Tis’ The Season… To Pop The Question!
If you’re planning on popping the question this Christmas and are looking for the perfect way to make it a magical day to remember, let Emmeline Smith inspire you with a few of her favourite festive proposals.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love Christmas. And I mean, I really love Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of year – a much needed break from the drudgery of a cold and rainy winter – evoking happy memories of Christmases past. A time to fill our lives with all things glittery, warm and cosy – and mince pies! And if you are as fond of the season of goodwill as I am, it might just be the perfect time to get engaged.
Keep it personal
A wedding proposal is all about the couple, so tailor the day specifically to your partner – and yourself – rather than going for a generic, grand gesture. You know your partner better than anyone, would they prefer a quiet proposal with just you two, or with an audience to share the moment with? And making something magical and memorable doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Here’s a few of my favourite Christmas proposal ideas.
1. A very special advent calendar
This is such a brilliant idea! You can buy empty advent calendars and simply hide the ring on the date you want to propose, be it Christmas Eve or the big day itself.
There are lots of empty advent calendars to choose from, some are ready to pop your gifts into, while others need decorating – if that’s your thing, you can make it really personal. However, if crafting isn’t your forte, pick a ready decorated one – don’t give yourself extra stress!
Now filling the whole 24 days takes a bit of planning, and I should warn you – finding 24 unique, tiny gifts can be a mission and takes some creative thinking. And keep an eye on the cost, it soon adds up! If you want to keep things simple, fill each day with your partner’s favourite sweets and chocolates.
My top tip is to make sure the ring is securely disguised, just in case your other-half takes an early sneaky peek – you don’t want the surprise to be spoiled! Alternatively, wait until the night before before you pop the ring in. If you want to propose on New Year’s Eve, hang onto an empty advent calendar, and convince your partner they forgot to open one of the doors and surprise them!
2. Walking in a winter wonderland
If you like to get out in nature, this is a magical way to propose. There are gorgeous events held all over the country, some at stately homes run by the National Trust or English Heritage, while others are in open gardens and parks. A quick online search will show events near you.
There’s just something about twinkly, colourful lights in a crisp, cold winter night that makes me so warm inside! Make it as private or public as you want, find a beautiful, secluded spot or wait until there are a few people around to join in the excitement with you.
I’d suggest doing a recce, to select the best place to pop the question. Look for a good spot, it may be under a giant bauble or in front of a fabulous, illuminated backdrop. You can let staff know your plans in advance and arrange for someone to film it or take photos for you.
My top tip is be prepared! This is the UK and there’s a very good chance it will rain. This doesn’t have to spoil anything if you plan for it, make sure you’re both wrapped-up, wearing boots you don’t mind getting muddy and don’t forget your brollies! Grab a hot chocolate or mulled wine and get ready!
If you’re planning to go down on one knee, it may be wet or muddy, so think about what you’re wearing or bring something to kneel on (a plastic bag should be enough). If you’re prepared for all eventualities, it will help reduce your stress levels. And imagine how good the photos will look against a backdrop of magical Christmas lights!
Waddeston, RHS Hyde Hall, Anglesey Abbey and Gibside all have fabulous events on, so look for something in your area. You could be wandering through a magical winter wonderland and have a proposal to remember!
3. The ultimate Christmas present
If you both love this time of year, it’s the perfect time to pop the question. Choose from an intimate moment with just the two of you, or in front of your nearest and dearest.
A fun idea is to pop the ring into its box and wrap it in a cardboard box. Then put that inside a larger box and wrap again and just keep going! Add as many boxes within boxes as you want. When you have your largest box, put a brick or two in the bottom to give it some weight to really trick your other half, then watch the fun as they open box after box, looking baffled!
If you don’t have the time, place the ring box inside a huge box filled with tissue and shredded paper, glitter, sweets, tinsel, baubles – anything – and watch them rummage around trying to find the tiny, special gift!
My top tip is to pick the perfect time to give the ultimate Christmas present. If you’re adding the bricks, let them feel the weight to throw them off the scent and make the proposal even more of a surprise. Get the champers chilled and glasses ready for when they (hopefully!) say ‘Yes!’
4. A real Christmas cracker!
A bit like the advent calendar, you can get as creative as you want to with this one – or not! Buy a kit from places such as Etsy and stores like The Range, which sell ‘make your own’ or ‘refillable’ versions. If you’re super creative and want to make your own from scratch, check out YouTube for inspiration.
You really need to make sure that you give the right cracker to the right person! So if you’re planning to propose at the Christmas table, in front of loved ones, make sure you have the cracker clearly marked, or keep it aside to ensure you get to pull the cracker with them.
Get creative and make it unique, for example think about adding tissue paper, glitter, foliage, chocolates, bells. Write your own joke to suit your intended or write your proposal where the joke would be.
My top tip is don’t just drop the ring into the cracker loose – make sure it’s in substantial wrapping. You don’t want to pull the cracker and for the ring to fire across the room, never to be seen again!
5. A romantic getaway
If travel’s your thing, whisk your other half away for a weekend somewhere snowy and cosy! The charming cottage in the film ‘The Holiday’ springs to mind, (I love that film!), but that’s a private home, but you could find your very own romantic cottage. A quick Google search of ‘romantic cottage to hire’ and you’ll be blown away by the choice! Areas such as Scotland, the Peak District and Cornwall are perfect havens for the big event. Or a relaxing spa break in a hotel, or a log cabin in the woods somewhere like Shadwell, Norfolk.
If the British countryside isn’t your thing and you want to go abroad, will you pick somewhere warm and sunny, or traditionally wintery and cold? When it comes to travel, the world is (literally) your oyster and although Paris and New York are all amazing destinations, there are many lesser-popular places which are just as lovely, such as Bavaria, Prague or chasing the Northern Lights in Lapland. Poland’s also an amazing winter destination – you can explore the history of Krakow or enjoy the snow in Wisla in the Beskidy Mountains.
For something really unique take the sightseeing Bernina Express from Chur to Poschiavo in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy, crossing the Swiss Engadin Alps.
My Top tip is – don’t forget the ring! Pop the ring in its box and don’t pack it in your main luggage or carry it in your pocket – keep it in your hand luggage. Don’t wrap the ring box, keep it easy for security to see inside with minimal fuss. You can even add a note for security, so they know not to spoil the surprise. Place the ring box inside a smaller bag inside your hand luggage, so it’s well hidden from your partner. If possible, enter a different security queue to your partner and try not to get too stressed!
Whether you opt for the UK or further afield, a break away will surely be a proposal to remember!