One of the scariest questions a person can ask their significant other is this: “Will you marry me?” Deciding to do it is a win in itself, but the next task is slightly more difficult. The proposal needs to be perfect, which means that it should be romantic and memorable.
The usual protocol entails getting a reservation at a five-star restaurant, ordering the most expensive wine on the menu *if it’s within your means*, and putting the ring on a pastry. That method worked very well for the Baby Boomers and Gen Y, but this is the 21st century. We need to up the ante a bit! [Read: 13 very romantic dinner date ideas for two]
How to propose the right way?
We don’t mean to put proposals on a pedestal, but would it really be that much trouble for you to make an effort to give your partner another romantic memory to remember?
Coordinating the perfect proposal doesn’t even have to take a chunk out of your savings. Your partner won’t be happy anyway when they find out you have a pending credit card balance because of that elephant you rented. [Read: What is the perfect age to get married?]
The elements of a great proposal
So, what exactly do you have to do to give your partner the best proposal? Not as much as you think, really. Here are the necessary ingredients to giving your loved one the best proposal ever.
#1 A memorable location. It’s okay if you decide to propose in the kitchen, but make sure that the mood allows it. No matter where you do it, the fact that you’re making a proposal can make any location memorable.
#2 With awesome music. A little ambient music will do wonders for your proposal. If you really want to make an impact, play a song that means a lot to both of you.
#3 In front of your family and friends. It’s important that you share this experience with the people you love. The proposal itself can be done intimately and privately, but it’ll be much more memorable if your loved ones are waiting to share the good news with you.
#4 When you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Don’t propose on a whim without considering what happens after. If you’re not financially ready for a wedding, at least have a plan.
#5 With a ring or whatever works for you both. No matter what anybody says, a ring is very important. Just ask the fiancés that had to deal with passive aggressive fiancées. The price of the ring, however, should not be a point of contention. Even if it’s just a cereal box toy, you still have to give your partner a symbolic token of your proposal. [Confession: He popped the question with a horrendous ring!]
#6 When you’re both ready. Marriage is a big deal. You need to really think about what’s going to happen once you and your partner get married. Apart from that, you need to accept that there is a possibility that your partner might not be ready as well. [Read: 13 questions you need to ask yourself before you get married]
So, what are the ways you can propose to the love of your life?
With the tips above in mind, you may already be thinking of different ways to propose to your partner. But let us make that a little easier for you.
#1 Concerto proposal. Hire a band. Use an orchestra. Sing your proposal. Serenading a proposal is always a winning move.
#2 Offshore. Renting a yacht for an hour is pretty cheap these days. Sail out into the open blue, and get down on one knee as you try not to drop the ring in the ocean.
#3 One with nature. If you want the perfect setting, there’s nothing more beautiful than the great outdoors.
#4 Exotic locales. Vacations can be more than just a relaxing escape. You can also use the exotic destination as a backdrop for your proposal.
#5 Bed of roses. Flowers. Flowers everywhere. If you can afford it, fill a room with flowers, and surprise your future fiancée.
#6 Crowd pleaser. Do it in front of strangers. Lots of strangers. Share the love and the joy with everyone.
#7 Flash mob. Just put out an anonymous call in your area. I’m sure you can find a flash mob that’s willing to help you out. Just prepare a budget for their snacks and drinks.
#8 Movie magic. Rent out a cinema and play a proposal trailer. Yes, it’s been done, but it’s still really sweet and romantic.
#9 Stargazers. Under the stars *sigh* or the moon. There’s nothing more romantic than a proposal under the cosmos.
#10 Sunset daze. Instagram proves that sunsets will never get old. Find a spot with a great view of the sunset, and wait for the perfect moment.
#11 Zoofari. It’s so random that it just might work. Take a trip to the local zoo, or go on a mini safari. What’s more romantic than proposing in front of all those cute animals, right?
#12 Under the sea. A nod is all you need anyway, so why not propose while you’re scuba diving? You can even tie the ring to a really sturdy coral, so that your partner can find it while you swim.
#13 Up above the clouds. While you’re in a helicopter or plane or while you’re skydiving. Tell your partner you won’t pull her chute if she doesn’t say yes. We’re kidding.
#14 You jump, I jump. Bungee jumping proposals are becoming more and more popular these days. Just make sure that all your equipment is checked and properly maintained.
#15 On a race track. Invite your partner to ride shotgun while you test drive an awesome car in the race track. Pop the question as you cross the finish line.
#16 On a holiday. Christmas eve, New Year’s, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day – you have thousands of holidays to choose from. Pick one and milk it for all it’s worth.
#17 At work. Get her coworkers in on the act. Make her think she’s the last person to leave the office, but as soon as she steps out, there you are with a ring in hand and her coworkers cheering in the background. [Read: The best and worst ways to propose to your girlfriend]
#18 While on a mountain hike. When you reach the peak, take the ring out, and make it official. Imagine your partner’s surprise when she catches her breath and loses it again when she sees the ring.
#19 During a mock speed dating party. Commission a friend to drag your partner to a speed dating party *that you set up* in the guise of asking for moral support. Be her last date and pop the question when it’s your turn.
#20 On bended knee. You can propose any way you want, really, but the most important thing to remember is that you’re making a huge promise to each other. The proposal may not be as grand as the wedding, but it’s still a really big deal. So, make it count.
Whichever way you propose, the important thing is that you and your partner are happy about your choices. Whether you propose in the car, while cuddling in bed or in line at the DMV, at the end of the day, what really matters is that you’re getting the woman of your dreams to say yes, right?