When you've met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, the time will come to ask them to marry you. This is typically a momentous occasion in a couple's relationship, and it requires a fair amount of planning to pull it off.
A proposal speech is an important part of any romantic relationship. It is the moment when you formally ask your partner to be with you forever. While there are many different ways to propose, and the speech is a key element in any proposal.
Writing a speech for your proposal helps to make the occasion more memorable, and it also ensures that you say everything you want to say. It can be difficult to know where to start, but luckily there are a few tips and examples that can help.
The most important thing to remember when writing a proposal speech is that it should be personal. This is your opportunity to express your love for your partner, so don't copy anything word for word – you should always put your unique spin on it.
What is a proposal speech?
A proposal speech is a formal way of asking your partner to marry you. It is an opportunity to express your love and commitment to them, and to officially ask them to be with you forever.
Not everyone writes a proposal speech; it's also possible to speak from the heart in the moment. But if the thought of this makes you nervous, you'll benefit from planning ahead with your proposal speech. There are many different ways to write a proposal speech, but there are a few key elements that should always be included.
- Mention how you met
- Talk about where you are now
- Let them know what you love about them
- Share your vision for the future
- Ask them to marry you
You'd be surprised how many people forget to include the question "will you marry me" at the end. It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but in the moment, it can be easy to forget. You might ask this in a unique way, or you could be more traditional.
Why is a proposal speech important?
A proposal speech is important for several reasons. Planning this in advance will help to ensure you say everything you need to say. You don’t want to be kicking yourself for leaving out something important that you really wanted to say. Here are just some of the reasons your proposal speech is so important:
- First, it allows you to express your feelings in your own words. This is a very personal moment, and the speech allows you to say everything that you want to say.
- Second, the speech allows you to share your proposal with your partner in a special way. This can be very romantic and memorable for them.
- Finally, the speech provides closure to the proposal. After you finish speaking, your partner will know that you are asking them to marry you. This can be a very powerful moment for both of you.
A speech will also help you to articulate your feelings in a way that you may have never done before. And this can help to pave the way for a strong and healthy marriage. Asking for a person’s hand in marriage is not something to be taken lightly, so it’s important that you give it the appropriate care and attention.
How to write a proposal speech
Now that you know why a proposal speech is important, it's time to start writing yours. The first step is to sit down and think about what you want to say. This may seem like a daunting task, but it's important to remember that this is your opportunity to express your love for your partner.
When you're ready to start writing, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Considering these points before you start crafting your speech will help you to stay on track and avoid missing out any important bits. You certainly don't want to have any regrets when you have finished delivering your speech.
Make it original
First, your proposal speech should be personal. This is not the time to copy someone else's words – you want your partner to know that these are your real feelings. By following this guide, you will be able to articulate your feelings, even if you aren’t used to expressing them in this way. And if your partner isn’t used to verbal expressions of love, then your speech will be even more meaningful for them.
Create a structure
Second, your speech should be well-organised. This will help you to stay on track and will also help to make it easier to remember. And finally, come up with a catchy opening and closing. These are the parts of your speech that will stick in your partner's mind, so make them count.
Speak from the heart
This is your time to be honest, open and vulnerable with your partner. Yes, there is a chance they could say no to your proposal, but this isn’t a reason to hold back. This is your time to speak from the heart and let them know how you really feel.
Your proposal speech should go into detail about what you love about your partner. Talk about the smaller details in your life. The little everyday things that helped you to decide that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Don’t be afraid of humour
You don’t have to be all serious in your speech. You can throw some inside jokes in there if it will help you and your partner to relax. A proposal speech that is all serious could be quite difficult to hear, so throwing in some humour will help to alleviate some of the tension and take the pressure off you.
The most important parts of your proposal speech
Now it’s time to put pen to paper and start crafting your proposal speech. Here are the basic components of a speech that you should think about including. Not everything will be relevant to you, so feel free to leave out anything that doesn’t work for your proposal.
- Start by telling your partner why you love them. This is a very important part of the speech and will set the tone for the rest of it. Make sure to mention specific things that you love about them – their personality, their sense of humour, etc.
- One of the best ways to start a proposal speech is by talking about your origins story. How did you meet? What was the first thing you said to each other? What were your early impressions of each other?
- Share your proposal with them in a special way. If possible, try to include elements from your relationship into the speech. For example, if you met at a special place, mention that place in your speech. Or if you have a song that is special to you, use that as part of your proposal.
- Finish with a flourish! Once you have proposed, take a few moments to bask in the moment with your partner. They will be overjoyed and probably emotional after hearing your proposal – let them enjoy it!
If you've been together for a while, this can be a great way to remind your partner of the incredible bond you share. If you're just starting out, this can be a great way to set the tone for your future relationship.
Finally, don't forget to say "I love you." These three words are some of the most important in any relationship – make sure to include them in your proposal speech!
Should you memorise your speech?
Even if you are the world's best public speaker, there is something to be said for memorising your proposal speech. This will help to ensure that you don't miss out any important bits, and it will also help to keep you calm and collected on the day. Proposing can be quite stressful, particularly if you have planned anything elaborate, so you want to minimise your stress where possible.
