So, you’ve made the decision to propose to your sweetheart – what an exciting time! While you may be stressing out over the ring – if you plan on purchasing one – you’re likely also considering the all-important “how?” question. If you elect to go down the “surprise” route, as opposed to simply discussing it and becoming engaged in that way, there are plenty of options open to you. You know your sweetheart well, so hopefully, you’ll be able to make the choice between a public and private proposal with relative ease. Once that has been locked in, it’s time to plan the logistics.
Choosing to make the experience something in which only the two of you share is a sweet and intimate option that will work for any couple. However, if your significant other has incredibly close relationships with their friends and you’d like to involve them in some way, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- "Invade" their plans. Of course, we don’t mean you should actually crash their hangout by bursting through the crowd and getting down on one knee. This option is great for both outings, like a planned barhop or dinner, and evenings in, such as watching movies at home or a game night. The most important aspect of this route: make your plans known to your sweetie’s group of friends. In fact, this option works best for those who are also close with their partner’s friends. Get together with your loved one’s best friend and reveal your intentions, then work with them to create this event. Stick with simplicity: you don’t want the group to have to spend extra money or take a large chunk of time out of their schedules for your proposal. If everyone is 100% on board, chances are, they can design an attractive activity that will sound fun and unsuspicious to your beloved. That way, when you show up at the venue or ring the doorbell, your beloved is surprised and surrounded by their closest confidants to share in the moment. Note: make sure you have a plan for after the question is popped. Do you both stay with the group to celebrate? Do you time it so that it’s at the end of the event and everyone can disperse? Things can get awkward if you don’t plan ahead
- Use their photographic skills. If your significant other has a close pal (or pals) that is particularly gifted in the art of photography – and/or is willing to hide for a short period of time – perhaps you could ask them to snap some pictures of your proposal from afar. This works best with a public – but still intimate – proposal, such as during a hike or a walk on the beach. Important: keep comfort in mind! If the friend (or friends) agrees, be sure to travel to the proposal site with them beforehand to pick out the best spot: a good view and a comfortable seat are musts. When the day comes, communicate with them frequently – ask them to arrive with enough time to prepare before your beloved gets there, but not too early! You don’t want them waiting for a prolonged period of time. Following the proposal, signal for the friend(s) to come out and greet you – possibly even with the photos in hand.
- Reveal them after the fact. This is similar to the previous option, but with no expectations of professional photos. We’ve often seen this implemented for those who have friends and family who live a great distance away: if you have the means to fly them out to you, offer to do so as an added surprise for your sweetie. As before, you can have the group hide somewhere you plan to propose and then reveal them after you’ve asked that important question, or you could have the group meet somewhere else – a home, favorite restaurant, bar, etc. – at which you and your spouse-to-be can travel to after the proposal to join as a special surprise. What a fun, miniature engagement celebration!
- Ask them to play messenger. More and more, we’re seeing incredibly elaborate proposals that involve videos, clues, notes, etc. If you desire to plan a grand gesture in this way, you can ask your beloved’s friends to help the logistics along. Many have requested that pals deliver hints during a scavenger hunt proposal or act as a guide for the blindfolded future fiancé(e). Since these are often complex operations, it is of the upmost importance that, when you ask the friends, you’re clear about what you’d like and what their task will entail. Don’t make any definitive plans before you’re sure everyone is ready and willing to participate! It can be a tricky thing to pull off, but in the end, incorporating your sweetheart’s friends is a beautiful gesture and a fantastic way to start out an engagement.
Opening photo by Samuel Lippke Studios