What an exciting time. You’re in love. And you’re in love with being in love, and you love your love so much that you’re ready for MARRIAGE. You want to propose soon, but you’re overwhelmed at the thought of orchestrating the whole thing.

How? When? Who?

Well, that’s entirely up to you. You know your true self, and your partner’s true self, so follow your heart when planning a proposal unique to the two of you. However, we know it can be hard to get the ball rolling, so we have a general list of dos and don’ts from our event planning service pros to give you some basic parameters. These tips will help point you in the right direction and help you feel confident in planning and executing the perfect proposal.

Let’s start with the Do’s

Do Know the Answer Beforehand

When committing to an elaborate and ultra-special proposal, do yourself a favor and make sure you know your partner will say yes before taking a chance. You and your partner should discuss marriage ahead of time and be on the same page. The last thing you want is for your special someone to feel pressured into saying yes or embarking on marriage before they are ready. You can keep the proposal a secret while knowing 100 percent that they won’t hesitate to say yes.

Do Make It Meaningful

Forget about all the proposals you’ve seen in movies or real life. Sit down, close your eyes, and envision the perfect proposal. Where is it? Who is there? What elements can you incorporate to make it sentimental and unique to your story as a couple? Think back on noteworthy moments on your journey together. Think about all the small moments that led to this big moment. Where did you first meet? Where did you first kiss? Where did you first share the words “I love you?” The best proposal draws on these special moments and showcases how much they mean to you.

Do Keep Their Personality in Mind When Choosing your “Where”

If your significant other is highly introverted and uncomfortable in big crowds, then an elaborate public engagement may not be their vibe. Keep THEIR likes and dislikes in mind. Here are some questions to ask yourself when planning the proposal location.

  • Do they like being in the spotlight?
  • Do they like dressing up or keeping it casual?
  • Do they want family or friends involved?
  • Are they big and over-the-top, or small and intimate?

It may take some digging to find the answers to some of those questions, so be subtle, rely on close friends you can trust, and don’t blow the surprise!

Do you Know Their Schedule?

Make sure to keep tabs on them the day of the proposal, whether you do it yourself or recruit a friend/family member to track their location and schedule. Make sure you know their schedule and choose a day and time when they will be happy and relaxed. You may not want to pop the question right after spin class when she/he is all sweaty and wanting to take a shower.

If he has long and stressful work days on certain days of the week, you may want to wait till the weekend. Keep all these small details in mind; your partner will appreciate it!

Do you Have a Backup Plan?

Every good planner has a Plan B. Weather can be very unpredictable. If you’re planning an outdoor proposal of any kind, have some indoor spaces on standby just in case Mother Nature decides to get cranky.

Now for the Don’t’s

Don’t Be Too Cliché or Too Trendy

We’re not saying the typical jumbotron proposal at a baseball game isn’t sweet, but try to think outside the box. You should also try to choose a timeless location. The new, hottest restaurant in town might be an old folks home in 10 years. Choose a place you can visit down the road for your anniversary. Historical monuments and picturesque outdoor locations will likely be around for a while and make great, picture perfect backdrops for popping the question. We recommend getting pictures of all the details of the night so you can recreate it in years to come.

Do Think About Permits

After weeks of planning an elaborate public proposal, the last thing you want is to get kicked out over not having a permit. Do your homework; it’s better to be safe than sorry. Consider opting for a place you can rent if you don’t want to deal with permits, or choose a place where you won’t need a license. Either way, check all the boxes to ensure a smooth day/night.

Do Come Up with a Decoy Story

Put your thinking cap on and devise an airtight decoy plan that won’t raise red flags for your girlfriend/boyfriend. Think about exciting things they won’t say no to. Recruit an accomplice to throw them off track even more. You could say you want them to meet your extended family members who are visiting or join you at a company party. Make it believable and organic. Try to act as naturally as possible.

Don’t Sweat the Small Hiccups

Orchestrating a plan when half the party isn’t in the know can be tricky, so don’t be hard on yourself if every detail doesn’t go off without a hitch. Make the essential information the priority and don’t stress if the small pieces don’t play out perfectly. Stick to an idea and not a script. It should be more of an extemporaneous plan, not a memorized one. If something unexpected throws a wrench in your plans, laugh it off, shake it off, and roll with it. Remind yourself that this is real life, not a romance novel, and you’ll laugh together later about the things that went wrong.

Don’t Blow the Secret

We all have friends who can’t keep a secret to save their lives. Keep them out of this. Keep this secret in a tight circle of only people who must know because they are involved. It’s hard not to share your plan with everyone, but do your best to keep this one on the down-low.

Planning proposals is so much fun because of the excitement, the nerves, the reactions, and the love you can feel in the air. As party planners in Los Angeles, DC, and Dallas, we have been part of some of the most memorable proposals and engagement parties. While there’s plenty of room for creativity, following a few tried-and-true do’s and don’ts can help things go off seamlessly and help you stay calm and cool in the process.


You are so in love and prepared to get married. You want to propose right away but the idea of planning the entire event impairs you. Before getting married, you and your partner should talk about it and agree on the terms. Consider the memorable parts of your shared adventure.

5 Marriage Proposal Tips Infographic


The Do’s and Don’ts of Planning a Marriage Proposal