If you’ve only ever been on the receiving end of a marriage proposal, it’s impossible to grasp just how much planning, sweat, fear, and excitement is involved in helping to create one of the most memorable days of life. When searching for women who boldly went where so many haven’t and proposed to their partners instead of waiting for them to pop the question, one thing became obvious: In heterosexual relationships, at least, the onus is still largely on the man to decide when to propose, purchase, and give a ring, and make sure that day is special.
But times have changed. Celebrities like Kristen Bell have popped the question to their significant others. And some non-famous women are completely balking tradition by handling everything from the rings to asking for a parent’s blessing to asking at a perfectly planned moment. Others are simply making it known to their partners (in no uncertain terms) that they are the lucky person they want to spend the rest of their lives with – and that they don’t want to wait for “the rest of their lives” to begin.
These 7 badass women shared their stories of how they proposed marriage to their partners. Their anecdotes differ greatly, but the message is similar: Women, if you want something or someone, go on and get it.
1. “I knew I loved him and wanted to get on with it.”
“We were dating for 3 years. I was ready. I knew I loved him and wanted to get on with it. I was so nervous when I asked his dad for permission. It was Thanksgiving and I wanted to ask Todd the next day so I had to do it and I made a deal with myself that I’d do it before Thanksgiving dinner. I told his parents, “So, I’m going to ask Todd to marry me.” His dad said, “Hey, that’s great!” His mom asked me, “You gotta ring?”
Proposing at Ridge Lytton Springs Vineyard was one of those stressful occasions where nothing went quite as I planned – right up until the point where it worked out perfectly! Our friends were with us and they were prepped for photos, the vineyard was open so you could walk around, we went to ‘check out the grapes’ and I walked us a little bit up this hill and then I went to kneel on one knee – and realized I was on the downhill slope. He’s 6’4″ so he was so far up there. I just said I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, would he marry me – very simple and quick. He laughed and said “Of course.” We hugged, we all laughed, took a bunch of pictures, and he kept looking at me and smiling the rest of the day.” – Caryn G., Eugene, OR
2. “We literally picked the SAME NIGHT to propose.”
“I decided to propose to Matt after we’d been dating for about 7 years. We’d talked about getting married a lot, but it didn’t seem like he was ever going to do it and I’m not exactly a patient person. I really didn’t like the idea of him getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him because it felt too traditional and gendered and it really didn’t reflect our relationship. It just felt dated to me – a marriage should be a decision between two people, not a question. I don’t think there is any reason a man should have to be the one to ask a woman to marry him, but if that’s what you want, great!
I bought a ring for him because I was scared if I didn’t he might not take it seriously since it’s so uncommon for women to propose to their partners. I bought him a silver ring that I figured he would replace when we got wedding rings, which he could pick out himself. He did end up replacing the engagement ring with a gold wedding ring that matches mine, but he still has the engagement ring.
I planned to propose by writing him a bunch of notes with puzzles he had to solve at the end (we’re really into words games). I gave him the notes throughout a weekend vacation in Traverse City, Michigan. In the last note, I planned for him to rearrange words that would say “Will you marry me?” On our last night in TC we were camping and he asked if I wanted to picnic on the beach. I thought it would be perfect because I could give him the last note there and propose on the beach! Except he planned this picnic with wine and olives and cheese and then he pulled out a poster where we had put all of these photos of us and we had to write down our best memories together and then he proposed to me before I could give him the note.