Are there any real surprises anymore?

posted 2 months ago in Engagement
Post # 2
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

View original reply
@PrincessRB:  I was completely surprised. I showed him the ring I wanted but that was it. He proposed months before I expected it. 

Post # 3
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

The proposal was a complete surprise to me. 

Post # 4
10610 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I think the only real surprise proposals are ones that occur without anyone talking about marriage prior at all. Like the one I got from the homeless man at the gas station, THAT was a surprise. 

Post # 5
39 posts
  • Wedding: October 2022 - Belleville, PA

I’d like to think he was trying to surprise me, but I’m no idiot and there were too many in my face hints to ingore. Whenever he’d ask what I would want for my birthday or Christmas I would say “to be a Yoder” but we never set a timeline or anything. It was when I saw the ring credit bill in the mail, him oddly feeling my fingers one night when I was falling asleep, and him letting slip “one more week” outloud. He picked my ring out 100% on his own, and got the size 100% wrong too. I also knew he’d take me to a rock formation we went to on our first date to do it. So when he randomly asked me if I wanted to go back to it, I knew! There was even a small meltdown at work that day and I asked my office administrator if she could handle it, beacuse I was “pretty sure I have some pretty important plans”

Post # 6
345 posts
Helper bee

Any proposal that’s a “complete” surprise is… questionable to me.

A proposal isn’t a complete surprise after you’ve talked about marriage/engagement. The timing, if it’s earlier than the propos-ee expected, can be surprising. Or the location. Or the people present.

Mine was lovely. Intimate, in our home, toward the beginning of the pandemic after he and I has both recovered from COVID-19. I didn’t expect it that night (he didn’t either, but everything felt right and he’d had the ring for about a week or two). I more expected it during a planned vacation for July, which we obviously did not go on. He was toying with the idea of proposing on vacation or sometime before. There was a night in April where things just felt pretty perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Proposals can still be “a surprise” without being “blindsighted by this notion about our future” situations. People can go look at rings together without knowing a date/time. But honestly, we need to shirk this idea that the “surprise” proposals are the best ones. 

Post # 7
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I was absolutely surprised. But my situation is a little different than a lot of Bees, in that I didn’t especially want to get married. I wanted this man, for the rest of my life. I wasn’t opposed to marriage. But being married wasn’t a something I craved; I’d have been perfectly happy to live together permanently.

He had asked me a few months earlier about how I would feel about getting married. I basically said the above, and added that if it would something that he wanted I was absolutely into it. He made a joke about maybe waiting until we needed new silverware, and then we changed the subject. I really didn’t think about it again until he proposed.

However, by this point we were already cohabiting, had already figured out how to merge our finances in a way that works for us, had already navigated the complexities of being a mixed-race/faith/citizenship couple, worked out my role in his daughter’s life and affirmed that we both saw this relationship as permanent. I wasn’t surprised by the idea of spending my life with him. I was just surprised by the proposal of marriage actually happening.

Post # 8
25 posts
  • Wedding: November 2018

I agree that everyone should talk about marriage to some extent, obviously, but I definitely felt ‘surprised’ when my husband proposed. Pretty early on in our relationship I had told my now husband that I knew he was who I wanted to marry, but wanted him to feel ready too. We had talked about our future in depth, but I figured a proposal was a few years further down the line.

He figured out my ring size on his own and picked out the ring solo (granted I’m easy and he did a great job!!) He also spoke to both of my parents without my knowledge. We went on a trip and for a split second I thought it might happen, but as it got closer to the end of the trip, I had totally forgotten about it… (who proposes at the end of a trip :p) 

Then the night before we left to go back home, at a totally unexpected time, he popped the question. It was probably the only time in my life I was truly surprised and speechless. I’m so glad it happened that way, though… I felt it was so romantic that I didn’t have to push him at all and that he picked everything out himself!

I think that the magic can still exist, even if you talk about it a bit in advance 🙂 

Post # 9
1507 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

A proposal should never be a true surprise. Agreeing to get married is a mutual decision that should occur after a series of grown up talks about timelines, how to handle finances, whether to have kids, etc. Receiving the ring can be a surprise, but wouldn’t you know if your partner was up to something? 

A lot of bees want to be surprised by the proposal but also don’t want to wait in limbo. You can’t have it both ways. You can have some idea of what your future holds or not. By talking openly about ring preferences, you can have some reassurance that you’ll like your ring or you can have your “surprise” proposal but risk not liking the ring. 

By the time FH asked me to marry him, we had already discussed whether we were on the path to engagement. We had agreed to a timeline after a number of talks. I wasn’t expecting him to actually pop the question while we were driving down a rural highway. After that, we designed a ring together. The day he “officially” proposed with the ring, I was surprised to the extent that after all his suspiciously romantic plans for the day fell apart, he still found a way to make it happen.

Post # 10
1390 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

View original reply
@PrincessRB:  I don’t think it’s a question of there being real surprises. I think it’s a question of what that particular person prefers.

We’re at a point in time when women have more power in relationships than they did in the past. Women are no longer dependent on men like they used to be when they did not have the level of respect and independence that hey now do.

And yes, this translates into many women who want to be equals in a romantic relationship. Which means that they want to have a say in how and when the relationship progresses and how the significant chunk of money that many people spend on the ring should be allocated. And I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I also don’t see anything wrong with someone else wanting to have the process be a surprise. If someone wants everything to be a surprise and not know anything about the proposal or the ring, she should communicate that to her partner. Hopefully they have talked about how they want to live their lives together before that, though. But they know what is best for themselves.

This website does have a fair amount of posters who are not yet engaged, even though it is a wedding planning website. Because of that, I think WBee tends to skew toward women who want control in the engagement process, whether that’s in designing the ring and/or whether that it’s in the security of knowing that a proposal is coming in the next few months (because leaving it up to a total surprise can be anxiety-inducing for some people). Also, I don’t think that this website is a good represenation of the general population on that front.

Post # 11
4781 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
@PrincessRB:  The whole idea of a surprise proposal harks back to the time when women were considered property  and ownership was to be transfered between parties. As in ‘surprise you are getting married’ and your father has sold you to your husband without any type of consultation. 

We choose our own partners so I don’t think you can really have a surprise proposal because hopefully we have as much say in our relationship as to where we want it to go and don’t leave it up to another person to determine our lives whilst passively waiting by for them to choose us. For most people who had surprise proposals my guess is they knew it was going to happen in x amount of time  but not necessarily when and how. 

Post # 12
45 posts
  • Wedding: Agoura, California

Last year we ‘looked’ at rings and talked about marriage; however, he didn’t seem ready and had dodged the topic altogether for almost a year. I was in total shock when he popped the question! He had taken my broken ring to the jeweler with him for sizing, and it fits perfectly! 

It still happens. Yet, I agree with you that now the element of surprise is almost non-existent. 

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