Proposing marriage - Make your proposal memorable

So you’re thinking of proposing to her…Just the fact that you’ve come this far says a lot about your relationship. You have decided to spend the rest of your life with this one special woman (we’re taking the sexist approach here and assuming it’s a guy’s prerogative to propose!) You might not be the romantic kind but most men like to take a little extra trouble when it comes to proposing to the woman of his dreams. It's almost like that first interview or a really important exam – you want to give it your best. After all, this is a story that might do the rounds for years to come and when she’s recounting it to your offspring or even their offspring, you do want to come out smelling roses!

Before you start thinking of how you’re actually going to propose and consider some innovative ways of doing it, here are some fundamentals for the novice suitor.

In the unlikely event that you’ve never discussed it before, do at least find out if she’s amenable to the idea of marriage. Since you’ve got this far it's more than likely you know each other well enough, but do try and cover all key issues.

Even the most modern of women like some old-fashioned things. And one of them is asking her father's permission. There’s something very quaint about it and women love the notion that you took the trouble and plucked up the courage to do this.

And from the old fashioned to the traditional. Grace, now married for five years, still resents the fact that her husband Jeremy didn’t go down on bended knee to propose. According to her, "I feel cheated of a special romantic moment." Don’t let it happen to you!

It is often difficult for a man to pick a simple gift for a woman, unless you happen to be particularly good at it. And jewelry is even more mind-boggling. The ring has to be perfect. It’s best not to take chances with this one. So unless you’re absolutely sure of her taste, trick her into revealing it to you. Get a friend of her's to take her on a fantasy shopping expedition of ‘Which-ring-would-I-choose?’ If your lady is fastidious as far as her jewelry is concerned it's best to have all bases covered when it comes to the ring.

Do make it as private, personal and innovative as possible. You may want to shout it from the rooftops but leave that for later. When you do propose, it's probably best to pick a quiet place and choose an appropriate moment. But you know your woman best. If you think she’s one of those who will get a kick from the added attention and drama that a public proposal brings in its wake, do pull out all the stops.

Don’t make the mistake of proposing when you’re still in the initial stages of your relationship. There are some men who are commitment-phobic while there are others who are dying to settle down. If you’re in the latter category, don’t rush into proposing…you may scare her away.

Don’t feel rejected if she says she needs time to think. You may feel slightly dejected that after all your effort and the element of surprise, she didn’t just go with the flow and accept! In fact, this may be an aspect of her personality you never knew – that she likes to take time and weigh her decisions! Be happy you’ve learnt one more side to the woman you’re going to marry, and take heart! If you’ve been right about her, she’ll surely say yes!

1. Proposal Tips

Go all out and plan everything. From what you will wear, to where you will propose, what you will say and all the accompaniments. Do it with panache and flair.

You might wear what you wore on your first date and remind her of it (provided, of course, it still fits) or an outfit you know she adores on you. And while you’re at it, wear your heart on your sleeve! Women just adore men who are transparent about their emotions.

A few proposal/venue suggestions…

2. The site of your first date

There’s nothing more romantic than the place you had your first rendezvous. It brings back so many memories that can only add to another special moment you are going to create in your relationship…asking her to be with you forever!

3. On a holiday

A romantic break for just the two of you is the perfect opportunity to propose. It offers you the isolation and privacy you need to pluck up the guts to propose.

4. At a picnic for two

Kidnap her from her place of work and whisk her off to a secluded spot. Amid the chirping of the birds and serene atmosphere, ask her to be your's.

5. At the top of a ferris wheel

This is a cheap but novel option, especially if your woman has a little girl in her that loves amusement parks and the like.

6. At a romantic dinner for two

This is a tried and true option. It may not be the most innovative approach but you can’t go wrong with this one. Wine and dine her and if you want to really be clichéd, place the ring in the champagne glass but do be alert if she’s not the sip and savor kind. You might end up with an emergency on your hands!

7. With a lavish fireworks display

If she’s the kind who loves to be the cynosure of all eyes make it really spectacular. Let the sparks fly and watch her reaction as you get it done, the way they show it in the movies.

8. The Proposal

"It's only words and words are all I have to take your heart away." So goes a popular song. You may not have a big budget, and can’t afford the luxury of a lavish surprise proposal or a huge solitaire, but if you’ve got a way with words, your proposal is a done deal. Be eloquent or simply speak straight from your heart and she’ll be YOUR'S.

You may want to tell her how very much she means to you, how your life will be meaningless without her in it, the joy she fills you with, how every moment spent with her is special and how you would like to build a lifetime on such moments. This is one occasion when you’ve got to let your heart rule your head!