Planning the Perfect Proposal: A Guide for Guys Who Want to Get It Right
A proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so you gotta nail it. Like many other parts of life, there are six important elements of a wedding proposal—the who, what, when, where, how, and why. Let’s run through each one to help you plan the perfect proposal, shall we, Prince Charming?
First up, who (or is it whom? we never know) is involved in the wedding proposal? Well, duh, obviously you and your significant other. But it may not be that simple. Sometimes the perfect proposal can involve more people than just you two lovebirds. Family, friends, and even pets can help you pull off your dream proposal (more on this later).
Also, you may want to hire a professional photographer. You need to remember this special day forever, and what better way then a pro photographer to show off your good side? Not to mention, you’ll get a ton of use out of proposal photos. They’ll look great on your save the dates and invitations, and you can use them as decor at any pre-wedding functions and the wedding itself.
But this one is completely up to you, bro. The whole wedding process is super-expensive, and some people don’t want to shell out money when they don’t really “have” to. If you don’t pay for a pro, make sure you have someone there to take pics—someone who’ll remember to take the lens cap off. Of course, anybody with an Instagram page and smartphone can be a photographer, today, and you’ll definitely need some photos to help commemorate this awesome event.
So, what exactly are you doing here? Proposing marriage, duh! Seems pretty self-explanatory. But what will you use to propose? That’s right … a ring! But, first, let’s get something clear. You’ve probably heard the terms engagement and wedding ring or band used interchangeably, but they aren’t technically the same. Engagement rings are given to the bride-to-be at the proposal while wedding rings or bands are worn by both the bride and groom throughout their marriage. Engagement rings likely feature one badass and dazzling stone very prominently, but there are a bunch of different styles out there.
Lots of dudes love to find rings that complement each other. Makes sense, right? Things just go better in pairs, after all. Peanut butter and jelly, Jordan and Pippen ... you get the point. The colors, styles, materials, and more can play to the other ring’s strengths and put on a show on your finger. The wedding band is used to replace the engagement ring after the wedding, but it’s becoming more and more popular to wear them both at the same time. It’s your call, bro.
If you want to find the perfect wedding or engagement ring, allow us to help. Wedding rings for men used to be available in just solid gold, but now there are TONS of other options. May we recommend our Couples Collection? These rings look great individually but, when combined, oh man! They look GREAT.
But that’s not all we offer. We have rings of all different colors, sizes, materials, and styles. Diamond, titanium, black zirconium ... you name it. You can even create your own custom-ordered ring and combine different materials! Add a sleeve, inlay, or another design and maybe throw an engraving on there. No matter what you want, Manly Bands has a ring for you.
When is the perfect time to pop the question? This is an excellent question and, much like those super-annoying open-ended questions in school, it doesn’t really have one right answer. December is actually the most popular month to get engaged. Makes sense if you think about it. The holidays, snow, and all that stuff are super-romantic and help make for the perfect proposal. Popping the question in December also gives you enough time to plan for a wedding during peak wedding season (May to October).
The holiday season isn’t the only option. Valentine’s Day is another popular time to propose. It is the most romantic day of the year, and what says “I love you” better than a shiny new engagement ring? Birthdays are also super-common for proposals. Turn an already special day into an even more special one by popping the question and giving them the best birthday gift ever!
It doesn’t matter when you plan on proposing, but you gotta plan it out in advance. There might be some working parts like travel accommodations, dinner reservations, or tickets to an event that you gotta figure out beforehand.
Probably—no, definitely—the most important part of planning a proposal? You gotta make sure you order the ring far enough in advance that it’ll be there for the big day. We’ve all been guilty of procrastinating (anybody else remember staying up all night to write those term papers the day before?), but this is one thing you can’t put off. Not having a ring for your planned proposal would really put a damper on what should be an awesome day.
Where do you want to pop the question? There are tons of romantic spots out there, and we’re here to help you find the right one. Picking the location can feel overwhelming, at first, so let’s run through some of your options, bro.
Ask yourself if you want to travel. A couple’s getaway can be the perfect time and place to propose, and there is no shortage of romantic vacation spots around the world. You can head on up to the city that never sleeps and pop the question at Rockefeller Center. What about proposing on the sandy beaches in Hawaii? Or you can jet across the pond to Europe, a region known for its romance. Imagine proposing in Santorini, Venice, or Paris. You’ll create the memory of a lifetime!
