The 5-Step Pre-Planning Process Before Making the Big Ask

Marriage proposals are not an easy thing to pull off. A man must have an idea that is thoughtful, original, and creative. He must put together a plan secretly, and execute it precisely. He must do this without the help of his new fiance, too, as she expects it to be surprised and swept off her feet by his romantic gesture.

There are certain necessary steps for putting together a good game plan, dealing with several moving parts and shifting obstacles, and making sure the proposal vision comes to fruition. Here are the five general rules to pulling off a successful marriage proposal, no matter what your idea is. Make sure these five steps are covered, and everything else will fall into place:

1. Create a project timeline.

I’m the kind of guy that likes to create task lists. It helps clarify my thoughts, and sets up actionable goals that I then take care of along the way. Call a vendor. Call a musician. Buy flowers. Call her friends. Call her father. Things like that. I actually started a project task list 6 weeks in advance of the date that I targeted for the proposal. I tried to keep it flexible, in case things didn’t go according to plan. But I planned for those contingencies as well. It is hard to accomplish tasks if you don’t have the plan written down, and hold yourself accountable.

2. Keep it a secret.

Proposals are better if she has no clue that it’s coming. You can blow her mind with a well-kept secret. She will appreciate all the effort you went through to pull it off, especially without even letting her know about it. That’s a hard thing to do for a guy (especially in my case). Do whatever it takes to throw her off the scent. One tip is on the day when you intend to propose, make it seem like any normal day.

3. Involve her friends.

Girls love weddings and proposals. Her friends will love the fact that you are proposing. They will love you even more if you involve them. Also, girls don’t tell their boyfriends everything. There are certain things the girlfriends know that you don’t know about. So if you are trying to pull of a surprise proposal, you may need a little help from her friends. It’s a good move on your part.

4. Get the minor details right.

The devil is in the details, so they say. Also, girls are better at noticing details than guys are. Point is, she is going to notice. Will you have flowers? Music? What kind? How about the location where you do it? That is an important detail. Whatever it is you do, the point is that you are trying to impress her. Include the things she will notice throughout the proposal.

5. Stay present in the moment.

When the big moment comes, don’t choke. Stay calm. Remember to breathe. Be cool. Sure, you’re heart may be thumping out of your chest, and you’re sweating through your shirt. But don’t let her see that. Make an effort not to divulge your plans by revealing your nervousness. Just concentrate more on the instant than anything surrounding you. It is possible you will have to change your plans because of surrounding circumstances. So stay aware, be cool, and adjust to your surroundings.

The most important elements of a good proposal are a beautiful engagement ring and a thoughtful moment. Think about she wants. Most likely, she doesn’t need a major dramatic moment. She will prefer a quiet, romantic moment for just the two of you. And she will want a beautiful new ring on her finger that she can show off to all of her friends. Get those things right, and the marriage proposal will be a success.

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