National proposal Day is here! Dating expert Darren from share some tips on the Dos and Don’ts of planning your proposal.

If you’re thinking about proposing, congratulations! Having worked in online dating for the best part of 10 years I know a fair share of people who’ve gone on to get hitched after meeting online, and I’ve heard a lot of stories about the day of the proposal ranging from cringe to perfection. I’m here to share the experiences in order to ease your mind or possibly spark some ideas of your own:

DON’T…fall victim to the wild proposals you might find on online

While looking for inspiration online is a great first step, don’t be fooled into thinking you need a proposal to be extreme to be heartfelt and perfect for you. Bear in mind that the Youtube or Instagram proposals you watch are often professionally shot, edited or might even be completely staged. I certainly wouldn’t want to belt out a ballad after performing in a flash mob swarmed by hundreds of family and friends!

DO…remember the proposal is typically just a moment for you and your partner

Usually, your wedding day will be the time to celebrate your nuptials with all your friends and family, and you can always organise an engagement party after the proposal. Spare yourself the worries about how your friends or family will think or retell the story – it’s about you, no them.

DON’T…go overboard with taking selfies during your proposal

But make sure you capture the moment with a happy snap or memento. Take something from the day to remember the moment will bring back the memory; a wine bottle, receipt, postcard, room key, strawberry stalk along with a classic photo.

IDEA – A friend I spoke to hired a photographer to take photos of his proposal without his partner even noticing. He planned an outside proposal, so the photographer wasn’t conspicuous, and gave the photos as a gift on their wedding day as a thoughtful gesture.

DON’T…panic about the traditional route of talking to your partner’s father

This is a decision for you, so simply use your own judgement in deciding whether to discuss your plans. Make a list of the realistic possible outcomes for your options, and make a well thought out and rational decision. If your partner is close to her father then asking him is a romantic gesture that they will both appreciate (bonus points if he is bald and scary looking), this will earn you brownie points!

IDEA – Take a pic of you and father in law together once you’ve asked, this makes for a great keepsake. If the closeness with her father isn’t there, then asking her mother might also be a nice touch.

DO…make the location of your proposal personal

Think about your first kiss, the first time you held hands in the woods, told each other you loved each another or someplace special to your partner or you both.

DON’T…shout about your proposal before the deed is done

I’m firmly in the camp that the moment is only for the two of you. You can Instagram the pics and call your parents after, but keeping it intimate makes the moment more special; half the excitement is telling people the news later. I’ve heard my fair share of proposals that went wrong due to a stray mouth or two, so don’t run the risk unless you absolutely have to.

DO…get down on one knee

I did a quick whip round and asked 20 women their opinion, the resounding answer was yes, getting down on one knee is a romantic and essential part of the occasion!

DON’T…forget the ring

The same 20 people also said without a doubt that you 100% have to have a ring. I have spoken to men that have proposed with empty boxes with the promise to take their fiancé shopping for the perfect ring – a poor excuse! Nowadays you can exchange rings, so pick what you think is best (yes, it’ll be hard) and make sure the retailer is ok with you swapping if necessary – the thought that goes into choosing won’t be lost.

DO…Make sure you have a plan

Give yourself every chance to make it perfect. Tell your partner why you want to get married and flatter them. This is your chance to make your partner feel like the only person in the world. You don’t get a second chance, so make it special and aim for tears of joy! Play your partner’s favourite songs, wear their favourite scent, strategically place colours and flowers and create an all-encompassing experience.

It’s easy to overthink planning a proposal, but you know your partner better than anyone, so fill the moment with memories and special touches and you can’t go wrong. The act of asking her to marry you will always be the pinnacle, anything else is a bonus.

Read The Four Things To Consider Before You Propose and discover how long it usually takes a couple to go from First Date To Proposal!