A Groom-to-Be Tells All: Why I'm NOT Doing an Over-the-Top Proposal

Grooms, Proposals
groom to be tells all Aaron

Every bride remembers the moment the love of her life got down on one knee and proposed — she might not recall exactly what he said or what she was wearing, but that second in time will stay with her forever. But what she doesn't know about are the weeks, months, or even years leading up to that proposal from the other side: her groom's perspective. Here, in a new BRIDES series, our very own groom-to-be, Aaron (name change for obvious reasons), is sharing his story about the (real life!) proposal he is planning very soon for his fiancé-to-be. This week, Aaron tells us why his proposal will be anything but over-the-top.

Waiting for the ring to be finished feels like purgatory.

I'm so close, yet so far. Proposing before my cousin's wedding, which is the second weekend of April, would be ideal — so my family will be together shortly after — but that's just a few weeks away at this point.

With this tiny window and our fluctuating work schedules, I've been furiously racking my brain to come up with a way to set aside time for something "special," to give me the opportunity to propose. And then it hit me: Rachel and I have our definition of "special."

We've always been low-key as a couple and pride ourselves on that, which I'm pretty sure is insufferable from an outside perspective. While friends talk about their weekend escapes, extravagant wedding plans (that will be us soon enough) or days exploring the city, we are the couple that brags about having stayed in and ordered chicken wings on Valentine's Day.

Our relationship is predicated on hanging out in pajamas on Sunday mornings. Since I work Saturdays, it's usually the only day we can spend completely together. We wake up whenever, have some coffee and are basically glued to the couch for hours, watching something stupid on TV, snuggled up under a blanket.

As boring as that may sound, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Sunday is our day.

When it comes to proposals I would be willing to bet that like, half, in the Washington D.C. area (where we live) take place downtown near a monument. It crossed my mind and I'm sure it would be lovely, but we're not big on public displays. I want to do something that suits us.

See more: Our Favorite Celebrity Engagement Rings

Thinking back on three years of those perfect mornings, I've realized I should turn one into a proposal. This time together is private, romantic and most importantly, captures the essence of us as a couple — chilled out, totally content just being together.

I want my proposal to be a surprise to Rachel, which is why I'm sort of glad that I don't have an exact date or plan yet. And on a half-serious note, I don't think I would be able to carry a ring around in public for hours without Rachel realizing that something was up with me.

That's not to say I haven't gone back and forth on this. Let's be honest; it's lame at first thought. Proposing is arguably the biggest singular event of a man's life and I want to do it over coffee (and an apple fritter), in pajamas?

I never bothered asking how my dad proposed, but when I inquired a couple of days ago, it turns out that he did it in their apartment, when she had just gotten out of bed and apparently had a migraine. I couldn't help but smile (and almost tear up) because it's exactly what I would have expected. After nearly 30 years, their core of their relationship hasn't changed. That's something I want my kids to think of Rachel and I.

As we learned in my previous entry, I'm not the best decision-maker and usually need some sort a push. Fortunately, my dad's story was the last bit of affirmation that I needed.

The next few weeks of my life are going to be nerve-racking and new challenges are going to come up every day. (One that's already been stressing me out: where the heck am I going to hide the ring in our apartment once I have it?!)

When the moment finally arrives to ask the question that every little boy (maybe just this little boy?) dreams of, I know it's going to be perfect, as understated as it may be.

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