Today I was asked to appear on BBC Radio Suffolk's lunchtime show with Georgina Wroe to talk all about wedding proposals. With Valentine's Day soon approaching, many guys and girls will, as I write this, be planning their proposals to their loved ones and so I thought that it would be apt to share my top 5 proposal tips for those preparing to pop the question.
1. Don't sweat the ring thing
If you ask your dad he'll probably tell you that you need to "spend one month's wages" on an engagement ring. Well times have changed and I believe it is more about the sentiment behind the ring than the price tag. What's important that whatever ring you do choose, it doesn't leave you in a ton of debt, making it all a worry hanging over you, so work within your means.
If you're not 100% sure on the type of ring your other half would love, not to worry. Many actual proposals are performed with a placeholder ring, usually a more inexpensive purchase that can be used for that special moment and then, once he or she has said 'Yes', you can continue your celebrations by going ring shopping together, to pick out THE perfect ring.
Alternatively, if you really want to buy a ring for the proposal that is going to be the real deal, you need to have a pretty good idea of your partner's likes and dislikes before you make your purchase. Why not take them shopping for new earrings or a new watch in the run up to your proposal and whilst in the Jewellery store, start up some subtle conversations like 'you've gotta see how much this ring costs' and direct them over to the ring counter. 9 times out of ten, they'll start talking about which pieces in the display they like and dislike and voila! you have a better idea of where to go next.
2. Get old school with the parents
It may seem a little old fashioned to some, but if its possible to do so, asking the permission of your partner's parents is still a really cool thing to do. It says to their family that you really respect them and once you're happily engaged, your partner will be thrilled that you took the time to do so. Just ensure that any overly excited mums swear to secrecy about your plans before you leave, you don't want the cat to be let out of the bag before you actually pop the question.
3. Location, Location, Location
When it comes to picking the location for your proposal, make sure that the setting is a good match for your partner. If they're quite reserved, popping the question during the half time announcements at your favourite football team's stadium is probably not a good idea. At the end of the day, you want your partner to be comfortable in the environment so that they can enjoy every moment, so make sure you pick somewhere that's perfect for their personality
4. Slow it down & take a breath
When it comes to that special moment, it can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people. So when you're expressing how you feel, try to slow things down, take your time and speak from the heart. Whether you prepare your speech or choose an off the cuff approach, taking your time with the moment and not mumbling or rushing what you have to say will be so much more effective and will really mean a lot to your partner. Top tip time! For a really nice touch, address him or her in their full name for maximum effect. There's something about saying 'Jane Elizabeth Cooper' in full, before you pop the question what will make them go truly weak at the knees.
5. Don't compare yourself to the rest of the world
In an age where some pretty extravagant proposals are passed between friends via Youtube and Facebook, we can sometimes be really hard on ourselves to compete with what others are doing. It's important to remember that however you choose to propose, you remember the reasons behind you doing so. The fact of the matter is that this person loves you for being you, so when it comes to that all important moment, don't be someone you're not, don't get into a ton of debt planning it and don't build it up in your head so much it just ends up stressing you out. From a proposal in your PJ's with a Haribo ring to a moonlight stroll on a desert island beach, do what feels right for you and good luck.
Once you're all engaged and everything, you'll need an awesome wedding photographer, so feel free to get in touch via http://www.rossdeanphotography.com I'd love to hear YOUR proposal story.