The marriage proposal – 10 golden rules


If you’re thinking about how to propose, there are a few things you should know before you get down on one knee. We’ve got 10 golden rules that you should follow if you’re about to pop the question.

Listen to the hints!

Listen up and pay attention. When it comes to the ring, almost every woman will drop hints about what sort of design they would like. If you’re lucky enough to have her point one out as you are walking down the street, march right back in there later on and buy it! If she doesn’t, then start to pay attention to your partner’s everyday style. The ring that you pick for her needs to look like something she would choose for herself.

Ask first

If her parents are still around, it’s always a good idea to ask them for permission first. It may seem old-fashioned and a little corny, but it shows respect and gets you off to a good start with your in-laws.

Secondly, ask her too! It doesn’t have to spoil the surprise of the proposal, but nowadays it’s only sensible to make sure that you are both ready for the next step before you pop the question. Ease the topic of your future, marriage, or commitment into the conversation one day and see how she reacts.

Pick your moment

If you whisk her away somewhere to propose, make sure you pop the question earlier on in the trip. You’ll want to spend the rest of the time away celebrating your new engagement.

Even if the scene is picture-perfect for a proposal, don’t do it if the moment isn’t right. Proposing midway through an argument isn’t the right way to bring resolution. Similarly, if you have shared a fun-filled night and you feel pretty drunk, don’t let the question slip out then. It may seem wonderful in the moment, but the next morning you will regret not proposing in a calm and happy moment that you will both remember.

Private vs. Public

If she’s the sort of person who hates being surprised, or can’t bear being the centre of attention, don’t be dragging her up onto the stage at a Take That concert. She’ll probably say yes but mean no, and will find the whole thing humiliating.

Conversely, if she likes spontaneity, it’s worth writing to her favourite band, nightclub or football team to ask for their help. Who knows – you might end up on Youtube.


State from the start how much you want to be involved in the planning. Talk to her. You don’t want to wake up the next day with no clue where to start or how to help. She might produce a list she’s been compiling for years of what she wants, so get in there quickly.

Have fun

Make it fun – if you’re not one for PDAs, be a bit creative at home. You could spend the day planning and preparing the house for her return to work – lay a trail of petals to the ring, make a treasure hunt, be waiting at her favourite restaurant, in a quiet corner (send a text saying: “You’re late, I’m at the restaurant”) or be waiting under a tree on your favourite country walk. Hell, you could even tie it on a ribbon round her kitten’s neck – just do it! Good luck, and we want to hear all about it!

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