Wedding Proposal Checklist

Popping the question to your girlfriend might not seem like a complex operation, but there are quite a lot of factors to consider before you drop down on one knee. This wedding proposal checklist will help you make sure that all the necessary arrangements have been made and that all your plans are in place.

The Ring

This is a big one as the engagement ring is a physical way of confirming the engagement and will show your girlfriend that you really mean business. If you are going for a simple diamond solitaire, you’re fairly safe as long as you get the material of the band right. You just need to get an idea of her ring size from one of her existing rings and order the ring in plenty of time. If you want something more elaborate, it might be a good idea to buy a low cost temporary proposal ring and take her shopping with you after she’s said yes. For more information on picking out a ring, check out our engagement ring guide.

Asking Dad

Asking your girlfriend’s father for his permission or blessing to propose to his daughter is a tradition that has survived surprisingly well in a society obsessed with political correctness. If your girlfriend is close to her father, and she hasn’t specifically told you that she doesn’t agree with the ritual, then speaking to your future father-in-law is a gesture of respect that your girlfriend and her dad will probably appreciate. We also have a guide on asking the father for her hand in marriage.

The Location

Choosing a location to propose will depend on your personalities as well as your budget. Some brides love the idea of a low key, intimate proposal at home with a nice meal or bottle of wine. Others might like a semi-public proposal over dinner at their favourite restaurant. If your girlfriend is very outgoing and likes to be the centre of attention consider proposing in front of family and friends at an event such as birthday party. A romantic trip away, perhaps to New York, Rome, or Paris, would be a spectacular way to propose.

What to Say

Many grooms-to-be plan an elaborate proposal in a stunning location, with a beautiful ring, but completely forget to think about what they’re going to say when they propose. It’s not a time in your life when you want to be tongue-tied. Plan ahead and if possible write something down on paper. Often a simple, "I love you, will you marry me?" will do. However, if you want to be more expressive, think about what you love about her, how she makes you feel, and how you see your future together. The more specific and personalised you can make your proposal the better. There are additional tips in our what to say when you propose article.

The Date

Setting a date for your proposal can be a bit of a minefield. Some brides love the idea of a birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day proposal, while others would prefer you to steer clear of significant dates. Test your girlfriend out by talking about friends or relatives who’ve got engaged on special days. Try to find a happy and positive time to propose. Everybody has low patches or stressful times in their lives and proposing to cheer them up at these times is rarely a good idea.

Proposal Supplies

So you’ve got the ring, what else are you likely to need? A camera is great for capturing some newlywed photos and pictures of the ring, and a cell phone is probably a good idea if you will want to tell family members right away. Have some tissues on you in case there are tears, hopefully hers of joy and not yours of sorrow. If you’re in a secluded spot a bottle of champagne and a picnic of her favourite things or at least some special chocolate are a great idea. If you’re in a city, make sure you’ve booked a restaurant or you know the location of a great bar where you can go to celebrate.

Once you’ve decided to propose it can be difficult to wait until all your plans are in place to pop the question. Putting time and thought into your proposal will make it special and memorable for both of you. In addition, it will show your girlfriend that you have put a lot of thought into what you’re asking and that you’re serious about wanting to marry her.

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