How to propose

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2018

Asking your significant other for their hand in marriage is a huge step in your relationship. No matter how long you’ve been together, this is definitely a monumental moment. In order to pop the question with complete confidence, we’ve created six simple steps to pulling off the perfect proposal.

Need inspiration on how and when to propose? No problem! We’ve listed 12 of the best and most meaningful ways to ask your love to spend the rest of your lives together. Whether it’s during a beautiful beach sunset or at the park where you first met, make your proposal idea an unforgettable moment you will both cherish forever. When all is said and done, check out these creative engagement announcement ideas to announce the big news to your loved ones.

steps to pulling off the perfect proposal banner

1. Be Sure They Are ‘The One’!

Before going through the process of asking someone to marry you, it is important that you establish your love for this person. If you consider them so be your one-and-only soulmate, then proceed to the next step.

couple smiling

3. Ask Their Parents’ Permission

If your significant other and their family is more traditional, ask their parents for permission to marry their child. Not only is this a respectful gesture, it is sure to score you points with your future in-laws.

man puts wedding ring on woman's hand

5. Decide When and Where To Propose

You found ‘the one’, you found the ring — now you just need to find the place! Below we have included some of the best and most popular places to propose to help guide you. Remember this will be a story they tell for years to come so the place and time are key elements to the proposal.

man proposes to his girlfriend on a bridge

6. Pop The Question

Last but not least, get down on one knee and ask your love to marry you. You may be a bit nervous, but if you follow our steps you’re sure to get the answer you’re looking for!

banner that says romantic proposal ideas

Once you’ve decided you want to propose, the fun part is deciding how you want to do it. Whether you choose to propose in the comfort of your own home or plan an elaborate flash mob, your love will be sure to appreciate any romantic gesture. Check out our 13 romantic proposal ideas for some inspiration.

Propose at their favorite restaurant

Your significant other will love their favorite restaurant even more if you pop the question there. Catch them by surprise and get down on one knee after they finish eating their favorite dish. It is sure to be a great surprise.

couple spreads a blanket for a picnic

Get family and friends involved

Make the big moment a family affair. Have your loved ones hold up a sign that says ‘Will you marry me?’ when you and your significant other arrive at the family gathering.

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couple piggybacking through Europe

Propose at an amusement park

Is your significant other a child at heart? Consider proposing at Disneyland or their favorite theme park for some added magic. In order to prepare, be sure you have a plan of specifically when and where in the park you want to propose and contact Guest Services if you think you’ll need help. Arrange for photos to be taken of this magical moment and have them put into a Disney themed photo book.

couple laughing on a hike

Travel back to the place you first met

Whether it was on your college campus, restaurant or in your hometown, proposing where you and your love first met will make for a very special proposal. Take a stroll down memory lane highlighting everything you remember from the day you met before popping the question.

couple splashing in the waves at the beach

Recreate your first date

Recreating your first date is sure to bring back some fond memories between you and your significant other. If you went to a restaurant you both enjoyed, try booking the same table you ate at on your first date. If you went to the movies for your first date, set up a movie night and watch the film you first saw.

couple eating breakfast in bed

Pack the Ring Properly

If you’re flying to your destination, be sure to pack the bag in your carry-on luggage in a way that security won’t ruin the surprise if they have to go through your bag. Put it in a longer box, like ones for necklaces, inside one of those false books, or put the ring box inside of another box, like one with your shaving kit.

Be sure to remove your liquids and gels and don’t carry on anything that would possibly be suspicious and make them have to check your bag.

Make sure the ring is in an inner zipper compartment, so it doesn’t accidentally fall out when you’re pulling out your laptop or headphones for the plane ride. Also, don’t pack it in your checked luggage, because that would be the worst “lost luggage” story of your entire life.

Be Prepared for Customs

If you’re traveling internationally, be aware of the customs process at your destination airport. When I visited Morocco, I was randomly stopped at customs and had every single one of my items removed for inspection. They even ripped opened the ziplock bags I had neatly packed everything away in.

Luckily, I wasn’t proposing there, but the same thing almost happened to my dad when he did propose in Mexico. I recommend asking to be inspected in a private room while your future fiancée waits outside.

The last thing you want is a customs agent holding up the engagement ring in front of both of you and asking you about it in a foreign language.

