Post # 1
So I’m hoping to propose to my girlfriend of four years in the very near future.
We’re young and – at least for me right now – cash is pretty tight (I had a job offer that fell through at the last moment in December and am in the process of scrambling to find replacement business).
My girlfriend is really chill and at this point I’m sure she would be just happy to get engaged.
I’ve asked her former roommate for advice (at her recommendation). I’m currently thinking about a restaurant/hotel engagement (either at the restaurant or afterwards in a hotel room).
I’ve been looking for options that are in my city – as right now, I think it would be easiest for both of us to stay local. My “advisor”, however, is recommending really fancy five star hotels that are a bit out of my budget (we’re both in our mid-twenties).
So my question are:
- Do I really need to spring for a fancy hotel? Neither of us are the type of people that appreciate five star luxury, and I’d rather that we use the money on something like a getaway! I’d also feel a bit irresponsible spending so much money for one night in our own city when, financially, things are not that rosy.
- In a slightly less fancy hotel, do I need to go for a huge suite? As in, isn’t a dinner in a nice restaurant and something imaginative in a regular room at a nice but regular hotel enough?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
You don’t need to do ANYTHING fancy. You don’t need a fancy hotel or a suite, or even a non-fancy hotel to be honest. We are exposed to so much stuff that portrays extravagant, flamboyant proposals but actually the important bit is the mutual agreement to spend the rest of your lives together.
If you are putting thought into it and having your girlfriend’s best interests in mind then it could be done at home in your living room and it would be equally lovely as a suite in a 5* hotel.
If your girlfriend is chill and neither of you would be that happy with spending the money on an expensive hotel, how about booking a getaway and proposing there, or getting engaged at home and then going on the getaway shortly after to celebrate together?
Good luck whatever you choose to do, I’m sure it will be perfect for both of you 🙂
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2019 - Beverly Hills, CA
Depending on your city, I’m sure you could find a really cute Airbnb that will feel more special and intimate than a hotel, especially for the price.
Post # 4
You know your girlfriend, and you know she is chill. You also are trying to be responsible with money, and it sounds like that’s something your girlfriend would be on board with. Don’t let her roommate sway you into something that doesn’t fit you as a couple and would be a waste of money.
I would go for a picnic or another romantic, but inexpensive, proposal, and then have a night in a hotel or bed and breakfast to celebrate. It doesn’t need to be fancy, because your girlfriend will just be so happy that you proposed!
Post # 5
you do not need a hotel at all
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2020 - City, State
I seriously do not understand the hotel thing. If you’re staying in town, you don’t need one. Like pp said, a picnic or a nice restaurant is plenty romantic. If you’d both like a getaway, book a getaway with standard accommodations, it doesn’t have to be anything five star, especially if that’s not her/your style anyway.
Post # 7
Thank you so much, guys!
Yes, my girlfriend simply wants to get engaged at this point (as do I).
I just keep hearing friends (and Google) tell me all these ridiculously fancy and elaborate ideas and am concerned that people will think I’m a a cheapskate by going for something more modest (I’m not, I just don’t feel like this is something worth dipping into my savings for when, for instance, I could put the money towards furnishing our first apartment).
I have a really nice idea for this new ethnic restaurant we were at last week that we both loved. They’re newly opened and I reckon I could convince them to stay open late and throw a private do for us. Then maybe go back to an Airbnb and call it a night. Sounds great to me.
Appreciate the encouragement!
Post # 8
I’ve actually always dreamed of staying in a hotel in my own city (don’t ask, I guess both because it’s slightly ridiculous but also nice to see your hometown from a new perspective). But it certainly doesn’t need to be a five star hotel!
Post # 9
Honestly, I don’t think very many people have ridiculously fancy/elaborate/expensive proposals. It just seems like they do — people will internet-brag about proposals involving 5 Star hotels and flash mobs.
We rarely internet brag about proposals that happened involving breakfast at bed or taking your puppy for a walk to a pretty spot or while making french toast together or during a quiet movie night at home while eating a picnic dinner.
I can understand wanting to do something special and perhaps something you’ve never done together before. How about, instead of spending $$$$ to stay at a 5 star hotel, get dressed up and go have a glass of wine or a fancy cocktail in a ritzy bar? Or go somewhere special just for desert and see if you can have the waiter bring the ring box out on a desert plate? It would still have some cost associated with it, but certainly cheaper than renting a hotel room!
Ooo… if you have the budget to go to a ritzy bar for cocktails (maybe tell your Girlfriend you got a groupon or a gift voucher that a coworker couldn’t use?), you could set it up with the bartender ahead of time so that if you order champagne cocktails, s/he asks if you’re celebrating anything.. and you pull the ring box out and say “I hope so….” ?
Post # 10
You definitely don’t need to do something super fancy. If you’re staying in your own city, why not skip the hotel and use that money towards dinner?
Post # 11
Yes. I just thought it would be a bit of a downer (and inappropriate) to be like “well that was awesome and we just made a major life decision. let’s just go back to our apartments now like we do every other night” (we live separately).
Our only stipulation is that we don’t want it the actual proposal to be done in public. So it would either have to be in a private dining room of a restaurant or back at the hotel / Airbnb.
Post # 12
Your advisor is a bonehead. You absolutely do not have to spring for something that’s not in your budget. My husband proposed to me at a little nothing hotel outside a ski resort. Like you, we were in our 20s and I didn’t expect to have the red carpet rolled out. Do what is comfortable in your budget. Frankly, a man who is sensible about money is more appealing than one who blows through money splurging on extras.
You won’t be in your 20s forever and some day you’ll have a lot more money at your disposal. People seem to forget the concept of deferred gratification these days. Everything has to be a “dream” – dream proposal, dream ring, dream wedding, dress, honeymoon etc. It’s completely unrealistic and in some cases downright foolish. If she’s worth marrying she won’t care where you pop the question.
(But don’t be like the guy who tied the ring to his penis with toilet paper and proposed…that’s a bridge too far lol)
Post # 13
Are you able to sleepover at one of your places after the dinner? We got engaged in the restaurant we had our first date in, and FH reserved the top floor (their private room) so it did not feel public. It was far more special to me than going somewhere super fancy and spending out of our budget.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
1) Don’t listen to your advisor for advice like this. You know your girlfriend and relationship more than he does. 2) Are there any spots that are of greater significance to your relationship than a random restaurant and/or hotel? Where did you go on your first date? Where did you say “I love you?” Can you recapture those moments in a proposal? To me that is more meaningful than any 5 star hotel.
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2019 - Canada
I think your idea is fantastic! It would be super special to have the restaurant open late for you. Although, if your Girlfriend doesn’t love to be the center of attention, that may make her uneasy. I have a friend who had reservations at a lovely restaurant and just before they went for dinner, her and her now-husband went for a walk down the river beside the restaurant. He proposed on the walk so it was private and then they got to celebrate at the restaurant and got fussed over. It was a good combo of privacy and celebratory. I don’t think you need a hotel or AirBNB but if you want to, that’s lovely too! Since you don’t live together, you could always arrange for her to spend the night at your place and have everything nice & tidy maybe some candles, rose petals and champagne in the fridge? There’s a lot of really nice simple ways to make the evening really special without breaking the budget.