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As Lizzo says, it’s cuffing season. And all jokes aside, if you’ve made the decision to ask your partner for their hand in marriage, I’m sure you’re trying to figure out how to best pop the question. Whether or not your significant other has made comments regarding how they’d like to get engaged, there are a lot of factors to consider when planning a surprise proposal. Read on to discover some things to keep in mind and tips as you plan your proposal!

  1. Have you discussed marriage with your partner? Gotta get this one out of the way first- are you both on the same page? Making sure your partner is ready for the commitment will help you sort out your nerves prior to the proposal, and will save you a lot of time, money and potentially heartbreak if they aren’t ready to take that next step. Generally, only you and your partner know if you’re ready to take that next step, but it’s a good idea to talk about non-negotiables, marriage, having a family, finances and other topics prior to getting engaged.

  2. Decide on a location. Maybe there’s a really special spot where you two shared your first kiss, or maybe you first saw each other at a Razorback game and you want to commemorate that moment when everything changed. Think about where you’d like to propose, and what it says about you as a couple. It’s also important to keep in mind whether you want a more public or private place, or if you want to invite friends or family to be there.

    For example, my husband and I are mystery lovers and he proposed to me at an escape room with all my friends and family around. It was absolutely perfect and unexpected! Other couples may be more introverted and might enjoy a moment alone on a private hike or in a pretty garden, or even at your grandparent’s lake house. It can be as casual or as formal as you like!

  3. Casually plan a day around the proposal. A few weeks before, mention to your partner that there’s a hike you’ve really wanted to go on or a restaurant you’ve wanted to try. A few days after, make plans to go on the hike together or grab a drink with friends. The trick is to not be overly persistent or else you may spark their attention and suspicion! It’s also good to act nonchalant a few days before, so they have no idea. Don’t forget to hide that ring with a friend or someplace they won’t find it and erase any browser history related to engagement rings, surprise proposal tips (like this page!) and articles on how to propose.

  4. Have a backup plan! What if it rains or your partner doesn’t feel well? It’s important to have a backup plan just in case you’re unable to get to the location or complete the activity prior to the proposal. For example, maybe the overlook you both love is closed but there’s a pretty waterfall nearby! Hiring a photographer who knows the area well will help ensure you have a gorgeous backdrop to enjoy with your partner, which brings me to number 5….

  5. Invite a photographer! This is just my personal opinion, but a lot of people like to have their proposal captured! It’s great to have a memory of what happened and how they felt, and professional photos are a great way to announce your engagement! Plus, most photographers will also take a few photos of just you two together after the proposal that you can use for engagement announcements or save the dates!

  6. Relax and get ready to be engaged! Planning an activity prior to the proposal can help you stay relaxed as you lead up to the big moment. When you’re ready, get down on one knee (or not!) and tell your partner how much you care about them and how excited you are to move forward in life together.


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