5 Things to Know Before Proposing to Your Partner

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If you’ve been dating a while, there eventually comes a time when you talk about getting married. But before you say “I do,” there are a few essential steps. Between dating and planning your wedding comes—the proposal! It is such an exciting time as you prepare to pop the question. However, there are a few things to do before proposing. If you’re wondering how to prepare for a proposal, I’ve got tips! Here are things to think about before asking your partner to spend the rest of their life with you. 

How to Prepare for a Proposal

Oregon Coast Proposal and Engagement Session

Decide who you want to be at the marriage proposal. 

Do you want an intimate moment just for the two of you, or would you rather be surrounded by family and friends? Either way is totally ok! However, be sure to consider what your partner would want. If you love the limelight, but your partner is shy, plan what will make them most comfortable. 

Deciding to limit it to you and your significant other doesn’t mean that you can’t include family and friends. They can join in via FaceTime, or you can call or video chat with them post-proposal. Of course, if you’re both outgoing, proposing with a crowd and being cheered on is a memorable option, too. 

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Think about hiring a photographer. 

This point shouldn’t surprise you, but many couples forget about this step. A private marriage proposal can be shared publicly by having a photographer document the tender moments, looks of surprise, and happy tears. A photographer will capture those genuine feelings and gestures beautifully. A public proposal would also produce memorable pictures of people smiling, clapping, and sharing in your joy.

Many couples also choose to have an engagement session immediately following the proposal. That way, they have images to share as soon they announce their engagement. The pictures can also be used for save the dates. I think that hiring a photographer is the only way to go!

Some things an adventure photographer will help with:

  • Brainstorming locations & knowledge of the area
  • Inspiration on ways to make your proposal special and personal (including referring potential tours/activity companies)
  • Coordinating a plan of when you’ll arrive and where the photographer will be and when they’ll reveal themselves

Things you’ll want a full-service planner for:

  • Booking activities for you
  • Booking vendors (hair, makeup, flowers, etc.)
  • Coordinating the rest of your day (itineraries, timelines, etc.)
  • Extensive planning calls/other miscellaneous assistance

Consider what you’ll tell your partner about popping the question. 

Of course, part of the fun of wedding proposals is making it a surprise. For the most part, long gone are the days where folks proposed without being sure they’ll get a definite “yes” answer. Couples chat about their future, which usually includes marriage. If you’ve had these talks, your significant other may suspect that you could be getting down on one knee soon. 

If you want to make it a surprise, be sure to be on high alert about them getting suspicious, but don’t stress about it. It’s incredible how many people miss obvious clues because we are all so busy going about our daily lives. Although if you do hire a photographer or want to look stellar in candid pictures, be sure that you both are photo-ready. No matter what you decide to tell your soon-to-be spouse, include a reason to look extra presentable. 

Plan where you want to propose. 

Is there a place that is special for the two of you? If so, incorporate it! Revisit the location you had your first date, first kiss, or where you decided to be exclusive. If you have a long history together, you may have many options, such as the ice cream shop everyone went to after Friday night football games or outside of the elementary school where you first met. That last one gives me chills! How cute would that idea be if you’re childhood friends?

Other options would be places that are on your bucket list. You could plan a vacation to the national park you’ve been meaning to visit or to that cabin by the lake you’ve saved on Airbnb. Some of the other factors I’ve mentioned—such as having family present—may help you decide where you should plan your marriage proposal. 

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Make sure YOU enjoy the proposal, too!

This last point is super important. Like really, incredibly, make sure you read this important. Of course, you want to wow your partner when you ask, but sometimes the more you plan, the more stressful the time can be leading up to the proposal.

Suppose you’ve been scouring memorable proposal ideas. In that case, you may feel the need to fly to Albuquerque for the balloon festival, stay in once-in-a-lifetime accommodations, ride in a hot air balloon, and have a Pinterest-worthy picnic afterward. Whew! It sounds lovely, but if you can afford that, hire a planner to help orchestrate and implement your proposal’s details. However, please don’t feel you have to do all that to make it meaningful or secure a “yes” answer.

You. Are. Getting. Married! The moment of asking and actually slipping that ring on their finger is adrenaline-inducing in and of itself. Planning a proposal that is close to home and simple can be just as meaningful—and most likely less stressful—than doing something elaborate. Yes, you may be nervous, but you deserve to enjoy the marriage proposal just as much as your partner does. P.S. They love you and would tell you the same thing!