Our top tips for the perfect proposal

The romantic winter season from Christmas, through the New Year and up to Valentine’s Day is the most popular time of year for marriage proposals. The festivities, and being surrounded by family and friends, make it an ideal time to pop the question. To help any budding romantics, we have put together some tips on making sure the big moment goes to plan.

As with all important events, planning is key, but for popping the question it is essential. Your proposal story is one that will be told for the rest of your life.  It is unique to your personal journey together, and therefore, every element needs careful thought including where, when and how.

The Ring

Many people feel that a proposal without the ring isn’t a real proposal.  If you aren’t brave enough to choose the ring without your intended’s input, perhaps consider purchasing with an option to exchange; most reputable jewellers will be more than happy to offer this. You may like to use a family ring, or affordable token ring as a stopgap until you can select the real one together.  A comedy ring, á la Four Weddings & A Funeral can make for a great story… just be sure you know your intended will see the funny side!

If you are choosing the ring do plenty of research.  Think about your partner’s style and choice of jewellery – do they wear yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or platinum?  Ask trusted friends and family for their opinion.  Sometimes taking in to account the type of job they do can be important. If their job is very physical it may be wise to go for a ring that is chunkier in case of damage, or has a smoother or ‘brushed’ profile to avoid snagging.  Also, consider what type of wedding ring you will go for. The two rings will need to complement each other.  If you want matching wedding bands and your taste is for a rather plain band, it is important to remember that engagement rings can be quite contemporary and unusual shapes.  Placing a plain band can cause a comfort as well as aesthetic challenge.  Next, you need to consider the gem stones.  Diamonds are generally considered a girl’s best friend of course, but there are so many other options. Coloured gem stones such as tourmaline, morganite and amethyst have soared in popularity recently with many brides-to-be looking for something unique and personal to their relationship. The important things to look for are the four C’s – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat weight.  Get expert advice whether you go for a contemporary, individually designed or antique ring.  As a rule, you will get more for your money with an older or antique ring, so take time to explore your regional jewellery stores.  Finally, finding out ring size can be tricky and could involve an element of detective work.  Ask a family member to smuggle out a ring that is unlikely to be missed whilst you take it to the jewellers and have it measured.  If you are going to guestimate, go bigger and have it reduced.  It will rather kill the mood if your fiancé can’t get the ring on. Remember they will be wearing this for the rest of their life, so choose well.


Most people dream of the perfect proposal, so the challenge is on.  Select a location that either has special meaning to your relationship, where you had your first date perhaps, a favourite restaurant, best loved walk or somewhere really breath taking.  If you are planning to propose in public, is this something your intended would really want?  This is a time for the two of you and adding extra people into the mix could be overwhelming and not get the response you were hoping for.

There is plenty of time to share the news with the world when the two of you have had your special moment in your own romantic bubble.  In the age of the Insta-announcement, make sure you are tooled up for the selfies!

If you need help to pull off the big reveal, whether it is ensuring your intended appears at the right time in the right place, or with prepping the scene, be very careful who you confide in.  The more people involved, the more risk there is of spoiling the surprise.  For a proposal in a restaurant or hotel you can call on the staff to ensure all your needs are met.  They will be experts at helping in these situations and can help arrange any added extras you may want.  They will genuinely enjoy being part of your happy moment and reward your confidence in them.

Finally, if your partner is a traditionalist, it is still a popular and appreciated gesture to ask for ‘their hand’, and should score early brownie points with the new in-laws!

Otherwise, be brave and go for it!