Of all the things involved in getting married, the most terrifying (from the groom’s perspective anyway) is the proposal.
I wasn’t in much doubt that marriage was on the mind of my beloved Shabby Chic Bride – she left some not-too-subtle hints around the house and on my computer. Do you remember the Microsoft advert where the husband uses Private Browsing to look for a ring for his wife? Well, SCB didn’t use private browsing and left the tabs open. Oh, and I’m fairly certain the dude in the MS ad wasn’t “shopping for rings.”
In any case, even knowing that a “yes” was probably on the cards, and having picked a place and time, I was still bricking it. I had to tell my parents, who at that point had only spoken to SCB on the phone. Scarier still, I had to tell her father of my intentions. I knew my parents would be over the moon, and I knew her father liked me and would be happy for us. These facts didn’t stop my finger hovering over the dial button for a good 10 minutes per call. I even told my mom not to tell my dad, but just to have him call me when he got home from lunch. With the parental phone call out of the way (tears were shed on both sides of the phone!) it was time to call the FFIL (future father-in-law). In the end I needn’t have worried, but trust me, the minute the FFIL picks up the phone for that conversation, you get very nervous, very quickly.
I had planned the proposal without taking into account a crucial factor: the British weather. The original plan involved dinner at her favourite restaurant in Brighton (which happened) followed by a walk along the pier. However, sub-arctic temperatures forced us to walk back to the car via the beachfront promenade. I don’t really remember what I said (apparently it involved the phrase “without further ado”), but I remember getting down on one knee and asking her to marry me. I still get a bit nervous thinking about it!
Here’s a few pointers to any prospective grooms-to-be out there:
1. When you plan the location, take into account somewhere that’s special to her rather than somewhere flash. The London Eye is great but if the future bride loves the countryside or a certain town or area, be sure to include that. This is a special moment for both of you; showing off takes a back seat to showing how much you understand her and your relationship.
2. Don’t worry too much if you flub your lines like I did. I had a speech planned; it turned out to be nothing like what I’d planned. If its from the heart, it’s meaningful. Likewise, if things like weather, restaurant plans or anything else doesn’t go to plan, just roll with it. Remember, it’s about the love you share with your bride.
3. Don’t stress too much about parental reactions. If you’re in a loving, committed relationship, your sets of parents will see that and be supportive.
4. Take in the moment and pause for breath. This is one of the most amazing moments in your life. Take the time to appreciate it.
Once the proposal has happened, and she says yes, the rest of the journey together begins. Compared to that moment, the rest of it is easy!