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Have a Backup Plan

When I planned to propose, it was going to be on this gorgeous hill with the Golden Gate Bridge as a stunning backdrop. Well, it turned out to be way too foggy that day (thanks Karl the Fog), so my perfect backdrop had turned into a whole lot of misty nothing.

I had to quickly devise another plan and pick another spot. If you’re planning to propose outdoors, the weather won’t necessarily be your friend, so make sure to check the forecast on the morning of your big day, and if need be, resort to Plan B.

Ask Your Hotel for Help

People love love and making other people’s dreams come true. As soon as you get to the hotel, make sure to let someone know your plans and see what they can do to help make your proposal and stay even more special.

A lot of hotels have concierge services specifically designed for engagement and honeymoon packages, so chances are your hotel service will love to help. Also, make sure to tell the hotel when you’re planning on proposing, so they can deliver flowers and chocolates to your room for when you get back.

Paris proposal advice—the fundamentals

  • if you’re still on the engagement ring hunt, then here’s a simple How to buy a diamond ring resource to help you make an informed decision
  • guys [and girls :-]—suck it up! Don’t be that person in a group of friends who has to say “I didn’t get down on one knee”
  • whether your Paris proposal is private (i.e. intimate, discrete, quiet setting) or public, make sure it’s personal, sincere, and the real you
  • rehearse and practice what you’ll say to her even before you arrive in Paris
  • get her dad’s blessing first
  • tell as few people as necessary since somebody is bound to spill the beans
  • carefully plan what you’ll do after she says “Yes,” including:
    • whom you share the news with first (she’ll be so excited, and all her friends and family will be dying to hear how you asked … and, of course, text them a photo of the ring)
    • fully charge your cell phone, and consider having some sort of global data plan in place to handle dozens of texts and calls without breaking the bank
    • HowHeAsked.com is one of the quickest ways to share the news with everyone you know
    • where you’ll take her to dinner afterwards; you cannot go wrong with Costes, Monsieur Bleu, or the Cristal Room by Baccarat
    • treats you may have in store for her when you return to the hotel
  • discretely pack the ring so only you can find it, but also make sure it doesn’t get lost during travel
  • it’s always a smart idea to insure her engagement ring—ideally with worldwide coverage to protect against loss, theft, damage, and other disappearance
  • if she already has kids—perhaps from a previous relationship—consider involving them since they mean the world to her, and she’ll appreciate your forethought (consider including her children in-person, via live video stream, a pre-recorded message, or in any other way you see fit
  • deliver your lines to her before you get down on one knee (otherwise, she’ll be too excited to register and remember your words)
  • position yourself perfectly parallel in between your photographer and the selected backdrop (e.g. the Eiffel Tower)
  • look her straight in the eyes, and make her feel like the most desirable woman in the world as you drop to one knee and ask her to become your wife
  • for perfect visual results, do not drop on your knee too close for comfort; instead, take 2 steps back before you descend on your knee
  • give your suit a tuck and remove your wallet and phone from your pants as to avoid it distracting in the photos
  • do not rush anything and hold your position a little for best photo results
  • after you put the ring on her finger, resist the urge to turn to your photographer; rather hold her tightly, comfort her, and turn towards the Eiffel Tower together to symbolize “looking into a common future”
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Paris proposal

In order to save you time and ensure everything is perfect, we outlined a simple 3-step process on how to prepare for a dream proposal that’s fun, flows naturally, crescendos with a surprise-element, and of course results in Paris proposal photos you’ll be proud of.

Amour Paris Proposal

Step 1: book your Paris proposal photographer

Sounds simple, right?

Well, surprise proposals are not created equal … and neither are Paris photographers.

Keep in mind that you’ve already spent abundant time and resources on bringing the woman you want to marry to Paris. So you might as well now invest into having your Paris proposal captured professionally by an experienced artist who truly cares.

There are no do-overs when it comes to documenting a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Paris proposal

Questions to ask your Paris photographer?

  • check the availability of your Paris photographer
  • ask the artist you’re considering about her experience, passion, and approach to discretely documenting (surprise) Paris proposals
  • ask your photographer to send you sample photos she’s taken of surprise proposals; also ask her which proposal locations work best depending on the time of the day, weather conditions, crowds, and lighting
  • secure your preferred date, starting time, and photographer by making your retainer payment
  • when you work with Kiss Me in Paris, you’ll typically receive a Shoot Brief, summarizing your Paris Proposal details, including meeting point, starting time, how to signal that you’re about to propose, and more

Paris proposal

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