Asking your partner to marry you | This is how you do it

Reading time 8 Minutes

Asking your partner to marry you | This is how you do it

Reading time 8 Minutes

A man and a woman hug each other on the beach at sunset as he is about to propose to her.

Asking your partner to marry you

The time has come! You have found the love of your life and are eager to spend the rest of your life with this person. It's time to ask your sweetheart to marry you. The big question is: how do you go about this? In this article, you will read everything you need to know about the marriage proposal.

A man and a woman kneel down in a field of tall grass and share a blissful moment during their marriage proposal.

On which knee do you ask someone to marry you?

Dropping to one knee is an ancient tradition. It was first introduced by Emperor Alexander the Great in 328 BC. With this court etiquette, the people showed respect and loyalty to various emperors, kings and noblemen for decades.

Nowadays, most people take a bow when meeting the president (or king). The idea behind this gesture is the same. However, kneeling is still performed during the marriage proposal. According to tradition, during the proposal, the man lowers on his left knee, after which he asks his partner for his or her hand. The man thus shows respect, love and loyalty to his future partner.

In practice, few people know on which knee a proposal is made. Whether you follow the tradition is entirely up to you. Chances are you'll be there on the moment supreme don't even think about it! In fact, if you prefer to stay put, this is also totally fine. It's a tradition, not an obligation.

A man proposes to a woman in the sand and asks her 10 to marry him.

After how long to propose?

This is your true love, you know it for sure! There is no one else you would rather step into the marriage boat with. When you decide to say yes to each other is completely personal. There are no rules for this. If it feels right, then it feels right. One note: Keep in mind the well-known happiness hormones. Want to be sure of your unconditional love? Then take your time and wait at least 1 year with your proposal.

A couple romantically swinging on a rope in a park as one person decides to propose to their partner.

5 ways to propose to your lover

There are hundreds of ways to propose to your partner. Let your imagination run wild and come up with your own unique proposal. Looking for some inspiration? Below, we discuss 5 ways to ask the other person to marry you.

A spectacular outing

Treat your boyfriend or girlfriend to a fun trip. What have you always wanted to do? Plan a hot-air balloon ride, go bungee jumping or visit a romantic attraction. When the other person is not expecting it, pop the big question. It will be a day you will never forget.

A pink diamond gold wedding band.

Hide the engagement ring

Nice cliché, but for good reason: hiding the engagement ring remains one of the nicest ways to give the other person a proposal to do. Hide the ring in a place where the other person often looks, so that the ring is found the same day. Consider a (bedside) cupboard, the coffee table, or slip the ring around a rolled-up napkin while setting the table.

Tip: Hide the ring in an orderly place. The ring should stand out and not disappear among the rubbish. Besides, hiding the ring in a dessert or wine glass is a bad idea. Before you know it, your fiancé will swallow the ring. You want your first day as engaged couple do not spend in the emergency room!

Organise a scavenger hunt

Are you creative and fond of games? Then a proposal in the form of a treasure hunt is just the thing for you. Hide several notes around the house and lead your partner step by step to the big moment. Your scavenger hunt will end with a grandiose proposal with candles, rose petals and a big bottle of champagne.

A pair of high-heeled shoes in front of a fireplace, creating the romantic atmosphere for someone to propose marriage.

Dormant engagement

A risky but romantic proposal: when the other person is asleep, carefully slide the engagement ring on his or her finger. When your partner discovers the ring in the morning, you drop to one knee. Bring your fiancé a nice breakfast and continue the day with a romantic getaway.

Making a banner

A proposal on a giant banner; you have surely seen it once. Ask your family and friends for help and create a giant banner with the well-known question on it. At the end of a day out, you (and your family) conjure up the banner: "Sweetheart, will you marry me?"

    A man and a woman stand on a rock in The Hague, in front of the ocean at sunset.

Where to propose?

The ideal location for an engagement has everything to do with your own personal preference and how you want to propose to the other person.

A frequently chosen venue, is the location of your first date. Of course, this should be appropriate. Dropping to one knee during the plot of a cinema movie is not appreciated by anyone!

One of your favourite spots is also a suitable location for the proposal. Think of your favourite view, holiday place or restaurant.

Finally, decide whether you will go for a private, or public setting. In doing so, gauge first whether your partner appreciates a public setting; you don't want to embarrass your partner! For this reason, many choose a private setting, where you can take your time for each other. Of course, this remains your choice! You know yourself and the other person best.

A couple's hands hold an engagement ring during a romantic proposal.

On which hand do you wear the engagement ring?

Traditionally, the hand on which you wear the engagement ring depends on the hand on which the wedding ring will be worn. If you wear the wedding ring on the right, the engagement ring will be worn on the left and vice versa. This is often determined by tradition, religion, symbolism or practical considerations. For example, many Dutch Catholics wear the wedding ring on the left and Protestants wear the wedding ring on the right. The engagement ring is then worn on the other hand. However, this varies by region and country.

Away from ancient symbolism? In ancient Egypt, the engagement ring was worn on the right hand. The wedding ring was placed on the left, as the left ring finger was said to have a direct connection to the heart. It could hardly be more romantic!

Nowadays, the hand is often chosen for practical reasons: as a right-hander, you wear the ring on the left and as a left-hander, you wear the ring on the right. This way, you avoid damaging the ring. During marriage, the wedding ring is often slipped on top of the engagement ring as a set.

During the betrothal there are two wedding rings on flowers.

What ring size does my partner have?

A ring size is tricky to guess. Wearing a ring that is too big, or too small, is not an option. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks that will help you discover your partner's ring size:

  • Does your partner have many rings? Secretly measure the diameter of one ring that your partner is not wearing at the moment and give it to the jeweller.
  • Even if your partner only wears one ring, it is usually taken off while showering or exercising. Take your chance and measure quickly and unobtrusively!
  • Getting engaged has no set rules. Buying an engagement ring is not a requirement for a successful proposal. However, keep in mind that it is often expected. You don't want to disappoint your partner! Rather not have a ring? Give your partner another piece of jewellery instead, or gift a night away.
A bride and groom embracing in a garden.

Asking the hand of in-laws

In the old days, the groom was obliged to ask her father for the bride's hand. The bride's father determined whether the man would be a suitable partner for his daughter. Nowadays, this tradition is no longer observed. Most couples marry later in life and decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives. Still, it can be nice to ask your in-laws for your partner's hand in marriage. It shows respect and love towards your partner and in-laws. You don't need permission, but do involve your partner's parents in your wedding plans.

Do you like this article? Save or share it with friends.

Plan your dream wedding now with our wedding photography
Take today contact at

About the Author: Justin Manders

As wedding photographer Since 2013, I have had the privilege of constantly seeing the most beautiful sides of people. My role is to observe and direct people and moments so that they are remembered in the most enjoyable way. I am always open to a good conversation, so don't hesitate to contact me.

Leave A Comment

Go to Top