How to Propose Marriage

You've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and want to propose marriage. Falling in love was scary enough, but now, every time you think about proposing, your hands start to shake. Don't worry — making a marriage proposal is easy once you have a game plan. Follow these steps and you'll be heading to the altar in no time.


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    Make sure that you're both ready for marriage. Before you take the plunge, you should know if you're really ready to be with your special someone for the long haul. A marriage proposal will change your life forever and you should understand that you're doing it for the right reasons. Here's how:
    • Ask yourself if you absolutely can't live without the girl you're asking to marry you. If you can't possibly imagine your life without her in it and if she makes everything in your life better and more meaningful, then it's time to propose.
    • Ask yourself if you've been in the relationship long enough to really understand your significant other. If you've only been together for a few months, then you may be rushing into the marriage. Of course, every relationship has its own timeline, but make sure you've truly seen the person you love both through amazing times and hardships so that you really have a sense of this person's long-term potential.
    • If you can't wait for everything that lies ahead with your significant other, such as traveling together, buying a house, or even having children, if that's what you both want, then it may be time to propose.
    • Don't propose just because you're feeling pressured, because you've been in the relationship for so long that you feel obligated to make a move, or because all of the people around you are getting married. You should propose when the time is right for you.
    • Make sure that your significant other is feeling the same way about marriage as you are. If you've been together for a long time and are serious about committing to each other, then chances are, marriage has come up and you understand that your sweetie is ready to make the move.
    • Even if you haven't outright asked if she would marry you, you should have a strong sense that she's ready to settle down and is in the same place as you are.
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    Pick the right ring. Before you propose, you have to choose the right ring. This depends strongly on the type of person your sweetie is. Some girls dream about their proposal their whole lives and have a ring picked out in their heads, while others don't even know that there's such a thing as a ring size. Here's how to make sure you have the right ring for the right girl:
    • Try to find out what kind of ring she wants. If your girl is pretty open about telling you what kind of ring she wants, casually ask her opinion. For example, if you have a friend who is recently engaged, you should study the friend's engagement ring and ask your girl what she thought of it. Was it too small, too chunky, or too shiny, or was it just right?
    • If your girlfriend is really picky about jewelry and you don't want to ruin the proposal with the wrong ring, ask her to show you the type of ring she wants online. Or if you want to be more suave about it, you can go for a walk in a neighborhood where you know there's a ring store and ask if she wants to check out some rings "just for fun." This will make your plan sound less premeditated.
    • If your girlfriend is vocal about her engagement hopes, then chances are that she's told her closest friends exactly what she wants. If you really trust one of her friends and know she won't spill the beans, and really want the engagement to be a surprise, then ask her.
    • Don't obsess too much about having the perfect ring. Plenty of girls don't spend every waking moment wanting the perfect engagement ring — really! (Except some)
    • If you have a family heirloom, such as a ring that belonged to your grandmother, then proposing with this ring will be a beautiful gesture because you'll be inviting your girl to be a part of your family. Giving your girlfriend your grandmother's ring is a more serious gesture than giving her something you paid for — no matter how expensive it is.
      • However, make sure your grandmother's ring is still in fashion. You don't want to create an awkward situation where your boy/girlfriend can't stand your grandmother's ring, but doesn't want to hurt your feelings or offend your family by saying so, he/she could be put off from accepting a proposal in the future (for fear you'll use the same ring) and worse, he/she could dump you.
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    Pick the right time. To have a perfect proposal, you need to pick the right time to pop the question. You need to strike a balance between being surprising and not completely throwing your girl off guard. She should have a sense that it's going to happen sometime in the next few months, but not know the exact date date and time. Here's how to pick the perfect time:
    • Surprise your sweetie. Your proposal will be much more romantic if she doesn't know the exact day of your proposal. If you've just talked about ring sizes, give it some time before you pop the question. You can surprise your girl by playing coy when marriage comes up, or withdraw from the conversation. You don't have to be aloof and she should know that you love her, but try to trick her into thinking that you're not obsessing over marriage right around the time you plan to propose.
