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The proposal is just as an important part of your wedding preparations as the marriage itself. There are so many truly romantic ways to propose, whether it be at the top of the Eiffel Tower, or a strawberries and champagne picnic. What about hiring a hot-air balloon and proposing as you gently glide across a summer’s night.
Leap Years fall every fourth year on the 29th February, and this is traditionally the time when a woman can propose to the man of her choice. This tradition dates back to a time when the 29th February was not a recognised date, and thereby the date was “leapt over”. As this date had no legal status it was thought that traditions also had no status, and women could take advantage of this. It is said that an honourable man would not turn a marriage proposal down, so if you have a reluctant groom, then this could be the answer for you!
It’s always a wonderful idea to surprise the love of your life with an engagement ring but try and window-shop before hand or get them to look in magazines so you can be sure your engagement ring will be their choice. Alternatively you could ask her mother/sister or another close relative what jewellery preferences she has. Sometimes the picking of the ring is done together after the proposal – at least that way you can ensure it’s definitely her taste! For years to come you will both remember the special place where you chose to propose, so do put some thought into it.
A favourite spot of ours is the private cinema at the wonderful Whatley Manor Hotel in Wiltshire. For £40 you get the exclusive use of the 40 seat cinema, a wide selection of romantic DVDs and popcorn for two – perhaps with an engagement ring at the bottom?
Having popped the question there couldn’t be a nicer place to celebrate the occasion with a meal in their 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, and perhaps a stay in one of their luxurious suites. The tradition is for the man to drop to one knee to propose, with engagement ring in hand.
In practice this is rarely done and grooms are coming up with increasingly ingenious ways to propose, from a ring baked into the dessert in a favourite restaurant, to grandstand announcements at football matches.
Remember, it is correct to ask for the bride’s father’s permission before proposing.
There is no right or wrong here. It is a great excuse for a party, and the best way to get word out about your intentions.
Tradition dictates that engagements should be announced in The Telegraph. Unfortunately these days this is likely to lead to your details being sold to all sorts of wedding companies! Top British broadcaster and psychologist Corrine Sweet talks about the ingredients for the perfect engagement, the video also sees members of the public being asked about their views on’ popping the question’ and how long a girl should wait.