We’re headed into wedding season, and if you want to join the matrimonial roster, it’s time to polish your proposal plan. Proposals are an opportunity to reenact a fairytale moment that ranks as one of life’s most cherished occasions. There’s a lot of pressure, and a proposal is not something you want to bungle. Taking the time to craft your marriage proposal ideas signifies your desire to start married life with sincerity.

For those considering proposing to someone, here is advice from experts for making a marriage proposal that will inspire.

Consider three key goals in marriage proposal ideas

One idea is to plot a slow build where you know it’s coming and anticipation builds through the event.

Dr. Chloe Carmichael

Clinical psychologist

Dr. Chloe Carmichael Mug

Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist and author of “Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety,” offers marriage proposal ideas that connect three core goals. The first goal is obvious: secure a commitment to marry. Second, figure out what the commitment of marriage means to you. And third, understand why you want to marry your partner.

“Think of those three key things that you want to convey in the proposal,” Carmichael says. “You want to savor and take pleasure saying those things that will memorialize this moment.”

Proper planning

When creating a proposal, take the time to create a script so it’s well thought out versus a rambled delivery. “I do think it’s helpful to think about how you do it,” Carmichael says. Will the proposal be a surprise? Dramatic? Or more low-key. Consider your loved one, who may be more excited about the element of surprise over a more formal, inclusive proposal. Since every person is different, thoughtful planning will help make the occasion meet romantic expectations.

“One idea is to plot a slow build where you know it’s coming and anticipation builds through the event.” Carmichael says. “For instance, if you book a dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town and there are champagne glasses and flowers, the woman has an idea that something is up, so there is a lot of excitement building at this dinner.”

Recognize every couple is different

Dr. Betsy Chung, a clinical psychologist, emphasizes that couples have different dynamics, so the most important consideration is for the person proposing to understand and respect the needs of their partner. “The way that a person delivers their proposal is important because it represents many things: how attuned the proposer is to the needs of their partner and how serious they are about starting a new chapter with their partner,” she says.

Picture of a marriage proposal

Do some homework

Chung suggests doing some research before you pop the question. Gather information based on what you know about your partner’s preferences, and, if possible, ask for feedback from their close friends and family. “Based on that information, you can begin thinking about location setting, a small speech that addresses how special the relationship is to you, and when,” she says.

Don’t stress if it doesn’t go as planned

Keep in mind that the proposal may go off script. Anything from poor weather to dealing with moods caused by a bad day could spoil the original plan. This is an introductory lesson to married life.

“It is important that when you are on a journey together, you are embarking on sharing a life with all of its foibles and imperfections,” Carmichael says. “Even if you forget your words, your mind blanks, remember that you are with your future spouse, and they are not going to base their decision on these 15 minutes.”

The end game of a proposal is marriage, and that is enough excitement to make up for a botched proposal, Carmichael says. Sure, you want to create a magical moment, but if every detail does not go as planned, the relationship and marriage are bigger than the proposal.

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Jacqueline deMontravel is 1-800-Flowers.com’s senior editor of floral and gifting. She is also an editor, writer, designer, artist and stylist. Previously, Jacqueline was the editorial director of Engaged Media’s Lifestyle group, overseeing such publications as Cottages & Bungalows, Romantic Homes, Yum, Seaside Style, Cottage White, French Style, Happy Modern and Rooms. Formerly the editor of Country magazine, she held editor positions at Self and GQ. She has been a contributor with Hearst's Harper's Bazaar and Black Book magazines.

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