So you're finally going to "pop the question"

While you probably don't need any help in this department - proposing at the hockey game and having it projected on the Jumbotron is romantic right? - here are a few other suggestions that you also may want to consider:

  1. Select a sentimental location
    For example, it could be the restaurant where you had your first date, the rooftop bar where you shared your first kiss, or the spot where you first said "I love you." Going back to that spot as the setting for your proposal signifies that your relationship has come full circle.
  2. Surprise her by having family and friends share in this moment
    They could be right there with you, perhaps at a family gathering or holiday dinner. Or, if you'd like the proposal to be just the two of you, you could arrange to have your closest loved ones just out of view, maybe looking on from a nearby vantage point. After you pop the question and she says "yes," wave everyone in for a big group hug and lots of congratulations. It's the best of both worlds - you get a lovely, intimate moment alone and then have all of your favourite people there to share in your happiness immediately afterwards.

    Make your proposal part of the Holidays. With friends and family in town for Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years Eve, all of your respective besties will be present for the proposal. And, in the future, the Holiday Season will have even more significance for you as you think back on the time when you got engaged.
  3. Hire a professional photographer
    The photographer can hang out close to your proposal spot and covertly capture amazing photos of your proposal scene. Expert photographers know how to capture the light, make your setting look even more magical and position themselves perfectly to get a priceless shot of the look on her face when she realizes what's happening. It's a big trend now to invest in pro photography — these images are way too important to risk losing via dead camera batteries or other mistakes non-pros might make.
  4. Use music
    Do you have a song that is meaningful to the both of you? Or, does she remember the first song you ever slow-danced to? (You can subtly ask her without giving away your plan.) Having a sweet tune playing in the background elevates your proposal to "unforgettable" status.

    Slow dance. No matter where you are. No matter who’s around, if you’re out at a public spot like a scenic overlook. No matter if there’s music or not. Just pull her close and lead her in a slow dance that will forever last in her memory. Sigh...
  5. Get symbolic with flowers
    Give her a surprise proposal bouquet and arrange floral décor at your proposal site. For a romantic touch, get symbolic with the number of flowers that you use. For example, if you've known each other for ten years, have a ten-rose bouquet made. If you've been together for three years, a three-flower bouquet isn't going to cut it, so how about including one flower for each month that you've been dating? Share the symbolism of your flower choice with her.

    *Bonus! You've got an instant ritual for your marriage! Each year on your proposal or wedding anniversary, you can add another flower to the bouquet instantly transporting her back to this magical moment right here and now.
  6. Propose earlier in the evening
    Instead of proposing at the end of the night, after a romantic dinner, carriage ride, concert, or some other activity, start off at the place where you'll pop the question and then enjoy an evening filled with events that you've planned. That way, you won't be nervous all night. Plus, she gets an entire night of wearing and showing off that engagement ring, right now, rather than having to wait until the next day.
  7. Speak from the heart
    You could plan anything, but it’s the words you say that make your proposal truly one-of-a-kind. Tell her what you love about her, yes, but also tell her when you knew she was The One. If you told your best buddy after your first date that you knew she would be an important person in your life, then add that to your proposal "speech." Then, talk about what you want to share with her in your future together. Whatever you do, don't read word for word from a written speech. You can sound awkward, lose that connection of looking into her eyes, and she might wonder if you found any of those phrases or quotes online. Just jot down some key phrases or things you want to mention on a "cheat sheet" and you'll be fine. Don't forget to breathe! Speak slowly, and if you shed some tears, that just makes it all even more unforgettable.
  8. Show her a video of you asking her parents for their blessing
    If you previously talked to her parents — which is quite proper and gallant of you — let her see that moment as well. You don’t need fancy editing or a soundtrack, although you could design the video that way if you wish! She’ll love being privy to such a meaningful gesture and seeing how respectful you are of her parents (not to mention seeing how excited they are that their daughter is getting married!).

    Bonus! If your girlfriend has kids, show her a video of you asking them if they’d be okay with you proposing to their Mom, or what they would like to have at the wedding. Same goes for your kids. Cuteness abounds!

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