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Destination I Do
Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Do's and Don'ts for a Perfect Proposal

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Autumn Millhouse

Daydreaming about your destination wedding, but still waiting for him to put a ring on it? (Hint: Forward this article to him.)

I often hear from nail-biting, nervous men about planning the perfect proposal because of my book, Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, which lists the Top Ten Napa Valley Proposals. Usually, these sweet men just need reassurance and a shot of romantic confidence to set their fears to rest. “Yes, you have planned something she will love and yes, she’s going to accept your request of marriage.”


One charming gentleman (who bought my book online) presented his girlfriend with a copy of the book on the plane as he whisked her away for a surprise romantic getaway. Once in Napa he arranged a mind-blowing proposal that included breath-taking vineyard views, luxurious bubbles and a bling-bling ring. This was an enchanting proposal that even the most jaded woman couldn’t resist. Now they are planning their vineyard vows and a destination wedding in wine country.

Au contraire to what some women may think about men and proposals, I’ve learned that it’s one of the most nerve-racking experiences for a man—in some cases, worse than walking down the aisle. This is perhaps the one thing in their relationship that they plan and execute alone. They want to do everything they can to impress you, show their sincere love and get you to say “YES!” So if you think your man needs a little assistance, here are some tips that I’ve perfected along the way in helping them plan the perfect proposal that will be followed by a loud, often tearful “yes.”

Do:
Be Creative: Use an inside joke between you two, enlist family and friends or do something different. For example, use chocolate sauce to write “Will you Marry Me?” on her dessert plate.

Surprise Her: Make sure there’s a surprise element to your proposal. The surprise element is what makes it special and memorable. After all, women love to be surprised!

Speak from the Heart: No matter when or where, the proposal will be perfect if you profess your love in a genuine way.


Don’t:
Not Plan: Thinking and planning ahead will show her you took extra care to display your love for her. A lack of planning may show her little thought was put into this momentous moment and, perhaps, your future together.

Make Her Uncomfortable: By now you should know if she is a private or public person. If she’s shy and uneasy in front of crowds, proposing in the middle of New York City’s Times Square may cause her more embarrassment than joy.

Propose Without a Ring: Hate to break it to you but – yes – a ring is required. It can be a gumball machine ring, but it’s a symbol of your commitment. If she loves you it doesn’t matter the size, shape or color of the ring—it’s you she’s marrying.

About: Autumn Millhouse is a local travel writer, international trekker and self-proclaimed “hopeless-romantic.” Author of the hugely popular Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, she is currently working on two books with similar themes dealing with travel and romance. Check out her blog here.

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