How do I "Formally" propose?

My Honey has made it clear she wants me to “Formally” propose.

I got the ring, I have reservations for our favorite London hotel.

I thnk I want to do it in a car of the huge ferris wheel, the London Eye. (Can you get a private car?)

OK, what does a “Formal” proposal go?

One one knee, holding up ring: “Will you marry me?” with personalisation if necessary.

Or so the movies would have me believe.

I think the only way to get a private car for the Eye is to luck out and go when no one else is around. But you can try contacting them and finding out for sure.

I think she may want you to propose in public, rather than in private.

Also, if her parents are living and she is on good terms with them, she may wish for you to first ask her parents for their blessing.

Unless riding a ferris wheel is one of her favorite things to do, I would suggest you make the formal proposal in a restaurant (yes, infront of everyone) or at a gathering of family or friends.

Good luck to you and your beloved!


In public? Anyone want to give me an alternative?

OK, if I must.

She probably means she wants you to actually ask, rather than just assume since you’ve discussed it.

(EG, my boyfriend and I know we’ll get married, we’ve had extensive discussions about planning our wedding, but I still want the question “Will you marry me?” even though he already knows the answer.)

It’s the difference between having an understanding and actually being “engaged”.

I don’t think it implies a public proposal at all. That’s really dependent on both of your personalities. Is she the kind of person who would want a public thing? I would be horribly embarassed if someone did that to me, but other people love it.

Have you asked her father for her hand?

ASK DAD! I cannot stress this enough!

You don’t have to do it like you see in the movies. Simply arrange to meet her Mom & Dad when your g/f isn’t going the be there.

Tell them you want to ask their daughter to marry you, and you just wanted to talk to the both of them about it first. You shouldn’t need much more than that opening line, as Mom will probably explode with joy or Dad will throw you out the bay window. :wink:

Here is an alternative for you.
find a very private location to ask “the big question” such as a secluded park, the banks of a little-known river, a small and unknown night-club… then (while nobody is looking [you chicken]:slight_smile: you say “if you will honor me with your hand in marriage, I will be the most fortunate man on earth. I will shout from the roof-tops of my joy!”

Then begin the discussion of who you will invite to the engagement party. (assuming she says yes!) No, not the wedding, the party you will throw to FORMALLY announce the engagement.

Oh, and wear a suit and tie.

You sure you’re up to all this? If you love her more than anything, you’ll do it.

Bless you.

“Formal” means “come out and ask rather than assume.” Ring is optional - I wouldn’t spend the money on one until you were 100% sure of her ring size.

I’d also ask one of her parents first - its somehow a sign of respect to them. Which one is she closest to?

I asked George’s mom’s permission to marry him about a week before I did it. Two days after our “girl talk,” he asks me if I was up to something because his mom and sister keot smiling and gigling at him.

I lucked out and found the size 13, Celtic knot designed ring he’d always wanted. I put it in a small plastic baggie, put THAT in a Cracker Jack box and resealed the box. At the magic moment, I handed him the Cracker Jacks and told him to look for the toy surprise inside. As he pulled it out, I got down on one knee and WAS going to say, “George, will you do me the honor of becoming my husband,” but instead said, “Honey, I’m so nervous right now I can barely talk.” He said, I’ll save you the trouble - yes I will marry you!"

Patty, aka Mrs. George

P.S. When using the aforementioned method of proposal, be sure to remove the toy surprise that came in the box or he/she will wonder why you’re giving them a temporary tattoo.

Paul, any hints on the cultural background of the young lady and her family? You seem to be quite the multicultural guy yourself, this whole thing may involve goats and date palm trees if she is from certain cultures.

Assuming she is Western, I’d agree talking to the father (older brother if he has passed) and asking for her hand, maybe not in those exact words. “I love Betty Boop very much, and I would to marry her, and join your family” phrases it as a statement eliciting responses, rather than a question. I think I phrased it as a question to Geobabe’s oldest brother, but I don’t specifically recall (hadn’t had my coffee yet). Then the romantic spot (departure gate at Denver International is taken already, so look somewhere else), pull the ring out and drop to one knee in one smooth movement, take her left hand in yours and tell her you love her and want to spend the rest of your lives together. Be sure to be in her eyes for that part, staring at her boobs is poor form. Assuming she makes a noise that does not sound like a “No”, or “When pigs fly”, slip the ring on her finger. Repeat the phrase “I love you” a few times. Bonus points if other women get to see you do this, they go nuts of this kinda shit, and rush over to squeal and gush after it is all said and done. Perfect strangers. Gives you a chance to catch her breath, too.

