Ah, summer. Such a romantic time. All those spectacular sunsets casting hazy, golden spells on us. All that sunshine bringing literal light into our lives. All those beer gardens, park picnics and perfect moments to split a bottle of rosé with the person you love. It’s joyous, magical — perhaps even ideal for a proposal?
Hold it right there. Summer may be a lovely time to propose — and we’d never want to stand in the way of true love — but don’t rush into anything. You could just be drunk on all that merrymaking, sunshine (and your second al fresco bottle of rosé). So instead of popping the question just yet, take a look through our list of hints and tips first — to ensure it’s the happiest day of both of your lives.
Don’t bow to societal pressure
We’ve spoken before about how lockdown saw a rush of engagements. And we’re very happy for everyone — of course we are. However, if your social media is awash with engagement after engagement, could it be that your own proposal plans are a product of social pressure? Don’t let those ring emojis tell you what to do.
Instead, ask yourself; ‘Is now the best time for me to propose?’. Because it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing — it doesn’t even matter if every single other couple you know has pledged lifelong commitment to each other over lockdown. Propose because you want to propose, not because Instagram has subtly managed to make you feel it’s compulsory.
Make sure it's a proposal for both of you
Has your partner ever dropped any hints about their perfect proposal? Have they ever laughed at people who hire violin players to serenade others in restaurants? Because, if so, go as far as you can in the opposite direction. This is something both of you will remember forever — so it’ll pay to put some real thought into it.
Are there any particular locations that mean a lot to your partner? Are they happiest in the sleepy country village where they grew up, or do they prefer the heaving, bustling streets of the city? Obviously it’s important to propose where you feel comfortable; but if you’re hoping your partner will say yes, it’s best to factor their dream scenario in, too.
Make sure your proposal reflects the times we live in
We hate to bring everything back to the pandemic — but, unfortunately, COVID is now a part of daily life. And proposals are no exception. We’d advise you double-check what restrictions are still be in place this summer: do you really want to propose when you’re both wearing face masks? Or with a ring slathered in hand sanitiser?
And then there’s Instagram. This is a moment you’ll (hopefully) both want to remember forever; and as much as we advocate living in the moment, your phone camera will likely start snapping at some point. So make sure your partner is feeling good about the way they look on that special day: they won’t thank you for picking a moment when they haven’t had a chance to wash their hair.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the perfect ring
You’ve done it! You’ve got down on one knee, you’ve asked the question: and they’ve said yes! We’re thrilled for you. But there’s a problem; the ring doesn’t fit. The night’s not ruined — but wouldn’t things have been smoother and more romantic if you’d got the right size to start with?
Plan the ring. Have a subtle look through your girlfriend’s jewellery box, and maybe snaffle one of her existing rings to take along to the jeweller’s to ensure perfect sizing. And, also make sure it’s a style/metal/gem she likes. Nothing says ‘you don’t know me’ like an engagement ring that’s totally, utterly wrong.
That said, don’t let spontaneity become the enemy
Planning is important. But, if you’re a spontaneous couple, don’t spend too much time preparing everything to the letter. Because, as we said, your proposal should reflect who you are as a couple.
If you’re not a planning sort of couple, you don’t need to plan every detail of the proposal. Romance comes in many forms: and where some people like a tightly-crafted calendar and five-year plans, others enjoy unbridled, spur-of-the-moment declarations and decision-making. So don’t let the biggest question you’ll ever ask be influenced by Instagram, films or friends. Just speak from the heart — and it’ll all work out.