(Closed) A question about “surprise” marriage proposals

posted 9 years ago in Proposals
Post # 3
Member
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House

Mr. Beagle felt that it was important to formally speak to Papa and Mama Beagle before he proposed.  This really had nothing to do with "asking permission", but it was more out of respect for them and to let them know how he felt about me.  We picked out and bought the ring about a month before this happened (for reasons outside our control he wasn’t able to speak to them in person before this time).  So… as soon as he talked to them, he then propsed.  I think for Mr. Beagle (since he is the one who proposed), he wanted our formal proposal to be a special moment between us that we could look back on always (and I love, love, love the amount of thought he put into it- even when I think about it now, I smile!).  We talked about marriage quite a bit before this and were able to hash out most of disagreements, etc…. So for us, the proposal also marked the turning point from talking to planning and it was the point that we can look at and say we’ve reached mutual agreement of what our marriage is going to be about.

Post # 4
Member
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, it wasn’t really a surprise to me because I totally knew it was coming. If you are completely, 100% blown out of the water, it means you haven’t talked seriously about getting married! In my opinion and I don’t mean that to be offensive. I truly believe you should together decide to get married, and the proposal should happen thereafter. But I still liked the idea of him officially asking me to marry him, as did he. We knew it was going to happen, but it was just the right thing to do I guess. We both decided when he would propose because, well, when you get 14 days of leave from Iraq, there isn’t a whole lot of mystery to that.

However, I do have a happily married coworker for about 7 or so plus years….and he and his wife agreed to get married on a handshake.

Post # 5
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I sort of like the "middle path" that my fiance and I ended up taking on this one, I’ll explain –

First of all, it is important to know that we are comparatively young – both 21 right now and both 22 for our wedding. However, having been together since 16 and knowing that he’d be starting his Army career after we both graduate from college, after almost two years of successful long distance I was starting to wonder what "post college" held for us, and if wow, we might actually get married. As we got older and things continued to go well, I fell in love with him more all the time (plus of course our relationship became more adult as *we* became adults). This summer before I left to study abroad, I hinted at wanting to talk about it, but since that had backfired before, I just let it go and figured I’d just let things be.

 Well, about a week into my time abroad, he brought up the future – out of the blue! I couldn’t believe that was the moment he chose, but it was. So, over the next couple days we decided our future path, through computer communication. We both brought up all the hard issues that we needed to work out, and some of the lighter things as well. Since we’d never explicitly talked marriage before, it was freeing, strange, and wonderful! Before too long we realized that we’d both decided independently that we wanted to get married, and that June 2010 (post graduation) was the best time to do it. I’d never seriously let myself believe we might get married that early, so it was overwhelming to think of – in a good way.

 I say all that because in our instance, it was good to decide together. A complete surprise proposal would have had a little less of the pure joy that our engagement had because we’d have had to weigh out the pros and cons in THAT moment, instead of months earlier like we did. I also needed those few months were we’d decided but it was pretty quiet, in order to get used to the exciting path that my life was now going to take. 

We started to talk about the wedding, but avoided talking about engagement or the ring. I deduced that he was probably going to propose to me when he visited Italy over Christmas break, but that was more logistical than anything. His whole process of buying and selecting the ring was entirely secret from me until after the fact.

 In order to stop blabbing I will just say – I love that the ring itself was a surprise, that he had to be "sneaky" and got to plan everything on his own that way. But I am also glad that marriage was a decision we made together, and that I had a chance to work through all the important aspects of this life choice, negatives and positives, and be sure of my decision before I got engaged. Because the decision had already been made, there was nothing left to do but celebrate and enjoy that special moment with him – no wondering if I was making the right decision! If he had proposed out of the blue, it would have caught me offguard in a more negative way, and I would have been trying to figure out if marriage was really the best thing AFTER he’d already bought the ring…

 So, that is how it went for us. I love that the proposal and the ring were basically surprises, but the decision about our future was very much between the two of us in advance. Just my thoughts!

Post # 6
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

@ejs…I don’t think that’s true. Plenty of people talk about it and know where they stand and are still surprised {100%} with the timing or type of proposal. I don’t think that’s bad. 

Post # 7
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My case is also non-traditional. We started talking seriously about marrying each other after we’d been together about 1.5 years. However, I had one big hesitation and wanted to make sure he’d be okay living in a different part of the country. We moved, together, and then started discussing actually marrying each other. I can pinpoint a moment when it changed from "talking about it" to actually working toward making it happen. I consider that when we were engaged.