Then try to remember to call her your “fiancee” instead of girlfrind afterwards.

Wonderful story Marvel

It has me re-thinking my other posts. I read “formal” and think “old fashioned”.

Maybe Paul’s original idea about the ferris wheel would work out just fine!

Just make the proposal a “Big Deal” and treat her like the princess that she is.

Forgive a long answer, but this is a cultural minefield

She is a Panamaniac and we met during the invasion. Her father (a senior Panamanian diplomatic, although long-retired) and I have had a long and strained relationship. His decline into Alzheimer’s Disease has made things more difficult.

He does not approve of me and so we have waited all these years.

It has been difficult to say the least. Still I know enough not to make her choose between me and her familial obligations.

So in a nutshell, very upper-crust Central American.

(I still like the London Eye at night, at the top.)

You can rent a whole London Eye capsule or the whole wheel. Why not invite family members and friends and make a big party? Congrats!

I think that proposing at the top of the London Eye is a WONDERFUL idea (unless she’s afraid of heights). When my ex-fiance proposed to me (we didn’t go through with the wedding, but I have to admit he did the proposal thing properly), he had, unbeknownst to me, contacted all of my oldest and dearest friends and had them come to town for a surprise engagement party. We’d been playing frisbee on top of Mt. Bonnell, and he switched frisbees when I wasn’t looking. The new frisbee had the most amazing letter taped to the bottom of it. When I got done reading it, he was down on one knee with the ring. Later that night, he took me out to dinner. We walked into the restaurant (I’m under the impression that this is a meeting for a law school function), and surprise! There were all the people I care about waiting for us. Wonderful surprise; I was quite impressed with him for pulling it off. Maybe you could have an engagement party afterwards? I agree that asking the father/brother is a classy move (my ex did), but in your case it may be impossible or cause her unnecessary grief. Sometimes it’s just not feasible, despite your best intentions. Best of luck to you–let us know how it goes! I, for one, would like to know what happens.

I think the London Eye is a wonderful idea. Even if you can’t afford a private capsule, having other people around isn’t necessarily all that bad – they usually ooh and aah and remark on how lucky the lady is.

Going down on one knee is a must. Whatever you say, make sure it’s from your heart. Saying something like “You are the most beautiful woman in the world. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?” only works if it’s really you. If you really can’t think of anything to say, quote someone (Shakespeare and Neruda are perennial favorites) and then ask.

Congrats and good luck!

Am I the only one who would never want my SO to ask my parents for my hand? It’s not theirs to give. The whole idea is so dated, since most women have been on their own for years before they get engaged.

The Ferris Wheel sounds nice. I think a formal proposal just means a ring and getting down on one knee. Somebody above mentioned not having a ring ahead of time, but I know a lot of women wouldn’t go for that. My ex-roomie had a good alternative: propose with a cubic zirconium from the mall and go shopping for the real ring together.

Similar to Mithril’s story, I proposed while on holiday (in a secluded and romantic setting, but not pre-prepared). I bought her what we called a ‘proposal ring’ which she wore in place of the engagement ring, which we later chose together soon after our return.

Good luck to Paul in Saudi!

My husband tried a little too hard, and it ended up just being weird.

My husband was acting strange the whole day that he proposed to me. At about four o’clock, he gave me a gift. I opened it up and it was a book. (I don’t even remember what it was any more. I think something about relationships)

A few hours later handed me a package while he was driving. Another book. This one I think had something to do with sexual positions.

We were on our way home from a play, and I wanted a drink. I would have liked to go out to a coffee shop but he didn’t like that idea. He stopped at 7-11 and bought me a slush. Somehow I managed to spill it all over myself.

I was pretty anxious to get home after the play, but he would have none of it. He drove me to a park (not one we’d ever been to before) and then somehow awkwardly proposed.

He said something while he presented the ring, and then was annoyed that I had no response. I was waiting for him to ask me; something like “Will you marry me?” rather than “I love you so much and want to spend the rest of my life with you” (I don’t remember what he actually did say, but it was not a question.)

I would have preferred just the question itself, without the gifts, in a place that was meaningful to us, rather than somewhere that he thought was romantic.

So, if you both adore Ferris Wheels, that’s perfect, but if you’re just choosing it because you think it’s cute, do some more thinking.

How about an email with a link to this thread? :stuck_out_tongue: