During the course of each working day, 24-year-old William Easton spends his time thinking about grooms, marriage proposals and wedding preparations (even though he’s single). As co-founder and editor of Today’s Groom magazine, he and the magazine focus on every aspect of an engagement from the proposal to the wedding. Easton and the other editors of Today’s Groom also published The Groom-To-Be’s Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to a Fabulous Ring, a Memorable Proposal and a Perfect Wedding. Here’s what Easton has to say on planning the perfect marriage proposal.
I think for most men proposal triggers mixed emotions. Initially you’re excited because you found the right woman, and you’re ready to settle down. Then you think about how you’re giving up some of your freedom and will have less time to spend with the guys and going to the bar.
The most important thing to do in preparation for the proposal is to be confident that you are ready to propose and want to spend the rest of your life with your fiancée. If you can feel confident, then you’ll find it easy to overcome some of the stress and confusion that is natural during the process, because you will understand that it is all about the end goal of marriage.
Guys forget that their fiancée will act differently. After the proposal, there is usually a feeling of an added burden on her to put on this grand event [the wedding] for everyone. It is important that during the first 30 days especially that the groom is involved and shows interest in the planning to help with her burden. Also, a few surprise gifts of flowers or other small items you know she likes are a nice touch.
Many guys will go through a period of anxiety and questioning if they are ready. After the proposal, there is usually a sense of excitement, followed by an overwhelming feeling as friends and family expect every aspect of your wedding to be planned within the first hour of becoming engaged. Throughout the engagement, it is common to rotate between joy, excitement and frustration.
They fear the responsibilities that come with being an adult. They start thinking long-term. How can I pay for the house? How can I pay for my kid’s education? How can I be a good husband and avoid getting divorced? There are a lot of fears.
I think the key steps are to talk with others around you. Choose your closest mature friend and talk through it with him. This person can become your sounding board throughout the process. Talk with your parents and her parents. The more people on your side that you have to talk with throughout the process, the easier it will be to overcome challenges along the way.
You’re no longer thinking only about yourself. Now there are two of you, and you need to take your fiancée’s needs into consideration. You’re no longer just living for yourself; you’re also living for someone else.
The best wedding proposal I have heard is a husband who met his wife in college. After having class together, he asked his wife out to their first date on a street corner in between the north and south campus. After each had graduated college, they continued to date while his wife joined the Peace Corps right after school. She came home for Christmas and New Year’s in their second year together, and on New Year's Eve he was late to pick her up. She really wanted to catch up with a friend, and they were late for dinner at that friend’s house. He said that he wanted to go for a walk by their college on a nice river route they used to take. She was fuming because they were already late and it was out of the way, but she reluctantly agreed. After the walk on the way back to the car, he said that his shoe came untied and he got down on one knee on the same corner he first asked her out and proposed. I like this story, because it was great timing, took into account their relationship and he surprised his bride.
It’s important after the first 30 days to keep an open mind about everything that’s involved in the engagement process. You are not the first person to go through it and you won’t be the last. Remember that there may be some ups and downs, but the light at the end of the tunnel is the exciting part that you want—for women it’s the wedding day, while for men it is actually becoming married and being able to spend the rest of their lives with the one person whom they deeply love.
I always take small steps, one at a time. I make commitments about tomorrow and then start achieving something the next day. If I get nervous, I keep my eyes on the target of what I want to accomplish.
…the excitement and new possibilities it brings.
Starting up a magazine that has triggered so much excitement for me. I go through ups and downs, but it’s very rewarding overall.
For more information on William Easton, visit www.todaysgroomonline.com.
From figuring out whether she'll say yes, to deciding what cut of diamond she'll love, this guide speaks to every man embarking on one of life's greatest adventures: marriage. ...