Calling all about-to-get engaged couples

December is high season for proposals. If you’ve been together a while and have even vaguely begun to think about getting married, or are ready to make your proposal, here are some things to think about so that the proposal is perfect for you and your partner.

Make it a moment that shines and is a fabulous memory ever after.

1. When will you propose?


The two most popular dates for proposing are both in December: Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It’s understandable, seeing that is when most people are with be with family or close friends, and a proposal adds immensely to the festive and celebratory occasion.

More important, is there a date that’s significant to the two of you – her birthday, his birthday, the anniversary of your first date, the date you moved in together?
If so, that’s the date to make the proposal.

2. Do you want the proposal to be a total surprise?



The majority of proposals are a total surprise to the person being proposed to. Modern and equal as we would like to think ourselves, most women still prefer the man to make the proposal in a heterosexual relationship.
Even if you’ve been talking for months or weeks about getting married, the actual timing of the proposal can come as a total and wonderful surprise. That’s great for people who like surprises.
Some people just don’t like surprises, and would rather you “accidentally” threw out some clues – asking her to get dressed up for a special date, being suddenly mysteriously busy, acting a little nervous, telling a few friends in advance of your intentions, and having them hovering or casting knowing looks at your beloved.
You know your lover best. What would she prefer?

3. Where do you want to propose?


Is there a place that’s special in your relationship such as the restaurant where you had your first date, the park where you had your first walk together, the beach where you told her for the first time that you loved her? A favourite holiday spot?


Or somewhere totally different to any place you’ve been before but which you think would be perfect.

4. Staged proposals


There’s a thriving business in staged proposals, where you can hire a planner who specializes in proposals to set the stage at the place of your choice, complete with flowers, music, wine, and dinner, so all you and your beloved need to do is show up.


Before investing the big bucks involved in such a proposal, be sure in your own mind that this is what your lady love would like.

4. Do you want it to be a private or a public proposal


Most proposals are private and intimate at a quiet spot away from the crowd, in your own home, in a private corner of a restaurant, under a tree in a park, in a secret garden.

But some people like to go to the other extreme with a huge banner being flown across a sports stadium or flashed onto a giant screen at the baseball or hockey game. Or with a  big sign somewhere public.

What is your personality, and more important, what is your prospective bride’s personality? Would she love a huge proposal, or would it totally freak her out?

4. Will you already have the ring?


It’s traditional to have the ring already before your proposal, so you can produce it at the critical moment.

Here’s the caveat: fine, if you’ve chosen the ring together in anticipation of a proposal. But if this is something you’ve done all on your own without consulting her at all, you run the risk of not having bought the “right” engagement ring. Though quite honestly, most people are so thrilled and overwhelmed at that moment, that they are not going to start fussing about not having been involved in choosing the ring.

5. Is it OK to propose without a ring?

Yes it is. There can be so many reasons why you don’t have the ring when you propose: You’ve ordered it but it wasn’t ready when you were ready or when the perfect time and place occurred;  you wanted her to choose the ring she wants – after all she is going to wear it for the rest of her life and she’d better like it! Or you’re saving for the perfect ring and in the meanwhile can offer anything from a rubber band to a ring pop as a  symbol of the engagement. Or you would like to design or even make, the ring together.
Risk Alert: This suggestion is for the very brave and the very confident:  You could present her with an empty ring box from a jeweller you know she likes and the promise that she can fill it with  a ring you choose together. But for goodness’s sake, do that aftershe has said yes so she doesn’t think the proposal is a practical joke. 


You’re the one who knows your beloved best. So choose the place, time and manner of your proposal to be what she would most love.


Catherine Kentridge, Licensed Wedding Officiant 
Custom Wedding Ceremonies