Love in lockdown: How to propose at home

words Alexa Wang

Lockdown measures and limitations on numbers at organised gatherings have halted the majority of this year’s weddings since being introduced, with almost two thirds of these occasions being postponed or cancelled as a result.

This may well have another knock-on effect of curtailing plans for those who were planning to propose, with couples left unable to dine at their favourite restaurants or visit other special locations.

However, that doesn’t mean that popping the question is out of the question. Getting engaged at home might not be what you had in mind, but there are plenty of ways you can make it just as special, and even more romantic.

covid romance

Choose the right ring

The engagement ring is arguably the most important part of any proposal — aside from your significant other saying yes, of course — and needs to be perfect. There are many elements to consider when choosing a ring, from your budget to finding one which matches the personality of your spouse-to-be.

And while it’s easy enough to find an off-the-shelf ring from the jewellers, a one-of-a-kind item might be more special, and they’re becoming more popular with couples getting engaged. London-based jeweller Shaun Leane, who made Princess Beatrice’s diamond engagement ring, told The Telegraph that 85 percent of their bespoke work is on engagement rings. As jewellers Taylor & Hart note, designing a bespoke engagement ring gives you the best chance to match your partner’s taste in jewellery, allowing you to “create almost whatever you want by merging your favourite elements of different style eras”. Not only that, but it will be an item that is utterly unique to the pair of you.

Plan where and how you’re going to propose

Popping the question at home will leave many young couples with relatively limited space, but that doesn’t mean that a low-key proposal can’t still be very effective. One couple quoted in the above Telegraph article simply got engaged in their living room after dinner and a movie, with the bride-to-be describing it as “completely unexpected and, in a way, even more special.”

It goes to show that it doesn’t always matter where you propose — it’s about the moment and what it signifies. However, if you do feel like you need to compensate for not being able to take your other half somewhere special, you may want to try and be extra creative. Blogger Lottie L’Amour set up a treasure hunt, using a trail of ‘why I love you’ notes around her flat, and proposing at the end — a proposal she filmed, and uploaded to TikTok. However, you could also simply give your partner a romantic breakfast in bed, a living room picnic, or recreate a dream holiday from the comfort of your own home.

Time it well

When it comes to popping the question, timing is everything, especially if you choose to do it at home. For example, if your partner isn’t a morning person, don’t get down on one knee as soon as they’ve woken up. Make sure they are in good spirits, and don’t feel bad about holding off for another day if they aren’t. And remember that you might want to take pictures to mark the occasion, so don’t get down on one knee if your other half has already changed into their pyjamas for the night. The time of day is also important — daytime proposals mean there will be natural light which is ideal for capturing the moment on camera, but a nighttime proposal might be more romantic.

Set the mood

Just as you would have done for your proposal in any other circumstances, you should get your surroundings looking exactly as you want them to before you get down on one knee. And while there’s no single definition of how to set the mood before you propose, you probably should have a general tidy-up — the last thing you want is piles of laundry or dirty plates ruining the romantic feel you want to create. You can then decorate the space with balloons, petals, twinkling lights, or candles, and soundtrack the occasion with a customised playlist, or your partner’s favourite song, to help create the right atmosphere.

Dress up

Just because you’ve been at home for months, that doesn’t mean you should propose in your comfy loungewear. Asking your partner to marry you clearly warrants a fancier outfit than your PJs, considering the significance of the moment. Of course, seeing as you’re at home, your partner might find it a bit odd if you’re wearing a three-piece suit, but you can still make an effort by wearing your favourite outfit, or something she especially likes on you.

Give a gift

Giving a gift in addition to the engagement ring can help to make the moment more meaningful. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, and a homemade token might be even more appreciated — you could make a scrapbook full of your favourite moments from your relationship, or present her with a framed picture of you both. Another piece of jewellery, such a necklace which matches the ring, might be a good option if you have the cash to spare. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s small but significant, as you ultimately don’t want to distract from the engagement ring.

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