Proposing to the love of your life can feel stressful. You feel like you have to plan the perfect proposal and find the perfect ring, but it doesn't have to be that way.
It might feel like there is a lot of pressure when it comes to proposals, but here’s the good news. According to a recent survey, 74% of women loved the way their fiance proposed and wouldn’t change anything. As for the 26% of women who didn’t love their proposal, the reason is simple. Brides wished the proposal was more romantic, original and personal. The one thing brides didn’t want? Perfection.
Let’s be honest, getting engaged isn’t about creating the perfect moment. It’s about sharing a special moment with your favorite person. The best way to do that? With a simple two-step process: plan a thoughtful proposal and find a unique engagement ring.
Why is it important to find a unique engagement ring?
Proposals are important, but there’s something else that is even more important: the engagement ring. With hundreds of styles to choose from, it can be tempting to choose a design that looks the same as everyone else’s. But here’s the truth: unique engagement rings allow brides to express themselves as they truly are. Whether you’re a full-time executive and a part-time yoga instructor, or a full-time designer and a part-time traveler, it’s crucial to find a unique engagement ring that represents both you and your lifestyle.
And if you’re the one popping the question, doing so with a unique engagement ring speaks volumes. The most important thing it communicates is that you know your bride inside and out. You know her style and her preferences. You know that she is not like any other bride; she is unique and because of that, she needs a unique engagement ring. Once you have the ring (or know what you want), it’s time to plan the proposal.
Here are three proposal stories that are guaranteed to make you smile. The best part? The strategies are timeless, thoughtful and filled with meaning.
Focus on the future
Getting engaged is about making a commitment to one another. It’s a commitment to the future that you’re building with your better half. There are a lot of ways to integrate the promise of the future with the excitement of the present. You could create a photo book of all the places you’ve visited together and all the places still on your list. Or you could write a letter that details the life you are building—imaginary kids, future house and all.
For Ryan Inman, the idea of focusing on both the future and the present worked perfectly with his plan to propose on the foundation of the house he was building with his then-girlfriend, Taylor, in Carlsbad, California. “The home was new construction, so it was being built from the ground up, and once we had picked out our lot and all those details, we had to sign a ton of documents and pay the down payment. On the day of signing, we drove over to the sales office, signed all the paperwork, and then I asked her if she wanted to go look at the new home. I knew that the foundation had already been poured because I made sure to schedule the site visit and signing to take place after the foundation would be dry. When we arrived at the future house, I had a little pre-rehearsed message for her and then I was going to propose,” Ryan explains.
Even though Ryan set a picture-perfect scene and made all of the proper arrangements, the proposal wasn’t perfect in the traditional sense—it was perfectly imperfect. Ryan continues, “When we arrived at the future house, I had a little pre-rehearsed message for her and then I was going to propose. I purposely stopped at where our front door would be, but at the last second, something caught her eye (after I had said my message and was about to propose!) and she started walking away. Now I’m trying to chase after her in a ‘smooth’ way and by the time she stopped and I was on one knee asking her, I ended up asking her on the part of the foundation that was to become the garage—not the front door as intended! Thankfully she said yes and we have now been married for five years and have two beautiful and healthy kids.”
Ryan’s biggest takeaway? It’s better to be perfectly imperfect than perfect all the time.
Make it a family affair
The only thing better than getting engaged to your better half is doing it surrounded by family and friends. Your family and friends are the people who support you and the relationship you’ve worked hard to build. Whether they’re at the proposal via FaceTime or in-person, family and friends make all the difference.
When Kevin Kantouth proposed to Crystal Ray, he knew he wanted to incorporate the people he and his soon-to-be fiance loved. For Crystal, the day began with one-on-one time with her best friend. She explains, “Kevin flew in my best friend from Washington D.C. and we got to spend time together that day and decided to go to the park to walk around. After about an hour we walked over to the area of trees where Kevin asked me to be his girlfriend years ago. I could see a group of people standing underneath them when Kevin and his best friend came out from around a corner. It was a total surprise!”
But the surprise didn’t stop there. Crystal continues, “Kevin's friend Alex was playing our song ‘Never Stop’ by Safetysuit on guitar. Once we got closer I saw he had gathered all our friends and family under the trees and had strung fairy lights. When we were both under the tree, and Alex had finished playing, Kevin said, ‘Crystal, I love you ridiculously. Will you marry me?’ and of course I said ‘Yes!’”
Sharing the biggest moment of her life with her family and friends made the proposal even more meaningful and exciting.
Honor your family history
Marriage proposals signal the start of a new chapter. Proposals are a celebration of what is new, but they are also a chance to honor and recognize the people and places that shaped you. Whether it’s with a home movie from childhood or a family heirloom, there are a lot of ways to honor your family history when you propose.
When Sam Cowley proposed to Kelsey Erskine, she knew that she wanted to incorporate family history. It just so happened that her family history perfectly aligned with the future she was building with Kelsey. The vision paid off because Kelsey remembers it as a “magical” day. “We had worked for months to clean and renovate my fiance’s family home that was built by her great-grandparents. It was finally move-in day for us and I had to do all the moving on my own while Sam was at work. When she came home she had a picnic of snacks ready and told me she was taking me out on a date! We had a little picnic in our empty and new home and talked about all the memories we knew would fill the house. We went out on a date and saw a live concert in the park in town. When we returned to the house I saw a letter on our new front door. She handed me the letter and said read this and then join me out back. The letter shared that she knew we wanted to wait until we were in our home to take the next step of engagement but she didn't want to wait another day. So I walked towards the backyard and it was covered in flowers, lights, pictures of us, and a little place to sit. I walked towards her and she asked me to marry her! Then a few of our best friends popped out of the bushes and took tons of pictures and brought glasses of champagne,” Kelsey explains.
Regardless of your vision for getting engaged, there are two key steps to keep in mind: find a unique engagement ring and plan a thoughtful proposal. It’s as simple (and difficult!) as that.