The Perfect Proposal

festive wedding activities

No matter how, when, or where you met or how long you have been together for, you will just know you have found the love of your life and the time is right to finally propose.

You know this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, the one you want to ask the big question of – Will You Marry Me? 

But what makes a marriage proposal perfect?  And how do you ensure planning a proposal is extra special, perfectly romantic or magical?

Finding the right way to ask, “Will You Marry Me?” can be a challenge and can be a pressure for everyone about to pop the question.  Should it be a BIG proposal or something more intimate?  Whatever and whenever you choose to ask the question, don’t worry it will be unforgettable, as long as its personal to you and your relationship.

Based on our experience of meeting many engaged couples over the seven years we have been running a wedding venue – planning a proposal should be from the heart and we believe shouldn’t be over rehearsed (as that is when we have heard things, even if small can go wrong or seem a little awkward), so always be prepared to be flexible, see our lovely couple Vicky and Joshua’s story.

Man proposing to women during the festive wedding season
Engagement during the festive season

Based on our group experience, we recommend a few easy steps to plan an unforgettable proposal:

  • Don’t forget, if you are looking for a traditional proposal, ask at least one of your partners’ parents first
  • Choose a way, a moment, a place to say ‘I do’ that is personal to you
  • Hide the engagement ring well – remember ring boxes can be bulky
  • Don’t forget to breathe as you say the words
  • If it’s wet pack something to kneel down on
  • Speak from your heart
  • Don’t rush your proposal, make sure there is time to take in the magic of the moment
  • If the moment doesn’t feel ‘right’ be brave and delay it, even if its by half an hour – for instance, if it is torrential rain and you are on a mountain side – perhaps the perfect moment will present itself when you are back at base snuggled up together in your dressing gown – it might not be how you planned it but it might become the perfect romantic moment and place.

How do you choose an engagement moment, that is personal to you and romantic?

The best thing about engagement moments for us, here at Hayne House, is how unique they are to each couple. From the funny to the sublime.  What we have gathered over the years, is that a good proposal is one that is right for you both as a couple.  So, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about where, when and how to pop that all important proposal question.

Couple festive engagement

1.     Pick a sentimental location for your proposal

Based on her own experience, Fleur Record-Smith, the owner of Hayne House suggests, “choose a sentimental location, it could be somewhere you had your first date, somewhere you loved going to together.  My husband took me back to our favourite skiing resort in the French Alpes, Meribel.  As we went over head in the ski lift, he got our friends and family to spell out in the snow below, using everyone’s skies, ‘MARRY ME?’  How could I say no!?”

2.    Get family and friends involved in the proposal

Christmas and New Year is a traditional time when everyone gets together for family gatherings, so why not entrust your BIGGEST secret to your nearest and dearest.  Having everyone there means after your partner has said, ‘Yes’, you can immediately start celebrating with your loved ones, and even plan a special winter wedding.

3.    Consider hiring in the pros like a photographer or a videographer to record or even book a marriage proposal planner to help you plan the moment

If you find planning a wedding proposal nerve-wracking, just like planning a wedding, why not book a professional or a team of professions to help you create and capture the engagement of a time-time?

Working with so many wedding professionals, photographers, videographer, live musicians and wedding planners, who take amazing shots, get such amazing angles, play the most romantic of music, and who can really pull out all the stops, if you employ someone or a team of people you can be sure of a truly memorable moment and a big bonus is that you can add your perfect pictures or show the video on your wedding day.

4.    Plan an amazing night out that means something to you both

Sam, now Lloyd, when living in London used to finish her day job and then work a second job in Art House Cinemas.  So, when her and husband-to-be started dating, they used to talk about films, actors and scripts etc all the time.  On the night of the proposal, you won’t be surprised to learn that the evening started by watching a romantic movie ‘Wings of Desire’ by the Director Wim Wenders. Sam said, “For me it was the perfect proposal night, I knew we had so much in common and even now, when I watch what has become my favourite film, I still get really emotional”.

Wedding shoes

5.    Foodie proposals

If your partner or even both of you love food and describe yourselves as foodies, why not arrange a proposal ‘over food’.  Jess’ (Hayne House’s personal trainer!) partner organised a romantic picnic at their favourite place, on the riverbank at Kearsney Abbey in the Alkham Valley.

Book a night out at your favourite restaurant or ‘secret backstreet eatery’, or if you really want to push the boat out and bend your knee at somewhere truly delicious, why not book a destination proposal – a food tour. Instead of eating a stone baked pizza from your local pizzeria why not book a trip to Florence, eat donuts and burgers in New York, or book a restaurant in Paris and let your magical evening unfold.

6. What if your partner doesn’t like fuss, where is best to ask them to marry you?

If your partner hates fuss and couldn’t bear the idea of a public proposal why not propose at home, after all it’s intimate, private, meaningful and likely to be unexpected.  You could cook your favourite meal, order a take away or go for an M&S meal for two, but don’t forget to put the champagne on ice, and assuming you have the time, don’t forget to buy some flowers and light the candles perhaps in the bedroom, bathroom or your dining room!

7. Buy a small gift but pack it with love and watch their face as you pass them the secret proposal parcel or package

You could buy flowers and tie the ring around the bouquet or purchase a special Christmas bauble that holds the rings, or we love the idea of placing the ring box in your partners Christmas Stocking along with Oranges, nuts and chocolate.

8. Grab your chance and propose on the spur of the moment!

Don’t forget if you find yourself in that perfect moment, where you are at a carnival or the sky is full of shooting stars or under the Mistletoe this Christmas, don’t worry if you don’t have a ring just seize the moment and pop the question, you can then go shopping for the perfect engagement ring together.

Festive wedding party

Recently engaged? Find your perfect venue

Following your engagement, if you are looking for your forever wedding venue, something that is different for your modern romance?  Here at Hayne House we can’t wait to hear your romantic story.  Book a show around and share your proposal moment with us, we love a great engagement story!


Photos with thanks to:

Matt Ebbage
Lucie Watson
Emma Migden 
Steve Barber