You've decided that the time has come to pop the question and ask for your partner's hand in marriage! First of all, congratulations, it's a huge step and I am here to help if you are unsure of what the next steps are and what the process should be. There are quite a few things to consider when you're going to propose so I'm going to make it simple and break it down for you.
1- PICK A TIME AND DATE
- Do numbers and specific dates hold any sentimental meaning for you? For example, would you like to propose on your anniversary? On Valentine's Day? Near the holiday season?
- Keep in mind the month and the season when choosing the time for the proposal.
2- CHOOSE A LOCATION
- Is there a location that holds a special place in your relationship? A place you often go to for your date nights? Or perhaps a spot that you both have always wanted to go to?
- Would you like it to be indoors or outdoors? Consider the season and time of year, Vancouver can be a hit or miss with unpredictable weather so always having backup locations will be a good idea.
3- WOULD YOU WANT IT DOCUMENTED?
- If so, will you hire a photographer for images only or would you be interested in a videographer and receive a video?
- It's important to be able to either meet with your photographer and videographer ahead of time over a meeting, call, or through email to discuss the plans. They will be able to answer all of your questions and go through everything in detail.
- This will tie in together with the plan however, think about if you want the photographer/videographer to be:
- "Hiding" during the surprise marriage proposal. I say hiding because if the location is a public place they can act like they are just tourists or strangers in the area.
- Pretending to take a photo. You can simply ask the photographer/videographer to take a photo of the two of you and you can pop down on one knee.
- Known and hired. It can be a couple photoshoot and during the shoot, you can ask for their hand.
4- DETERMINE THE SETUP AND PLAN
- Would you want anyone else to be involved? Would you want to have friends help with the setup or be present during the proposal?
- If you had a particular setup in mind, involving a proposal planner or having friends involved is very helpful. They can help set up the scene and bring in candles, flowers, etc ahead of time.
- How will you get your partner to the proposal location? Perhaps it's a spot to visit on the way to dinner. Will it be a complete surprise and they have no clue what the plan is or will they be given a hint?
- Consider outfits. Keep in mind to give your partner a bit of a hint of the plan so they know what to expect and what to wear. Hopefully, you know what your partner would want to wear if they will be photographed.
- Think about how you plan to ask. Will you say a few words prior to getting down on one knee? It should be as natural and authentic as possible, but it's great to at least have an idea going into it.
- Remember the ring! Although you can be completely untraditional and not have a ring. However, if you do decide on a ring, remember to bring it along with the ring box, if you are able to hide it without giving it away too much!
- If you getting the moment documented, communicate with your photographer/videographer. Not only prior to the day but on the day as well. If the location is a public place, it's helpful to share your live location so you don't have to keep checking on your phone and giving updates.
- If you did not get a chance to meet your photographer over a video call, share with them a photo of you and your partner so they know what you look like, and share with them what you plan to wear as well!
- Have backup plans in place in case the weather changes, or if the plans change last minute for whatever reason. Trust me, it can and will happen when you least expect it!
- Proposing to your girlfriend? Do you think they would appreciate having their nails done for the photos? Reach out to their best friends or family and arrange for her to get her nails done for the big day!
It definitely can be nerve-wracking but incredibly exciting. Remember to breathe, take it at your own pace, take it all in and be as present in the moment as possible. At the end of the day, sometimes things do not go as planned but that makes it even more authentic and real.