In Style + Design

How To Pull Off The Perfect Wedding Proposal

Proposing is a huge step to take, no matter if you have been together six years or six months and while you’ll want to blow your loved one away with a big romantic gesture worthy of a Hollywood movie, there are some dos and don’ts to pulling off the perfect wedding proposal.

From whisking your partner away to wine country to proposing at the top of the Eiffel tower or in the intimacy of your own home by a candlelight dinner, there are any number of ways to pop the question, but not every way may be right for you.

Holly Bartter, dating guru and founder and director of Matchsmith, said the perfect proposal should have sentimental value.

“It will be linked to memories or activities that the two of you do together, this might be a restaurant you both visit on your anniversary, or a soundtrack, or even a scent, like if there was a candle or flower or fragrance worn when you both first met,” she says.

“When planning, reflect on what makes you special as a couple and those unique things that have brought you together.”

Bartter also advises that bigger and flashier doesn’t always mean better, so it might be a smarter idea to ditch the clichés and opt for something a little more intimate.

“Of course this is different for each individual, so if your partner truly loves red roses and violins then go all out, but otherwise, think outside the box and make it really personal for them.”

wedding proposal guide

While taking a snap on your phone after the proposal is a great way to capture the moment, Bartter says you shouldn’t feel the need to broadcast it immediately. Instead, take some time to enjoy the intimacy and excitement of this moment.

If you want to capture the entire event, hide a friend nearby with their iPhone on record or hire a professional videographer to act as unsuspecting bystanders before the big moment when you get down on one knee.

Location should also be a serious consideration. Bartter says public gestures might seem romantic, but it can actually be awkward for your partner.

“Avoid getting down on one knee in the centre of a crowded street or restaurant if it’s likely to be too loud for them to hear you and concentrate – outside noise is key, especially if you’ve crafted a beautiful proposal, so ensure it will be appreciated in full – it’s not something you want to have to repeat.”

Other romantic backdrops that should be thought through include hot air balloons – which seem like a beautiful place to pop the question but in fact are extremely noisy – and the beach, which if the logistics aren’t right can be too crowded and loud.

Helicopter rides over the water can also seem like a beautiful place to propose, but you’re sure to have some hearing issues there too.

wedding proposal

Locations that can work well include private dining rooms in restaurants, secluded beaches or parks with few people around or simply the intimacy of your own home or a place you frequent that has significant meaning for you both. You can easily organise catering, waiters and almost anything you need to create a romantic atmosphere wherever you want to set the location.

Make sure to check the weather ahead of time because if you’re all set for an outdoor proposal, gusty winds or sudden rain may ruin the moment.

Keeping it secret is another challenge. Try to avoid making your partner suspicious by disclosing too many details. If you rarely go out for fancy dinners and tell them you’re going out to an exclusive restaurant, then it’s likely they’ll catch on to you. Instead, arrange a few similar dates in the lead up to keep them guessing or remove yourself all together and instead have a friend lead them to your desired location.

Bartter says another way to ensure the big event is kept under wraps is by being careful not to disclose it to the world.

“Tell as few people as possible, and if you do plan on consulting friends and family, be smart – some people just cannot keep their mouths shut, even if they mean well. Go for a professional’s help – whether it’s a ring designer or restaurant manager – who will be guaranteed not to ruin the moment ahead of time.”

Most importantly, Bartter says to make sure it is an enjoyable moment for you both and one that you’ll remember for the years to come.

“Don’t go so out of your comfort zone that you don’t feel like yourself, and take time to consider the tone you want to set – think about how you’ll want to feel when you’re in the moment and reverse engineer from there.

“Trust your instincts and keep it simple if that’s your style. There are so many over-the-top scenarios out there, but it comes down to a really intimate conversation.”

Published 06 December, 2018