The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Great Proposal

  • Publication date: 03/18/2024
  • Updated: 03/19/2024

Getting engaged is an exciting milestone in a relationship. But planning it and figuring out how to propose can also be incredibly daunting. You want the moment you get down on one knee to feel perfect for your partner. That's why thoughtful preparation is so important for an unforgettable proposal they’ll always cherish.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about planning a proposal. With our help, you can pull off a proposal your significant other has always dreamed of - one they’ll be thrilled to tell family and friends about for years to come!

How to Propose to Your Significant Other

Photo @essencenichole_

Proposing to someone you love is likely one of the most important moments of your relationship. It's natural to feel nervous and want to get every detail just right. The keys are thoughtful planning, incorporating personal touches, and focusing on creating a meaningful moment.

First, think about how your partner would want to be proposed to. Do they prefer intimate moments or big surprises? Outdoorsy adventures or luxury treatments? This will help guide your planning. Next, consider incorporating personal elements like favorite places, activities, music, etc. Make sure the setting will be comfortable for your partner as well. For many, proposing at home can be just as special.

When picking the ring, opt for something meaningful, whether that's a family heirloom or a custom design just for your partner. Take their style and taste into account. And be sure to get their ring size discreetly beforehand.

Plan out the actual proposal so you can eloquently express your love when the moment comes. Consider writing out what you'll say. Practice beforehand to ease nerves. Most importantly, focus on conveying from the heart why you want to spend your lives together.

Lastly, have a photographer or friend hide and capture the moment. This will allow you both to cherish it for years to come. With thoughtful attention to these pointers, you can create a truly special proposal experience.

13 Proposal Tips

Photo by @beetlejuuuz

From picking the ideal setting to personalizing the details to preparing what to say, these tips on how to propose will help you navigate the process. If you incorporate these special touches and make them meaningful for your relationship, you can feel confident your proposal will be a truly unforgettable moment!

Choose a Meaningful Location

Selecting the location for your proposal is one of the most important decisions. Choose somewhere that holds special meaning for your relationship, like where you first met, had your first kiss, or went on a particularly memorable early date. Or pick a favorite spot of your partner's, like an idyllic garden they love or a beautiful nature trail they can't stop talking about. Having the proposal in a place that's already filled with fond memories and personal significance will make the moment even more special and meaningful.

Consider Incorporating Family

Involving family in the proposal plan can add a really special element. Traditional routes like asking their parents for permission or blessing can be meaningful gestures of respect and intimacy. Or surprise your partner by having close family members present at the proposal to share in the joyful moment. Just make sure you know your partner's preferences - some may find family involvement deeply touching, while others would prefer keeping it intimate between just the two of you.

Have a Photographer Capture It

Having professional photos taken of the big proposal moment is a great way to be able to look back on and cherish it for years to come. Try to discretely coordinate with the location ahead of time to allow the photographer access to hide nearby and take candid photos when you pop the question. Or enlist a trusted friend who's good with a camera to secretly capture the moment. Photos of this once-in-a-lifetime event will be priceless mementos you'll always treasure.

Photo by Rene Zadori

Pick a Ring They'll Love

Pay close attention to your partner's jewelry style - modern, classic, trendy, minimal, etc. Get a sense of their taste in metals and stones too. You could discretely take them to try on rings or outright ask about their preferences. A family heirloom or custom-designed ring can also be great options if you want something unique and meaningful. The ring is the tangible symbol of your commitment, so you want something tailored to their style.

Plan a Thoughtful Speech

When the big moment comes, you want to be able to express your love in a meaningful, thoughtful way. Consider writing out what you'll say ahead of time or making bullet points to organize your thoughts. Convey why you want to spend your lives together and highlight what makes your relationship so special. Practice the speech so that in the emotional moment, the eloquent words come naturally. Focus on speaking authentically from the heart to truly touch your partner.

Add Personal Touches

Adding personalized details and inside references will take the proposal to the next level. Incorporate favorite flowers, songs, quotes, places, or even inside jokes you share as a couple into the proposal. Cater the ambiance and location to your partner's taste. These types of personal touches show how well you know them and make the proposal unique to your relationship.

Photo @gina_flies

Don't Feel Pressured by Conventions

Focus on what will feel meaningful and right for your specific relationship, not old conventions. Public fanfare isn't necessary if your partner would prefer a low-key intimate proposal. The proposal can still feel wonderfully momentous and heartfelt even if you opt for a nontraditional approach.

Consider Their Personality

Think about your partner's personality and preferences and tailor the ambiance accordingly. For a glamorous partner, propose at a five-star restaurant or hotel. For a bohemian spirit, opt for a scenic outdoor setting. Minimalists may prefer a simple, elegant proposal at home. Ensure the vibe fits your partner's style and tastes.

Have a Celebration Plan

After they say "yes!", you'll want to commemorate and celebrate the exciting news. Make reservations at a favorite upscale restaurant or bar where you can toast with loved ones. Or host an engagement party and have close family and friends ready to join you right after the proposal. Planning how you'll celebrate in advance ensures you can mark the joyous occasion.

Photo @muskan_mehta

Get the Ring Size Right

An engagement ring that doesn't fit would be a nightmare. Discreetly check their jewelry boxes for other rings they wear on that finger and have them sized by a jeweler. Or suggest casually trying on rings when you're out shopping together. You can also ask one of their close friends or family members who may know their size. Getting the right fit will show how much care you put into the selection.

Time it Thoughtfully

Picking the right timing can elevate your proposal. Are there upcoming milestones like a birthday or anniversary you could coincide it with? Will you be taking a special trip together that could provide the perfect backdrop? See if there are relevant seasons, events, or dates approaching that make sense for your relationship. Just don't risk overshadowing something else important.

Have a Backup Plan

In an elaborate proposal, so many details are at play. Make sure you have contingency plans in case something goes awry. What if it rains unexpectedly? Or your partner needs a restroom break halfway through? Map out plan B's and C's so any hiccups don't derail the moment. With the flexibility to adapt, you can handle unexpected situations smoothly.

Photo by @sovile

Focus on the Romance

When planning your proposal strategy, don't forget the romance. Incorporate flowers, candlelight, music, and other amorous touches to set the mood. Write your speech from a place of genuine sentiment to touch your partner's heart. Prioritize showing how much love and care you put into the event to make it truly special.

Share on social networks
Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog