Marriage proposals – oftentimes cliché, cheesy and predictable. They’re nothing like the grand romantic gestures you see in movies, like when the main heartthrob runs out onto the tarmac to stop the plane, so he can get the love of his life back or when Patrick Dempsey brought Reese Witherspoon to a high-end NYC jewelry store to propose in Sweet Home Alabama. Wait – some of them are like that, but you shouldn’t follow their lead.
This doesn’t mean you can’t plan something just as romantic and memorable. After all, do you really want to risk getting arrested or blow your entire life savings on an elaborate proposal? There are many special ways to propose to the love of your life without taking away from the point of it all – a lifelong commitment to one another.
Brides naturally hope for something original and different. Even though YouTube advertises flash mobs and elaborate public proposals, you’re more likely to hit a home run with something on the low-key side of things. So, cancel your plans to set off fireworks over the river and into the starry night sky, while Boyz II Men plays in the background – live, and think about a proposal that represents you as a couple. Read on for 8 tips for non-cheesy proposal ideas.
- Be You
- Don’t Be Over The Top
- Make It Last
- Propose During a Favorite Activity
- Have Fun
- Recreate a Favorite Place
- Go For a Written Proposal
- Avoid Valentine’s Day
First and foremost, be yourself. If an overly romantic proposal with rose petals and champagne isn’t you, don’t feel pressured to take that route. The best kind proposal is one that specifically suits you as a couple. Think about what romance means to you two. That’s the road you need to take.
You can be simple and still blow your partner away. Remember why you’re planning the proposal in the first place, so you stay grounded throughout the process. Don’t get caught up in a grand idea you saw in a movie. Focus on small personal elements, like framed photographs from your time together or your bride’s favorite flowers.
If you have a love for wine, make a special trip out to a winery, so you can incorporate it into the perfect proposal. Think of future keepsakes that represent your special day, like personalized wine glasses, a wine bottle or anything tangible that you can keep in the family for years to come.
Whether it’s golf, boating or watching live music, use your favorite activity as the stage for your proposal. This is also a great way to throw her off, so she doesn’t suspect anything. If Harry Potter is your thing, plan a Harry Potter movie marathon, then magically pop the question using chocolate frogs and butter beer.
If you and your significant other are playful with one another, have a little fun with your proposal. Think of favorite holidays, like Christmas, then plan your proposal at a Christmas tree farm or while you walk through a magical Christmas light display, as you sip hot cocoa. You can even hide a ring in their stocking or underneath the fireplace, so you can nonchalantly mention that Santa dropped something on his way out.
Maybe you fell in love in Italy or some other far away land. Make it a part of your proposal without traveling halfway across the world, which could give away your surprise. Incorporate specific elements of that special trip into your own version at home. If it’s your trip to Italy, cook her favorite Italian meal, complete with Chianti and romantic candles. If the snowy mountains in Colorado are close to your hearts, get nostalgic and recreate a cozy evening by a toasty fireplace, complete with warm blankets and her favorite wintertime beverage.
No, not a text message or email, but something sweet, like a written proposal in the snow, so you can see it from the ski lifts on your annual ski trip. For spring or summer, suggest a sunset walk together somewhere picturesque, but write your proposal on the sidewalk somewhere along the way beforehand, so she will see it during your walk.
Unless your dating anniversary happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, avoid it at all costs. Not only is it cheesy and predictable, but you’ll also take away from other couple’s special nights if you do it at a busy restaurant. Valentine’s Day is already its own special day of romance and love, so why not add another special day to your calendar?
A proposal may just be one moment in your entire relationship, but it’s one you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, so make it worth it. Think outside of the basic, over-the-top proposals you hear about, otherwise you’ll end up with a cheesy, predictable and cliché proposal.
Who are you as a couple? Once you determine your answer, go from there. Consider your favorite places, where you first met, your favorite couple activities and any other personal preferences. If you’re a more private and low-key couple, don’t do an over-the-top public proposal. Keep it low-key and intimate between the two of you.
There are no guidelines for marriage proposals, but there are things you should consider for your specific relationship, so you can create an everlasting memory for the two of you. You only get one shot, so craft the beginning of your lifelong story with care – you don’t need a flash mob or a string quartet to do that!
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