But, we gotta warn you, dude. A big trip for your dream proposal like that may not be possible. There’s a lot that goes into planning it. You’ll have to book flights and hotels, make restaurant reservations, purchase any tickets to events, and pretty much plan an entire vacation itinerary.
Any number of things could stand in the way—maybe you can’t get that much time off work, maybe you can’t find room in your budget, maybe there’s a pandemic going on—whatever. It’s not the end of the world.
If you’re still set on traveling, take a weekend road trip somewhere. It’s much easier to swing logistically, and it can be just as romantic. Head on up to a cabin in the mountains for some skiing, drive to your nearest favorite beach, or find somewhere else romantic that’s a quick drive away.
In fact, you don’t have to travel AT ALL for your perfect proposal. There are sure to be some excellent spots right there in your hometown. You could go out for a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant and pop the question. It’ll create an even stronger bond to a place you love, right, bro? When planning the proposal, you’ll find out pretty quickly that the “when” and “where” elements of the proposal are pretty intertwined. If you want to travel, lots of vacation spots are much better during certain times of the year.
Let’s say you want to pop the question in front of the big Christmas tree downtown after a romantic ice-skating date (think Rockefeller Center in New York City, but this can apply to pretty much any downtown area). You’ll have to pick a date and time in the winter when you know the tree will be lit up.
Or what if you want to propose on a beautiful snow-covered mountainside? Well, make sure you go during the winter when there will be snow. And make sure that it’s autumn if you want to propose in a beautiful wooded area surrounded by fall foliage. Or summer if you’re somewhere warm and on the beach … you get the point.
Here’s another good idea. You could always pick a nostalgic location. Think about where you guys first met, had your first date, took your first vacation, or were at some other spot that has played an important role in your relationship. Well, proposing there would make it even more memorable, right, bro? The nostalgia element can help take an already special proposal to the next level.
This is the big one. HOW are you gonna propose? This is where you can get creative. There are endless ways to propose in a romantic way that will leave your significant other speechless. Remember earlier how we said your friends, family members, and pets may be involved in the dream proposal? Well, dude, they’re gonna be super-helpful throughout this whole process. First, look to them for guidance. Lots of them have been through this same exact thing earlier in their lives, so they can offer some help. Learn what they did right and, just as importantly, wrong, so you can pop the question perfectly. It’s comforting to hear others’ thoughts, especially if you’re feeling a little stressed about this whole process.
And we wouldn't blame you for feeling stressed at all, man. This is a big deal. But they've been there for you your entire life, so why would they stop now? If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also talk to your significant other’s friends and family. They’ll know what your other half will want in their dream proposal, so you can plan accordingly.
Now, on to the big event. Your friends and family aren’t there for JUST guidance and question-answering. They can help you out with the actual proposal. Let’s say you want to organize a surprise proposal. You could have a friend bring your partner somewhere romantic where, unbeknownst to them, you’ll be waiting on one knee for the surprise of a lifetime. Or maybe they can hold some signs or balloons that spell out “Marry me”?
These are just jumping-off points to help you get started. Oh. One other way they can help? Have them find out your partner’s ring size beforehand. This way, the ring will slide on their finger perfectly and you won’t give away beforehand (literally) any of the surprise (if there is one). And what about your furry friend? If you want to play the cute angle, get your pet involved in the proposal. You can attach the ring to its collar and have it jog over … we can hear the “awwws” already.
If you’re struggling to get in touch with your inner creative side, there are some tried and true methods. Put the ring in a glass of champagne at a romantic dinner or get down on one knee after a long hike surrounded by nature. The hits are the hits for a reason, and one of these is sure to wow your partner.
Proposals leave lots of room for creativity, bro. They aren’t black and white. There’s lots of gray area. Do something super-creative or keep it basic … it’s up to you to read the room—errr—your partner. The destination is the same, but the journey is different for everybody. At the end of the day, be sure to keep your significant other’s interests in mind when planning a proposal. It is just as much their moment as yours, and you want it to be the proposal of both of your dreams.
Throughout this entire process, never forget why you are proposing … because you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The proposal is just another step in your lifelong journey of love … awww. And, with this helpful guide, you’re gonna get it right, dude. Trust us. You’re a rockstar. You’re gonna nail it. And if you have any questions about rings, proposals, or anything else, check out the FAQ page or holler at us directly. We’re always here to help.