The sentiment is the same but around the world and from couple to couple, proposing can be very different. The act of proposing marriage has been around for a long long time and still today many of the steps involved are based on long standing traditions. In Kenya if the bride’s family accepts the grooms beads, they’re engaged. In Scandinavia both the soon to be bride and groom wear rings upon engagement and in Ireland every leap year it’s the woman’s chance to pop the question.

Before you ask…

So you’ve decided to propose? Well that’s the best because you’re in love and happy and you’re most likely thinking about how to make this proposal perfect. Your soon to be fiance is the key to this. It really all depends on your relationship and who you are as a couple. If something big, public and showy isn’t your thing that’s more than okay. Make your uniqueness all a part of the proposal. It’s a big moment and will sure to be one that you both remember. If you’re quite a traditional couple, it can be sweet to ask your future in-laws permission before you pop the question. It is a sign of honour and respect in many societies and is a tradition that dates back to the early days of marriage. It’s now a key part of many peoples proposal stories and is a lovely way to tie the bride’s family into the occasion. But of course, this is all circumstantial – what do you think she would love? Are you close to her family? Would your bride think that this is an outdated tradition? Trust your gut and get on to planning the perfect proposal.

The big tradition that has always stood the test of time is a proposal being a surprise. Even if getting married is a discussion that you’ve had before, make the moment a surprise that they’ll remember forever. A surprise proposal on the sofa before popping champagne or a walk in the park before dropping down on one knee? You’ll know how you want to do it but there are many other things that you might want to think about. Some couples want this moment captured to keep. You could think about hiring a photographer to take stunning photographs to have framed above the fireplace. There are many things to consider and this is just one of them. Will she want a stunning manicure before you put the ring on her finger, maybe send her off on a surprise spa day?

As you’re asking…

Getting down on one knee is the most synonymous image (after diamonds) when we think about proposals. But where did this tradition start? Well, it goes back to the Middle Ages when knights would get down on one knee as a sign of respect and honor. This carried through religious ceremonies and then onto the act of proposing marriage and love. Many see it as a signal of this act of loyalty being carried through into your marriage and a nod to the many stunning movie proposals in film history. From Carrie and Mr. Big in their wardrobe to Cher in Moonstruck – dropping down on your knee is important. For public proposals it’s the ultimate signal of what’s about to happen, you’re sure to draw a crowd if you bend the knee somewhere stunning. Get the ring tucked up somewhere safe and make sure your trousers are okay to get a little dusty.

After you hear yes…

After she’s been wooed by the engagement ring, said yes and you’ve had your first kiss as an engaged couple, what to do now. A great post-proposal tradition that is relatively new is a pre-planned party with all of your friends and family waiting to celebrate. Martha Stewart has a guide so we know it’s a hot trend in the list of proposal traditions. Give guests a few weeks notice and it’s your call to let them in on the big secret or not – it depends if they have loose lips. Rope in her best friends and Mom to decorate the venue and get them ready to shout ‘Congratulations!’ – you’ll be hearing it alot in the next few months.


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