How To Propose: Back to Basics

Congrats! You’ve found the love of your life and now you’re wondering how to propose.

When it comes to wedding planning, men sadly, but truthfully, have absolutely no say. None. The one shot you’ve got, however, is in the proposal. Therefore, get creative, get thoughtful, and pull out all the stops, men. Here are a few friendly and imperative proposal tips to help plan the perfect one:

Ask Dad

You knew we’d lead with that, didn’t you? These days, it’s not his permission you’re asking for, but his blessing. It might be an old-fashioned tradition, but it lets your future father-in-law know that you’re well intentioned and sincere — plus, it can be a great bonding experience for you two. Share with him your feelings for his daughter, your understanding of the commitment, and the excitement you have to make his daughter happy for the rest of her life. Here are some tips on how to ask her dad for his blessing.

Asking Her

Finding the right words to say to Dad probably called for a few conversations in the mirror, but don’t walk away too quickly — you’ve got one more to practice. Along with the magical four-word question, prepare a short, extremely personal speech and rehearse it. Don’t use clichéd, ever-cheesy phrases like “I want to wake up next to you for the rest of my life,” or “you’ll make me the happiest man alive.” This is your soul mate — tell her what made you fall in love with her, what your favorite memory is, what you picture your life together as. And finally, look directly into her eyes and be confident. She’s going to say “yes,” I promise.

The Plan

Planning the perfect proposal is unique to each couple’s personality and only you know your lady best. If she wants to climb to Mount Everest for her ring, arrange the Sherpa. If a home-cooked meal sounds more like heaven, bring out the baking tray. The one thing you must absolutely do is: make it a surprise. Even if you two picked the ring out together, make sure she has no idea the actual proposal moment is coming.

Also, if you’re having trouble putting all the pieces together, you may want to enlist a proposal planner to help out. Your planner will get to know you and your relationship, offer imaginative, unique ideas, and help make the moment flawless.

Catch it on camera

Men, I don’t care how you do it, but catch it on camera. On film, on your iPhone, on a security camera, on your GoPro — catch it. We’ve got tons of proposal photographers to recommend.

Your soon-to-be fiancé’s reaction will be priceless. For example:

I do recommend having it photographed professionally, and make sure it’s done discreetly. It’s a lot easier to get candid photos if you propose during the day, as you don’t want camera flashes ruining the moment or surprise.

Friends and Family

This, again, is a very personal decision. If your soon-to-be fiancé is close with her friends and family, strongly consider incorporating them into the proposal. I suggest you ask the actual question privately and intimately, then surprise her with a small celebration of friends and family after. Think the tears came down hard when you hit one knee? You’ll see a flood when she turns around to Mom and Dad. Case in point:

One last word: this is just as much your special moment as it is hers. If you feel your heart beat out of your chest, let it. If some droplets fall out of your eyes as well, embrace them. And lastly, congratulations on taking one of the most beautiful steps you’ll ever take.

Photo credits:
Top: Mikkel Paige
Middle: Abi Lewis
Bottom: Susan Lines Photography

Be sure to read through our best marriage proposals and proposal videos so you can get ideas on how to propose to your girlfriend!