Two Proposal Traditions You Should Reconsider

There is so much dang thought that goes into a wedding, and of course the subsequent marriage. There should also be lots of intention put into both of those things, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to uphold every single thing in the book just because that’s how it’s always been done. It’s important to listen to yourself, talk with your partner, and decide on things that make sense to both of you — even if not to anyone else. To get you started on some food for thought, here are two proposal traditions you might want to reconsider!

A man is down on one knee to propose. The woman is surprised and has a hand over her face. They stand on a mountain overlooking the forest and lake.

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re already engaged and looking for help on wedding planning, BUT on the off chance that you aren’t engaged (yet), this one’s for you. Traditionally (in a hetero/cis relationship), the man proposes to the woman. Let me just get this out of the way right now: it doesn’t have to happen that way. Women, you are 100% just as entitled to propose to your partner as he is to you. So here’s your permission: if you’ve been waiting and waiting for your guy or partner to propose to you and it still hasn’t happened — go do the dang thing yourself! Take charge of the situation and propose to your partner instead of waiting and hoping they’ll get around to it eventually.

Spoiler: that’s exactly what I did. So I feel like I’m pretty qualified to speak on this subject. Feel free to trash the notion of this tradition immediately and do your own thing if that’s what speaks to you.


If you’ve cleared that first hurdle, and made the decision to propose (even if it’s against tradition), heck yeah! Now for the second proposal tradition to reconsider. This is important too. Ready? A proposal does not need to be elaborate to be special. Nope. Stop looking at instagram and imagining your picture perfect proposal with an entire day orchestrated on your behalf, down to the minute. It does not need to involve a flight to Paris, a hundred person flash mob, and a $500 dinner that night. If that’s what makes your heart sing, then by all means — go for it. But don’t try to tell yourself that’s the only way it can happen. Cut that shit out.

Here’s what you need for a perfect and special proposal: a whole lot of genuine, undying love for your partner, with a splash of hearty emotion. If you’re feeling ambitious, rehearse a quick speech for your boo. Full stop. That’s all you need! And again, I’m supremely qualified to speak on this matter because I also had a very un-instagrammable proposal: I proposed to my boyfriend on a Saturday morning while we were in our pjs in our tiny 300 square foot rental studio. But did that mean it wasn’t the most special moment of my life to date? Heck no. Honestly I have never ever cried that much strictly from happiness. Probably neither had he. So let me say it again for those of y’all in the back: your proposal does not need to be extravagant to be special and meaningful. 

So there you go, the two proposal traditions I think you should reconsider if you aren’t already engaged! What did you think? Do you have anything to add to this list? Leave a comment below to let me know!

and ps, if you’re wanting to propose to your partner and want it photographed, pleaseee reach out to me!! I would freaking LOVE to capture that priceless moment for you! 🙂

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