How to Propose

How to Pop the Question

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There are unlimited ways to ask, “Marry Me?” All you have to do is figure out the right one for your girlfriend. If she’s a private person she probably wouldn’t appreciate a public proposal in a crowded restaurant. And if she’s into grand gestures, there would be nothing worse than seeing her disappointed face if you pop the question over a takeaway pizza while watching the TV. You have to tailor it to her because, believe us, there’s nothing better than seeing her face light up as she squeals, “YES!” excitedly. All because of you and your awesomeness.

Your proposal is a personal thing, so make sure it feels right for you. You’re only limited by your imagination (well, and budget!). If you want some tips to get your creative juices flowing, read on.

The Setting Aim to surprise, not shock. Shock happens when you propose on your third date. Surprise is the result when you’ve been committed to one another for some time, declared your love and perhaps even talked about marriage and your future together. The surprise is the “how and when?” of the proposal.Get personal. Nothing shows love and understanding more than proposing with her personal tastes in mind. Favorite music, foods, friends – things like that.The SceneMake it memorable. A memorable place need not be extravagant. It’s somewhere special to you as a couple. Consider where your first date, first kiss and favorite date took place as you choose where to propose. Where do you participate in joint hobbies? That site could be a winner, too.Check your watch first. Whether sunrise, sunset, starlight or another time creates the mood you want for proposing, consider the aftermath. If you’re like most couples, you’ll want to share the good news with friends and family right away. Different time zones sometimes make this kind of timing tricky.

The Script

Speak from your heart. However you feel comfortable expressing your love and devotion, just do it. Be sincere and honest. It’s better to be direct (“Will you marry me?”) than speculative (“What would you do if I, um, you know, asked you to marry me?”).

Be patient with the reaction. It may take time for your intended to get the courage up to say yes. Or you two may need to talk through some issues before you’re officially engaged.

Gestures can add power to your words. Getting down on one knee is an old-fashioned gesture that remains popular today.

The Props

Isn’t the ring enough? Of course it is. But bringing out her favorite flowers or a bottle of champagne can be the icing on the cake to add even more romance to the special moment.

Fun Ways to Ask

• Take her on a picnic – bring fruit, cheese, crackers and champagne and an iPod docking station to play romantic music and set the scene. Hand her a napkin with a napkin ring around it. But it won’t be a napkin ring – it’ll be an engagement ring!• If it’s Christmastime, get an ornament engraved with the proposal on and hang it on the tree for her to find on Christmas morning.

• Go to your favorite restaurant and write your proposal on the ‘Specials’ board. Cut a hole in a Cracker Jack box, replacing the prize with the engagement ring.

• Fill up a small glass bowl with a bunch of reasons why you love her. Underneath it all she’ll find the diamond.

• Put the ring in a seashell, presenting it to her on the beach.

• Bring her back to the place where you first met. Then hand her a red rose or other flower with the ring buried within it.

• Display a cake in the window of her favorite bakery. Have it topped with the ring and inscribed with a romantic message.

• Cook her dinner, and serve the ring as dessert.

• Send her on a treasure hunt with clues leading to a special place where she’ll find your ring.

• While she’s sleeping, slip the engagement ring on her finger.

• Use the ring to hold together a small bunch of her favorite flowers.

• Hide the ring in one of her winter gloves. (Assuming it’s glove weather!).

• Hide the ring in a box of assorted chocolates.

• Make the ring her game piece during a game of Scrabble or Monopoly.

• Spell out “Will you marry me?” with stones or flowers at the park or with seashells at the beach.

• Memorize a French poem. Then recite it to her at a French restaurant as you offer the ring. Or take the poem/restaurant approach in Italian, Spanish or another foreign language.• Rent advertising space at your favorite movie theatre. Before the movie starts, your proposal will be on screen.

• Rent a knight costume and white horse. Ride up and offer to be her prince.• Attend karaoke night at a local bar. Sing “your song” and then propose before you leave the stage.

• Commission an artist to paint her portrait, adding the engagement ring to her finger before your present it to her.

• Have a plane sky-write your proposal the day of a family picnic or other outdoor event.

• Attend a sporting event. Have your proposal light up on the scoreboard.

• Create a personal web page bearing your proposal.

• During dinner at your favorite spot, have the wait staff offer her ring as an option on the dessert tray.

• Take her out for Chinese food. Have the waiter or waitress give her a special fortune cookie with your proposal in it.

• Hire a magician to entertain you and make the ring mysteriously appear.

• Take her on a hot-air balloon ride. As you glide over a certain spot she’ll see your proposal spelled out in rocks from way up high.

• Make her a simple dinner and spell out a proposal with alphabet SpaghettiOs.

• Hire a professional. Many companies now offer the services of a wedding proposal planner, who will work with you to devise a custom-made proposal for your girlfriend.

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