If you feel like you can wake up next to your loved one for the rest of your life and have been together long enough to know the best and worst parts of one another, then a marriage proposal just might be the next step.
You should feel nervous before proposing marriage. Not only is it a huge emotional step, but you may feel like you are under pressure to create the perfect moment. Planning the perfect wedding proposal does take time and thought, but you can make your proposal an event to remember.
Taking the Plunge
How do you know if the time is right for a marriage proposal? Think about whether or not you want to look at your loved one’s face for the rest of your life. Are you willing to commit spending the rest of your life with this person? Also, have you been dating more than a year, at least? There shouldn’t be any rush for a marriage proposal. You should propose because you want to be with only this person and no one else.
How long should you know your loved one before you propose? This differs for every relationship. However, the standard is to know one another for at least a year. You should know enough about your loved one to know the best and worst parts of them and to love them anyway. Additionally, you should have at least met their family, or, if that is not possible, you should be aware of their family background.
Why should you wait at least a year? It takes time to get to know one another. At the start of a relationship, each of you will have on a game face, and you show only the best parts of yourselves. Seeing all the sides to a person takes time. Let this happen naturally and don’t rush things.
If your relationship is strong and full of equality, respect, and great communication, then a wedding proposal might just be the next step.
When to Wait
You may love someone deeply, but this doesn’t automatically mean that you have to get engaged or married. If you and your loved one fight a lot or have known one another for only a short while, you might reconsider your proposal. Proposing isn’t the same as asking someone on a date. This is telling someone that you want to grow old with them and don’t ever want to date anyone else. This is a step that will change the course of your entire lives.
If you made the decision to propose because of family or friend pressure or because you want to cheer up your loved one, again, reconsider. You want your wedding proposal to be rational and not something spontaneous. You can take a pair of shoes back to the store, but you can’t return a marriage, at least not without some major pain and time.
You shouldn’t go into a proposal thinking that you can change your partner. Part of proposing marriage is saying that you accept and love your partner for exactly who they are. If you are not at this stage in your relationship, consider waiting.
Timing Is Everything
Once you’ve decided you want to spend your life with someone, you have 366 days to choose from. Choose a day that has some significance: Anniversaries are always good bets, as are birthdays, holidays and other days that mean something to a relationship.
Consider days that were rough for you as well. Be aware that choosing the day a person’s parent passed away might not be the best decision. You want your proposal to be one of the happiest days of your life and free from sad memories.
Think about your plans, and consider outside factors so that you can plan accordingly. For example, if you want to propose by the ocean or in a hot-air balloon, you may not want to time things so you’re doing this in the middle of winter. Additionally, if your loved one has a bad day or has just received bad news, think about postponing your plans. Again, the most romantic wedding proposals are not only well-planned but are also well-timed.
Think About Funding
Engagement rings are expensive, and you’ll want to save up some money before popping the question. Unless you are using a family heirloom, make sure to save up money for a nice engagement ring. These rings can be quite pricey, and a common recommendation is to spend two months’ salary. You’ll need a down payment and may even have to take out a loan. Rings vary in cost: The exact price will depend on you and your loved one’s tastes, and you shouldn’t feel as if you need to put yourself in debt.
If you aren’t sure of what kind of ring to get, you can always buy a cheap one for the proposal and then go shopping for the ring together. This will ensure that the engagement ring is the perfect match for your mate.
If you're looking for guidelines on engagement party etiquette, learn what to expect and how to make the event work.
No one ever wants to think that it might happen to us, but when an engagement is broken, who keeps the ring? Is an engagement ring a gift? Or is it a promise, that is broken along with the engagement?