You see it all over Instagram: elaborate proposals in exotic, foreign countries. You’re hoping your girlfriend hasn’t seen these posts, but you know she has—you have a lot of expectations to fulfill! Don’t be disheartened; you can still plan a blowout proposal while staying within your budget. Here are some tips for an unforgettable proposal she won’t be able to stop gushing about online. She’ll be hashtagging #engaged in no time.
Ring shopping together
A study conducted by The Knot revealed that 33 percent of couples shop together for their rings. Guys have the societal pressure to spend two months of their salary on an engagement ring. That just isn’t realistic. When you shop together, you can avoid overspending on a more expensive or “better” ring you think she wants. Set a budget prior, and then let her try on a variety of rings in-store within this range. You’ll get her exact ring size correct, which will also save a lot of hassle. In no time, she’ll find one she’s head over heels for! Not only will you be confident in your purchase, you will also save time and money by not having to possibly exchange a ring or get it resized. If you’re concerned that you’re ruining the surprise element, remember that when and how you propose can still throw her for a loop.
Including family and friends
If your girlfriend loves to have her family and friends around, why not make your proposal a team effort?! We'd suggest only having her loved ones at the actual proposal if she's laid hints that this is something she'd want. Otherwise, a sweet gathering post–yes! for a toast is an extra element that she'll love. The best part of including the people she loves is that it will take her memories of your proposal without costing you any extra money. Plus, her family and friends can help you with the planning by researching possible locations, restaurants and even ideas for how to pop the question. This could also give you some great options when choosing an idea or location that fits your budget. Just make sure to tell them to keep it a secret!
Picking the venue
Luckily, you can be flexible with the venue budget. Proposing at a chic rooftop restaurant you’ve rented out or skywriting the question is romantic but can be pricey. There are plenty of places to propose that won’t cost you any money! Choose a location that has a sentimental meaning in your relationship—go back to the restaurant where you had your first date or play the song you first danced to together. If you prefer a beautiful scenic option, propose at a beach, waterfall or park for the perfect backdrop. Include your love story to make the moment truly yours!
Adding extra touches
Whether it’s using props like her favorite flowers, a sweet note or even putting together a scavenger hunt to enhance the moment, adding your personal touch will make your proposal that much more special. Choose something you know she loves or try something new together for a first time memory. If you’re planning a proposal that will be a bit more involved, the price will, of course, vary based on the activity. This can range from a simple picnic to something a bit more extravagant, like horseback riding, a helicopter ride or going on a vacation. Whatever the price tag, you can make the moment a memory she'll treasure for years to come. Just think about a significant part of your relationship and thread that into your big plan.
While it can be overwhelming coming up with a spectacular proposal on a budget, you don’t have to rent out an entire stadium and orchestra like Kanye did for Kim! However, splurging on a grand gesture, or hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture the fairytale moment is not so out of the ordinary. If you need a little helping paying for the ring or day-of activities, consider looking into a budget-friendly personal loan that will also help jumpstart the wedding planning process. You can get approved within a week and start accessing the funds to execute your perfect proposal and start planning the rest of your life, together forever with your soulmate!