Would you propose to your man? | Should women propose? An oddly interesting survey!

I had an interesting email in my inbox this morning… now obviously most of you are engaged so I’m late with this… but tell me: did you propose to your guy? Or if he hadn’t, would you have popped the question?

Images by Bristol wedding photographers Joseph Hall Photography (1)

Image credit: Joseph Hall Photography |


Because our survey says… [family fortunes voice, Les Dennis era]… most of us think women should propose. (and reading between the lines, only 30 – 35% of us think men should!??)

Which is a little odd, I think. But hey! Odd is my favourite kind of survey! Tell me more!…

The survey said women should propose instead of men

  • More than half of people think women should propose to men
  • Older people are the most likely to support a change in marriage proposal traditions
  • Views differ greatly across the UK


Images by Bristol wedding photographers Joseph Hall Photography (2)

Image credit: Joseph Hall Photography |

What does all these thoroughly modern stats mean?!

I’d love to know who answered this survey… it’s unlikely to represent an accurate cross section of the UK population. But if you’re not yet engaged (and girls, I know you’re out there and reading wedding blogs already because -shhhh- some of you have told me!) then this could be the statistical excuse you’re looking for.

Also, according to this research, your mum and dad, grandparents and aunties and uncles will be all for it. Your other half has a 50ish% chance of agreeing with the whole concept… but hey, who wouldn’t be thrilled if a gorgeous young thing like yourself wanted to marry them, right?

The researchers mention Valentine’s Day as a popular time to propose. It is. It was. It always has been… but that’s not to say you can’t be creative, imaginative and unique… and propose on any of the other 364 days of the year, you know…

Those proposal survey results in full

“Through a Google Consumer Survey, William May asked the question, “Should women ignore tradition and propose to men?” More than half of the respondents aged between 18 and 65 felt that it is time for women to take the lead when it comes to popping the question.

“Traditionally, it has always been considered the man’s job to propose. Until recent years, a female proposal would be unthinkable, and was something which would only be carried out by eccentrics during a leap year. However, we now live in a world where traditions are routinely challenged. Indeed, it seems odd that as a contemporary society we would strive to break the boundaries of female equality but still keep this strange tradition alive.


Images by Bristol wedding photographers Joseph Hall Photography (3)

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“The survey revealed some very interesting insights into our attitudes towards marriage proposals.

Female equality is on the rise

“Interestingly, 65.9% of men voted ‘yes’, compared with 61.5% of women. While the figures are pretty close, it’s refreshing to see that such a sizable percentage of men felt that women should take the lead and propose.

Older generations are challenging stereotypes

“While people in all age groups agreed that women should propose to men, the survey highlighted that older members of society – those who we’d perhaps expect to cling on to old-fashioned views – are firmly behind a marriage proposal revolution.

Surprisingly, the highest percentage of people who answered ‘yes’ were aged 45-54 with 76.4%, closely followed by the over 65 category, of which 68.7% said that tradition should be challenged.

This is quite a contrast to the youngest group of 18-24 year olds, where only 54.1% said that women should propose. As a more traditional generation, you would have imagined that the results would be the other way around. Yet, it seems that as you get older, insignificant details such as who proposes to who don’t matter as much when you have found the one that you love.


Images by Bristol wedding photographers Joseph Hall Photography (4)

Image credit: Joseph Hall Photography |

A resounding ‘yes’ from Wales

If you are a woman thinking about where the perfect place to propose is then perhaps you should consider venturing out of England, as 100% of the Welsh respondents and 70% of Scots agreed that women should have the right to propose. However, this wasn’t a completely shared view across the entire UK, as 66.7% of respondents from Northern Ireland voted to keep tradition alive by stating that men should be the only ones to propose.

* * *

William May are a vintage jewellery and luxury watch specialist, based in Manchester. They have been supplying a vast array of luxury items for nearly 200 years, a long standing heritage that they are incredibly proud of. Their pre-loved pieces are premium quality and they have an abundance of exclusive items that cannot be bought anywhere on the high street.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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