May 12, 2020
This one is for the MEN! But guys, don’t let the title fool you into thinking, “Here we go again.” I asked a couple women what tips they would give the guys preparing to propose. And I think you will be super surprised to hear what some had to say.
I hope the tips from all these lovely ladies help calm those nerves and give you better clarity into what might mean the most to your girl when it comes to asking her that all-important question. We get it. It’s a big deal. And it’s a scary thing to do. You’re determining the end goal of your relationship with just one question. But I’m not here to help you make your mind up. This is for the guys who already have that part figured out.
This is for the men asking, “How?” and “When?” and “Where?” With all that is going on in the world, it may seem like your proposal plans have been put on hold. Maybe you had a perfect trip or idea in your mind that got canceled when things started to shut down.
But here’s the thing: when it comes to proposals, you’d be surprised about what women really expect from that special moment. I’ll just let my friends speak for themselves…
Personalize your proposal! You are two unique people with your own unique love.Mikaela
I loved this one. Some guys think they have to give their girl a proposal story that’s different than the usual. But that is easier than you think. There is nothing that can every completely match the relationship between the two of you. Because you’re each your own unique person – with likes, dislikes, hobbies, passions, talents, and character traits all your own – then the blending of the two of you creates a combination that this world has never seen before. You’re like fingerprints! Keep the proposal true to the relationship you both have with one another, and it’s sure to be a story no other woman on earth can tell but her.
Make it sentimental. My husband brought me to a restaurant that was super special to us: first date / I love you / be my girlfriend all happened there, so now it’s the place we went to after we got engaged. Just tie in something that means something to you as a couple. Also, get a secret photographer or friend to take photos! And don’t be the guy that tells her to get her nails done if you’ve never told her that before.Katie
This is great. Lots of relationships have traditions. For Katie and her husband, it was this restaurant where all their milestones happened. So it was a natural fit for them to get engaged there too. Think about places you two love to go and spend time together.
And I love the tip about a photographer… if you’re wanting to set that up, hey! I know a gal 😉 I’d love to help you with all the planning so she doesn’t even notice I’m there until the question gets popped.
The proposal should be unique to you and your fiancé’s relationship. Over-the-top is nice if your relationship thrives on thrills. If you and your girl are laid back and maybe enjoy romantic walks in the park, think about how to emulate that and make it special. My husband proposed in a park that we go to often, and he had a friend set up a picnic with champagne, dessert, and roses while we were at dinner. It was so intimate and meaningful for us. Now, we can go back to that very same place at that park and think about our proposal!Jen
Phoning a friend! What a sneaky but smooth move. If you need a few extra hands while you keep the girl distracted to keep her from catching on, friends can be a huge help! Who do you know that can help you pull this off and keep the surprise factor in tact?
Plus remembering to make it sentimental for the two of you is as easy as knowing what you both enjoy. Like Jen said, if you’re a couple who loves big thrills and extravagant acts of love, then those over-the-top proposals make sense. But if you’re not, don’t pressure yourself to come up with something that doesn’t fit your personalities.
The proposal should be intimate. Especially during the age of social media, many people have a need to have a grandiose proposal that is fitting to share with others online. For me, I wanted a proposal that was just Solomon and I, and was centered on our love for each other and not other people. I planned a birthday trip for Solomon to California and we hiked a really tough train / mountain called Mugu Peak. At the top, he proposed to me overlooking the water. There were no crowds, no cameras – it was just us. That intimacy is something that I will cherish forever. We were able to hold a special moment that only us two will remember.Tkeyah
Guys, this is when knowing your girl will really come in handy. Some girls truly do prefer that special moments like that belong to just the two of you. So there’s no need to stress about making sure her family can fly in or her friends can join you for the big event. Just enjoy the quiet celebration of just both of you sharing that moment in a special way. For Tkeyah, that was perfect. Your girl might be the same. If you’re unsure, think about how she celebrates life’s moments. Does she call her best friend or mom and get excited to show off her news to them? Or does she call you and just update them later? Is she happiest and most herself when there’s a big group of people around her? Or do you see that come out more when you two are alone? The answers to these questions might help you find the right fit.
Don’t act weird or different. Your girl will know what’s up!Elena
I close with this one because though it’s kinda funny, short, and to the point, it is SO TRUE! I don’t think I need to tell you this but ladies have a sort of sixth sense. We can sense when you are even a little off. It’s due to our overactive brains and electric imagination. So be yourself if you want to surprise her! Don’t act nervous or fidgety. Don’t make plans that seem out of left field. Don’t suggest things to her that you’ve never suggested before (like telling her she should go get her nails done with a friend or suggesting you both take a weekend trip somewhere when you’ve never really traveled much before. She WILL figure out what’s up).
Try to calm down and remember that if you’re both truly at a point in your relationship where you’re ready to propose, the likelihood she’s going to say no is slim. She’s going to be so surprised, but only if you keep it cool.
And now a tip from me! One of my favorite proposal stories I’ve heard was that the bride was actually the one who was “planning” the whole thing, without even knowing it. She was planning a vacation trip for the two of them to go see friends, and he let her pick a restaurant for a special dinner while they were enjoying vacation as well as a few excursions for one of the days their friends would be busy. She was picking all stuff that she wanted to do to create the perfect day. And in the back of his mind, he knew that the cherry on top at the end of that day would be the proposal. She never saw it coming, because he wasn’t even making the suggestions. Just helping her plan a nice day together as a couple.
There are so many ways to keep her off your trail. Another story I love is that the girl really wanted to do a couple’s session with a local photographer. So the groom secretly conversed with the photographer to book it as a proposal session instead. They started the session just like they were getting cute boyfriend/girlfriend photos until suddenly after a few poses, he gets down on one knee and the photographer catches ALL OF IT!! Then the session automatically becomes their engagement session, raw emotion and all.
No matter what you do for your proposal, there is one common theme I saw from hearing these girls’ answers. Make it fit your relationship, and don’t worry about the big, fancy, out of this world proposal. Sometimes intimate moments on a mountaintop hike or visiting a restaurant you frequent often are enough to make it a proposal story she’ll love telling over and over until the end of time!
So deep breaths, guys. You got this!
Copyright 2019. Alexandria, VA wedding & portrait photographer.
Serving brides and grooms in the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, & Maryland region.
Copyright 2019. Design by Emily Nicole Photography. Photography by Emily Schneider.