We started making plans and even looked at a few venues and discussed dates. We put a deposit on the place where we’ll have the ceremony and reception. We looked at rings together. 

About a month, maybe 6 weeks, after that — he "proposed" because he wanted to do something romantic, and he presented me with the ring. He asked me to marry him, and I said that we’re already doing that. 

Not the norm, I know, but I think we both got what we wanted, and that’s the most important thing.

Post # 8
Member
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

it’s more than a guy deciding when it’s time to get married.  I think most couples indeed DO discuss the option of marriage before he asks. 

In my case I think pretty much it’s when he has the darn thing paid off!  Lol!  My guy is very fiscally conservative and we don’t overextend ourselves financially and doing great despite this economy.  Plus we’re having to merge two households but we know we are marriage bound!

Like you both, we know we’re getting married, but I want the surprise of when he officially asks me!  I’m a completely independent and professional woman who at the same time loves tradition and I want that Cinderella moment!  My guy knows I love a great surprise and to me, I find it terribly romantic when the time will come and he knows it’s important to me too..despite the fact we already know 100 percent that we’ll spend the rest of our lives together.  Our friends and family  know too.  For me this is nothing about me being a feminist or whatever..it’s about romance and simple logistics mixed in too!

Whether your loving partner hands you a glittery ring, a glass slipper, or a beautiful wedding set, it matters not..what matters is the love and the feeling when that moment arises..however it arises for you both.

Post # 9
Member
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

This day and age I seriously doubt that any guy would singlehandedly decide that it’s time or not time to get married without asking his girlfriend and discussing matters. 

But dammit give me all the flowers and romance and candy you can!  And a sparkly ring can’t hurt either!  100 percent girly girl!

Post # 10
Member
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Interesting post. I’ve wondered about this too, from all angles. For us, we were discussing getting married for at least a year before he proposed- and usually it was me asking why he wasn’t proposing (it had been 3 years!) and was he serious with me or should I just do my own thing (i.e., not move back to Boston, etc). I also made it pretty clear to him that I was applying to schools all over the country and the only way I was picking one in Boston (if I got in) was if I had a ring. I did not want to be someone who moved for a man and based my life around him if he had not fully committed to me. So, yes, we talked about it. Did we say, we’re definitely getting married, so now I guess we’re technically engaged? No. Nor did we pick rings out together, nor did I have any idea when he was going to propose- it sure felt like it was never goign to happen! He firmly believed that a proposal should be a surprise, and the ring should be picked out by him. I hinted through the years about what I want (ok, maybe I more than hinted.. I even wrote it down for him!) but seriously I had no idea when it was going to happen. When the day finally came though, even though I was surpised, I was totally not surprised either because I knew at SOME point, it was coming. 

We have two couple-friends that did not discuss, for one single second, getting married before they got engaged. THey had been together 3 years and not one word about it the day he got down on one knee. Incidentally, they are also the only couple of our all friends that are having a very hard time with marriage, getting along, compromising, etc. On the flipside, I have a friend who designed and purchased her rings with her fiance a year before they got engaged. She said she used to wear it around the house when he wasn’t home.

I think this is one of those issues where there is no right or wrong, and try as we might, we’ll never know what works for another couple or why. Everyone is different and it’s really easy to pass judgement when someone does something that is totally opposite from what you have done. It’s really easy for me to say that our couple friends that didn’t discuss it probably should have- but I don’t know what it’s really like in their relationship.  It’s also easy for me to be shocked that my friend wore her ring a year before she was engaged, but again- what do I know? Only what worked for us! It is really interesting though how couples do everything different. I’m really glad that my Fiance and I discussed marriage at length before he proposed, but I’m also glad the propose was a "surprise." However, even though I love my ring, looking back I would have liked to help him pick my ring…just because who knows what I’d have fallen in love with if I’d had the chance to really look around. I think I mentioned it a few times but he was pretty adamant about how that would ruin the surprise. So, to each his own I guess!

