5 Things You Can't Forget to Say When You Propose

"Will you marry me?". is a good start

Updated 08/26/17

Serena in Venice for Flytographer

Are you getting ready to pop the question to the person you love? Congratulations! It’s a big moment, and a little preparation will help make it one you and your future spouse really remember. Sure, saying a variation of “Will you marry me?” is the most important part, but there’s a lot more to it! We turned to an expert speech writer to help us break down the five things you can’t forget when crafting an unforgettable proposal.

“When it’s time to propose, emotions are riding high,” says Holly Blum, owner and word whisperer of A Speech to Remember. “You want it to be a moment you and your future spouse remember for all of the right reasons!” Here are her can’t-miss tips:

Think it Through

“Before you write anything down, really think about what you want to say,” says Blum. Take a trip down memory lane, reflecting on your relationship and your love story. “Remember how you met and fell in love, and relive your happiest memories. Pinpoint the things that really make your relationship work,” she says. “Ask yourself what you love and respect most about your partner, and how your lives together have evolved.” Use these memories and characteristics to jumpstart the writing process.

Build Up to It

Your nerves may get the best of you, but don’t cut to the chase. “My favorite way to set up a proposal is to start with a story or anecdote that captures the essence of your relationship,” Blum says. “It could be the moment you realized you were in love, or a funny story that always makes you both laugh. Pick something that communicates what makes your relationship unique. Whatever you choose, make it count!” A personal story will also keep your proposal from sounding generic, making it really authentic to the two of you.

Write it Down—and Practice!

Just like a toast at a wedding, put all your words down on paper! “Many people think they will know what they want to say in the moment,” says Blum. “But winging it can go awry, especially with so much emotion in the moment.” Instead, take time to put it all in order and on paper, and then read it out loud until it starts to sound less rehearsed and more conversational. Continues Blum, “This is a big moment in your life, and you don’t want to flub your words. Take the time to practice in front of a mirror to make sure you sound heartfelt, yet polished.”

Get Emotional

“No matter how much you practice in advance, it’s hard to prepare for the emotions of the day,” says Blum. “If you’re overcome with emotions, just roll with it. You can’t go wrong with speaking from the heart, and showing your vulnerability will make the moment even more beautiful.”

Honor Tradition

There are a few proposal traditions that are worth considering. “Has your partner ever mentioned wanting you to ask for his or her hand in marriage? If so, make sure you do it!” says Blum. “And when the time comes, get down on one knee, with the ring box in your hand, and actually say ‘Will you marry me?’ followed by your intended’s name!”

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