Michael Middleton

The Practical Guide to Getting Engaged

Here at EliteSingles we make connections built to last. Thinking about the next step but in need of engagement ideas? We're here to help! With advice from expert engagement planner Michele Velazquez, read out practical guide to getting engaged for top tips and all the need-to-know practicalities...

It’s simple math. Our members are all here looking for lasting love – add that to our intelligent matchmaking system and, naturally, you get lots of great couples who go the distance with each other. Getting engaged, and eventually married, is just one part of the success stories we help start, so we thought we’d offer our best tips for popping the question – with a little expert help, of course!

Co-founder and planner at innovative proposal planning company The Heart Bandits, Michele Velazquez is an expert in field of engagement ideas. Offering EliteSingles a wealth of top tips and insight, read her advice on getting engaged right here…

Engagement Ideas & Advice with Michele Velazquez

The first step to getting engaged is – of course – being sure that you’re both ready for it. Michele advises that there are two ways of telling; “The first is that you TRULY know each other…” she says, “anyone can seem perfect for 6 months!”  Then, Michele adds “the way you know you should propose is that even when you see that person at their worst, you cannot imagine your life without them.”

For Michele, making your engagement unique is the most important thing. She says “We all want to believe that our partner has been dreaming up ways to give us the absolute most special proposal,” before adding “No one wants to think that their partner just Googled a generic proposal idea.” Her advice is simple: personalize your engagement. Ideas from the internet can be a great jumping off point, but you can easily make it more special by taking her to the place where you first said ‘I Love You’ or surrounding her with her favorite flowers. “Remember,” Michele says, “you can upgrade a diamond but you can never change a memory.  That‘s our motto.”

It pays to think about how you’ll capture the special moment in advance too. “With social media being a part of our everyday life, you MUST have a photograph of your marriage proposal” Michele rightly points out. Your memory of the moment will of course last a lifetime, but it’s great being able to share it with your loved ones! If you’re able, hiring a professional photographer is a great idea.  But, Michele says, “if you don't have the budget for a photographer, ask a friend, ask a stranger, or take a selfie!”

Think first and foremost about the kind of person your partner is – as Michele warns us ‘there is no proposal that is right for everyone, that is for sure!” For example orchestrating a flash mob in a shopping mall if you’re partner is shy is sure to send them running for the hills. “If your partner is introverted,” Michele advises, “Make sure you choose a proposal location that is special to you.  Some private locations may be a private room in a restaurant, hotel room with a view, or a secluded area by the lake.” There’s no single right way to propose, but there are plenty of wrong ways!  Never lose sight of what your partner would enjoy and feel comfortable with.

When asked to recall her favorite proposal Michele says “we’ve planned thousands of marriage proposals so it is hard to choose just one!” After much consideration, Michele confides that a recent favorite was a bubble-themed proposal in an impressive private room at a hotel in San Francisco – “He told me that they are always in their own bubble, so I created a whole bubble theme letting her know that he wanted to stay in their bubble with her forever.” Special, personal engagement ideas – or themes – like this one can help all the details fall into place, and it’s certainly worth thinking about the message you want to convey, how you express love for one another day-to-day and the recurring patterns in your relationship. Remember, this is one part of a much longer success story! If you’re getting engaged and looking for the perfect way to pop the question, the answer is probably already in front of you!

Getting Engaged? Here’s the EliteSingles Checklist:

  1. Make sure it’s the right time for both of you! Only if you truly know your partner is it the right time to start dreaming up engagement ideas…
  2. Personalize your engagement to make it memorable – the memory is probably the most important consideration.
  3. Hire a photographer, ask a friend or take a selfie to make sure you can share your special moment!
  4. Never arrange a flash mob for an introvert (and probably don’t bother planning something too private for an extrovert!) – make the location somewhere special for both of you…
  5. Think about the themes of your relationship and incorporate them into getting engaged; do you have a special way of saying ‘I Love You’? Use it!

Featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post and on Good Morning America, The Heart Bandits have been dubbed the #1 Proposal Planners in the world. Co-owners Michele and Marvin Velazquez have helped plan unique dates and proposals all over the world. Inventors of innovative thin engagement ring box The Ring Stash, and founders of pop-up wedding service Pop The Knot, Michele and Marvin are market leaders in romantic event planning. 

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