Of course, if you do decide to memorise your speech, you might want to keep notes with you in case you forget what you wanted to say.
If you decide to memorise it, make sure that it still sounds natural when you say it aloud. You don't want to sound too rehearsed and robotic – your partner will be able to tell if you're reading from a script.
If you aren't able to memorise it, you could use note cards to write down cues. Again, you don't want to seem like you are reading from a script, but only include the key points and then speak from the heart.
A hybrid approach where you memorise parts of the speech and use note cards for your main points will help to keep you on track.
Tips on using examples in your speech
When you're writing your speech, try to use examples to illustrate your points. For example, if you're talking about why you love your partner, mention a specific time when they made you laugh or when they were there for you during a difficult time.
If you're stuck for ideas, think about your favourite moments together. These can be big moments, like holidays or anniversaries, or small everyday moments, like sharing a cup of coffee in the morning or taking a walk in the park.
Using examples will help to bring your speech to life and will make it more personal. So, if you've borrowed content from somewhere else, you can make it more personal by adding in your own examples.
Examples of proposal speeches
If you need some inspiration, why not start with these example proposal speeches? We've taken inspiration from some famous speeches from film and TV, along with some real-life proposal speeches, and adapted them to be more personal.
The how we met proposal
"I'll never forget the first day we met. I was walking through the park, and I saw you sitting on a bench, reading a book. I walked past you, and I turned around to get a second look. And then I walked past you again, because I couldn't believe how beautiful you were. I sat down on the bench next to you, and we started talking. We talked for hours, until it started getting dark. And then I walked you home, and I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you."
The long-distance proposal
"When we first met, I never would have guessed that we'd be spending our lives together. But from the moment I first saw you, I knew that you were special. Even though we're miles apart, I feel closer to you than anyone else in the world. I can't imagine my life without you. So, will you marry me?"
The romantic proposal
"I love you more than anything in the world. You're my best friend, and I can't imagine my life without you. Seeing you every day is the best part of waking up in the morning. hearing your laugh is music to my ears I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
The funny proposal
"Some people say that laughter is the key to a happy relationship. Well, if that's true, then we're already off to a great start! I love making you laugh, and I love spending time with you. You're my best friend, and I can't imagine my life without you."
The family proposal
"When I first met you, I knew that you were special. But it wasn't until I met your family that I realised just how perfect you are for me. Your family has welcomed me with open arms, and I feel like I've finally found my home. I can't imagine my life without them – or without you. So, will you marry me?"
The movie proposal
"When you realise that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
The New Year's proposal
"As we start a new year together, I want to make a resolution: to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you, and I can't imagine my life without you."
The longer proposal speech
"From the moment I met you, I knew you were special. You're kind, you're funny, you're beautiful. You're everything I've ever wanted in a partner, and more. I love spending time with you, and I can't imagine my life without you. I promise to always make you laugh, to always be there for you when you need me, and to never take you for granted. I promise to love and cherish you for the rest of our lives."
How to pop the question
You've given your speech, you've outlined your vision for the rest of your lives together, and now it's time to pop the question. Here are a few suggestions for what you could say:
"I love you. You're my best friend. Will you marry me?"
"I don't ever want to live without you. I love you that much."
"You're the best thing that's ever happened to me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"I can't imagine my life without you. Will you marry me?"
"I know this isn't perfect, but nothing in life is perfect. But I promise to love and cherish you for the rest of our lives."
"I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?"
"I know we've been through some tough times, but I'm confident that we can overcome anything as long as we're together. I love you, will you marry me?"
"Thank you for being by my side and sharing your life with me. I can't imagine my life without you. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
"You are the most special person in my life, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"
Planning the rest of the proposal
Once you've got the speech sorted, it's time to start thinking about the rest of the proposal. If you're planning on getting down on one knee, make sure you have a ring ready. The proposal is more than just the speech. You need to think about the setting, if you'll have an audience, and how you will document the special occasion.
If you're stuck for ideas, there are plenty of resources online that can help to give you some inspiration. You could also speak to friends or family who have been through the proposal process before. They will be able to share their own stories and give you some helpful tips.
Here are a few suggestions to help you create the perfect proposal:
- Choose a special location: This could be somewhere that is significant to your relationship, like where you first met or had your first date. Alternatively, you could choose a place with a stunning view or somewhere that is particularly romantic.
- Get creative with the ring: If you're planning on getting down on one knee, make sure you have the ring ready. You could hide it in a box of chocolates or in a bouquet of flowers. Alternatively, you could get creative and hide it in a puzzle or game that your partner has to solve before they can find the ring.
- Think about the timing: Timing is everything when it comes to proposals. Make sure you pick a time when your partner won't suspect anything is about to happen. They might think you are just enjoying a normal date night or a day out.
- Keep it a secret: You don't want anyone to accidentally let slip that you are about to propose. To avoid this, keep it on a strictly need-to-know basis. Only tell those who are involved in the proposal, like your parents or close friends.
