1. Make sure you’ve found the right person
It sounds obvious to most people, but marriage is not something that you want enter on impulse or with some doubts. Hopefully, you have thought long and hard about your mutual feelings, goals and dreams. You might be crazy for each other, but if she wants children and you don’t, then your marriage may already begin on a shaky foundation. If the two of you have very different values or want different things out of life, then you will probably spend a lot of time arguing. Do some soul-searching before entering this lifelong commitment.
2. Know that timing matters
There is no standard guideline that will tell you when is the best time to “pop the question”, but if you are already thinking about proposing a few weeks after meeting her, then you should slow down. If she is going through a particularly difficult time in life or is stressed with personal matters, it would be best to postpone your proposal until her life becomes a little less overwhelmed. The best time to propose marriage is after you’ve been committed to one another over an extended period of time. Ideally, you should have already talked about marriage and a possible future together and the both of you have a good understanding of what the other is looking for in a long-term partner. However, make sure not to wait too long. A diamond is forever, but she will not wait around that long. If you’re finding it hard to make that commitment, fire up the courage within you and go for it!
3. Keep your plans closely guarded
It only takes one person to “spill the beans”, so if you plan on keeping the proposal a surprise, only tell a select few that you trust with utmost certainty(if you must). It is custom in some cultures to ask for the parents’ blessings before proposing. If you decide on doing this in advance, be sure not to wait too long to propose after. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood is that she may accidentally find out.
4. Give her the ring of her dreams
Some people are very particular about the type of ring they like in terms of style and functionality. Know the type of person that she is and decide in advance whether you want to pick the ring out together or keep it a surprise. If you decide to do the latter, there are many ways of finding out what style diamond and ring she likes without asking her directly. If she has made any comments about specific jewelry while passing by a jewelry store or browsing online, be aware of the style and diamond cut of the item. Pay attention to any jewelry related magazines she has been looking at or has laying around. You can also find clues by looking at the current jewelry she wears or you can even casually ask some of her friends and family that know her best. In either case, you should know how to buy a diamond.
5. Choose a jeweler with a great reputation
Make sure the jeweler you are dealing with has been in business for many years. A ring is a big investment and you want to be comfortable and confident with your purchase. The last thing you need on this joyous occasion is to stress or worry over the ring.
6. Insure the diamond
This is one of the first things you should do after purchasing the engagement ring. If the ring you’ve bought is expensive, you may want to make sure you protect your investment. Most home insurance policies cover up to a certain amount. Find out from an insurance company what it will cost.
7. Stay within your financial capacity
You have a wide range of options when it comes to purchasing an engagement ring and an infinite number of options when it comes to setting the stage for your proposal. You want to impress the woman you love and show her that you care, but at the same time you don’t want to overextend yourself financially, so it is important to reach a delicate balance. How much should you spend you ask? The general accepted guideline for purchasing a diamond engagement ring is two months’ salary. This number may or may not work for you but it’s a good place to begin. Plan in advance to determine what you can afford and then make the right decision.
8. How to set the stage
You need to consider the type of woman that she is when thinking about how and where to propose. Is she a hopeless romantic? Is she bold, unusual or extravagant? Your proposal should reflect this and it should play a part in deciding on whether something intimate and one on one or something more public will win her heart. The place that you decide on should have special meaning to the both of you. It could be the place that you both first met, or somewhere that you’ve both always wanted to be – from your favorite restaurant to the white sanded beaches of Barbados.
9. Expect the unexpected
If you’re planning a wedding proposal during a tropical weekend get away but severe storms makes the trip/moment impossible or if you decided to do it at your favorite restaurant but can’t get a reservation that day, you’ll have to reschedule – or come up with a backup plan. Nothing in life ever happens exactly as we plan it and this is definitely no exception. Think of this as a rehearsal for your wedding which will probably have a surprise or two as well. There’s always the chance that she might say “no”, but don’t get upset. Talk to her and find out what she’s feeling and thinking. Maybe she needs more time or maybe she is not the right girl for you. It’s better to talk things out early on than to end up marrying the wrong person.
10. Announce your engagement and celebrate!
Once she does say “yes”, telling everyone else the good news would naturally be the next thing to do. If you have not already told her parents, make sure you speak with them first. If either of you have any children from a previous marriage; now would also be the time to talk with them if they don’t already know. Also, if either of you have a previous spouse, it would be best to notify them, both as courtesy and to resolve any unsettled legal matters. It is custom to arrange a meeting between her parents and yours soon after getting engaged. Remember to relax, have fun and make it a day to remember for the both of you!