It was a gorgeous spring evening. As we sat in the approaching twilight, she asked, “Do you want to get married?” Now… that’s a proposal if I’ve ever heard one. And being smarter than the average bear I said, “Yes.” Then in an instance of true wisdom I promptly turned the tables and asked her to marry me.
At GEPR we’re in the midst of wedding season. For three months we’ve been setting tents and renting everything from arches to wine glasses. And it’s not slowing down for at least a couple of months.
According to WeddingWire.com – “Summer is also engagement season. Winter is still the peak time for engagements, but 24% of proposals happen between June and August.” I know it’s true. In just the past week, I’ve had fourteen inquiries about weddings for 2016. They’re newly engaged and they’re ready to get the process going and get that wedding done! As soon as they’re engaged a good number of new bride-to-be’s start planning right away (some have been planning for years!)
A proposal of marriage is an event… be it short and sweet, or elaborately staged. One person hopefully asks another person for their hand in marriage. Hoping, even when sure of one’s love, that she’ll say “Yes.” And when she does, you’ve officially moved into a new relationship… engaged. There are traditions, rituals… certain expectations that go hand in hand with a proposal. Most often an engagement ring is involved in the asking, or is promptly sought, after finding out the answer.
It has been traditional for the man to do the asking, quite often on bended knee, and somewhere along the timeline he slips the ring upon her finger. That “bended knee” business… is that a surrender? Or an act of prayer? Or is it just simplifying the position to slip a ring on her finger? Whatever it may be, it should come across as more than an offer… it is a step of commitment. According to a study done by The Knot and Men’s Health… “76 percent of men believe they should go down on a bent knee to propose. Many women find it appealing for a man to propose on one knee. The message behind the gesture can be that the man is offering himself wholeheartedly to the woman, without reservations, elevating her to an exalted position in their relationship, and offering her the choice to determine the course of their relationship.”
Often, we would like the whole thing to be a surprise… I’ve often wondered if that is intended subconsciously to keep one’s intended from coming up with all sorts of reasons to say, “No.”
As our culture changes, so too, many of the traditions and rituals we’ve long associated with a wedding do change… but, the proposal, the asking, will most probably never go away, and probably won’t get any less nerve wracking. FYI – I certainly would have loved skipping asking her father for permission…
The internet is constantly being filled with new and creative ways people find to propose to the one they love. Check out The Knot for some creative ways to make an offer she can’t refuse. Hey, you could always create a meme proposal…
Still, the question begs to be asked, “How do you say it?” Do you just blurt it out? Do you write an essay? A script? Do you have enough friends to do a flash mob?
No matter how you choose to do it, it should come from the heart. In a proposal you are professing in a tangible way your love and devotion. Your desire to make a lifelong commitment. Short, scripted, simple, or elegant… it should be your expression, your words… it should be you.
That being said… it doesn’t hurt to find how others have said what you want to say and work off their words. Both will remember what was said and how it was said for a long, long time. Sometimes we laugh, occasionally we get misty eyed, but it is such a life changing event… we remember it.
Sometimes I wished I’d said something like… “There are many ways to be happy in this life, but all I really need is you.” Or…
“Let’s make a plan. Ten years from tonight, we’ll tell our children the story of how I proposed to you.”
This probably is closer to the truth… “You deserve the very best, would you settle for me instead?”
Of course I could have relied on the good doctor to help… “’You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams’ (Dr. Seuss) – would you help make all my dreams come true?”
I must confess I wasn’t remotely original, I wasn’t creative, truth be known I didn’t know what I was doing.
Oh, and she said, “Yes.”
And, no, I didn’t go to Jared’s… I went to Page/Parsons…