Here are the hidden secrets of proposal

Every year, plenty of people think about the big and meaningful things in life. And as far as life-changing events go, getting engaged is right up there with the biggies.

Here at Chillisauce, we speak to thousands of stags and hens on a weekly basis, and we hear all sorts of stories about how the proposal went. However, comprehensive data on proposals is not something that has been readily available to those that don’t work in our industry, so we’ve decided to change that.

And remember, when the proposal is out of the way, Chillisauce can help you find the perfect destination and activities for your stag or hen do.

We quiz thousands of people across the country every year, and not only do the findings make fantastic research for those involved in the wedding industry, but they make for pretty interesting reading for the general public too. Ever wondered what the busiest month or most popular day is for popping the question? Or what women want and what men think they want in a marriage proposal? Find out right here.

When is the best time of the year to propose?

With 31% of votes, Christmas Eve is the most popular day of the year to propose. Followed by New Year's Eve (19%), New Year's Day (16%), Valentine's Day (12%), and the date the couple met (10%).

Wedding season traditionally runs throughout the summer months but winter is when proposals reach their peak, with the Christmas holidays being the busiest time of year for people getting down on one knee. It’s not just our findings, Facebook also announced that the most popular month to get engaged is December, (which explains your feed being drowned with ring photos towards the end of the year).

Sandy Moretta, Director at UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and owner of ternevents, shares her professional experience and insight into why Christmas is so popular for proposals:

“Here at the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners we, and our members, hear the stories of many engagements which happen on Christmas Eve, or over the festive period. We take the majority of enquiries and bookings between January and March, soon after Christmas, then the Valentine’s proposals follow. Two of the reasons the Christmas season is so magical is due to romance and family, two elements which proposals combine so perfectly. So planning a proposal in the Winter months makes a lot of sense. On a practical note, if they wish to be really traditional, they are also likely to see the bride’s father without raising suspicion to formally ask for her hand at this time of year.”

"On Christmas eve, we were planning on a casual night at the local pub. My sisters and best friend had phoned me several times during the day to suggest that we get quite dressed up. Late afternoon, I was presented with a card addressed to “my fiancée” and an unexpected early Christmas present, of the diamond kind. Minutes later, family and friends appeared, food was laid out, balloons went up and champagne started flowing and continued into early hours of Christmas day".
– Danielle Jordan

When asked why people propose over Christmas, the occasion being romantic was the biggest response, closely followed by being around family. Other humorous answers cited a lack of originality, an excuse to use the ring as a gift and even alcohol as reasons for popping the question.

A third of the men quizzed, 33%, think Christmas Eve is the best time to do the deed, whereas 23% of women actually want their man to put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day.

Of course, men and women might not always be on the same wavelength and it seems some men are peaking too early with when they pop the question. A third of the men quizzed, 33%, think Christmas Eve is the best time to do the deed, whereas 23% of women actually want their man to put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day.

New Year’s Eve proved to be quite popular for both sexes with 24% of men and 18% of women choosing a proposal on the day as the perfect way to ring in a new year. Women also chose the anniversary of when they got together as their dream day for a proposal (14%), but some men clearly don’t want the hassle of having to try and remember when this is, as just 8% of males picked this as their top time for proposing.

What is the best way to propose?

Men take note. More than half of women surveyed said they want their partner to get to the point and plainly say "will you marry me?".

Cut to the chase when popping the question. More than half of women in the UK want their partner to get to the point and plainly say ‘will you marry me?’ So while grand gestures are all well and good, cryptic hints and beating around the bush are not so welcome, keep it simple and get the words out.

Is technology taking over?

With 15% of women wanting their man to use some kind of digital device to ask the question or record the moment for them. With people sharing more and more of their personal lives online, it’s no wonder they would like a proposal that was somehow captured forever or could be potentially shared with friends and family.

Poetry and songs pull in just a lowly 6% of the votes each, so word-smiths and budding Shakespeares are clearly not as welcome as they once were. With people sharing more and more of their personal lives online, it’s no wonder they would like a proposal that was somehow captured forever or could be potentially shared with friends and family.

39% of people in the UK picked to have social media incorporated into their proposal and 18% of the UK chose live video as a good way to propose. Of course, the risk of viral infamy should your partner say no is something to consider when planning a social media marriage proposal. Unsurprisingly, social media is a growing trend for making public declarations of love, with celebs such as Kristen Bell taking the Twitter route to propose in front of the eyes of the digital world.

Who should propose?

There are plenty of traditions attached to anything wedding related and one of those that has stood the test of time is that proposing is a man’s job. Whether he has any more jobs to do after getting that one out of the way is another thing altogether, but it seems most men still want that responsibility themselves.

65% of men quizzed would say ‘no’ if their girlfriend proposed.

We asked how many women would actually be brave enough to take on this task themselves? A whopping 79% declared they would not be willing to do it, so it seems popping the question is still very much a man’s job in most people’s eyes.

Conclusions

Jewellers must be doing a roaring trade in the run-up to Christmas, as we can expect a flurry of engagements over the festive period.

But while getting wrapped up in the spirit of the season might make it feel as though it’s the perfect time to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage, men should take note that the majority of women still prefer to be asked on Valentine’s Day or the anniversary of when you first got together – so bide your time if you can. And make sure you get your anniversary date in the diary if you want to get that one right.

And finally, if you’re planning an engagement then good luck! However you choose to do it, it’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask so make sure you enjoy it.

Free Groom and Best Man guides

Check out The Groom Guide and Best Man Guide - both full of advice, tips and ideas from industry experts and people who have been there and done that.