Figuring Out How to Propose
You should also consider what you want to say, but odds are that you’ll both be in shock and neither of you will remember what you said. “You can say the most beautiful thing in the world, but expect to say it again 20 minutes later,” Joe jokes. “I could have said that I wish the Yankees would go to the World Series. I know she didn’t hear what I said.”
First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage
When you’re finished with your planning, it’s actually time to propose. So, enjoy the moment and remember your fiancée’s reaction and every detail of how you pulled it off. You’ll have to recite this story to friends and family at least 50 times in the first 48 hours after your proposal.
You should expect to feel a great wave of relief and pride when it’s all over. “I was proud of myself,” Joe says. “I’ve never been detail-oriented, and I spent the time necessary to make sure the details were there.”
Not every proposal elicits a yes. If you do everything right and she asks for more time, give it to her. After all, you may have taken 30 days or more to prepare—you should give her the time she needs. Try discussing any concerns she has and agree to revisit the question later.
Once she accepts your proposal, Bartlein says you can “start having frank and honest discussions about the wedding and the marriage.” “Wise couples do the wedding plans together and work on things as partners.” This in-between time is perfect for laying the foundation for a lasting relationship. “Get yourself comfortable with the fact that there is no longer just one decision-maker,” Michaels says. “Try to be a really good diplomat. There are all sorts of decisions and catastrophes you need to avert.”
The first 30 days of proposing might seem like a short time to prepare for the rest of your life, but you’ll realize that you’ve actually been preparing for this for longer than you realize. Many years from now, you’ll look back fondly on this moment as the time you became your wife’s Prince Charming.
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Mayo.