5 Ingredients for the Perfect Proposal

proposals
Sarah DeShaw Photography

There’s no denying it — the first snow has fallen in the northeast, Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas decorations have been up for a while now. Proposal season is upon us! *Cue the excitement.*

So for this season, we thought we’d help all those guys and gals out there looking to propose with some tips from an expert in the biz of making dreams come true. Enter Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner™ from Brilliant Event Planning. We asked Pease what she thought were the five most important elements of a perfect proposal.

1. It has to be thoughtful and personal. Pease recommends that when you first start brainstorming ideas to “write down a list of anything your partner loves — from music to food, travel locations to fashion designers — and using that as a jumping off point for inspiration.”

2. There should be an element of surprise. If it’s too predictable, it ruins the excitement. And, “more than 75% of women agree that the ‘surprise factor’ is important in a marriage proposal.”

3. Document the moment. “You should document the proposal, either with a hidden photographer or by jotting down notes in a journal immediately afterwards.” No matter what you think, it will go by in a flash, so having photos or a note will help when you want to look back on the moment.

4. Details, details, details! The smallest thing can make a proposal memorable. “I guide each client through a detailed Q&A session to help us learn as much as we possibly can about their unique love story. Their proposal design is inspired by what we learn in that session, along with photos and other mementos that they provide to us. All of this is designed to draw out even the the tiniest details about their significant other.” In other words, from knowing your partners favorite vintage of wine, to a favorite pet when they were young and even remembering what they were wearing on your first date, can all play into planning a tear-jerking, jaw-dropping marriage proposal.

5. Prepare for changes. When it comes to planning something so special, you should always prepare for the worst. “What if there’s bad traffic? What if it rains? What if she/he has to work late? Etc. When it comes to proposals, every great story requires some preparation.”

So, now you have it, folks. Go forth and plan your very own perfect proposal. And tell us how it happens here!

> 50 romantic ways to propose

> Our favorite proposal videos

> Quiz: What’s her proposal style?