The big moment has finally arrived: You’re ready to propose. Even if you think you have it all planned out, from the roses to the ring, read through our marriage proposal checklist to make sure no important details slip through the cracks.
Before you propose, do a run-through of the planned proposal. If you’re proposing at the top of a mountain, make sure you’ve been to that particular summit, so you know the area. If you’re proposing in a restaurant, call ahead to ask if they do anything special for engagements. Consider visiting to check out the space, too.
If you’re coordinating with family and friends, make sure they know where to be, how to get there, and the right time to arrive. Don’t guess distances or how long it will take to travel between two places; drive the distance and see for yourself. The details matter, and a practice run-through of the event will make sure there are no surprises.
If you’re planning to ask your partner’s parents for their blessing, then don’t forget to secure it before the proposal. While this step isn’t necessary for every couple, it can be a beautiful way to bring your families into the proposal as well.
At the end of the day, the most important part of the proposal is the actual proposal. As you navigate the best way to plan a proposal, practicing should be top of mind. No matter the setting, however beautiful or elaborate, it is the question that is at the heart of the event. Don’t get tripped up when the moment comes. If you’re planning to go get on one knee with a ring, then practice the position and practice what you want to say. This can be anything from simply asking “will you marry me?” to a brief speech. Whichever route you choose, be concise and speak from the heart.
This might seem obvious, but make sure you have the ring. Always check and confirm, and never assume you brought it along. Nothing ruins a proposal faster than a teary bride, a man on one knee, and his frantic hands searching his pockets. In addition, look up the store’s return policy, so you know your options. Most jewelry stores will let you return or exchange a wedding ring within 30 days. If you plan to buy separate insurance for the ring, in addition to what might be covered by your home or renter’s insurance, then do that before you propose.
You probably want some photographic evidence of the moment you ask the question. If you’re going somewhere secluded, with just the two of you, that can be tricky. Some people hire a photographer who will follow the couple discreetly until the big moment. If you will have friends or family on hand or you plan to propose in a restaurant or somewhere public, getting pictures is a little easier. Ask a trusted friend, with a good artistic eye, to be on camera duty. You don’t want to be stressed on the day of your proposal about the lack of pictures, so plan ahead if you want to ensure you have some photographs.
Whatever your plan for your proposal, make sure you have a plan for afterwards. This plan might be going home and opening a special bottle of wine, having dinner at your favorite restaurant, enthusiastically calling all your relatives, or even just watching a favorite movie on the couch. The important thing is that you’ve thought ahead. The proposal is a big, exciting moment and feelings will be running high. You don’t want to walk away wondering “what now?”
Beyond doing your research on location, creating a budget for the cost of the ring, planning an activity to celebrate the occasion, and so much more, there’s a lot that goes into a marriage proposal checklist. Make sure you start yours far enough in advance, so that you have a plan that leads to the most amazing outcome.