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Destination I Do
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Proposal!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Parris Whittingham Studio

For the fourth year running, TheKnot.com and Men’s Health Magazine joined forces for a Proposal and Engagement Survey. Some of the results will surprise you. For example, men are much more traditional when it comes to popping the question than you might think. A whopping 76% of men said it was essential to propose on bended knee. On the bride side, one in four women didn’t love their proposal. However, 96% of women said they loved their engagement ring and wouldn’t change a thing about it. So, fellas – you’re half way there!


We at Destination I Do wanted to give all you love birds out there who might not be engaged yet a how-to for proposing. We understand that the bulk of our readers are probably female, but ladies that doesn’t mean your mate can’t find a link to this post in his inbox or on his Facebook page. (I may or may not have casually mentioned my work on this post to my long-time boyfriend.) For those gentlemen who might need a little help knowing where to start, TheKnot.com has a great quiz to help you determine what type of proposal might suit your girlfriend best.

During my research for this post I found there were a few “Don'ts” to popping the question that were mentioned over and over again.

1. Don’t Ask in Front of Her Family

What seems like a sweet idea may turn into one of the most awkward moments ever. Your families will be present at your wedding (assuming you want them to be) and can be notified immediately after she shrieks, “Yes!” This is a personal moment and could be made uncomfortable if she’s emotional and divulging her feelings for you in front of your Great-Aunt Margie whom she’s only met once before.

2. Don’t Hide the Engagement Ring in Food

This is one idea that has always baffled me…why would you take that gorgeous, sparkling diamond and shove it into the middle of a piece of chocolate cake? Not only will she not get the full affect of the ring, but she just might swallow it! If you want to do something exciting, keep thinking; this one’s been done a thousand times before.

3. Don’t Propose at a Sports Game

Even if your bride-to-be eats, sleeps and breathes sports, arenas are loud and chaotic. I doubt when she imagined you popping the question that it involved you screaming at her while “Another One Bites the Dust” is blaring overhead. This is a moment you’re going to remember the rest of your lives and you’re going to want to be able to focus.

4. Don’t Make it Public

This “don’t” is dependent upon the personality of your future fiancé. For example, if she’s reserved and really quite shy, don’t ask her to marry you in front of a room full of strangers at a restaurant. You don’t want her being uncomfortable and embarrassed to overshadow the moment. However, if she’s outgoing and generally not a shy person then the smiles and clapping of strangers might just cap off the moment.

5. Don’t Make it Too Complicated

While you obviously want the proposal to me meaningful (you’re still reading this blog post after all) you need to know your limitations. There’s a fine line between creative and crazy. Try to find a way for the proposal to be unique while not being a logistical nightmare. Also keep in mind that the more help you recruit, the more people who could possibly slip and reveal the plan to her.


Now that we’ve outlined some guidelines, what about some fabulous ideas? I’ve had a great time researching for this blog post and have shed many a sentimental tear over some super sweet proposals. Seeing as how our readers are most likely future destination brides – definitely consider as destination proposal. These are becoming super popular and are perfect for couples who have been together for a long time. Step out of the everyday hum-drum and ask her to be yours forever on a trip. That location will hold sentimental meaning for the two of you for the rest of your lives.

While I heard several real-life proposals that pulled at the heart strings, here are my top three.

1. A Snowy Surprise

During a ski vacation to Telluride, Colorado, one man treated his girlfriend to a romantic dinner at the top of a mountain after a long day on the slopes. He spoke to the hotel where they were staying and coordinated with them to give her the surprise of a lifetime. As they were riding the gondola back down the mountain, she looked down to see “Will You Marry Me?” spelled out in the snow in bright red flares. She of course said yes and they said “I Do” soon after.

2. A Bright Future

One couple had been together for years and she was suspecting her boyfriend would pop the question soon. This made him surprising her that much more challenging. The two are seasoned deep-water divers and while on vacation with their families decided to go for a night-time dive. As they were swimming through the water, she suddenly saw underwater lanterns lighting a path. At the last lantern he had tied a note onto it that asked her to marry him. The funny part about this one is that when he pulled out the jewelry box and opened the lid, the pillow with the ring tucked inside shot toward the water’s surface. So, FYI, those little pillows float!

3. Paging True Love

You may recognize Luke and Nicolina in the images that are included in this post. We featured their wedding film last week on our blog. When reading their story, their engagement was too sweet to not share. The couple lived apart for four years and commuted via train every weekend to be together. At Grand Central Station for what she thought was a regular commute, Nicolina’s name was called over the overhead speakers and she was asked to come to customer service. Once there, the employee (who was in on the surprise) handed her an envelope. Inside was a letter from Luke that told her all the reasons he loved her. When she looked up, Luke was down on one knee with a diamond that would make any girl blush. For more photos of the couple's big moment and learn just how Luke pulled this off, click here.


Hopefully this post has been helpful and will plant some seeds of inspiration! Good luck!

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