- Document the occasion: A proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so you'll want to remember it forever. Make sure you have someone on hand to take photos or videos of the big moment. You could also hire a professional photographer to capture the special moment.
Should you get permission to propose?
If you want to make sure that your proposal is a surprise, you might be wondering if you need to get permission from your partner's parents before you pop the question.
Traditionally, it was common for a man to ask a woman's father for permission before he proposed. However, this isn't so common now. If you do want to ask for permission, it's up to you. You don't have to do it if you don't want to.
Some couples feel that asking for permission takes away from the spontaneity of the moment. Others believe that it shows respect for their partner's family. Ultimately, it's up to you and your partner to decide what is right for you.
The bottom line is you need to think about what your partner would want. If your partner is a traditionalist and would want to do things properly, then you should ask permission. But if you think your partner might think this is outdated and old-fashioned, then you can keep the proposal a secret.
What is the significance of kneeling?
Traditionally, when a man proposed to a woman, he would get down on one knee. This is still a popular way to propose, but it's not essential. You can stand up when you propose if you want to.
The act of getting down on one knee is thought to be a sign of respect. It shows that you are willing to humble yourself before your partner and that you are serious about your intentions.
If you do decide to get down on one knee, make sure you practice beforehand. You don't want to get stuck in an awkward position when you're trying to propose.
How should you end the proposal speech?
There is no right or wrong way to end a proposal speech. But you should make it clear that you are asking for their hand in marriage. While holding out the ring might help to make this clear, you could also say something like, "Will you marry me?"
Documenting the proposal
A proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so you'll want to remember it forever. Make sure you have someone on hand to take photos or videos of the big moment. You could also hire a professional photographer to capture the special moment.
You could also set up a hidden camera to document the moment. Or, if you are planning to propose around loved ones, you could rely on them to get out their phones and document the occasion.
What if the ring doesn't fit?
If the ring doesn't fit, don't worry. It's not a sign that the relationship is doomed. The jeweller should be able to resize the ring so it fits perfectly. It's also common to propose with a placeholder ring and then choose the ring with your partner, particularly if you aren’t sure what size they are or what style they would like. If choosing the ring is the one thing that is holding you back from proposing, then this could be the ideal solution.
When should you propose?
There is no right or wrong time to propose. But there are a few things you should consider before popping the question.
- Think about your partner: Does your partner want a long engagement or a short one? Are they ready to get married now or do they want to wait a few years? It's important to think about what your partner wants before you propose.
- Think about your finances: Can you afford to get married now? If you're not sure, it might be worth waiting until you are in a better financial position. It can be frustrating to a partner if you agree to marry but then can't tie the knot for a long time.
- Think about your careers: Are you both in a good place professionally? If one of you is still working on their career goals, it might make sense to wait until they are more established.
The bottom line is that there is no wrong time to propose. The most important thing is that you are both ready and willing to commit to each other for the long haul.
What to do if your partner says yes
Once you've popped the question and your partner has said yes, it's time to celebrate! You can do this however you want. Some couples like to keep it low-key, while others prefer to go all out with a big celebration.
If you want to keep the proposal a secret, you might want to plan a small celebration just for the two of you. This could be something as simple as going out for dinner or taking a romantic weekend getaway.
Alternatively, if you've proposed in front of friends or family, you might want to have a larger celebration with them. This could be an engagement party or even just a night out celebrating with your loved ones. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the occasion and document it.
What to do if your partner says no
It's every person's nightmare, but it is possible that your partner might say no when you propose. If this happens, don't panic. Just stay calm and try to talk to your partner about why they said no.
There could be any number of reasons why they said no. They might not be ready for marriage yet. Or, there could be something else going on in their life that is stressing them out and making them say no.
Whatever the reason, try to talk to your partner about it calmly and rationally. If they still say no, then you'll need to respect their decision and move on. It might be tough, but it's better than forcing someone into a marriage they don't want.
Why do marriage proposals fail?
There are a number of reasons why marriage proposals can fail. Sometimes, it's simply because the timing isn't right. Other times, there might be bigger issues at play. Common reasons for turning down a marriage proposal include:
- You've asked too soon in the relationship. Your partner might still be finding their feet and isn't ready to commit.
- Your partner is too young for marriage. If they're still in their teens or early twenties, they might not be ready to get married just yet.
- Your partner isn't sure about you. If there are trust issues or other problems in the relationship, your partner might not be ready to take things to the next level.
- Your partner doesn't want to get married. Some people simply don't believe in marriage and don't want to tie the knot.
- You have unresolved issues in your relationship. You can't use a proposal to fix problems with your relationship and would be better off seeking couples counselling and getting to a good place before popping the question.
A rejected proposal doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship. If you still want to be with your partner, sit down and talk to them about why they said no. If you can work through the issues together, you might be able to salvage things and get back on track.
What should you do after a marriage proposal?
After you've popped the question, there are a few things you'll need to do. Firstly, if you haven't already, you'll need to tell your families about the engagement. They'll probably be over the moon and will want to start planning the wedding straight away!
You'll also need to start thinking about the logistics of getting married. This includes everything from booking a venue and sending out invitations, to organising the food and music for the big day.