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Engagement ring
Photo: Anne Edgar

"Ask my parents for their blessing."

It's an exciting step in your relationship, but proposing can be an overwhelming process from the ring shopping to the moment it actually happens. And as intimidating as it may seem, you need to get on the same page as her parents before you move forward. It may sound old-fashioned, but asking her father for his blessing (even if you're 100% sure he'll say yes) just goes to show how much you respect her and her family.

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Couple outside
Photo: Teddy Kelley

"Propose at a meaningful location."

Like choosing a wedding venue, you'll need to think very logistically when it comes to picking the right place to propose. Do you need to make a reservation or any other arrangements? Does the scene require any additional set-ups? If it's outdoors, what will the weather be like? Keep these factors in mind and if the location doesn't work out as you expected, make sure you have a back-up plan.

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"Make sure my nails are done."

This may not be the first thing to cross your mind, but it'll definitely be something she'll think about after the ring is on her finger. If her nails aren't normally painted, tell her best friend or sister to arrange manicure plans with her the week before you propose. While her polish won't be the most important detail on her left hand, she won't have to worry about a bare nail the second she snaps a ring selfie for Insta.

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Happy couple
Photo: Pexels

"Surprise me."

Depending on her style, you don't need to go over the top to pull this off. Think about her personality - would a public proposal overwhelm her? Would she want her family and friends to be a part of the moment? Ask trusted sources close to her like her parents, sister or best friend for advice, BUT be careful who you tell. The more people who know beforehand, the more likely the surprise will slip. That goes for you, too - if you *happen* to bring up marriage to her more often than you normally would, she'll likely catch your drift.

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Engaged couple
Photo: Kaci Baum

"Get down on one knee."

It's a no-brainer - This is the picture-perfect moment she's been dreaming of since she was young. While the meaning behind this proposal tradition remains unknown, kneeling historically symbolizes surrender in many situations. As cliché as it may seem, take a hint from history by taking a knee. Practice what you'll say beforehand leading up to the moment, but whatever you do, don't stick to a full-blown script. Just keep it as sentimental as possible.

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Engagement announcement photo
Photo: Gabby Orcutt

"Have someone capture the moment."

It's the moment that's about to change the rest of your lives, so why not capture it? If you want to include family and friends as part of the surprise, have them hide nearby and take a photo when the time is right. Or, you could hire a photographer to snap the surprise on her face when she sees the ring. Once it's all said and done, go ahead and celebrate! Then, follow our advice on how to announce your new relationship status.