The Best Ways to Propose During the Holidays
Because Santa isn't the only one with a trick up his sleeve.
If there’s one thing you can count on this holiday season, it’s a flurry of wedding proposals. According to a Facebook study of users, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve are three of the four most popular days of the year to get engaged. So, if you’ve landed on the when, but need help with the how, we’ve got some ideas.
From tips on the best lighting to ways to catch your loved one by total surprise, we’ve compiled advice from experts. While there’s no guarantee you’ll receive a yes, these will sure as heck give you a leg up and a story you can tell for decades to come. For signs your hubby is planning a holiday proposal, check out these 15 Dead Giveaways He’s About to Propose.
Keep It Private
“Whatever setting you choose, a sense of being the only two in the room is ideal,” says Chris Tag, owner of jewelry store Pompeii3. “This will make the moment intimate and allow your partner to react more naturally,” he explains. Then, you get to recount it to your relatives at the next holiday gathering—letting you relive the magic moment over, and over, and over again.
Make Sure The Sun Is Shining
“A diamond ring will be at its height of sparkle during the daytime outside,” explains Alicia Davis, the vice president of merchandise at jeweler Shane Co. For a winter proposal, she recommends any time before 4 in the afternoon, depending on location. Just make sure your partner has time to admire their new jewelry “with plenty of sparkle for that first ring selfie!”
When Indoors, Windows Are Key
“If you’re proposing somewhere indoors, be sure the location has tons of windows for natural light,” says Davis. Once again, it’s about sparkle. “We even encourage you to get as close to the window as possible.” Just make sure the window is facing the right direction before you pop the question.
Take Your Partner’s Idea And Run With It
“Catching your loved one off guard with a proposal can be tricky if you start suggesting doing things that are not in line with your typical couple routine,” explains Daulton Van Kuren, owner of The Refined Host, an event planning company. “If you want to stay under the radar, listen to your partner and take into account what they suggest doing for a fun outing,” he recommends. The last thing they’ll be anticipating during a date night they helped plan is the surprise in store when you pop the question.
Get A Photographer
“Hiring a photographer to capture the proposal as it happens can be an added bonus,” says Van Kuren. “Odds are that you both will be so caught up that you may not remember each and every detail, so having photos to see the moment unfold can be very special to reflect on in the years to come.”
If you don’t think your photographer can stay hidden, you can also pop the question during a pre-planned photoshoot for the two of you. Just tell your loved one you want to take some images for next year’s holiday card.
Make Sure They’re Prepared
“Wherever you set your loved one up, my biggest tip would be to make sure they are dressed up for it,” says Saadia Kibriya, owner of Kismet Event Design. “Believe me, they won’t forgive you if they don’t feel or look pretty during one of the most pivotal moments in your relationship,” she warns.
Bring Hand Warmers
“If you expect it’ll be extra chilly and they’ll be in gloves, bring hand warmers with you,” says Davis. That way, they won’t have to put their gloves back on after they—hopefully!—say yes. “They’ll want to stare at you and their new engagement ring as much as possible,” she explains.
Choose A Meaningful Location
“It is all about location,” says Van Kuren. “You want to choose a location that is meaningful to you as a couple, since this will help to further reinforce how far you have come together.” There are plenty of good options: your new home, your favorite restaurant, or a memorable vacation spot are just a few Van Kuren suggests.
Make Christmas Morning Your Backdrop
“For the perfect holiday proposal, pop the question next to the stunning tree lights on Christmas morning,” says Tag. “Preferably before anyone else in the house is awake to make it a romantic and private moment.”
When the rest of the troop arrives, they’ll have more to be surprised about than the abundance of gifts.
Take Advantage of Decorations
“There are so many magical places around this time of year with twinkling lights, garland, ribbon, and decor adorning neighborhoods, downtown squares, and parks,” says Tag. Take the opportunity to bring your loved one on a special outing, then “propose in a beautiful gazebo or park bench that’s been decorated for the holidays.”
Just remember that whatever place you choose will “ultimately become your spot,” so pick wisely, Tag urges.
Get Down On One Knee At A Tree Farm
“Propose during sunset at a tree farm,” recommends Jeannie Assimos, a relationship expert at eHarmony. While the golden hour will make sure your photos come out perfect, the surrounding Christmas trees will make the whole thing holiday-centric. Plus, the trees will afford quite a bit of privacy in the moment. Afterwards, “surprise them with their family in the parking lot,” Assimos says. They’ll never suspect a thing.
Stay Out Of The Shade
While proposing surrounded by Christmas trees is a great idea, you need to be careful to avoid shade, says Davis. You want to “utilize as much as light as possible,” both for the ring’s sparkle and your subsequent photos. Of course, if there’s snow around, that’ll make things even better, as it will reflect more light onto you and your partner.
Prepare Post-Proposal Family Time
“With the holiday season being one to celebrate with family and close friends, hosting a dinner or party to celebrate the engagement with loved ones will be the cherry on top of a perfect proposal,” says Van Kuren. After you pop the question, lead your partner to a restaurant (or to a fully-set table at home) where your loved ones await. “Bonus points if you can surprise your partner twice in one night,” he adds.
Switch An Ornament With A Ring
For an added surprise, slip the ring into the Christmas tree, says celebrity relationship expert Vikki Ziegler. “Place the ring where there is a small space where an ornament should be hanging, then place an ornament on the floor as though it fell off,” she explains. Point out the fallen ornament and ask them to put it back on the tree. When they do so, they will find the ring “and you can pop the question right then and there.”
Wait Until The Clock Strikes Midnight
“Propose as the clock hits midnight on NYE,” recommends Assimos. Given that you’re likely celebrating the holiday with family or friends, doing so will ensure loved ones are nearby to share in the joy. Not to mention, she says, it’s “a perfect excuse to get that New Year’s kiss.”
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