Friday, January 11, 2008

Wedding Proposal Step 1, 2 & 3

Some friends ask me why I picked out my own engagement ring and ruin the surprise of seeing it for the first time. Okay. Here’s the deal.

The way I see it, there are usually 3 steps before a wedding happens. This is with the assumption that the guy is asking the girl. Steps differ slightly if it’s the girl doing the asking.

Step 1: Finding out if she has any intention of marrying you. Note that this is different from asking her for her hand in marriage. Skipping this step would mean risking 3 months salary on a ring only for her to reject you.

Step 2: Buy the diamond ring.

Step 3: Propose to her.

Step 4 (this applies only for more traditional families): Asking for her parents’ permission and blessing.

Men, in general are not very good in planning and not very good with details. And when it comes to something as important as a wedding proposal, ruining it would mean that it will stick with you for the entire duration of your marriage. There is no turning back time or re-proposals. And women usually like fairytale proposals and of course fairytale weddings too, assuming the proposal goes well if they say yes.

Examples of proposals I have heard from friends.

They were watching TV at home and he turns around to her and says “Eh, want to get married, ah?”

They were walking in a mall and they passed a jewelry store and he asked her “Want a diamond ring?”

They were having drinks and singing in a karaoke with a big group of friends and getting drunk when he presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a ring.

They were standing at the beach at Margaret River. It was a place of significance for him. The sun was setting and a soft breeze was blowing. It was the most romantic setting. He turns to her and asks “What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” She pauses a moment and thinks. And she says “So are you asking me to marry me now or are you merely asking me what I would say if you were to ask me?”

They were on a beach. He switches on the camera to video mode and walks towards her. Ensuring he captured her face in the frame, he balances the camera in one hand and reaches his other hand into his pocket and takes out the box which holds the diamond ring hand. He then goes down on one knee, still focusing the camera on her face with one hand. With his other hand, he tries to pry open the box. He tries again. And again. About 2 minutes has passed and she starts to frown at him and the camera, wondering what’s going on. After about another 30 seconds, he passed the camera to her and said “Hold this”. Using his now free hand, he opened the box, thrusts it towards her, looks up with a sweaty face and asks ‘Will you marry me?”

See what I mean? In order to simplify the 3 step process, Paul and I have already discussed marriage. In fact, this was something we wanted within weeks of getting to know each other. But we thought we should get to know each other’s family better and start saving first. So that’s Step 1 is out of the way.

As for Step 2, I’m trying to prevent something disastrous from happening. I was explaining to Salt Boy that talking about a wedding and picking out a ring does not mean I’m engaged yet. So he asks why I picked the ring rather than to have it as a surprise. It is simply because I want to choose my own ring. Can you imagine your boyfriend getting down on one knee in the most romantic of settings and presenting you with a box. You open it and you see the smallest, ugliest diamond ring which is in the wrong shape and wrong setting and wrong material from what you would have liked. And it’s in the wrong size too! Wouldn’t that totally ruin the proposal?

And you could also think “How could he have chosen THAT ring? It’s not me at all. He doesn’t know my tastes. He doesn’t understand me. He doesn’t know me. I need to rethink marrying him. It may be a mistake. Imagine him as a father to my kids! He’ll ruin my future and the future of my kids! Noooo!”

That is of course a very extreme scenario but you get where I’m coming from.

So there are a lot of variables which contribute to the perfect proposal and just a 3 second delay can sometimes make one of the most romantic day of your life turn out to be the story you tell to you grandkids in bitterness. “See …. Your Ah Kong …. That was how he proposed to me! And to think I said yes!”

That, coupled with how most men cannot plan and organize things properly is too scary for me to leave too much to chance.

That is also another reason why holidays planned by men are usually haphazard and at times the trip needs to be canceled or if it takes does place, some of the men don’t make it it. But that’s another story.

That’s why I have decided to eliminate Step 1 and 2. Not wanting to have anything to do with Step 3 is scary but it is after all a proposal traditional done by men. I’ve done what I can to ensure that the 66.6% goes well. In these modern day and age, women are more open and want to be partly in control of a relationship. But women still want a bit of romantism. We know chivalry is almost dead but when it comes to the wedding proposal, we still want it to be perfect and a surprise.

Any more funny, unprepared proposals to share with me?


Zoe said...

I absolutely agree with you. That's why I did the same too->Chose my own ring.
Just imagine: How to wear a ring which is not your taste for the rest of your life? It's really not easy to get a fit one if without trying on, which will really ruin the whole proposal.
Although I've seen the ring, but like what you are thinking:I'm not engaged yet as long as I haven't accept the ring from him officially. Although his proposal was not as romantic as I imagined, but at least he made some effort, and proposed to me officially in the Snow World in Genting, where there were some people watching him took out the ring, waited for my answer, and put the ring on my finger. Sigh.....what else can I ask for? ;p

Angeline said...

I totally concur; I'm totally practical as well.

aruri said...

I meant to blog abt my proposal eons ago but never got the inspiration to put it down in good story-telling kinda words. Mine is a typical proposal, I think. He cooked up a candle-light dinner as a surprise. I still remember the heart-shaped carrot slices he painstakingly cut one by one..hahahhaa. Towards the end, he knelt down, asked me to marry him while presenting me the perfect ring! It's not a humongous Tiffany & Co diamond ring, it's just the right size and design for my tiny finger. Of course, I still needed to get it re-sized. I cried. I didn't see it coming, really. And I thought I would've said "Can I think abt it?" The last thing I imagined myself doing was to cry. But I did. It's still a mystery. That was on Valentine's Day (typical) 2004.

Bubbles said...

Looks like this is a matter which is close to many womens' hearts. Guys should seriously consider this and while only 5% of proposals are the perfect ones, they should put in as much thought and effort as possible even if it is one of the scariest things which they will do in their life time because the proposal is something which will be remembered forever and is a story which will be told and retold for generations to come.

Papa Alf said...

Well Bubbles ... here's one story that may amuse you a little bit ... my own wedding proposal plan executed to perfection (I must say cos I proposed once and got a Yes ... kekekekeke) ... it was on the day that we designated as the "Day that we officially dated and seeing no else ... 3 May 1998" ... exactly 10 years ago ... so as cliche as it is, we planned for a dinner date outing as done every year since we met on 3 May 1991 ... yes, took me 7 darn years before deciding to pop the question ... we went out, I stuffed the diamond ring box into my pants which was protuding out like nobody's business ... so darn obvious but phew ... girlfriend (back then) didn't notice cos it was evening and the restaurant was dimly lighted ... kekeke ... so throughout the whole dinner I was sweating profusely and my speech was at best disconnected sentences cos the brain was on overdrive mode . Kept feeling my pocket for the box cos was afraid that it'll accidently drop out and the cat out of the bag ... finished dinner, the place was near a park, so we strolled to smell the fresh breeze and chit chat. We sat down on a bench and I said to myself (Ah Ha!!! It's time ... kamakazee ... come what may) ... pulled the box out and popped the question. Ex-girlfriend then (now wifey lah!) said "YES" and woo hoo! Cart wheeled around for minutes (figure of speech ... actually I just sat there and caught my breath cos of the brain overdrive mode for hours before popping question) ... so here you go, one more story for your Blog Bubbles ... and CONGRATULATIONS!!! Welcome to the CLUB!! :)