Few times of the year are as perfect for proposing as New Year’s Eve. Not only is the air still full of Christmassy magic, but the sky is full of fireworks and everyone is looking ahead to the future. So, if you’re thinking about getting one of your knees dirty anytime soon, capitalise on this ideal time with ideas from match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor.
The perfect proposal doesn’t have to be show-stopping or expensive, it just has to be thoughtful, personal and heartfelt. Ideally, you’d have a ring. If you’d rather choose a ring with your fiancée, then it’s acceptable to use another piece of jewellery as a stand-in. For example, a locket engraved with the date and your names would be lovely, or a watch. This way, your partner can choose the ring with you later, and keep the jewellery as an additional tear-jerker too.
Preparing a little speech is adorable and can help calm your nerves, but don’t read from a script. Memorise any special lines you want to say (print them out and give them to your fiancée later on), but really, just speak from the heart.
Choose The Right Place
Picking the right proposal place is important, but don’t feel you need to whisk your partner off to the top of the Eiffel Tower if your budget is low. Taking them back to the place where you first met is equally charming. What you’re looking for is a romantic atmosphere. A party can be great, but it’s usually nicer to share a proposal quietly. Take your partner away from the crowds and create a moment just for you. Then you can walk back into the venue as an ecstatic engaged couple and share your good news with your friends or family.
Create a Memory Album
Buy a pretty photo album or have a photograph book made up and printed online. Fill it with memories of the times you’ve shared together – photos, ticket stubs, letters, snippets from emails… Write funny, sweet captions to go on every page. On the final page, write your proposal.
Grab the last remaining 2011 calendar and write your favourite memories of the past year you’ve shared together on key dates you remember. Include lots of detail – on each other’s birthday, write down why it was so special to you, and include photos, doodles and comments. Fill the whole year with personal memories. Give it to your partner, and ask them if they’d make every year in the future equally as wonderful, by marrying you.
If you don’t mind paying for a pricey set menu – and sharing your moment with a room full of delighted, merry onlookers – a restaurant can be a lovely New Year’s Eve proposal setting. Make it more magical by choosing a place you visited with your partner on a meaningful early date, and pop in beforehand to ask the manager to help you make it perfect. You’re looking for a lovely table in a quiet corner, and plenty of champagne. If you feel you’re going to get nervous, propose before you go. That way, you can relax and spend the meal happily discussing plans for your big day.
Dinner at home
Creating a memorable proposal at home is all about creating a romantic setting. Cook a meal you know your partner loves (or get a friend to help you), but make sure its something simple that doesn’t need lots of last-minute attention. Focus on dressing the room and the table. Candles, flowers, rose petals, “your song” playing softly in the background – it all helps to create a memorable atmosphere.
This kind of proposal is becoming more and more popular, and if you’re thinking about popping the question on New year’s Eve the good news is that you still have time to get organised. Some talented webmasters create whole sites devoted to asking their partner to marry them, and sneakily use a webcam to record their partner’s face as they read the site. Sweet! If you like the idea of this route, think about creating a music video of photographs set to a song your partner loves and upload it to YouTube, finishing with the question “Will you marry me?” If you met online, you could include extracts from your partners online dating profile that you loved or emails you exchanged to help tell the story of how you fell for one another.
If you’ll be at home by your Christmas tree on New Year’s Eve, you can still get creative when it comes to proposing. Why not hang little heart-shaped gift tags on the branches, with messages saying all the things you love about your partner? At the top of the tree, hang the ring in its little box.
Above all else, remember that the countdown to the new year is the loveliest moment of New Year’s Eve so capitalise on it. As everyone counts down the last seconds of 2011, grab your partner and list the top 3 reasons why you love them. On the stroke of midnight, propose. It’s simple and sweet – and perfect.