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For the guys: A proposal checklist

You've made the decision to pop the question - so now what? Well, between the ring, the planning and the party, there's a ton of preparation involved. Use our handy step-by-step guide to make sure your surprise proposal goes off without a hitch!

Step 1: The Ring

You know she'll be excited at the prospect of being engaged, but it's the beautiful ring that goes along with the fairy tale that helps pull it all together. It's likely that you've either taken her ring shopping, paid attention as she dropped hints or found a ring that you think represents her style. Now it's time to seal the deal by making this life-changing purchase. Do your research first before you head to your local jeweler to pick out the diamond and the setting. Be sure that you give yourself enough time - it may take a few weeks to make the ring. Once the ring is in your possession, talk to your insurance agent to determine if you need additional coverage through your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Step 2: The Plan

Now that you have the perfect ring, it's time to craft a game plan. Don't be afraid to get creative! Think about the things she likes. Does she enjoy cozy dinners at home and one-on-one time with you? Or does she love adventure and being surrounded by lots of people? Either way, try to come up with a proposal that reflects her personality.

Step 3: The Prep Work

Follow through with your plans. Pick up the ring and store it in a safe place (where she can't find it). If you want to ask her parents for permission, set up a time to meet with them. Also, gather the necessary romantic props in advance - flowers, candles and so on. If you're going to a restaurant, club or any other special venue, call to confirm your reservations and clue them in on your proposal plan.

Step 4: Popping the Question

The time has finally come. Once everything is in place, enjoy surprising your bride-to-be with the perfect proposal. Don't let your nerves overrule the moment. Once she says "yes," take a few pictures to share with everyone later and start spreading the good news to family and friends.

Step 5: Celebrate!

Congrats! You two will be planning your wedding very soon. Now you'll get to schedule your engagement photos, put an announcement in the newspaper and set a date for the big day. Take the time to enjoy your engagement with dinners, drinks and an engagement party afterward, which brings everyone you love together.


(For wedding-planning advice, tools, photos, and more, visit


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