• Proposing on a holiday or birthday: Consider picking a day meaningful to your relationship, such as the anniversary of your first date. Your girlfriend wants her day to shine – don’t propose on a holiday that can’t be yours as a couple.
• Leaking the news: When you’re ready to pop the question, don’t spill the beans to too many “confidants.” Sharing the news with friends and family is more exciting if you do it together.
• Forgetting her family: Pull your manners out of the closet and call the appropriate member of her family for “the talk.” According to a recent survey, 42 percent of Americans feel the act of asking a woman’s family for her hand – whether it be her father, mother or even a sibling – is still a time-honored tradition.
• Playing hide and seek with the ring: Imagine this: you’re about to propose to your girlfriend when she swallows the ring because you “cleverly” hid it in an ice cream cone or cocktail. Sending your fiancée to the emergency room might not be the best way to start your future.
• Staging a practical joke: Minutes before the proposal, throwing your girlfriend off by convincing her that you’re in jail or that you won’t be ready for marriage for years could have unintended consequences.
• Missing the VIP treatment: Do your research and you’ll find that many venues are happy to create a special setting for your proposal. For example, many theaters will schedule private screenings, restaurants can provide champagne toasts and amusement parks can offer private rides.
• Acting like you settled: A surefire way to ruin any proposal is to start with any of the following statements: “You win” / “We’re not getting any younger” / “In spite of what my mother says” / “I have sowed my wild oats.”
• Losing sight of what the proposal is all about: Your proposal will be perfect if it is honest, heartfelt and passionate.