So, You Want to Plan an Epic Proposal...
10 Mar 2023 •6 min read
Discover, manage, and track all of your vendor communication, contracts, and timelines in one place.
A few years ago, we shared a pretty perfect proposal inspired by the movie "The Notebook". After we constantly found ourselves swooning over the oh-so-romantic details, even years after, we started wondering how the proposal came to be. So, we tracked down the person responsible, Tiffany Wright, Director of The One Romance, a proposal planning company located in London, England, to find out. She shared with us her secrets for coming up with a clever way to frame those four little words to get a resounding Y-E-S from your partner. So, if you're planning on popping the question soon, you might want to read her tips on how to plan the perfect proposal first. Everyone's going to want to hear that engagement story, after all...
Start at the beginning
A successful proposal requires time, energy, and some serious thought. "This is going to be one of the most special days of both of your lives, so make sure you make it as perfect as possible! Take the time to sit down and analyze your relationship and what you love about your partner. Then research ways to include some of those thoughts in the proposal," suggests Wright. "Although the wedding is often considered to be 'the best day ever,' the proposal is the one time when it's really just about you and your partner, which makes it so much more special."
Ask for permission
Wright encourages proposers to ask their partner's parents for permission before making any moves. It's not only the polite thing to do, it's a great way to connect with your future in-laws. Whether you keep it simple by meeting with them for a glass of bubbly at the bar or get creative and come up with a creative way to ask them for their blessing, your in-laws will definitely love you if you're polite, respectful, and inclusive. "We recently helped one guy ask his girlfriend's parents’ permission – he took the parents for a walk in the woods and as they walked around, they stumbled across signs that said things like, 'I have loved your daughter for 1095 days' and 'I promise to make her smile every moment of every day.'" How could ANYONE say "no" to that?!
Personalize the proposal
"If you've been with your partner long enough to know you want to marry him or her, you probably know a thing or two about them," says Wright. "Show them how important they are to you by including the things they love in the proposal." Think about what your partner is passionate about; it could be anything from the "Hunger Games" movies to a cappella performances. Here's an example of what exactly you can do:"
We recently helped with a ballet proposal. The girl in question used to be a ballerina but got injured so was unable to dance anymore. Her ballet troupe was performing The Nutcracker so her boyfriend took her to watch it. After the show, they went backstage to congratulate the ballerinas. At this point, she had no idea what was happening, but while she was backstage we filled the theater with her friends and family. Then her favorite song started to play and her boyfriend asked her to dance. As they danced, all of the ballerinas started to dance around them and the curtain went up to reveal her loved ones in the audience. As fake snow and glitter fell from the ceiling, her boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed!"
Push the proposal boundaries
"Lots of people think it's best to propose on a romantic day, such as Valentine's Day, but I always encourage my clients to think about doing it on a more original date," says Wright. "Think about your relationship, the times you laughed together, the obstacles you have overcome, your favorite holiday. All of these memories can then be included in the proposal." Consider getting down on one knee on the anniversary of your first date or the day you moved in together. It will make the whole experience feel that much more special. When considering where to do the asking, keep in mind any places that hold are meaningful to you and your partner. You could do it at the concert venue where you first met, the rooftop restaurant where you shared your first kiss or the park bench where you first said "I love you." Going back to that significant locale now will show your partner just how much thought you put into the proposal.
Make it about your partner (not you)
Think about who your partner is — Is he a foodie? Is she sporty? — and keep that in mind as you decide how you'll pop the question. The whole point of planning an elaborate proposal is to make your partner feel like a million bucks, so don't diminish your efforts by making the whole thing about you. "If someone contacts us asking for a flash mob proposal in a public place, we always advise them to think about whether that's what their partner would want," says Wright. "Sometimes proposers can get carried away with a proposal idea that THEY like the sound of, but remember, if your partner is shy, the reality is he/she probably won't want a big show in a public spot!"
Capture the moment
Make sure you hire a photographer or videographer to record the moment. "Believe me," says Wright, "if you do it right, your partner will be so stunned by the proposal that they'll forget all the little details." And with how nervous you'll probably be (take deep breathes), the whole thing might be a blur to you as well. If you're on the fence about hiring a photographer to hide and stalk you, know that you'll never regret having those precious proposal moments caught on film — hello, save-the-dates!Hire a proposal planner.Still not sure how to plan your own proposal?
Call in the experts
"When you hire a proposal planner, you take all the stress out of the organization and put it on someone else," says Wright. "If it rains on the day of the proposal, you don’t have to worry about it — your proposal planner does! And believe me, we think of EVERYTHING: wet weather options, venue décor, food, drinks, whether or not to involve the family, rehearsing with the flash mob dancers." A LOT goes into planning a proposal, so why not bring in some backup?
Keep calm and carry on
So you've planned a great proposal, but the hard part isn't over. Now you have to play it cool up until the moment you pop the question...so DON'T BLOW IT. But all joking aside, try not to let your nerves get the best of you. "It's normal to be nervous before you pop the question," says Wright. "Just take a deep breath and live in the moment; it will probably be one of the best moments of your life."