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"Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown Reveals How to Plan the Perfect Proposal

He shares his best tips exclusively with Martha Stewart Weddings.

Senior Digital Editor

 

When Karamo Brown decided to propose to his now-fiancée Ian Jordan, he says he needed to put himself in his partner's shoes. "A lot of the times, people propose based on what they would want. Sometimes they'll do it big, and their partner thinks, 'This was nice, but I could have just had a quiet dinner,'" he says. "You have to separate your dream from theirs." In order to do that, he started by creating a journal of things Jordan likes, then crafted the perfect proposal (a birthday party-turned-engagement with all of their closest friends and family around!) based around those ideas. 

 

The tactic was so successful that he used it again, this time to help another man propose. In the new season of Queer Eye, Brown helps William, a nervous groom-to-be, plan a proposal for his girlfriend. Even better, the rest of the Fab Five join together to help him, too. Above, you can see Tan France and Bobby Berk help William choose the engagement ring, then watch the entire proposal come to life below.

 

If you're not lucky enough to have Brown personally help you with your proposal, you're not entirely out of luck. Here, he exclusively shares his best tips for planning the ultimate proposal for your partner.

 

Related: "Queer Eye" Star Karamo Brown Shares What It Was Like Planning a Proposal for New Fiancée Ian Jordan

 

Have a conversation.

Communication is so important for any relationship, Brown says, and having a conversation about marriage—whether it's about when you want to get married or who will propose—is essential for every couple. "We all communicate about everything except for this one thing. I blame Hollywood movies. The needy guy or girl always loses the person they love," he says. "Getting clarification is not being needy." He stresses that you shouldn't jumble this key conversation in with anything else, otherwise there's too much pressure. "Discuss this one thing, digest it, and make sure you're both on the same page before moving on." 

 

Think about what they'd want.

Brown says he's a hopeless romantic, so he had to strip away all the cultural norms that he would have wanted from a proposal as he planned to pop the question. In addition to creating the journal of things he knows his fiancée loves, it was important that he considered what kind of proposal he would have wanted. By doing this, you can make sure you're planning certain details the right reasons.

 

Find community. 

For Brown, that meant relying on three different people: his friend, Jordan's friend, and a neutral third party that loves them both. "We feel like we have to do it all ourselves, but just by asking for help, it eases the pressure and allows you to be in the moment," he explains. You can bounce ideas off of them or ask for assistance on the day plan to propose. 

 

 

Get over the fear.

"I'm not a wedding planner, but I know that a proposal is about getting over the fear of what's happening in your life," he says. Before you start doing anything, get the worries completely out of your head. Instead of asking yourself, "What will I do if they say no?" Brown says you need to ask yourself, "What's going to happen when they say yes?"

 

Be stealthy about the ring.

As for figuring out your partner's ring size, Brown has a funny (yet practical) suggestion: measure his or her finger while they're sleeping. "When I proposed, one of the first things Ian asked me was, 'How did you know my ring size?' And I said, 'I measured your finger in the middle of the night!'"