Monday, September 5, 2011

Dilemma: Should I Propose in Front of Her Family & Friends?

Your friends over at have recently launched an awesome new version of their site where brides and grooms can ask wedding questions and receive advice from a community of experts. today we’re sampling one of their hot topics pertaining to casual weddings. today, we’re sampling a user question on whether or not the groom should pop the question in front of friends and family.

Boy meets girl. Boy dates girl. Boy falls in love with girl… and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. So he saves up, does research, and buys the perfect engagement ring. Things are going great, (he’s pretty sure she’ll say yes), but there’s just one VERY important detail that needs to be planned—the proposal, of course! Even if you know what you’re going to say, don’t underestimate there where/when/how—any girl will tell you that proposals are a big deal (asking someone to marry you and be your wife is no small feat)! Just take a look at all of the “proposal fail” videos on YouTube—asking in the wrong environment (or at the wrong time) can be downright deadly, embarrassing, or just plain awkward for your future bride.

Here’s one common dilemma prospective grooms often face: Is it appropriate to propose in front of her family/friends? Better yet, is it a good idea? We got that very question from one concerned groom-to-be. Marty W. asked, “Should I propose in front of her family/friends? And should I let them know I’m planning on asking? (I’m pretty sure she’s going to say yes, btw, so no worries!) I was thinking it would be nice if they all came out afterwards and we could go out and have a celebratory dinner. Advice?”

Good question, Marty. We headed to our community to see how engaged couples, expert wedding professionals and married couples were responding—with lots of helpful proposal tips:

Right off the bat, one former groom (now a married man) Dan L . recommended making the proposal mostly private—no family or friends—since it’s a lot of added pressure. Except for maybe a photographer “covertly hidden taking a photo or video of when you get down on one knee”, you really shouldn’t need anyone else there but you or her. And the photo/videos are just a mere suggestion to please her oh-so-curious and excited family (trust us, when she calls them, they’ll want details of absolutely everything—the proposal, the ring, what she said, if she cried, what you said, etc). Just make sure your bride-to-be is the type who loves documenting all of her important life events—you definitely won’t want to use this idea if she’ll find it creepy!

Looking for the perfect balance of a personal proposal (but still want to keep her family in the loop?), take a smart tip from one of our experts, Julie Pryor, who had the perfect solution to this question-popping conundrum. When it comes to proposals, Julie suggested a personal proposal (with “just the two of you”) and then a “celebration with her family for later in the evening or the next day”—a great way to have her family to feel like they were part of their daughter AND future-son-in-law’s intimate moment, without actually having them there! Great idea, Julie.

If you feel like her family would still like to be involved, consider having them hide and wait somewhere (a restaurant, another location, etc) – then when you and your newly engaged fiancĂ©e come in, all of you can celebrate together!

In the end, though, we agreed with Roxanna, a user who stressed that it really depends on the girl. She brought up some great points: “Think about it carefully– does she like to celebrate her birthday with all of her family? Is she really close to them– are they the first to hear about all of the big news in her life? Even if those things are true though, she might not want the proposal to be in front of family and friends.” She also mentioned that ideally, the couple should be very close to both families if he’s planning on proposing in front of so many people.

Bottom line? “That’s a lot of pressure, and no matter how sure you are that she’ll say yes, she might want to keep the moment private and special with just you. Think carefully in terms of your relationship and if she would like that type of thing– if you have any doubts, I would shy away from it,” said one smart user. We agree! Thanks to all of the wedding experts and engaged couples at the forum for your ideas and advice! Want to see what people are saying about this topic? Check out the conversation here.

Re-Post From The Man Registry
Sunday, August 7th, 2011

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