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I remember it well. The day I proposed was one of the most nervous days of my life. I kind of knew how I would propose, but even with a lot of thought it wasn’t 100% smooth sailing. It always looks so easy in the films, but how do you actually nail your marriage proposal?

Figuring out how to propose is usually full of questions. How do I get her ring size? Who do I need to ask? What words do I really want to say (and how do I remember them)?

I’ve put together my top tips for making sure your proposal goes to plan.

MAKE SURE YOUR PARTNER WILL SAY YES

This may seem obvious, but make sure that you are both on the same page. There is nothing worse than going gung-ho for a proposal without having at least a good guess that the answer will be yes.

I’m not saying to ask them “If I asked you to marry me, would you say yes?” But, I’m also saying don’t get down on one knee if you have never discussed your long term relationship before. No-one wants to kick someone when they’re down, especially on one knee. So don’t just go for broke after three weeks of dating someone, or it could all go horribly wrong.

GET THE ENGAGEMENT RING (AND HOW TO SIZE IT)

Going into a jewellers and trying to guess what size ring your partner will wear whilst worrying about what design they will like best can be daunting.

When it comes to jewellers, try to find one that comes well recommended. You could ask friends for ideas and make sure you choose one that has excellent customer service.

Getting the right size is always the biggest worry, but great jewellers can guesstimate a ring size by the height and weight of your partner, plus, there is always resizing should you need it.

However, there is also a clever trick to help with size. You can “borrow” a ring from your partners jewellery box to help get the correct size for their engagement ring. If you can, note which finger your partner wears the ring on as this will help the jeweller get the right fit.

To help get the best idea of ring style, look at the style of jewellery your partner wears every day and take photos, start a secret Pinterest board and ask their friends. Again a good jeweller will be able to help with choosing the right ring based on this kind of information, so don’t be afraid to ask.

An engagement ring sitting in the brides flowers on her wedding day

WHO DO I NEED TO ASK?

It is tradition to ask the father of the person you wish to marry for his permission. Back in the day it was considered incredibly important to have the father’s permission, as he could decide if his daughter was allowed to marry or not. Today however, it is seen simply as a sign of respect and is a nice way to involver your partners family in the process.

Whether you need to do this or not is up to you. Some parents like the tradition and could even become upset if they were not asked, whereas some won’t mind at all. It is also a good way of scoring brownie points with your future in-laws too.

Do you have to do this? Of course not. It depends on your partner’s (and your) relationship with their family.

Lastly, although tradition is to ask in person, a phone call will also suffice. Personally, I think this is one of those things that you do because you decide that you want to rather than because you have to.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

You will no doubt be trying to think how you are going to ask. It might be worth writing it down, or at least making some notes. In the moment it is incredibly easy to become a stammering mess, so having at least a vague idea of what you want to say will help your nerves a little. Practice it, but try to be in the moment rather than reading your proposal from an autocue.

A vintage typewriter with a message for wedding guests to type messages of congratulations

MAKE IT PERSONAL

I can’t advise you how to propose, as you know your partner better than anyone else. You need to think hard about how you think they would like to be proposed to.

Think about a place that means a lot to you both. This could be your favourite place to go walking or the beach where you hang out. In fact you don’t even need to go out at all. Cover the patio in candles on a warm summer evening. Just make sure you try to avoid the one size fits all approach such as rose petals in the shape of a heart and it’s probably not your partners dream to be proposed to in front of a crowd at a sporting event (unless it totally is).

Just make it personal to you both. Not only will you score major points for this, but by not proposing at a sports event you don’t risk turning into this guy.

RING IN A BOX, NOT IN THE MEAL

How to propose 101. Please do not put the ring in the food. It is the preserve of cheesy Rom Com movies and should never be attempted in real life. The fact the ring will be gross and covered in food should be enough to put you off. In case you need another reason, there is the possibility that your partner could not see it and choke it down (or simply choke) which would indeed make for a memorable story, but not one you will want to be telling.

The only love story with food rings you need. (Yes I’m a Simpsons nerd)

TAKE YOUR TIME

Nerves will be kicking in as you get down on that knee to pop the question. Try to take your time with the proposal and make sure you allow time for your partner to let in sink in before you ask “Well?”. When the time is right slip the ring on and enjoy the moment. Trust me, even though you know the answer, it is like having a huge weight lifted off when your partner says the magic word “Yes”.

GOOD LUCK

I hope that helps gives you some help with how to propose. It might not be the exact method of how to propose, but remember, there is no right way. Do it your way and make sure you do it with thought! I’m sure your partner will love it, however you choose to do it.

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