man proposing to woman

Proposal Ideas: The Do's and Don'ts of Proposing

Your proposal will be something you talk about and remember for a long time, but that shouldn't make it scary. In fact, it can be a wonderful and memorable experience for both of you. If you're proposing to the girl of your dreams, remember that the engagement experience should be centered on her and what she likes. You're not trying to show off or make yourself happy. If you focus on her happiness, it'll take away some of the fear and help you prioritize what's really important.

Now, consider the major questions and ideas below to help you plan your proposal and make it a joyful occasion for your girlfriend.

What Type of Proposal Does She Want?

You might not know in advance what type of proposal she wants. You're not a mind reader. She might not even know it herself! It can take some initiative on your part to create a special situation for her. Use these considerations:

  • Propose on a meaningful day, like your anniversary or her birthday.
  • Propose while you're on vacation together.
  • If you live in far-flung places, propose next time you meet up.
  • Plan to propose about a year before the season in which she'd like to get married (sleuthed out either from her comments or from her friends or family).
  • Think about the settings where you've been happiest together, whether it's somewhere in nature, in a city, at a restaurant, or another place.
  • Consider proposing during an activity you both enjoy, like bicycling, traveling, or another shared hobby.

In almost all scenarios, plan some time alone together right after the proposal. You'll need a few minutes (or an hour) to enjoy the moment, talk, and laugh together. She might even cry a little. Family and friends might be somewhere nearby, but you need the power to control your own space and decide when you're both ready to meet up with everyone else and show off the ring.

What to Avoid When Proposing

There are a lot of creative ideas on the Internet on how to propose. But creativity isn't the goal in itself. The point is to give your lady a special day and to make her happy. Let's avoid situations that could endanger her, put a strain on your relationship, or seriously turn her off, such as:

  • Hiding the ring in food or drink and turning it into a choking hazard.
  • Wearing inappropriate clothes that make you look less than your best (unless you're hiking or in a similar situation).
  • Proposing in a public way that would embarrass her, if she's a reserved person.
  • Asking her parents' permission first, if she's not traditional in that way.
  • Proposing when you've only been together for a short time and are not sure she's interested yet.
  • Popping the question on the first day of a vacation together when you're not sure she'll say yes-meaning you could start the trip with a rejection.
  • Making overly complicated plans with a lot of variables that could go wrong.
  • Taking her to dangerous locations such as the edge of a cliff.
  • Setting your heart on a fancy restaurant and then forgetting to get an advanced reservation.

Should Family and Friends Be Involved?

This depends on your relationship and your lady. Private proposals are usually better. If you're not absolutely sure there's a reason for others to be involved, the easiest rule of thumb to follow is to keep it between the two of you-that's the point of getting married, anyway! Plus, having people around could make her feel pressured. However, if you do want others involved, here are some ways it could work:

  • If she really loves kids, a cute way to propose to your girlfriend is to get some of the sweetest kids in your families to take part in the proposal, maybe bringing her the ring, singing a song to her, giving her flowers, or in some other way.
  • If you have a pet, the ring could be in a box tied to the pet's collar.
  • Have a small dinner party with her family and propose to her during a toast.
  • If she and her family like puzzles, create a puzzle with pictures of you together and "Will you marry me?" written on it, then get the family to work on it together.
  • Take a family outing to an amusement park and propose to her on a ride.

Is an Inside or Outside Proposal Better for Her?

This depends on your relationship history, her personality, and the current weather. Getting caught in the rain might sound romantic, but it doesn't give her a chance to enjoy the proposal and see the ring on her finger for the first time. Think about these questions:

  • Have you spent a lot of time outdoors together-hiking, camping, climbing, and so on?
  • Does she love indoor spaces more than anything, such as libraries, restaurants, museums, theaters, etc.?
  • Does she most enjoy walking down the sidewalk in a city or on a country lane?
  • Is she easily embarrassed by crowds, or does she thrive on attention?
  • Do you have access to a memorable outdoor spot she wants to visit, like a major waterfall, a national park, or a botanical garden?
  • Is fair weather forecast?

If you're staring at a million different wedding proposal ideas, ask yourself these questions to narrow down the options. If she lights up in certain situations indoors or outdoors, use those to create a memorable, comfortable, beautiful experience for her.

Handling the Ring Box

The actual presentation of the ring is an important moment because almost every woman has imagined it. Usually, it's best to keep the ring in a special ring box. You could keep it naked in your pocket, sure, but the danger of losing it is strong! Plus, the box will look elegant and adds to the overall experience.

Keep the box in mind when you brainstorm proposal ideas. You need a place to hide it. If you're wearing board shorts on a beach, for example, you can't have it sticking out of your pocket. Modify your ideas accordingly.

Also, practice with the ring and the box. This might seem silly, but your heart will be pounding during the proposal, making it easy to make a mistake. Practice:

  • Opening the box toward her
  • Handling the ring and box so you don't drop them
  • Pulling the ring out smoothly while holding it securely

Enjoy Flexible Financing

As you're thinking of your favorite wedding proposal ideas, we can take care of one major worry for you. Apply for credit online with Daniel's Jewelers. Get the type of financing that works best for you so that you can afford a beautiful ring for your girlfriend. Our approval rate is near 100%, so we'll almost definitely say "yes!"

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