12 Things to Do Before You Propose

12 Things to Do Before You Propose

You’ve made it to this point, and no matter how you got here, from high-school sweethearts to a lucky right-swipe, you’re ready to ask the big question.

There’s no doubt it’s a big question. The only question you have to ask is: are you ready to ask? Here are some things to consider before you propose:

1. Are you both on the same page?

The spontaneous proposal is wonderful, but the idea of marriage shouldn’t be a surprise. You can start by talking about a friend who recently got engaged. Ask how your partner feels about marriage. Find out what hopes and dreams your partner has for the future. If you’re both pointed in the same direction, you’ll not only have a successful proposal but a long, happy marriage.

2. Talk to the parents

Is this a bit old-fashioned? Yes. But you really should do it. If you have a good relationship with your future fiancé’s parents, this should be a breeze. Tell them how much in love you are with their son or daughter. Let them know that you are planning to propose, and (this will really get their buy-in) ask them to be part of the big event!

3. Buy the ring

Starting this process can be as easy as paying some extra attention to the jewelry she already wears. If possible, take a picture. A talented jeweler will be able to pinpoint the style she likes. If you can’t pull that off, get snooping on her Pinterest board. As a last resort, pull one of her friends aside and get some important intel.

It’s also important to get the size right. Here are a few things you can do:

  • “Borrow” a ring from her collection and take it to a jeweler to size
  • Slip one of her rings on your own finger and mark where it stops
  • Many jewelers can make an estimate based on your partner’s height and weight
  • Or simply ask!

The good news is, even if you don’t get it exactly right, you can always have it resized.

4. Get personal with the proposal

Give some thought to your partner’s personality. If he or she is the type who would love all the attention of doing this on the kiss-cam at an NBA game, go for it! But if that’s the kind of thing that would mortify her, maybe save that for another time. Is there a favorite spot that is meaningful? Is there an elegant restaurant where you’d love to ask the question? However you do it, the more personal you can make it, the bigger the impact you’ll make.

5. Turn to the pros

Yep, there are people who get paid to do this kind of thing. Proposal planners can help you with everything from securing the venue to making sure it looks beautiful. This kind of luxury doesn’t come cheap, but the payoff for this investment can be pretty spectacular.

6. Prepare notes. Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.

Again, don’t…freak…out. But keep in mind that emotions will be running high and this is no time to forget your lines! It doesn’t have to be an elegant poem, but give some thought to what you want to say so you’re not just winging it. Oh, and don’t forget to include the “will you marry me” line. That part is key!

7. Prepare your backstory

If this is going to be a surprise, come up with a foolproof alibi so your significant other doesn’t know what’s up. If a sudden extra-fancy get-away shows up on the schedule, it may tip her off. Work with friends to prepare the perfect surprise.

8. Keep the ring safe

Once you buy the ring, be sure it’s insured. As soon as it is in your possession, find a place to keep it secure, and make sure you take extra precaution to prevent it from slipping from your hands or tumbling out of your pocket before the big reveal.

9. What to do during the proposal

Don’t…freak…out (see a theme here?). Secondly, don’t spoil the surprise by having a bulky ring-box in your pocket. There are plenty of ways to sneak the ring into your hands. One new invention is from a company called Yes Girls. It’s called a “Box Sock” that adds a tiny pocket and small box to your sock. When you stoop down on one knee, like magic, you can reveal the ring!

10. Find the right moment.

Don’t rush (see above). Make sure everything feels right. Take a deep breath and ask the question when you’re ready.

11. Have a photographer ready.

Plan to have a friend nearby or hire a pro. If your partner has no idea the proposal is coming, you will get amazing photos you’ll cherish forever.

12. Popping the question.

When the moment comes, take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and make the magic happen. Let your partner soak in the moment. Laugh and cry together. When he or she is ready, put the ring on and make it official!


You did it! Now’s the time to bring in the friends, the champagne, and start snapping selfies! Proposal day is a day like no other. You both deserve to enjoy it, savor it, and celebrate like nobody’s business.

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