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10 Cheapskate Proposals & How to Fix Them

You don’t have to break the bank on an expensive diamond engagement ring to sweep her off her feet. And you don’t need to spend a fortune planning a romantic and memorable proposal either.

But – and this is really important – your proposal shouldn’t be cheap. Let me explain what I mean by cheap. You can spend zero dollars and carefully plan the most heartfelt, wonderful proposal in the world that is anything but cheap. Or you can spend very little time, effort and money and throw together a proposal that feels thoughtless and shoddy. This is the kind of cheapskate proposal you want to avoid. Here are 10 poorly planned proposals… and ways to fix them to give her that romantic moment she deserves.

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The mistake:

Having a few too many at happy hour and slurring your way through a semi-coherent proposal. Worse yet, not remembering it the next day.

The fix:

If you’re both into wine or beer, arrange a private tour and tasting at a local winery or brewery. Find one with a beautiful setting, and arrange with the staff to find you a quiet spot where you can pop the question over a glass to toast with.

The mistake:

Surprising her at work and awkwardly proposing in her cubicle while curious co-workers watch.

The fix:

Tell her to clear her schedule one Friday night after work. Give her time to dress up, then surprise her with a bouquet of her favorite flowers. Head out on a romantic date night, and propose when the time feels right. 

The mistake: 

Proposing at any kind of fast food establishment. This especially includes writing “Will you marry me?” in pepperoni on top of a delivery pizza or displaying the diamond engagement ring on a hamburger.

The fix: 

Step away from the drive-thru. No woman dreams of the sweet declarations of love that you whisper over a shared order of crinkle-cut fries (I don’t care if it’s at White Castle’s Valentine’s Day special). Instead, pack a picnic of her favorite foods. This can be as simple as good bread, cheese, chocolate and wine, or as complicated as gourmet takeout from the French bistro she loves. Go on a hike, or hit the road on a surprise day trip. Stop somewhere scenic just the two of you, and propose during your picnic.

picnic-proposal

The mistake:

Via text. Getting the message, “U wanna get married?” followed by a bunch of emoji is not a good idea.

The fix:

Pen a handwritten love letter that expresses how much she means to you and why you want to spend the rest of your life together. Ask her to read it, and just as she’s finishing, get down on one knee.

The mistake:

Asking her to marry you when you’re in the car (it doesn't matter where you're driving). 

The fix:

The car is not the place to ask your beloved any life-changing questions (eyes on the road!). Plus, if you’re like most people, you spend far too much time in your car as it is. Instead, break your routine and plan a day of biking, horseback riding or snuggling up in a horse-drawn carriage. Find a moment when you can look into each other’s eyes, and then propose.

The mistake:

Running weekend errands and taking a break in the middle of the aisle or in the parking lot to ask her to marry you.

The fix:

We all love Target, but it’s just not the place for a romantic proposal. By all means, take a break from tedious errands one Saturday, but do it in style. Go on a local adventure together. Explore a new part of your city, or check out a museum or event you’re interested in. Spend the day relaxing and forgetting about your to-do list. Then cozy up at home or at a favorite restaurant for your proposal.

The mistake:

Lounging around in your PJs watching Netflix or playing video games, and casually handing her a box with an engagement ring in it.

The fix:

A night at home can be cozy and sweet instead of mundane. Tell her you’d like to do date night without leaving the house. Light a fire or some candles, put on feel-good tunes and cook a special meal. Before you bring out dessert, present her with a diamond engagement ring and ask her to marry you.

fireplace

The mistake:

Yelling “Will you marry me!” over the ruckus of a lively party with family or friends.

The fix:

Celebrating your engagement with your loved ones is a sweet sentiment, but you want the moment to feel special and intimate, not loud and chaotic. Plan a proposal for just the two of you, then make plans to surprise her later with a celebration with family and friends.

The mistake:

Hiding the diamond engagement ring in food, running the risk that she breaks a tooth or swallows it.

The fix:

You should definitely indulge your sweetheart’s sweet tooth, but there’s no need to put the ring inside the food (or even in a glass of champagne, for that matter). If you bake well, surprise her with her favorite homemade dessert; if not, visit the best bakery in your neighborhood. Wrap up the sweets in pretty paper, and hide the ring box within tissue paper inside.

The mistake:

Starting your proposal with the words, “Well, we’ve been dating a while now and this just seems like the next logical step…” or other equally unromantic thoughts.

The fix:

The words you use cost nothing, but they mean everything! One of the biggest proposal mistakes is to not communicate how overjoyed you would be to marry her. Don’t hold back – let her know that you feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be building a life with her.

Looking for more romantic proposal ideas? 

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