If marriage is on your mind, then you’re probably wondering how to take the next step. As the proposer (that’s the one with the engagement ring or designer diamond jewelry item), you’re likely torn between popping the question in front of friends and family, or more privately with your partner.
It turns out an engagement is a rite of passage for couples that even researchers recognize comes with significant meaning attached. They’re a societal ritual, and as such can be demonstrated as a ‘performance’ that’s designed to show your family and friends that you are ready to take the next step. It’s considered to be a necessary formality that announces to society you are going to wed.
Some couples take the public announcement a little further than others. We’ve done the hard work and analyzed these top 9 train wreck proposals to give you the lowdown on what to avoid when you’re asking (or being asked) the big one.
Rule 1: Know your limits
If you want to make a proposal memorable, make it memorable for the right reasons. Case in point a California man's whose unique idea for a marriage proposal landed him in hot water. ABC News reported Michael Banks had to be rescued after illegally climbing Morro Rock. He’d planned to propose to his girlfriend via Face Time. Stuck up on the rock for hours he was eventually rescued by helicopter. The rescue team told ABC that they had experienced four rescue attempts where people had lost their lives on the rock. It may have worked if he’d simply aimed lower.
Rule 2: Keep your eye on the ring
We must hand it to this guy. He chose a prime spot in front of the sparkling ocean; the weather was on his side and he had the perfect diamond engagement ring lined up. He even hired an airplane to fly a banner to surprise his partner and briefed a videographer to capture the romantic moment.
The good news is she said ‘yes’. The bad news is that while they celebrated the ring slipped from his fingers and headed into the crashing waves below. There are a couple of takeaways from this disaster. Always insure your designer diamond jewelry, and when you choose your location anticipate all the things that could go wrong.
Rule 3: Keep it fun
When you’re dating a pilot, you can expect a bit of excitement in your life. But this guy took things a little too far in our opinion when he decided to propose a few hundred feet up in his two-person plane.
While on a joy ride, he tricked his girlfriend into believing that the controls weren’t working and that the plane was headed for a crash. In the chaos that ensued, he asked her to read the emergency manual, which happened to be his proposal.
Surprisingly she said ‘yes’, but after a near-death-experience we all would do the same, right? Let’s just hope she returned the favor with an elaborate prank that got his adrenaline rushing too. We’re thinking a few surprises in her wedding speech?
Rule 4: Choose your words carefully
The words you choose to ask your loved one to marry you are going to be printed in her memory for life. So, you’d better make sure they’re good. A Reddit contributor shared a proposal fail where the script just didn’t come out right.
Mr. Smooth told his girlfriend that he could no longer be her boyfriend. As she began to process the news (and use some choice words of her own) he popped down on one knee and offered her a diamond engagement ring. His follow up? He couldn’t be her boyfriend anymore because he wanted to be her husband. Just ouch.
Rule 5: Do your homework
If you propose in front of everyone at a family gathering, you want to know she’s going to agree to be your wife without hesitating. While surprising your partner with an engagement ring can be fun, it makes sense that’s you’ve had a heart-to-heart previously to make sure you’re on the same page. It’s not enough to be sure that she’s in love with you. You need to know that you’re on the same commitment timeline.
Take a leaf out the book of this try-hard gent who proposed to his girlfriend at her parent’s house. When she turned him down things went awkward very quickly.
Rule 6: Keep it classy
A good marriage is built on love and respect. When you propose you want to make sure that the respect part is left intact. Our heart goes out to this funny guy who thought it was a good idea to dress in a marshmallow-shaped mascot suit and surprise his girlfriend at a basketball game. Picture the moment a life-size cartoon removed its head to reveal your gushing beau inside. The shock of it all aside, we can understand that she’d seen a side of him that didn’t work for her. She turns on her heels and flees the stadium.
Rule 7: Know her ring size
We come in all shapes and sizes and so do our fingers. Just because your partner is petite, it doesn’t mean you can automatically assume she has slim fingers. We came across a story at Wedding Ideas where this lack of information ended in disaster – and a trip to ER.
A bride shared a story where her partner proposed to her at her birthday dinner in front of friends and family. She popped the engagement ring on her finger, but it turns out it was only a display model. Her boyfriend had intended to take her back to the store the next day to have her finger measured and to pick a final ring. One that wasn’t and engagement rings for small hands, that is.
Instead, the ring refused to budge, and the party was cut short by a trip to the emergency room where it was removed by staff. The bride-to-be left the hospital with a damaged ring and a bruised finger. Love hurts sometimes.
Rule 8: Stay on the right side of the law
As grand gestures go, spray painting ‘Will you marry me?’ on a wall where your girlfriend will see it is pretty romantic. However, the authorities may consider your graffiti to tend towards vandalism. An Ohio newspaper reported that a local displayed his proposal on the walls of a shopping mall. His girlfriend agreed to marry him but a short while later was bailing him out of jail. His reward for making the moment a memorable one was a few months of community service.
Rule 9: Leave food out of it
Placing an engagement ring in a glass of champagne or slipped into the shell of a fresh oyster sounds compelling. It’s a risky approach as a man from New Mexico discovered when he placed the ring in a milkshake he had bought for his girlfriend. By the time she had reached the end of the drink, the cup was left empty and he had to confess that she’d probably swallowed the ring.
If you’re planning a proposal but think you’re heading for a fail, ask someone who’s been there before. A close friend, or your father? How did they nail it?
Another thought, ask the ring experts. Shimansky New York has advised thousands of couples on how to choose the right engagement ring. Along with the advice, our professional team can share some proposals do’s and don’ts’s with you and support you through this nerve-wracking time.
When you propose you want to know that the ring fits her finger so you can focus on the other details that need arranging for the big moment. The benefit of pre-engagement shopping is that you can get a ring finger measured and choose an engagement piece to suit the bride-to-be’s hand shape and proportions.
Shimansky has a breath-taking selection of diamond engagement rings, with many cuts to choose from. These include the patented My Girl diamond cut and the Brilliant 10 diamond, considered to be the most brilliant cut diamond in the world. We invite you to visit your nearest Shimansky showroom or book a consultation with the CEO and Founder, Yair Shimansky himself.