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Your guide to getting down on one knee and planning the perfect engagement!

So you’ve decided to propose! You want to get hitched. Tie the knot. Whatever you want to call it, the process of getting engaged can seem quite the task, but luckily for you, I’m here to help. From understanding the signs that your partner is ready to be asked to knowing when the right moment to propose is. We’re here to ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

Whether you are being traditional and asking your partners father or family for their permission, deciding to propose in front of your family and friends or doing it much more intimately in a setting special to the two of you, our guide is here to help even the most clueless proposer get it right.

Should you ask your future father in law’s permission before popping the question?

It’s something that every traditionalist will tell you is a definite requirement for an engagement to happen – asking the parent permission for your partners hand in marriage. Others will tell you that it’s simply not necessary in today’s modern world – but trust me when I say: he’s expecting it! Plus if you overlook this step it could cause some tension and an awkward conversation down the line. Not the best start to being welcomed into the family!

Tips to help it go smoothly:

  • Reassure your partner’s parents that you love their child more than anyone else in this world and that marriage is important to you.

  • Meet in person – this is not something to be done over the phone or worse – in a text message! If meeting in person isn’t an option then at the very least have a video call with your partners parents.

  • Yes it’s tradition to ask the father in law for permission but it’s nice to include Mum too!

  • Be on time and under no circumstances cancel or reschedule your meeting. It doesn’t exactly scream ‘dependable and reliable’ if you keep flaking!

Should you propose in front of family and friends?

Is it appropriate for you to propose in front of your entire family and friends? Better still, is it a good idea? This is going to be personal to you as a couple and what kind of person you are. Proposals are a pretty big deal, are you someone who is confident with their words, feels comfortable in front of a crowd, you’ll also want to consider how your partner is likely to feel being proposed to in front of everybody. Think about it carefully, does your partner like a big fuss of their birthday? Are they super close to their family and constantly sharing every detail of their life? Even if they are the type of person who likes to be the centre of attention they may not want to have their proposal in front of everyone.

There is of course a happy medium by keeping her friends and family close-by or arranging a celebratory meal for the evening afterwards. It’ll give you a chance to break the news in one place and answer all of the questions too. It is also a great way of making sure the families feel involved and gives everybody a nice opportunity to meet before the wedding planning starts too.

How to pop the question

Right lets get down to it, the sheer fact you are reading this and researching your proposal means you probably want it to be special and ‘just right.’ Yes we know popping the question is nerve wrecking however try and stay calm, composed and collected.

How you’re going to propose, whether you go for a romantic dinner, you hire a flash mob or get down on one knee on your sofa after an episode of Bake off, is going to be personal to you as a couple; so I’m not going to tell you in what setting you should ask the question. I have some pointers though for you to consider to make your proposal extra special and ensure you are as prepared as possible:

Bring the Bling

Have something – whether it’s a diamond, a stone that your partner loves, a family heirloom or a token ring with the plan to choose an engagement ring together – make sure you propose with something.

Get down on one knee

Here’s a pretty important tradition and one if you don’t do you’ll never hear the end of. So save yourself explaining yourself for the rest of your life and just get down on one knee. If you are wondering where the tradition comes from getting down on one knee was a sign of respect and loyalty for your master or Lord in days gone by.

Make it memorable

You are asking your partner to become your wife or husband. Show them why they would want to spend the rest of their life with you. Surely they already know…. but a little reminder never hurt anyone! Book their favourite restaurant, sort a night away, order their favourite flowers for the room, surprise them with a thoughtful gift as a start to the evening, there are lots of ways you can show your partner how much they mean to you.

Try to incorporate a part of your relationship into your proposal. Something as simple as proposing at the place of your first date or arranging lots of photographs of your relationship together are thoughtful touches that won’t go unnoticed. There’s also no need to propose in the evening, you can make a day of it…. planning all of your favourite activities and culminating in the proposal! Some activities for a daytime experience could be a spa day with a surprise manicure for your other half – ready for them to show off that bling, a sporting event, a hot air balloon ride, going on a picnic or going for a nice walk.

Remember to include activities that mean something to the two of you.

Still nervous?

Relax, grab a beer and take a moment to think it over. The fact you have been together long enough to be thinking about proposing probably means they are going to say yes! They wouldn’t have been with you this long right If you weren’t going to spend the rest of your lives together. And I bet if you thought about it, you’ve talked about marriage or growing old together at some point.

Whatever way you ask her will be perfect! Be confident. You’ve got this!

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