BY ELISA D. WALLACE
And so, it happened. One day, the stars aligned perfectly, and you met your special someone. Now, after getting to know each other, you are ready to make the ultimate commitment: marriage. The hardest part—finding Mr. or Ms. Right—is done. Or is it?
When it comes to “popping the question,” men and women alike are stressed. There is a huge amount of pressure to make the moment perfect for their beloved. What should be a spontaneous instance of declaring one’s sentiments, becomes lost in the attempt to make the moment grandiose.
In today’s digital age, between Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and all of the other social media, men and women are often trying to out-do their friends with their own proposal. What used to be a tender time between two people, is becoming a live streamed, over-the-top, love showcase.
While truly there is no “wrong way” of asking someone to marry you, there are still a few pointers for taking this big step. If you’re thinking of proposing, or need advice for a couple you know, read on for ten easy tips to make sure the marriage proposal goes off without a hitch.
Tip #1: It should come from the heart. Do not worry about being “cheesy” in this moment. If there was ever a time to get sentimental, this is it! Think back on the special location you took your beloved for a first date. If you’re not crazy about this location, try the place where you both said those three magic words: “I love you!” When you take him or her back to this location, memories will come rushing back, and make this moment much more special.
Tip #2: Toss trend out the window. No one will remember the hip spot you took your date on for the perfect engagement photo. What they will remember is what you said in the moment. Less stress should be placed on the “hashtag factor” and more on the speech!
Tip #3: Let history join your moment! Consider taking your beloved to a historic place that has been, and always will be, there. Whether it’s a historical monument or an outdoor location, the idea that you can always return there—even when you’re old and gray—is a great one.
Tip #4: Invite those you both love. A wonderful moment can be made even more wonderful by inviting family and friends. This way, they are part of this special day. It is easy to do this at a family gathering or dinner, or holiday celebration. Another idea is to have the private moment between the two of you, then wave your family and friends over from a nearby vantage point. It’s the best of both worlds—private and public.
Tip #5: Consider their wishes. Speaking of public engagements, it is wise to think about what your loved one would be most comfortable with. While you may love the idea of a flash mob engagement, this might terrify your beloved. Think before you propose!
Tip #6: Employ a decoy. If you need your adored to go to a specific spot on a specific night, ask a good friend for help. This “decoy” can insist that she / he needs to go to this restaurant, bar, park, etc. By involving an accomplice, you are sure to throw your loved one off track!
Tip #7: Less is better. Even though it is tempting to shout from the rooftops to the world that you’re ready to propose, hold off on doing so. When telling family and friends, less is better. Even though no one would purposefully let a secret slip out, it often does. And this is one secret worth hiding.
Tip # 8: Don’t forget the background details! It’s vital to know your loved one’s exact schedule the day of the proposal. Does he or she have a lunch date with a close friend? A late evening spin class? Make sure to know their schedule. They may be tired from a long day of work or gym, and simply need a shower, not a proposal.
Tip #9: Watch out for Mother Nature. Yes, a walk on the beach, or hike in the mountains sounds like the perfect backdrop for a proposal, until bad weather arrives. Make sure to check out the weather before solidifying your proposal plans. Always have a backup plan. An indoor location you both love, like a restaurant where you went on your first date, can work.
Tip #10: Stick to an idea, but not a script. It is understandable that you may want to follow a script when asking the most important question you will ever ask, but do not do this. Your words simply need to come from the heart, not a carefully crafted piece of paper.