Jess Levin Conroy began her career at Burch Creative Capital, where she helped manage investments and brand development for a portfolio that included C. Wonder and Tory Burch LLC. After earning her MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Jess saw an opportunity in the wedding space to help empower the businesses at the top end of the market. She founded Carats & Cake in 2013. Currently, the company works with over 25,000 businesses across the U.S. and has become the go-to resource for couples looking for the best the wedding industry has to offer.
Asking someone to spend forever with you is no small request, and as a result, planning a proposal can be nothing short of overwhelming. From the ring to the timing to the friends-or-no-friends question, there truly is a never-ending list of to-dos that will impact your proposal. And while it’s all about the happily ever after, you definitely want to make the ask more than special because this moment will set the tone for the rest of your life together. No pressure, right?
The key is to remember that it’s not about extravagance or over-the-top gestures, but about the ask itself and making it unique to who you are as a couple. So where do you start? To help navigate planning the perfect proposal, we asked a few of the wedding industry’s best to share their insights. Read on below for some top proposal ideas on how to make the beginning of the rest of your life together a moment you will never forget.
Pick a Meaningful Location
“Pick a location that will stand the test of time, a place you can visit again and again together over the years.” — Liz Banfield, owner/lead photographer, Liz Banfield
Have an Element of Surprise
“Even if your significant other knows the proposal is coming, try to keep some elements—whether it’s the when or the where or the how—a surprise. There is nothing more romantic than the rush of catching your loved one a little off-guard when you ask them to spend the rest of their life with you.” — Tessa Brand, owner, Tessa Lyn Events
Decide If You Want to Make It Public or Private
“Consider whether your fiancé(e)-to-be would prefer a public show or something more intimate and special. While going over the top is always amazing, sometimes a moment that includes just the two of you is even more special.” — Diana Venditto, owner and creative director, Eventi Floral & Events
Capture the Moment
“Proposing is such an overwhelming experience that it’s impossible to remember every last detail. That’s why it’s important to find some way to capture the moment. Hiring a photographer who can stay in the background so the moment is still just as intimate (but ensures you won’t miss a thing) is the perfect way to ensure you will have memories for years to come. As an added bonus, you can use these images in place of doing an engagement shoot, if you want, as these images are typically raw and full of emotion.” — Carrie Patterson, owner and photographer, Carrie Patterson Photography
Involve an Activity
“Don’t be afraid to go big. Leading them on a scavenger hunt all over your hometown to find you at the end down on one knee is nothing short of romantic and exciting. Of course, nothing can beat a marching band playing ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars as you ask the love of your life to spend the rest of your days together.” — Diana Chouinard, lead event planner and designer, Jubilee Events
Make a Memento
“Think about creating some sort of keepsake to remember the moment. Saving the cork from the champagne bottle you popped to celebrate the occasion and writing the date on it is a sweet and simple way to remember your proposal day. That cork can then be the first of many as you go through life with your spouse celebrating many more milestones together over a glass of bubbly.” — Rhiannon Bosse, owner and creative director, Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations
Ensure the Ring Fits
“Figuring out the ring size can be tricky. If you can’t get it perfect, it’s better to go too big than too small. At least with a bigger ring, you can snap a few photos on your hand before you get it resized.” — Bryan Miller, owner/photographer, Bryan Miller Photography
Share the News
“The perfect proposal is not complete until you share the great news with family and friends. My favorite way to do this is with a surprise party. Have all of your nearest and dearest close by so you can pop the champagne and celebrate. Bonus points: Choose your first date location as the party spot.” — Leigh Pearce, owner and creative director, Leigh Pearce Events
What is the most amazing proposal story you’ve ever heard?