If you've been waffling about when to pop the question to your loved one, today may be the day to plan your proposal. March 20 is Proposal Day: John Michael O'Loughlin of Irving, Tex., created the holiday after getting frustrated that his cousin's boyfriend still hadn't proposed to her. It says on the holiday's website: "Proposal Day! Holidays present an opportunity to raise the subject of marriage proposals in a light-hearted and non-threating manner, and it's a gentle way to get a glimpse of how the person you love might feel about a marriage proposal that'll lead to the two of you becoming engaged to be married!" There is another proposal day in September.
New York wedding and proposal planner Sarah Pease gave us these five tips on planning the perfect proposal:
1. Have a plan: "Don't wing it," says Pease. "This is probably the most important question you're ever going to ask in your life, so why would you wing it?" Pease says plan around your partner's schedule and be ready with a Plan B and even a Plan C in case disaster strikes. "If you're planning on proposing at home and she usually comes home at six or seven, be ready for if she comes home at five or nine," says Pease.
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2. Document it: Hopefully, you'll only have to propose once in your life. Don't you want to remember it? "You don't have to be a professional photographer and not everyone has a budget for that," she says. "Maybe you have a friend with an iPhone hiding in the bushes or you have a notebook in your back pocket as the process is unfolding and after she says yes, you can both write down your comments and thoughts on it." Don't forget that your friends will feel cheated if they don't see the photos on Facebook!
3. Have a ring: This seems like a no-brainer, but some women would prefer to pick their own ring - that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a ring at all. "Definitely have a ring," says Pease. "I am a big proponent of having a placeholder ring. Make it funny and go shopping for it after the fact, but have some kind of a ring." Pease suggests even having a Ring Pop in place of the real deal - just as long as there's something.
4. Consider the aftermath: Pease said it's important to think of every element before you pop the question, especially what comes next. "A lot of people get engaged on vacation," she says as an example. "If that's the case, make sure you have international texting and wi-fi in your hotel and international calling turned on – you’re going to want to share this news with people." Similarly, if you're proposing to her on a weeknight, make sure to plan the evening so she won't be too exhausted for work the next day.
5. Don't deliver a monologue: Pease says one mistake many people make when proposing is drafting up a long speech. "When people are popping the question, they often try to make it too complicated," she says. "Keep it simple. Hit on three topics and maybe write them a love letter before everything else. Not even an Oscar-winning actor could memorize it under all that pressure, so just focus on those three things."
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark