“DO NOT bring up current work projects, the past, a to-do list, or your FORTNITE kill death ratio! “
Hey fellas, The Bearded Groom here. Believe it or not there are a few ways you can really screw up a proposal. No matter how handsome you are, how big your beard is or how many times you’ve rehearsed it, getting down on one knee is not to be taken lightly!
If you don’t know me by now, here is why you SHOULD be taking at least SOME advice from me and this blog:
I have been photographing weddings for almost 10 years!
I proposed to the most beautiful girl in the GALAXY back in 2014 (hi babe, I know you’re reading this)
I have heard COUNTLESS proposal stories. Some which have left me with my jaw wide open out of pure awesomeness and others which left me wondering if there was alcohol involved. errr yeah.
Read reason number #3 one-hundred times over and over again.
Now this isn’t to put you on edge or start over analyzing everything you’ve planned to do up the point of discovering this blog. No. This is to provide you with a few details that are often overlooked when proposing to your lady in front of her friends and family. So let’s go!
TIP #1 - INTEL
Collect INTEL! You can’t wing it even if you are the most comfortable confident dude out there. This isn’t a last minute cookout you’re planning. Even then you’re at the comforts of your grill in your back yard. You might know how your lady likes her pizza, or what her favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor ice cream is, BUT her friends and family know other bits and pieces better than you on some level. Let’s face it, the old “Honey wear something nice for dinner tonight,” isn’t gonna cut it nowadays. That’s a dead giveaway and it’ll leave you exposed right in the line of fire. A good place to start is by sitting down with her mom, dad, sisters or closest friends and get some feedback. Share your ideas on how you plan to propose. Share time and place as well. Everyone will be excited and will pitch ideas on how to truly surprise your lady and sweep her off her feet…again.
TIP #2 - RECON
Simply put, do some RECON work on the area! If you are planning on a date night at a restaurant and plan on proposing there, do your homework. Does the place get swamped during the holidays? Do you need to place reservations earlier than normal? Do you want a private area at the restaurant? Some of you might plan on proposing outdoors amongst friends and family. Find out what time the sun sets that day. That last hour of sunlight will provide you with awesome light perfect for great photos. Hint* You can use these as part of your 1st anniversary gift. Obviously you’ll also capture the excitement in her face not to mention the gallons of tears she’ll be pouring when she feels she’s living a moment from her favorite movie…”The Notebook.”
Wife’s Tip - If you are planning on proposing at a nice restaurant and you don’t want to sound like you’re up to something, tell her where you are taking her for dinner and she will dress accordingly.
TIP #3 - FRODO THE RING!
Yup. If you’ve ever sat through an entire Lord of the Rings movie, you all know how painful it can be to watch Frodo and Sam stumble, fall, and LOSE the ring throughout the ENTIRE MOVIE!! Let’s take a step back here shall we. First off guys don’t ask your lady for her ring size. *face palm* Find a way to acquire it. Have a friend ask her or maybe you can try one of her rings on and use it as a reference when shopping for her ring. If all else fails just google “Most common ring sizes for women.” Ok now back to the the Hobbits I was talking about. You won’t believe how many times I’ve heard of engagement rings being misplaced just hours before the proposal is about to go down! With all the running and planning happening in your head, you need to assign someone ring watch duties! Hell, Sam Wise had Frodos back through Ork fights and lava pits so I’m pretty sure one of your bros with hairy feet can help. Have him watch it for you while you stumble and fall all over Mt. Mordor planning this whole thing. Last thing you need is your lady yelling, “YOU SHALL NOT PAAAASS!”
TIP #4 - Execute
All right so you’ve made it this far and now the day has arrived. For starters make sure you wear something nice. No need for a suit. A simple pair of dark denim jeans and a nicely pressed button down will do. Throw a sweater or sports coat over it and keep it light. You want to be comfortable and not over do it so that you don’t give yourself away.
RESTAURANT SETTING - This option is most suited for the semi-private introverted gentlemen.
Requires less planning
Can be budget friendly
Noisy especially during holiday season
Friends and family miss out
First off, place your phone on silent and keep it off the table gentlemen. Pick a conversation. Talk slow and take your time with her. Acknowledge her. Let her know how beautiful she looks and eat at at her pace. Finish your dinner together. Bring up a happy memory the two of you shared in the past and follow it up with a sentence that explains why you fell in love with her in the first place. Whatever you do, DO NOT bring up current work projects, the past, a to-do list, or your FORTNITE kill death ratio!
Share a drink or two and work your way into your proposal. Keeping it classy, slowly move away from your chair and gently take ahold of her left hand as you settle on one knee. At this point its easy to get tunnel vision and just rush right through it so KEEP CALM! Relax, breathe and keep eye contact. By now she knows what is happening and she might start freaking out (in a good way let’s hope ). From here on out make sure you aren’t slouched over and looking at the floor when you are talking to her. Again eye contact is important. Be clear and gentle while you wait for her response. She is probably going back to that “Notebook” movie I mentioned earlier. Finish it off with whatever it was you had written down or memorized and seal the deal with a kiss.
HOME SETTING - Suited for the extroverted gentlemen.
Friends & Family are part of the proposal
Noise level can be controlled
You can use pyrotechnics >:)
Not as budget friendly
Not as personal
At this point I would assume that you have already planned a social gathering at someone’s home or your place. I would also think that she is aware of this just as she would any other gathering. Keep everything running as you normally would and arrive at her place to pick her up. Don’t drive like a maniac! Again keep your phone on silent and hidden. Be present with her throughout the car ride. Hold her hand, secretly play a song on the radio that the two of you share and have a light conversation. Tell her how amazing she looks.
When you arrive, socialize with your friends and family and grab a drink for yourselves. When you get a chance, get your ring back from your Hobbit friend aka “Sam Wise” and keep it in a safe pocket. Wait an hour or two just incase any stragglers walk in late. Make note of these peasants aka “supposed friends” and keep them off your wedding guest list! HA! Ok Im joking…yeah no, not really.
Once everyone is enjoying the party and the mood is light, have someone lower the music volume for you. A very classic approach would be to hold her hand or hug her while you announce that you have a few words to say. Acknowledge her mom and dad, and or family if they are present. Follow it up by complimenting them on how they raised a wonder beautiful woman that you so proudly now call your better half. At that moment you are free to unleash the gates of the seven love realms and pour your manly heart out to her amongst all her friends and family!
Again, keep eye contact with your lady, hold her hand and avoid slouching over like you just attempted to run a mile after a whole weekend of boozing with the fellas. *Notice how I said attempted;) Once you’ve slipped the ring onto her finger and she is jumping for the heavens, make sure to kiss her and hug her! Thank everyone for being a part of the plan and and toast to an awesome evening and future together!
TIP #5 - Momentum
After all is said and done now comes the whole enchilada! Keep things moving after wards. Enjoy the holidays then find some time to sit down together and talk about a wedding date. Once you’ve established a date, set out and start looking for your vendors! A word of advice I give all my brides when determining the amount of guests they’ll have at a wedding, is to first decide what venue they would love for the wedding of their dreams. Based on the occupancy limitations of your desired venue, this will make it easier for you to narrow down your guest list. Thus making you feel way better when you cut those “friends” who showed up late to your proposal fiesta. ;)
All in all no vendor can really work with you until you have a set wedding date! And you can’t book a date if you uh…don’t have one. See what I mean. So hope you gents appreciated this knowledge I shared with you today. Now you’ll feel a hell of a lot more comfortable proposing to your lady and knowing what steps to take there shortly after.