We have talked a lot about proposals on our blog/podcast. And I would like to say that I am somewhat informed on the subject since I meet newly engaged couples regularly. (If you are new to Behind the Party, Amanda and I, Jenna both work at a wedding venue.) I always ask that the couple share their proposal story, because HELLO.. who doesn’t want to hear about the moment that a couple decided to officially take the next step in their relationship? The stories are all so unique, and special (sometimes funny) but most importantly, it always shows who they are at the core of their relationship.
Honestly? Hearing proposal stories never gets old for us - call us romantics, but each one gives us goosebumps and is something as special as the couple sharing it with us.
Although Amanda and I are self-proclaimed experts on the engagement/proposal front, the fact is,. we have never actually planned out and proposed to someone. SHOCK, we know... If you've listed to our mini episodes where our husbands share the story of proposing to us then you probably already guessed that. Since we wouldn't be doing you a complete solid by leaving out the perspective from the proposer (proposee?) we nicely asked, maybe a bit too obnoxiously, for them to join us and fill you - our amazing listeners - in on what it is like from someone who planned it all out.
SO, welcome to the stage, Hunter (Jenna’s Husband) and Andy (Amanda’s Husband). *Pause for applause*
Although at times the episode turned into a roast about firefighters (Andy is a firefighter, and so are his buddies and family - so no hate there) or a review of Love is Blind (I mean, have you seen the show?), we got some great information to share with you.
How did you know you were "READY TO PROPOSE"?
For both Hunter and Andy, there was not a specific moment that happened that made them jump up and think "YES. This is the person". They shared that the relationship grew, and they found themselves prioritizing Jenna/Amanda and felt that it was time to take the next step together.
When they felt ready they both took two steps:
Speaking to family
Securing a ring
That being said, they both went into detail on how they would have done the proposal without the ring if the timing felt right and if they knew their significant other would have been okay with it. That is a decision that hopefully you know what is important to your partner and can make that choice wisely.
Securing the Ring & Talking to the Parents
Securing the ring and talking to "the" parents were the first steps in both of their minds. They already had an idea in mind of what type of ring and style we liked, so it seemed as if it was the natural first step. Both Hunter and Andy wanted to propose with a ring, but they said it all depends on who you are marrying and if they would like a surprise or to assist with picking out the ring.
Tip From Andy (not speaking from personal experience): Don’t recycle a ring from one wife to the next.
Sure hoping that no one listening has ever attempted that. We of course hope this goes without saying but, never a bad thing to make sure we are all on the same page about. This is DEFINITELY something that would be noticed, and not in a great way friends so we have to side with him on this one.
One thing we both learned? Our husbands like rose gold. *shrugs*
Really though - from Andy's experience with a North Texas jeweler who built rings to Hunter's creative use of combining a family heirloom with Jenna's style both men had a unique way to getting a personalized ring they felt mirrored the style of their soon-to-be fiancé (aka us). It was fun listening to something different than going into a store and shopping from a display case - so if you are wanting something truly unique be sure to hear how they did it so you know what to expect.
In both of their situations, they knew that talking to the parents was important to me and Amanda. Hunter had a great tip that talking to both parents for a blessing (listen in to the episode on their view of blessing vs permission) prior to proposing. Odds are at least one of the parents "see" the conversation coming and won't be caught off guard - but fair warning that could mean that they put you in th shot seat and not make it the easiest on you. Speaking to parents not only can be about asking for a blessing, but opening a conversation and door to your future family dynamic. It is, many times, viewed as a moment of respect in the family's eyes and also shows that you are not looking to create a future with your significant other but that you want them involved too.
PS - Conversations like this is what lead Hunter to building and creating Jenna's custom ring! Had he not spoken to the family, they would not have had the opportunity to open this option for him. With there being so many ring options from metals, stones, etc (we spoke all about the bling in EPISODE # ) family may also have an idea of what your significant other likes, does not like and would want. If they don't please keep in mind that it is okay to have conversations with your significant other on what they like and that does not have to ruin the surprise.
Planning for the Proposal
We are thrilled that Hunter and Andy did a deep dive into their pre-planning for the proposal. Whether your proposal is local, in Texas or where ever you call home or destination like Andy's proposal in Mexico there is some pre-planning that comes in.
They suggest to NOT share all of your details with people, and if you have to just keep it simple to only the 1 or possibly 2 people that need to know. Why's that you ask? Well, both of our guests today shared that their plans did not go according to their plan - and the last thing you want is for someone you told plan A to to ask your new fiancé "how did you like ____" when you had to completely switch gears and go with a different route and skipped that altogether.
Nerves? Oh yes. Even though Hunter's proposal was intimate and relaxing his nerves were on high alert just at the thought of getting down on one knee. (Love is blind friends - this is where this conversation got brought in around 26:30) The confidence that is shown on some shows, is not always the case even after years and years of dating - as we all know it truly comes down to 1 question and there is no guarantee the answer will be what you expect. In addition to that though, this proposal step in life is not jsut about their answer. A lot of the nerves come from yourself - you are at a HUGE stage in life, and kneeling down you are committing to a future and path in life.
Tips to conquer those nerves:
Take a shot before proposing - a little liquid courage (LITTLE) doesn't hurt
Mediate a bit and focus on your breaths
Focus on what this is about - getting married. It's not just about an instagram worthy moment, it's okay if things don't go to plan.
1 ) they won't know your original plan so you are the only person who knows it was messed up and 2) if the end result is you two taking the next step then it's all okay!
Andy: "She actually never said yes to me."
Advice from the wedding dudes
Hunter would ask them a question along the lines of:
Do you do hobbies together? What do you do in your free time?
What is your relationship like?
What does a night together look like?
Be confident in yourself, and in your relationship prior to proposing.
If you're looking for advice, find someone who is further along in their relationship that you would like to mirror, versus you know, random dudes on a podcast you may not know.
Andy said the first thing he would do is also ask a question:
What does your significant other want? What is important to them?
Planning for the proposal you need a lot of intel, find out what is important to them, what type of proposal would be a good fit for them and know what would matter to them. Being a tradition-centered person, Andy feels most comfortable giving advice to someone with similar views. That being said he thinks:
Find out what matters to your partner
Talk to their family
Is there anything that you would have done differently?
Andy: Yep, would have bought my now wife a motion sickness patch before riding the ferry. Really though, no nothing would have been changed.
Hunter: Maybe just minor details that got messed up during the day, but overall no because the end result was perfect.
Final thoughts from two North Texas Wedding Dudes
Getting to this stage of your relationship is exciting, theoretically, it should not be stressful but instead be something you both enjoy. Communicating before, making sure you are on the same page and know what is important to each other will allow you to enjoy the process more and be less worried on the minor details or logistics. The ring is special, but it's not about that at all - it's about the two of you and your future together.
Whether you're planning short-term or long, on the day of don't sweat the small stuff. Odds are small things are going to go wrong, just take it in stride and roll with it. You're going to look back and remember the day forever and you don't want to look back and only remember the stress and what went wrong you want to focus on the joy, memories and step you two decided to take.
"Next Wedding Dudes episode: Prenups." - Hunter
PS from your North Texan Wedding Dude, Andy - serve beer at the reception.
This Episode hosted by JENNA
+ the Wedding Dudes