plus, check out our tips for reliving this magical moment throughout your "happily ever after!"

how to propose
Photo by: Stacy Kokes Photography on The Brides Cafe via Lover.ly

1. Select a sentimental location. 
For example, it could be the restaurant where you had your first date, the rooftop bar where you shared your first kiss, or the spot where you first said "I love you." Going back to that locale now as the setting for your proposal signifies that your relationship has come full circle.

2. Surprise her by having family and friends share in this moment. 
They could be right there with you, perhaps at a family gathering or holiday dinner. Or, if you'd like the proposal to be just the two of you, you could arrange to have your closest loved ones just out of view, maybe looking on from a nearby vantage point. After you pop the question and she says "yes," wave everyone in for a big group hug and lots of congratulations. It's the best of both worlds — you get a lovely, intimate moment alone and then have all of your favorite people share in your happiness immediately afterwards.

surprise proposal
Photo Credit: Pap the Question

Bonus: Make it a part of your holidays. With friends and family in town for Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s, all of your respective besties will be present for the proposal. And in the future, this holiday will always have even more significance for you as you think back on the time when you got engaged.

3. Hire a professional photographer.
He or she can hang out close to your proposal spot and covertly capture amazing photos of your proposal scene. Expert photographers know how to capture the light, make your setting look even more magical, and position themselves perfectly to get a priceless shot of the look on her face when she realizes what's happening. It's a big trend now to invest in pro photography — these images are way too important to risk losing via dead camera batteries or other mistakes non-pros might make. 

Bonus: You can give the engagement photos as a surprise wedding-day gift to your bride!

proposal idea
Photo Credit: Alyse French Photography

4. Incorporate music. 
Do you have a song that is meaningful to the both of you? Or, does she remember the first song you ever slow-danced to? (You can subtly ask her without giving away your plan.) Having a sweet tune playing in the background elevates your proposal to "unforgettable" status. 

Bonus: Slow dance. No matter where you are. No matter who’s around, if you’re out at a public spot like a scenic overlook. No matter if there’s music or not. Just gather her close, and lead her in a slow dance to last forever in her memory. Sigh...

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