    • Surprise your sweetie — but only to a point. Make sure that your girlfriend has a sense that an engagement is on the horizon. If marriage has never come up and she hasn't even had time to think about whether she's ready, you may be in gear for an awkward proposal.
    • Pick a relaxing time. Make sure you two can enjoy your engagement by choosing a time in your lives that is relatively stress-free. If she's in grad school, don't ask her the month before her dissertation is due. If she's working, don't ask her when you know things are incredibly busy at her job. Pick a time when you're both relatively relaxed and can even take a short trip to celebrate your engagement.
    • If you can avoid it, don't ask her to marry you when she's a bridesmaid in three or four other weddings. She will be too busy worrying about all the details of other weddings to focus on her own.
    • If you want to be surprising, avoid proposing on the obvious days, like Valentine's Day or when you take her home for Christmas.
    • Remember that timing isn't everything. If you really want to ask your girlfriend to be your wife, then go for it. Don't spend your life waiting for the time to be perfect to propose. People are always busy, things always come up, and it may never feel like you're both ready to devote yourselves to planning a wedding. If you want to get married, propose, and you will figure the rest out.
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    Pick the perfect location. Once you know when you want to propose, you need to pick the perfect location. To make the best impression, you should find a place that is romantic, private, and special to the two of you. Here are some things to consider:
    • Pick a romantic location. Propose in a rose garden, on the beach, or if you both like hiking, propose from a mountain top.
    • Pick a private location. Don't embarrass your girl by proposing somewhere really public like a sporting event, big party, or just out on the streets. If you really want to do it at your favorite restaurant, request a seat in the back. It's okay if a few people are around, but your girl should feel truly special — and not under pressure to say yes.
    • Personalize your location. A place that is special to the two of you will be more impressive than the most romantic place in the world. If you take her to your favorite restaurant instead of the fanciest restaurant in town, or to the place where you first met or fell in love, the proposal will be much more special than if you picked a cookie cutter romantic destination.
    • Ask her on a trip. If you book a special vacation, then your girl will already be on the lookout for a proposal. Take her to a place that is special to both of you, such as a place you've always wanted to visit together, or the place where you took your first vacation.
    • You can still try to surprise her by acting like you aren't going to propose on the vacation. For example, take a long walk on the beach without asking her, and she may think that the trip is just about fun. But if you're dying to propose and want to enjoy your vacation, just propose as soon as you get there and have a great time!
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    Ask the right way. Now that you've figured out exactly when and where you want to propose, it's time for execution. You want to ask her to marry you in a way she will never forget. Here's how:
    • Be simple. Tell her how absolutely lucky you are to have found her and how you want to spend the rest of your life with her. Then say, "Will you marry me?"
    • Be creative. Ask her to marry you by having the staff at a restaurant write "Will you marry me?" on her favorite dessert. You can write "Will you marry me?" on a t-shirt underneath a nice shirt, if you think she'll be okay with the humor.
    • Be honest. Don't just ask her to marry you, but take the time to tell her how special she is. You can even tell her this by giving her a letter and watching her read it.
    • Don't overdo it. You don't need fireworks, a dance troupe, or a celebrity to tell her how special she is. Don't distract yourselves from the fact that you're taking a really important step together.


  • Don't propose when you're completely tipsy. Your engagement should be something you remember for the rest of your lives.
  • Make sure she is ready for marriage if she is not don't rush it there is still all the time in the world
  • Try to propose on a day or occasion when you're both dressed well and feel healthy.
  • If you're asking her at a restaurant, try to pick a place where you don't normally stuff yourselves and feel too full and tired to celebrate.
  • Make sure you tell all of your close friends and family about your engagement before you announce it on Facebook. Otherwise, they'll feel hurt.
  • Make sure your girlfriend has a cell phone with her. She'll probably want to call her parents, or maybe even her closest friend, right away.
    • When you propose, pick a special place that means a lot to both of you. For example, the place you met.


  • Don't propose unless you are 100% ready for marriage. If you rush into a relationship, it is bound to fail, and you'll be doing a disservice to the person you're asking.==

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