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1. Make it as memorable as possible.
When I proposed to my wife I wanted it to be memorable in more than one way. I wanted it to be in a beautiful, familiar setting, so that my future wife would be comfortable, yet delighted at the same time. I also recorded the whole thing, so that we could watch the whole thing over and over again years later.
2. Details, details, details!
The more forethought that you can put into your proposal the better. Women are impressed when you show that you really thought about everything carefully, and about her overall experience. The more senses that you can help simulate the better. Beautiful scenery, tasty food, physical affection, pleasant smells, her favorite kind of music—you name it, and the sky is pretty much the limit with this kind of stuff!
3. Make sure someone takes pictures.
Assuming your girl says yes, make sure that you have a photographer who can take some great shots of you as a newly engaged couple. Pictures are priceless, so it is incredibly important that you have a great photographer that you can trust to do a great job.
4. Try to calm your nerves as much as humanly possible.
It doesn't matter if you are 99 percent sure that she will say yes to your proposal, you will still most likely be, or get, nervous. If you propose at nighttime then try to do something as calming as possible in the hours leading up to the proposal. Avoid last minute rushing around, as this will stress you out, and probably cause you to be more nervous.
5. Practice in your mind how you want everything to happen.
It is good to have your game plan as specific as possible. It might not even be a bad idea to write it all down, and then bounce it off of a trusted friend who may be able to give some helpful input. Or, if you aren't a fan of writing, then maybe you can just record yourself with your phone going over the plan in detail.
6. Respect her answer.
One important thing to remember is that if your girl happens to say no to the proposal this doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't want to ever get married, unless of course she explicitly says this. Sometimes women just are not ready to make the commitment, and they need more time to get to know you, which is completely understandable. If she says no, then you can still treat the night like a date of sorts. Try to not take the answer as a blow to your character.
7. Double check everything before the big day.
If you are making reservations anywhere, then double check to make sure they are still good on the day of the proposal. If you are using certain props, then make sure you have them ready to go so that you don't have to go searching for them last minute. Make sure you know where the ring is of course... can't forget that!
8. Remember that it is important to talk to her father before you ask her.
It may seem old-fashioned and unneeded, however talking to your girl's father before you propose is important. Fathers are usually very protective, and may put up a front about things, however all you are really asking for is his permission or blessing to propose to his daughter. It is important to truly care about what his response is, because he may have important information that you should be aware of.
9. Set a timetable as soon as possible.
If the answer is a resounding "yes" to the proposal of marriage, then it is important to make some basic plans as quickly as possible when it comes to having a rough estimate of when you plan on getting married, and what kind of wedding you would like to have. Days after couples get engaged, they are inundated with questions and questions about wedding plans, so the more you know right of the bat the better.
10. Enjoy the night!
Last, but not least... enjoy yourselves! Proposals should be fun, and you will most likely have spent a lot of time, energy, and money on this day, so don't forget to laugh and have a wonderful time together, because you both deserve it.