Although he hasn't gotten down on bended knee yet, does something tell you a marriage proposal might be brewing? Or maybe you want to give your guy a bit of encouragement? If you're tired of hiding your wedding magazines under your bed, it might be time to take matters into your own hands.
We've put together a foolproof Marriage Proposal Checklist to pass on to any guy who might be thinking about popping the question. Have him follow along with our tried-and-true tips, and an unforgettable marriage proposal is sure to follow.
Find the Perfect Engagement Ring
It's hard to pull off the fairy-tale proposal without a beautiful engagement ring
to put on her finger. By now you've likely tracked down the perfect engagement ring (thanks to all of the "hints" she's left around the house in the form of magazine pages and jewelry catalogs). You may have chatted up her friends, gone digging around in her jewelry box or even asked her opinion about friends' engagement rings to get a sense of what she really loves. This is a piece of jewelry she'll be wearing for years and years to come -- so we know you've done your homework!
Make Sure You're Insured
Double check with your jeweler
on the date your ring will be ready and think of a secure place to stash it until the big day. And don't forget insurance! Jewelry is typically covered under homeowner or renter's insurance policies, and you want to make sure you're protected before you even walk out the door. Get more info about engagement ring insurace
Get Their Blessing
If you're planning on asking her parent's permission for your bride-to-be's hand, before you plan the proposal is the time to do it. Sit down with her parents, both dad and mom (or speak with them over the phone if they live out of town and you simply won't get the chance to ask them in person), and let them in on the exciting news. Share as many (or as few) details as you'd like about your plans for popping the question, and ask them to kindly keep it all a secret!
Time It Right
With all of the planning that goes into pulling off the perfect proposal, you want to make sure that your timing is perfect. Is she in the midst of a big, deadline-driven project at work that might require her staying late? Do you have any other major events planned for the same week? Take a good, hard look at the calendar and make sure to pick a day that doesn't conflict with any other ongoing responsibilities that either of you have.
Come Up With a Game Plan
This is where you can get creative. Try to think about what sort of proposal will work best for you and her. Would she like something more casual, cozy, and romantic, like a dinner for two at the restaurant where you went on your first date? Or perhaps you want to pull off an elaborate scavenger hunt that ends at your favorite club, followed by a night of dancing with friends and family? The way you pop the question is entirely up to you, but just make sure you've got a solid plan in place and have thought ahead about every detail and nuance of your day. Get inspired with these 50 marriage proposal ideas
Expect the Unexpected
Sometimes things just don't go as planned, so make sure you've got a backup plan for each and every element of your proposal. Did you arrange for a limo at 6 p.m.? What if it doesn't arrive until 6:15 p.m.? Come up with a plan B for everything, and you'll leave no room for error.
Tell It Like It Is
Your bride-to-be is going to love hearing about all of the reasons you want to spend your life with her, so think about the special things you want to say. Try not to let your nerves get the best of you -- in the excitement of the moment, many guys forget to ask the all important "will you marry me?" question. Some guys get so caught up in trying not to forget to ask her to marry them, they don't remember anything else. You might want to practice beforehand to make sure you remember all of the important details when the big moment arrives.
Gather Your Supplies
What sort of things will you need for the big proposal day? Are you planning on giving her flowers? Or having a favorite dessert on hand? Do you need the restaurant to set up anything ahead of time? Make sure to write out a to-do list for yourself and get everything ready well in advance. Come up with a timeline to ensure that you don't leave anything out, and plan ahead for mishaps by always having some extras on hand.
Keep It a Secret
The more people you tell, the harder it will be to keep your surprise a secret. Make sure that if you are enlisting the help of friends or family, they are committed to sticking with your game plan and keeping everything under wraps. After all your hard work, you don't want a chatty friend or an overly talkative aunt ruining the excitement of your special day.
Share the News
You'll likely want to share the excitement with all of your friends and family after she gives you a yes, so make sure you bring along a cell phone to call your nearest and dearest afterward. Don't forget a camera either. Your loved ones will want to share in every moment of your thrilling day, so make sure to snap some photos along the way. Or consider having a concealed friend record your proposal from afar so you'll be able to show everyone exactly how she reacted when you got engaged.
Congratulations -- you're going to be a "Mr. & Mrs.!" Make sure to take some time with your fiance to really reflect and enjoy this new phase of your lives together before you get swept up in the excitement of wedding planning.
Popping the Question