Congratulations! You’ve found the one, you like it, and you’re ready to put a ring on it. (Thanks, Beyonce). The hardest part is over and the next chapter of your life is about to begin.
As a photographer, I have been fortunate enough to scheme with future grooms to capture and witness some of the most romantic, thoughtful, and intimate proposals. So guys, grab a napkin and wipe the sweat from your upper brow because we’re in this together!
Here are 13 of my tips to future grooms when prepping for the proposal:
1) It’s wise to go in with a plan, but know that things don’t always go as planned.
2) Pick a day she won’t suspect. A groom I worked with proposed on HIS birthday, when she least expected the attention to be on her.
3) Pick a location that is special to you! This could be the place you first met, somewhere you enjoy hanging out together, or a just a romantic spot you know she’ll love.
4) Consider the location and time of day with how busy it may be at that given time. If you’re looking to propose in a public space but would prefer to not have a ton of onlookers, it may be best to plan for a weekday when the area is more private.
5) Know your gal. Will she be mortified to be proposed to on the jumbotron? Then you should probably keep it private. Will she think it’s adorably cute if you propose with a Ring Pop so she can design her own ring later? Get creative!
6) Hire a photographer! 😉 You are about to encounter one of the best days of your lives. This is a great moment to look back on, and an awesome opportunity to capture photos for your engagement announcement, party invitations, and guest book at the wedding.
7) When coming up with an alibi to lure your future wife into her proposal location, consider how she might be dressed. If your future wife will be mortified if she’s in sweatpants for her proposal, make sure she thinks she’s going somewhere fancy.
8) Don’t be weird! The number one thing women say is, “Well I knew something was up, he was acting weird!” or “He doesn’t normally ______, but on that day he was all about it.” Play it cool if you want her to be shocked and behave as if it’s business as usual.
9) Be selective about who you tell beforehand. Once the ring is on her finger and you get to call family and friends, it’s a funny feeling when the response is “I already knew, but couldn’t tell you!” Remember: the more details people know, the more you risk ruining the surprise. It’s more fun to share the happy news together as a couple, anyway!
10) If including your friends and family is important, plan a dinner or gathering afterwards. If the attendees can keep the secret beforehand, this is a great way to celebrate and end the day!
11) Before meeting with her, gather your thoughts and even practice in front of the mirror if you have to! You’re entering a moment filled with nerves and excitement, so it’s helpful to envision what you’d like to say.
12) After she says yes, you probably won’t remember what you said and neither will she! Once she realizes what’s happening, she will probably be in shock and kinda black out a little. Don’t worry, this is totally normal! It would be a great keepsake to have a memory of what you did say. If you can swing it, put your phone in your pocket and begin recording a voice memo so you can relive the moment at the tap of your fingertip!
13) Bring champagne! Or ask your photographer to bring some! You’ll want to celebrate right away!
At the end of the day, no matter how the proposal goes down, it will be a great story that you’ll be able to tell for years to come. And remember, the best stories are the ones where things don’t quite go as planned! So go out there, make your 7th grade self proud, and get the girl!