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The first step in your wedding journey is the wedding proposal, and you want it all to begin with a bang, not a fizzle. Now, there’s no way to guarantee a perfect proposal, but there are a few things you’ll definitely want to avoid. From doing it before you’re ready to telling everyone and their mother, these are all the things you shouldn’t be doing before dropping down on one knee.

Here are a few major wedding proposal don’ts.

Don’t jump the gun
When it comes to engagements, there are no take backs, so make sure you’re 100% ready to get married before you pop the question. If you’re on the fence, you should probably wait a little longer before getting down on one knee.

Don’t do it without a ring
Diving into a wedding proposal without an engagement ring is a huge no-no. It may seem silly, but without a ring the engagement might not feel totally real. If you’re really unsure about the type of ring or rock your partner wants, you can always purchase a band without a stone, buy an inexpensive placeholder ring, enlist the help of one of their best friends or even ask them for advice (if you don’t mind ruining the surprise).

Don’t be a copycat
When you saw Derek propose to Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy you may have thought, “Hey, I should totally do that”, but that’s probably not the best idea. Yes, you can get inspiration from McDreamy, but you shouldn’t totally rip off Seattle Grace’s handsomest doc completely. Your wedding proposal should be infused with your personality and planned with your partner in mind, not modelled to match someone else’s great idea.

Don’t wing it
While you don’t have to know exactly what you’ll say when you pop the question, you should have a plan. You don’t want your uber romantic speech to be filled with “uhms” and “uhhhs”, so do a little drafting and give the whole thing a few practice runs. Confidence is key in this situation.

Finlay Burrage

Don’t propose when your partner’s preoccupied
Does your S.O. have an important presentation at work coming up? Are they about to take a swing at the Bar exam? Well, now is not the time to propose, my friend. I know, you’re eager to get down on one knee, but you want to do it when your partner is in high spirits, not when they’re super stressed out.

Don’t be too much of a daredevil
Planning on proposing in the ocean or on top of a cliff? You should probably reconsider. Seeing an engagement ring whisked away by Mother Nature may be hilarious when you’re watching it on YouTube, but if it happens to you IRL, the #fail won’t seem so funny. When choosing a place to propose, stick to dry land and try not to do it on a blustery day so that your bling stays firmly in its box.

Don’t tell everyone
Want your wedding proposal to remain a surprise? Don’t tell every single one of your friends, family and followers about it. Yes, you may want to ask their parents beforehand and let one or two members of your inner circle know, but hold off on sharing the news with absolutely everyone (the more people you tell = the higher the chance your partner will find out). You know what they say, “loose lips sink ships”, and that sentiment definitely applies here.

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