You're on top of the world, floating on cloud nine, feeling all warm and fuzzy inside… all because you've found that special someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. And what a glorious feeling that is! Together, you feel as though you can conquer the biggest of challenges, and overcome any hurdle. But before you start picking out baby names, there's something way more pressing that needs attention. That is, your wedding proposal.
Have you thought about how you're going to propose to "the one"? Do you want to go the old-fashioned and more classic approach, or do you have something unique and special planned? Which ever route you choose, you can be sure that you'll both be left with a big smile and perhaps a few streaming happy tears, right? Wrong!
20 Wedding Proposal Mistakes to Avoid
In actuality, there are a number of wedding proposal mistakes that, if implemented, may be your demise. And these helpful hints and tips are not to scare you, but to prepare you for that magical wedding proposal you've surely been dreaming of.
1. Don't Wing it
Spontaneity is great sometimes, like an impromptu road trip or deciding to go for the peppermint-flavoured ice cream as opposed to your regular vanilla. But when it comes to a wedding proposal, winging it has big potential to be a bit of a flop.
Think about it this way - if you put yourself in your partner's shoes, would you want the question popped at random whilst eating a curry takeaway in front of the latest episode of Love Island? Probably not… even if you are both feeling loved up and at peace watching your best TV show and eating your favourite food.
This is not to say that you should over plan! In fact, over planning can be just as dangerous (see point number two). Devise a game plan that's thoughtful, and it's as simple as that.
2. Don't Over Plan
When someone is overcome with nerves and anxiety, it's a normal reaction to worry, over analyse, and ask anyone that'll listen for advice.
Perhaps your mother-in-law thinks that a simple proposal over brunch is an excellent idea, while your best friend recommends a grand gesture that will leave your partner in sheer awe. Who do you listen to?
You see, when you put yourself in the position to hear different opinions, you may start to feel more nervous and overwhelmed, and possibly even more lost than before.
The best way to go about planning your wedding proposal is to ask a maximum of three close friends or family members their thoughts. More importantly however, listen to your gut feeling. You know your partner on a more intimate level than anyone else, so the answer definitely lies with you.
3. Don't Overcomplicate it
Yes, those flash mob wedding proposal videos on YouTube that circulate Facebook a few thousand times are adorable, but is this something you really can or want to pull off?
A grand gesture is great… when the planning has been done exceptionally. So if you feel that the expression, "Go big or go home" is the right way to go, get all of your ducks in a row before the big day.
That means consulting those who're involved in the wedding proposal, practicing what needs to be perfected, and making sure that everyone is on-board and confident in their role. This will make the proposal less stressful, and will allow it to unfold effortlessly and beautifully.
4. Don't Do Something They Don't Love
As mentioned, it's you who knows your partner on a more romantic and intimate level. That means that you have the upper hand in executing a wedding proposal that they'll absolutely love.
When you start brainstorming ideas, think about the type of person you're hoping to marry. Are they an introvert or shy? Or do they love big gestures in the spotlight? Creating a billboard with the words, "Will you marry me?" may work for those who love attention, but would most likely be a big fail for those who don't.
Alternatively, an impromptu wedding proposal whilst on the sofa in unflattering pyjamas probably won't cut it for those who love the idea of a romantic wedding proposal.
5. Don't Forget the Ring!
In case you weren't aware, planning is only the half of it! To create a wonderful wedding proposal, don't forget the ring!
To be presented with an engagement ring whilst being proposed to really is part of the romance, and can cause your partner to be even more elated and excited.
So if you're a person who tends to be forgetful or sometimes absent-minded when under stress, take steps to remembering this special piece of jewellery. This could be setting an alarm, putting a reminder sticky note on your front door so that you see it right before you leave, or even keeping it in the pocket of the outfit you'll be wearing.
Do whatever it takes not to forget the ring! And not to loose it either!
6. Don't Leave the Occasion Undocumented
We're living in a world where just about anyone can record a moment in time with the tap of a screen. It's not like the old days with big camcorders and wind-up cameras. For that reason, getting someone to document your special moment on film will be something you two can cherish forever.
You could decide to hire a professional photographer or videographer, or you could simply have a friend secretly capture everything from afar. Having this beautiful memento of one of the best days of your life is essentially priceless.
So even if you or your significant other strongly dislike being filmed or photographed, it'll be such a treat to have (years down the line).
7. Don't Let Your Nerves Get the Best of You
The people who know you best will be the first ones to notice if you're acting strange. So if you're one of those people who become flustered and overwhelmed when they're nervous, try to avoid spending a lot of time with the one you love before the big proposal.
Alternatively, you could engage in activities that will hide your nerves such as watching a film together, or simply being with each other playing on your phone without speaking. And no, having too many drinks probably isn't a good idea to hide the nerves (see point 16).
8. Don't Let the Surprise Slip
It's understandable that you're anxious, excited, and somewhat overjoyed at the fact that you're about to pop the big question. But with all the willpower of mankind, try to keep the proposal a secret. If you somehow spill the beans the entire thing will be compromised for both you and your partner.
And if you are the type of person who can keep a secret, make sure that the people you tell are on the same page. It's quite possibly the most unromantic thing in the world to find out that you're about to get proposed to because a family member, close friend, or a mere acquaintance decided to blurt it out (by mistake).
9. Don't Propose Unless You're 100 Percent Ready
They say that good things come to those who wait. And when it comes to marriage, that's a pretty accurate statement.
