The 5 most common marriage proposal mistakes

A marriage proposal is one of the most important moments in your life, so you want to make sure you get it right. At Panic Groom we get to speak to a lot of men preparing to propose, so we’ve pulled together some advice to help you avoid the most common proposal pitfalls.

1. Lack of preparation

Proposing to your girlfriend on impulse is never a good idea. Life is not a race, there is no rush. ‘Marry in haste, repent at leisure’, or so the saying goes. The countless fleeting celebrity marriages seem to prove this old saying to be true, if you don’t already know someone who rushed into marriage and got their fingers burnt.

Getting engaged is worthy of serious consideration and not something to be rushed into. It is a legal commitment as well as a commitment of the heart, so aside from the heartache and cost of a divorce, a wedding is an emotional step that deserves careful consideration. Remember that the day usually ends up involving not just you and your partner, but also your family, close friends and any children involved.

You may want to take the time out to save up and get a really nice Engagement Ring rather than improvising with an inferior piece. For most couples, getting engaged is a lifelong dream, engagement rings and wedding rings are a physical symbol of your love and commitment – you shouldn’t rush your way through it. Some life moments are just too important to be done light-heartedly. If you’re thinking of marriage, then this is obviously a good sign for your relationship and some forward thinking, patience and smart planning will never be seen as a bad decision in marriage or in life.

You may also consider asking her parents for permission and let your parents know of your intentions. It may appear old-fashioned, but her parents will probably see it as a mark of respect and you can show that you are thinking responsibly. Keeping her parents on your side is good manners and the best way to start your life together. Your own parents (especially your dad) have probably been there before themselves and are in a fantastic position to give you any advice and encouragement you may need.

2. Too public?

Nowadays the trend for over the top proposals can seem overbearing but think about what your partner would really want from the proposal. Is she shy? Does she like being the centre of attention? It’s important to consider her before you get too carried away.

Popping the question in front of a full football stadium, getting a local cinema to show your video proposal or putting a giant banner outside her office are all interesting ideas that can be great fun under certain circumstances.

Your girlfriend may feel pressured and even embarrassed, if you put her on the spot in front of friends, colleagues or complete strangers. It could be that she had dreams of a very different, more discreet and romantic proposal. Think long and hard about whether to pop the question in public, rather than in private. If you have a big or zany public proposal in mind and you are questioning it, you should probably reconsider. Follow your instinct, don’t do anything your gut feeling tells you isn’t right. If you’re unsure about your plans, ask a friend or your parents, they will be able to shed some light on your situation and let you know if you are on track.

The moment of your marriage proposal should be memorable. Whether that means an intimate dinner for two or fireworks and marching bands depends on what you think her expectations will be. This is her big moment and your chance to make her dreams come true. Proposing can often be nerve-wracking enough, so don’t add the extra burden of a public proposal if you are not completely sure it is the perfect proposal for you.

3. Indiscretion

If you are planning a surprise proposal make sure you keep it that way! The last thing you will want to do is blow it by giving away the secret. An unguarded word to an untrustworthy friend or colleague, being seen coming out of a high street jewellers or asking the wrong person for help and advice can all lead to your girlfriend finding out about your intentions before the big moment.

For a surprise proposal to really work, you need good planning, a few trusted friends and family and a plan. Do not deviate from it, stick to it. Bear in mind where you have your engagement ring delivered to. You may want to opt to have it delivered to your parents’ house, or your work address and cover all the necessary points. Make sure her friends can help you get her to the restaurant, or airport or wherever you need her to be. Don’t leave buying a ring until the very last minute. It’s her engagement ring, so make sure it is a considered purchase.

A proposal can be ruined by failing to keep your plans a secret. Lots of partners want the big surprise, it’s the stuff of dreams, so use your head wisely and you can be the man of the moment, the king of the proposals, forever.

4. Timing

Make sure that the timing of your proposal is key. Propose too early and your girlfriend may not be ready to get hitched, but leave your engagement proposal too late and she may have started to wonder why it was taking you so long to ‘put a ring on it’.

Consider your life and lifestyle, what type of person your partner is and what plans you both have for the future. If you find yourself unable to gather this information, then in all honesty, you may not be ready and you should continue your contemplation until you are sure.

Would you and your partner want a long engagement or a short engagement? Do you want to get engaged and postpone you wedding plans until she’s got her promotion or until your baby is born or grown? Only you and your partner can answer these important questions, but without this vital information, a badly timed proposal could send your plans awry.

5. The ring

The ring is probably the most important factor of your proposal. Your engagement proposal is a big moment for both of you, but your focus should be on making this the moment of her dreams. If she feels that you have made a real effort to create the right atmosphere – whether by taking her out for a romantic dinner for two or involving dozens of others in your secret preparations – she is far more likely to be wowed.

The ring is your big chance to demonstrate that you have listened to her and understand what the marriage proposal of her dreams looks like. For the vast majority of women that big moment of their dreams includes all the traditional trimmings of an engagement proposal: going down on bended knee, asking her to marry you and surprising her with a jaw-dropping diamond engagement ring.

Get your diamond engagement ring right and you’re well on your way to a successful marriage proposal.

Michael Deluce