Post # 12
Member
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

well, I’m in the waiting to propose / going to be surprised category, so here’s a little insight…

 We’ve been dating since highschool (over 5 years now), we both graduate this May, but he’s going to work and I head straight to gradschool, and will be done next August. We’ve talked about it before, we know that we want to get married, but feel as though now we are too young. He is Malaysian Indian, and although I know and love his family, he’s never talked with them about our future… his culture sees the guys as babies until they get married, and lets just say his mom is not quite ready to give up her baby to anyone ๐Ÿ™‚ this is also reinforced by multi-generational homes (ie new wife just moves into the family home) that is also traditional for him (soooo not into that).

 So! We know we want it to happen, but I need him to be the one to talk with his family to get their blessings (which is absolutely necessary), and they wouldn’t consider it until he has some money saved up from some time working (again with the traditional, he has to be able to provide for me etc). My family is more open… my parents flat out asked me when we were getting married, and I explained and said I don’t know. So, long story short… I expect a proposal sometime after we graduate, maybe after I get my masters.  I don’t know if I would consider myself a feminist, but I don’t mind waiting for him to sort out his things before this can officially happen. We have committed to each other as equals, which is the most important thing (to me).. I can run around and tell my friends and family when the time is right ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 13
Member
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

KateMW, I didn’t mean with the timing of the proposal!!!! Not at all. I just meant the actual getting married thing. Eek i didn’t mean to offend anyone.

I simply said this because I have friends who were in relationships, and the guy was super serious and the girl wasn’t (yet). Well they never ever talked about getting married…and the dude proposed. Then it’s the awkward "uhhhhh" conversation. They had never talked about marriage or GETTING married!!! So she was blown out of the water by the proposal….basically had no idea he would ever propose.

 That’s all I meant by that! I have plenty of friends who talked about getting married and wanted to be, and KNEW it was coming, but were completely blown away by their proposal! I hope that makes more sense. 

Post # 14
Member
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I think it is fairly unusual for the guy to propose with honestly no idea what the answer will be. I think the vast majority of couples discuss marriage, at least in the eventual sense, before the formal proposal. Before I started reading weddingbee, I had no idea how many couples bought their rings together in advance or were basically engaged before making it official.

I admit I was getting a little upset about my fiance being the one who got to pick when marriage would happen. But like you, I was the one who took a long time to be ready. For some reason I was really reluctant to let him know when I did feel ready. A fear of seeming desperate, perhaps, I don’t know. But eventually, we began discussing marriage as a ‘when’ instead of an ‘if’ and while I was surprised by the proposal, he did know I was going to say yes.

Post # 15
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Well, my Fi started talking about marriage months into our relationship.  But we were in college, and I made it very clear that I did not want to get married until we had graduated.  We started talking seriously about getting engaged in June of 2007.  By the time Christmas had rolled around, we had both decided New Year’s Eve was a good time for the proposal, we had looked at rings together, and I had listened in when he called our parents to tell them he was going to ask.  When he proposed, it wasn’t some big, over-the-top story.  He didn’t give any big long speech or anything, either.  But it was special for us.  ๐Ÿ™‚  And I really just wouldn’t want it any other way.  My involvement, our decision together to get married, and even the waiting for the "official" moment was all perfect, imo.  After the proposal, we didn’t even pick a date for 6 months, and didn’t start planning until over 8 months after the engagament!  But that’s fine by me, too, because it fit really well with out timeline and other life plans.

I guess a lot of why my Fi proposed even after we had decided to get married was because of our families and our own expectations.  We didn’t want our parents to miss out on the fun of the proposal and engagement.  They had been waiting for this for a long time!  And, honestly, neither of us wanted to miss out either.  I mean, I’m only planning on being proposed to once.  I wanted him to get down on his knee and give me the ring in front of our friends; I wanted the "traditional" story to tell our future kids and grandkids.  He told me that really wanted to do it, too, knowing that he wouldn’t get a chance for a re-do.  I totally agree with the other posters who said it’s what works for the couple.  This is what worked for us, and we’re both very happy with how it turned out! 

Post # 16
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We’d talked about how we would get married for a long time–we’ve been together 7 years, and started dating when we were 20.  We’d decided that we wanted to purchase a ring together and I knew we wanted something estate and he did not want it to be all diamonds (he thinks they’re boring & too traditional).  I know people who bought the ring together and then waited to get engaged, and personally, that would drive me nuts!  We got engaged without a ring, which was perfect for us.

 I think this is a case of different strokes for different folks–just about every combination would work for someone, and you just have to trust that you and your mate are on the right page for you two… 

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