Engagement Proposal: Everything You Need to Know!

Are you ready to get down on one knee? Do you look into your partner’s eyes and know they are the one you want to spend your life with? That might seem like the easy part. Proposing can be a daunting task. To help ease the pressure, here are some helpful considerations.


When to Pop the Question?

It is important to trust your gut that this is the one you want to spend your life with, but there are more grounding techniques to know when the time is right. And timing is everything. 

How to Plan a Proposal

Once you know its everlasting love, here are some checkpoints to meet before popping the question:

  • Are you ready? There can be a lot of societal and cultural pressure to get hitched, so if your desire isn’t coming from your head and your heart, do not rush this process.
  • Have you both talked about it? The two of you need to agree that this is something you both want. This is more than just one conversation; it should be an ongoing discussion of what you both want from a long-term partnership and marital life.
  • Do their parents approve? Respecting your elders never goes out of style.
  • Are you financially ready? Proposals and weddings can be a substantial financial burden. Make sure this is something the two of you are prepared to conquer together.
  • Consider the time of year. Are there other major life events happening? Was there a recent death in the family? Try to steer clear of other big moments. You want this to be a date to be highly regarded, not misconstrued because of life’s excessive complications and hardships.

It can be hard to know if the moment is right, but you can avoid mishaps by checking off these tips and sticking to your intuition.

How to Plan a Proposal Info

You’ve had intimate conversations about marital life, her parents have approved, and you know she is the one. Congratulations! Now it’s time to plan the day. 

  • Buy the ring. It isn’t uncommon for couples to search for a ring together before the proposal. You wouldn’t want your partner to be disappointed by your purchase. This band will be worn to distinguish them forever.
  • Make it meaningful. This is the moment to get sappy and sweet. Do you have any favorite songs? Perhaps a special location in the city? Take all the sweet and small ideas into account when planning. 
  • Choose between a public or private proposal. Some partners love grand gestures and proclamations of love, while others prefer more intimate moments. 
  • Hire a photographer to capture your proposal. You’ll be able to look back on this cherished moment and share it with others.
  • Strategize to keep the proposal under wraps. Invite one of their friends along to act as a decoy so you can truly generate surprise. Make sure you have a person or two in their inner circle who is aware of the event so you can keep things running smoothly.
  • Have a backup plan. Life gets in the way all too easily. Understand things will go wrong, and you need to be flexible. Know what to do if it rains, if there is traffic, or if they need to work later that evening. 

Intimate vs. Public Proposals

Intimate vs. Public Proposals

Think of the type of gesture your partner will appreciate most. Do they enjoy being the center of attention and the life of the party, or do they appreciate private, intimate settings more? This is a key facet in creating the best proposal for you both. 

A public proposal involves a bigger gesture and much more planning. Ideas range from family dinner proposals to hiring a flash mob. The benefits of a public proposal include: involvement of friends and family, hiring a photographer is easier, the proposal location becomes very special to you both, spectacular settings (think Disneyland or Paris), and large displays of affection.

The downsides of public proposals include a lack of control of the environment. There can be more pressure to say yes; it is less intimate, and you might get denied publicly.

Private proposals are more budget-friendly, intimate, and allow for more creative control. If something doesn’t go according to plan, you can switch to plan B without letting anyone else know.  A private proposal is instantly intimate as it involves only you, your partner, and possibly the photographer hidden in the bushes.

The downside of private proposals is they are harder to hire a photographer for, especially if you want it to be a surprise. 

What to Bring to a Proposal

No matter how, when, or where you propose, there are some essential items on your proposal checklist. 

  • The ring. Please don’t forget this. Check out these tips for keeping the ring safely hidden during travel.
  • A sentimental speech, either handwritten or on your phone. Handwritten is better so your partner can keep it as a memento of the day. There will be a lot of excitement and nerves, and having what you’d like to say written out is a safe way to ensure you won’t miss a cue.
  • Friends and family. If a public proposal is what the two of you have decided on, invite your loved ones out to share the day. Ensure everyone has the correct address and time, so no one misses out.
  • Photographer. This is a big moment to remember, and you will both appreciate looking back on this day. Plus, you can share these photos on social media to broadcast your engagement.
  • Food and drink. A toast to celebrate her saying yes, plus a little something to quell the nerves. Champagne is a terrific choice, but bring along water in case your mouth goes dry before you’ve popped the question.
  • Music. Make a personal playlist with songs the two of you love, or hire a live musician to play during the moment. Music is a direct link to nostalgia and memories.

Should I Hire a Photographer/Videographer?

This is a significant moment and one you can continue to relive and share with the world should you choose to hire a photographer. If you don’t hire a photographer, it will be just that, a moment. A moment that might become too fuzzy because the bubbles kept flowing.

Don’t miss out on capturing the surprise on your beloved’s face. Hiring a photographer is a sure way to capture the proposal forever. Plus, everyone wants to see the ring and a professional will guarantee that key moments are captured. Another option if the moment is public is to curate photos from friends and family in attendance. Ask them to upload them all to a Google drive or Dropbox, send them to you directly, or scour their Facebook pages. If you create a collage or reel of the proposal images, she will be appreciative and you both will love reliving it for years to come.

Should I Hire a Photographer

How Much Should I Spend on My Proposal?

The key ingredient in the proposal is the ring. When budgeting for the proposal, spending around $6,000 on the engagement ring is common. 

Hiring a photographer to capture this special moment averages $200 an hour. Hiring a proposal photographer also offers an excellent opportunity to use this as a test run for the wedding day. If you like working with this photographer, keep them in mind for your big day. They might throw in a discounted rate to bundle engagement photos with wedding day photos.

Additional proposal costs can include the venue, food, alcohol, travel and lodging, and a musician. The venue, food, and alcohol prices span from a few hundred dollars to the thousands.

Often venues combine with catering services for packages and special deals. Musicians tend to charge per hour, and the cost quickly rises if they are highly experienced, play a special instrument, need to travel long distances, and during peak wedding season.

Start Planning Today

Remember that proposals are personal and should be unique to you. These ideas are general guidelines, but ultimately it is up to you to cultivate a genuine and intimate moment. 

If you are thinking of having a proposal in a public space, just make sure it is something your partner would be comfortable with. Michelle Devani, of lovedevani.com, is a relationship expert giving advice to couples since 2003. She says “private proposals with family and friends are much better. It’s okay if [the proposal] is open to the public, but special occasions like these are far better experienced with family and friends.”

It’s never too early to start thinking and planning for this momentous day. Start the conversations with your beloved, buy the ring, and go forth with confidence in planning your proposal day. We also have great engagement party speech tips and more!

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