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They said yes! How to plan the perfect proposal

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You’ve met the love of your life, you know you want to be with them forever, so it’s time to ask them that all-important question… But how do you craft the perfect proposal? Read on for our top tips on proposal planning – including why hiring a proposal planner could be the best decision you ever make.

Putting together the perfect proposal

The first thing to consider when planning a proposal is when you’re going to ask. According to research by Chillisauce, Valentine’s Day is, unsurprisingly, the most popular day of the year to pop the question, while the time between 24th December and New Year’s Day is when the most number of engagements take place.

Location is also key, and for this you need to consider the personality of your partner – whether they’d love to be surprised in a brand-new location, or whether your proposal would have more meaning if it was done in a familiar, well-loved place.

If your partner would prefer the former then the world is, quite literally, your oyster! You could book a trip away to a romantic destination they’ve always wanted to visit, and surprise them with a proposal on the first day. Or you could opt for popping the question at an iconic landmark such as the London Eye, Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon or the Rialto Bridge – it would certainly create some amazing photo opportunities!

If your partner fits the latter description, consider choosing a place that already has special meaning for you, such as the restaurant where you went on a first date, or the park where you took your first walk together. It will already hold many happy memories and a marriage proposal will add another lovely layer.

But even if you do opt for a more local location, that’s not to say your proposal has to be low-key. As with location, the actual way you do it will depend a lot on the preferences of your partner. Some people would love the moment to be just between the two of you, with a simple “will you marry me?” Others would love a grand gesture: a banner flying from a plane, a flash mob doing a choreographed routine, a treasure hunt with the ring as the final prize. If this is more the type of proposal you’re planning, it could be a good idea to bring in the services of a proposal planner.

What is a proposal planner?

Like a wedding or event planner, professional proposal planners are on hand to help you plan out the perfect proposal, and can turn any idea into beautiful reality.

Whether you have your proposal mapped out already and just need some assistance with executing it, or you’re a bit stuck for creative ideas and could do with some suggestions, a proposal planner is an expert at bringing proposals to life and can help you create a truly unique way of popping the question to your loved one.

Planning a proposal can also be stressful, with a lot of pressure to get it absolutely perfect. Hiring a proposal planner can take this unwanted element away, letting you focus on just asking that all-important question!

Proposal planners started to emerge in the twenty tens, and have since facilitated thousands of epic proposals. There are now proposal planners based all around the world, so wherever you live and wherever you want to propose, you’re sure to find someone who can help you craft the perfect proposal. Emily Andrew is one such professional proposal planner who’s been offering this service for several years. “I’ve worked with a variety of couples,” she reveals, “but it tends to be busy professionals who are looking for something that’s a little bit different and unique.”

Detail is key when you first start working with a proposal planner, says Emily. “It helps enormously if you share lots of information on what your partner loves or hates, what hints they’ve dropped and, of course, their personality. Red roses and Champagne are very lovely but not for everyone!”

Emily also advises knowing your proposal budget in advance. “Even if it’s very rough when you first start talking to a proposal planner, it’s massively useful to know a ballpark figure so they can ensure they’re giving you the best options and suppliers.”

Capturing the moment

After going to all this effort to plan a proposal that your partner can’t say no to, why not hire a proposal photographer to document this milestone? Having a professional on hand at that magical moment is a lovely way to preserve the memories, and you could even extend it into an engagement shoot afterwards.

“The most important thing is to discuss logistics with your photographer,” says Jackie from UK-based Fox and Beau Photography. She recently shot a beautiful proposal at Bristol’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was meticulously planned by her and the proposer, Sam. “We arranged for me to be waiting by the bridge and pretend to take photos of the bridge. As they were walking down, Sam messaged me to let me know they were on their way. As they walked on the bridge, I slowly walked behind them. We had previously agreed that Sam would be kneeling down with his back towards me, so I could capture Lottie’s reaction.” The result are some stunning, candid photos that the couple can treasure forever.

Those all-important proposal finishing touches

You’ve sorted the location, the time, and you’ve got all the main details in place. Now it’s time to consider the final flourishes to complete your perfect proposal.

Have you thought about the ring? A proposal traditionally is accompanied with an engagement ring, but this can be tricky: are you sure you know your partner’s taste well enough and confident that you’ll pick something they’ll love?

“If you’re not sure, talking to your partner’s friends and family can help,” says Jackie. You could also buy a simpler proposal ring, which you then replace with the engagement ring later. “Eco Wood rings has a gorgeous selection of sustainable wooden rings, which are perfect for proposal rings,” suggests Jackie.

Another thing to consider is whether your partner would like you to ask their parents for their blessing before you pop the question. Although this is definitely not a given these days, for some people knowing that you’ve asked mum and/or dad in advance will make it even more special.

You could also extend the proposal to include parents, family and friends. If you know your partner is very close to their mum or dad, siblings or certain friends, and would appreciate having them involved in this special moment, why not arrange for them to be a part of it? Depending on the time of the day you plan your proposal for, you could organise a lunch, dinner or drinks afterwards – you could even plan a full-on engagement party!

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