Getting married, even if you believe it to simply be a piece of paper, is a big deal. Marriage equals commitment, compromise, and eternity, and if you aren't 100 percent sure that you're ready to spend forever with your partner, don't propose.
Plus, divorce can get real ugly fast, and a prenuptial agreement, if you choose to have one, can be a major cause of anguish, frustration, stress, and depression.
Not certain about the future? Don't propose.
10. If in Doubt, Don't Go Public
While love is a very powerful emotion, there's hardly any certainty in life. So if there's any doubt in your mind that your partner may just politely turn down your wedding proposal, don't choose to do an elaborate charade in front of friends, family, and/or strangers for your big moment. This could cause major embarrassment not only for you, but also them.
This also applies to those who know that their partner would prefer a more intimate proposal. Sometimes when someone is proposed to in public it's hard to really savour the moment without feeling on-the-spot.
Interestingly though, not all public places are off limits. In fact, more than half of newly engaged couples agreed that getting proposed to at the spot where their first date took place was the best place in which to get engaged.
11. Don't Engage in Family Drama
We can't pick our families. And while there are millions of supportive families around the world, there are others that are less enthused. If you know that you or your partner's family is a source of anxiety and other negative emotions, it's best not to involve them in your big proposal.
Sadly, not all family members have the ability to encourage and want what's best for those in their life. Family drama is the last thing you want when it comes to enjoying one of the best and more romantic days of your life.
12. Don't Skimp on the Engagement Ring
If you're already at the point in your relationship where you feel you're ready for marriage, you should know your partner's taste. For that reason, try to get an engagement ring that you know they'll love. Scope out hints and tips from them and those close to them in order to really wow them with the perfect piece of jewellery… it'll make all the difference.
13. Propose on Valentine's Day at Your Own Discretion
Valentine's Day is supposedly the most romantic day of the year. And sure it may be great to celebrate your engagement anniversary on the same day, but there are a few reasons why you may not want to pop the question on Valentine's Day.
Some people may not hold the same sentiments about this day. For some, Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday used to encourage people to buy all kinds of things for the ones they love. If your partner is not a fan of Valentine's Day, avoid proposing on this lovey-dovey day. They also may not want to share their special and unique day with a worldwide holiday.
Additionally, it may be way more special to pop the question on a day that's particularly meaningful for you two as a couple, such as the anniversary of your first date.
14. Choose a Cheesy Proposal at Your Own Discretion
You know those cheesy proposals that you see in films? Well, a lot of the time they're simply not feasible. Putting a ring inside a glass of champagne or cake actually has a few risks attached to it. For one, they could swallow the ring or even choke on it.
Crafting a proposal that's unique and represents the special bond that you share will be a whole lot more meaningful than if you copied a cheesy proposal. Go to the drawing board and allow your experiences as a couple to guide you to the perfect proposal.
15. Non-Verbal Cues Won't Cut it
Just like private time, foreplay is the quintessential of any proposal. Dropping down on one knee, ring in hand, will of course be a big surprise, but leading with a little speech that's meaningful will make the proposal that much more intimate and powerful.
If you are trying to surprise your partner you need not say things that may give the proposal away. But proposing out of context or in the midst of randomness usually isn't very romantic. Try to steer the conversation in such a way that it builds up the big moment.
16. Don't Drink Too Much
A glass of champagne or wine is a symbol of celebration all over the world. But if you decide to pop the question whilst doused in Jack Daniels, it might not be as romantic as you may think.
A breath that reeks of alcohol, the inability to walk on a straight line, and a slurred speech is not exactly a fairy tale story, is it?
It's also advisable to stick to moderation so that your memory is as sharp as a tack for years to come.
17. Don't Run to Social Media
It's a hard pill to swallow that people worldwide are addicted to and influenced by social media. And when something big (or even sometimes mediocre) happens, it's almost like a jerk reaction to post about it online.
But instead of jumping on social media the second you find yourself engaged, why not savour the moment? Spend the next while embracing and sharing your excitement with your new fiancé. Your 1500 Instagram followers and 420 Facebook friends can surely wait.
18. Don't Rely on Mother Nature
"You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can't predict the weather," as Outkast sung. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you're planning your big proposal. You never quite know what tricks mother nature has up her sleeve. For that reason, be prepared for anything.
If you're going to propose outside, bring a jumper or an umbrella if rain or a chilly wind is on the cards. Adversely, bring sunscreen and perhaps a hat if it's a day out in the sun that you've got planned.
19. Don't Propose at the Wrong Time
If you've ever seen the film, Donnie Darko, you may remember when Donnie leans in to kiss Gretchen who stops him because the moment was not right. Take a page out of Donnie Darko's book and don't propose at the wrong time.
When is the wrong time? Well, that's something you'll have to gauge for yourself. But an example would be when your other half is sick with the flu or a stomach bug, feeling sorry for themselves.
A proposal may make them feel better for a moment, but it certainly wont make them feel as on-top-of-the-world as they would if the question was popped in a better, more romantic setting.
20. Don't Propose Sans a (Small) Engagement Celebration
You don't need to have a room full of friends and family waiting for you after you've proposed! But to have a small celebratory surprise organised would just be the cherry on the cake.
This could be going for a glass of champagne at a beautiful restaurant (who you could inform of your engagement beforehand), or visiting your partner's parents home if that is what they would love.
After all, getting engaged is a very big and special milestone, and to celebrate it seems only natural.
And there you have it! 20 helpful tips and hints to creating the perfect wedding proposal. All that's left for you to do is to answer this one simple question, are you ready?