We are in a special time of season this year, not only are the holidays in full swing but, so is engagement season. As engagement season commences I would like to share my experience, and some food for thought. Proposing is a big step for anyone to take so, I hope this post can offer a little in sight.
I can’t say where the thought begins, or if it is head or heart in the driver’s seat, but as someone that has successfully proposed and married the woman of my dreams, here are a few tips that I can offer to others in hopes that you can learn from my…
Experiences! That’s what we are going to call them.
One of the hardest things about the engagement is getting there. For the guy to ask the woman that he loves to spend the rest of her life with him is likely one of the most grueling things that you will have to do. Even the most steadfast men, confident in the love and stability of their relationship are likely to have a terrifying moment of “What If?” There is nothing that I can say to help with that, other than “Go with your gut”.
There are things that I can recommend regarding the steps leading up to the big question, as well as ways to improve your engagement as a whole. This will be a multi-part blog post, so we will start with the idea of getting engaged and go from there.
Now, as a proponent of equal opportunity I know that it is not always the man that proposes to the woman. There may not even be a man in the equation, or there could be two men. My mother proposed to her second husband; down on one knee and everything. For ease of personal pronouns I will use he and she for traditional roles, but take no meaning into assumed gender roles.
When it comes to getting engaged, who is going to be in on it, whom do you invite?
Secret or Open
The proposal is often a big deal. Some people want to include family, friends, religious figures, choreographers, actors, and even animals. There are two options for going about your proposal. The first is keeping it a secret from the person that you are proposing to. The other is to have them know some or all aspects of your proposal.
There is no right or wrong way to propose. If you choose to keep your proposal a secret, I find that it is easier if you have some help. It is great to have one of your friends in on the secret, to cover for you and help pull things off. One of her friends can be even more help, getting information that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Discussing the proposal, either in part or completely is useful for certain things, like picking out the ring. It can be hard to get the proper ring size without letting her know what you are doing. With one of her friends helping it can be easier, but there are ways to go about it on your own.
A loop of string while she is sleeping can give you the rough size of her ring finger. From there your jeweler should have no problem loaning you some sizing rings to test the exact size. If you aren’t sure, always go with the larger size. Better the ring be a little big than her not be able to get it on.
When deciding if you want to discuss the engagement or not, consider personality. Will your fiancé feel embarrassed if you have a grand choreographed event with all of her family present? Will she feel slighted if it is only the two of you and a ring? These types of questions should be considered when you make the decision.
Whichever way you decide, I would personally recommend considering having the moment captured, in either photograph or video, by a professional. YouTube is full of outlandish and extravagant proposals, and they all have one thing in common; someone had the foresight to capture them on video to watch later. Often photographers include engagement shoots in their packages, and even of you aren’t sure what photographer you will use for your wedding, it shows adult consideration that you put the effort into hiring a photographer.
If the setting is too intimate to have a photographer during the actual proposal, it is nice to recreate the moment immediately after to capture the sentiment and the setting. The actual proposal will make a great opening to your wedding album, and will post to Facebook much better than a single camera phone photo of a ring.
Next time I will discuss tips on actually being engaged, and ways that it can be as enjoyable as possible while still being a productive path to your wedding day.
Thanks, and Happy Holidays
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