Clichés are about as irrelevant as video rental stores these days. More often than not, it’s the simplest, intimate moments that move us the most. So it stands to reason that a proposal penned to a place of significance says a great deal more about a couple’s commitment to each other.
But that’s not to say a marriage proposal is something to be taken lightly. Quite the opposite, in fact. It doesn’t need to be a big to-do, but getting engaged does need to be memorable. More importantly, how you propose to spend the rest of your life with your partner should be memorable for all the right reasons.
Deeply personal gestures that stir the soul are far more poignant than any grand facade. Not only will a meaningful proposal take away some of the pressure, but you’re also far more likely to sweep the love of your life off their feet. But how should you approach a heartfelt proposal?
Here are 7 ideas that’ll surely spark some inspiration:
1. Revisit a sentimental location
When you do decide to get down on one knee, it’s important to paint a picture of how much you care about your past, present and future together. Propose a walk down memory lane and take your prospective spouse back to a time and place of particular importance to your relationship.
The idea could be a simple as filling a space with memories, or as grand as revisiting a romantic overseas destination. Not only will reliving those special moments remind them of how far you’ve grown as a couple, but it’s also telling of how much attention you pay.
2. Do it over a delicious, home-cooked meal
If cooking isn’t usually your strong suit, it’ll mean the world to your future fiancé to keep things intimate with some thoughtful conversation and a special home-cooked dinner. Maybe you’d like to recreate the meal you enjoyed on your first date for a nostalgic experience?
But if your very first date wasn’t quite the candlelit dinner, you can’t go wrong with a fresh bowl of pasta, a decadent dessert and some good-quality wine. After all, Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle on a cosy night in over a roast dinner. Be sure to set the scene with things like candles, music, fairy lights and flower arrangements.
3. Put it in writing
You want your proposal to be an expression of what lies in your heart. But perhaps you’re more of a wordsmith than a speech-maker. If that’s the case, write your proposal down, either as a stream-of-consciousness, or as a story with a beginning, middle and end.
When you do put pen to paper, try not to overthink it and allow the words to flow naturally. Sincerity is the key to your loved one’s heart here. And once you’ve written your proposal down, try reading it aloud a few times to make certain it sounds authentically you.
4. Share the moment with close friends and family
An unrequited love is a love that needn’t pander to the digital age of oversharing. But if your significant other is an extrovert at heart, getting down on one knee among those who really matter is a bold and loving gesture. It shows your partner just how devoted you are to sharing your life with them.
So unless you think your partner might die of embarrassment, gather some close friends and family over some drinks and hors d'oeuvres and pop the big question. It’ll make for the perfect celebratory affair as you enter into the next chapter of your lives together.
5. Lead them on a scavenger hunt
When it comes to those incurable romantics, nothing will lead them to say ‘I do’ like a well-laid-out treasure trove of tear-jerking surprises. Invite friends, family and even colleagues to take part. Or get creative and enlist some of the local restaurants, bars and other businesses you frequent. Use notes, photos, videos and other personalised clues, and be sure to leave them in places that are of sentimental value. Perhaps the place where you first met or kissed, their favourite coffee shop, or a location that ties in with a favourite film or an inside joke?
Oh, and in that last clue; remember to emphasise all the reasons why you want to spend the rest of your life with them!
6. Turn the routine on its head
Unless your soon-to-be-spouse keeps on speculating to the point of no return, you can really work a fairytale ending into their everyday lives. Catch any unsuspecting partner off-guard by turning something ordinary into the extraordinary. Consider popping the question in the midst of their morning coffee, or leave the ring somewhere they won’t expect to see sparkle.
7. Curate meaning into a bespoke engagement ring
Every great love is as unique as the individuals within the relationship. Picture handing your would-be fiancé a bespoke ring that perfectly encapsulates the intimacy and commitment of your relationship... Sounds pretty special, right? It’s what sets a custom handmade ring apart from its mass-produced counterparts. And while a significant amount of thought and research needs to go into a bespoke design, the result is a ring so precious that its worth is beyond its weight in gold.
You also have to play detective. So start taking note of things like the precious metals they usually wear, the band size of their other rings, their character, or their sense of style (be it simple, contemporary, or vintage) – you could even incorporate their birthstone. And most importantly, choose meaningful design elements that translate what it is you want the ring to ‘say’.