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What to Say When Proposing

by Hunter Kemp
Last updated on August 1, 2023
What to say when proposing

You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, bought the ring, and chosen the perfect place to pop the question. All that remains is the proposal itself– what exactly do you say to your future spouse in this special moment? If you’re unsure about what to say when proposing, we’re here to help. Aside from asking the obvious question, there’s plenty of room for you to add individualization and thought to make it a truly unforgettable proposal. All it takes is some careful preparation and a willingness to show your vulnerable side. Here are some of the most important things to consider when crafting the perfect marriage proposal speech.

Reflect on Your relationship

Start by thinking about your love story, remembering how the two of you met and bringing to mind some of your best memories. Do you remember the first time you laid eyes on each other? What was your first date like? When did you realize that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with this person? Are there any especially funny or happy moments that you shared together? Anecdotes can make your proposal feel even more personal, especially when they’re specific and unique. It’s even better to use ones that really encapsulate your relationship, according to an expert at Choose just one or two to focus on, mention these at the beginning of your proposal, and build your speech from there.

Tell Your Partner Why You Love Them

Next, you may want to describe some of the things you love most about your partner. Identify their best qualities and describe what makes them so special to you. Maybe they’re especially patient, or maybe they consistently go out of their way to show you that they care. Can they tell how you’re feeling before you even have the words to describe it? This is also a good place to let your future spouse know how they’ve impacted you. In what ways do they push you to be your best self? Have they made you a more giving or accepting person? Explain to your partner what you admire about them, and be sure to express the feelings that have brought you to this special moment.

Look to the Future

The question you’re about to ask is a huge one. A promise to spend the rest of your life together is a big deal, so it makes sense to consider what a future with your partner will look like. Think about the vision you both have for your marriage. Are there any goals you’ve discussed for the years ahead? What will your wedding be like? Do you want kids? Have you thought about your dream home? Are you eager to explore the world? You might also want to reflect on the values you share or the intentions that might guide your lives moving forward. 

Ask the Question

The most important part of the proposal is, of course, the big question. As you near the end of your proposal speech, get down on one knee and say the famous words: “Will you marry me?” The most well-known part of any proposal, this simple question gets straight to the point and leaves no room for misinterpretation. Use it as your anchor in case you get overwhelmed with emotion and mix up your words– all that matters in the end is that you ask the magical question. So no matter what else you choose to include in your proposal speech, make sure to come back to it.

Tips for the Writing Process

As you write down everything you want to include in your marriage proposal, it’s best to let the words flow naturally and work on editing later. Let your free write be unfiltered and true to you. Once your ideas are on paper, you can start to play with the wording and order. After you decide what to say, you might also want to consider the length of your speech. One to two minutes is an ideal length– it’s long enough to make the moment memorable, but not so long that it becomes awkward. Short, sweet, and personal is what makes for the best marriage proposals.

In a similar vein, don’t feel pressure to say things in a more creative way. If you feel like a unique, untraditional proposal is calling to you, then go for it. There are a variety of unconventional routes you can take that could be the perfect proposal for your partner. If not, just make sure you say the important words and back it up with a heartfelt speech. 

Prepare and Practice Your Proposal Speech

It’s a good idea to write out a rough script for what you’d like to say. Memorize the main points, but stay away from trying to remember everything word for word. Practicing multiple times in front of a mirror will build your confidence and help you feel more comfortable and natural when the big moment comes. And although it may be hard, try not to get too nervous about perfection here. As long as you focus on expressing the basic ideas you want to include, the right words will come. Take a deep breath and speak from the heart.

Be Vulnerable and Stay True to Yourself

Ultimately, bringing your authentic self to the proposal is what matters most. If you find yourself getting emotional as you start talking, lean into it. Showing your partner your vulnerable side isn’t something to be ashamed of, and it’ll likely bring up emotions for them as well.

It’s also more than ok if you find yourself so overcome on the big day that you forget everything you planned to say. In a moment as special and powerful as a marriage proposal, it’s entirely expected that emotion might take over. If it does, be honest. Say what’s coming up for you and express why you feel the way you do. Speak from the heart, and don’t be nervous about making mistakes or not having the right words. Your vulnerability in this moment will be much more meaningful for your partner than you realize.

Enjoy Your Special Moment

Any proposal is going to be beautifully romantic, regardless of how it takes place. It represents a milestone in your relationship, determines your future together, and expresses the depth of your love. The feelings you have for each other will make this a moment to remember.

A stunning ring is the cherry on top of an already romantic proposal, so make sure you choose one that your special someone will adore forever. Here’s a helpful guide to finding the perfect ring and customizing it to fit your partner. Once you’ve bought the ring and are ready to propose, make sure to keep your plans a secret! This will make it even more special when you get down on one knee and ask the big question. 

Now that you have an idea of what to say when proposing, start brainstorming and get excited for the big moment! Your proposal marks the beginning of a beautiful life with your partner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for you. Best of luck and remember that you’ve got this!