Brainstorming different ways to propose is exciting, but it's also fraught with pressure. You're approaching a major milestone as a couple, and the moment you ask her to marry you will be one you both remember forever. One of the first decisions to make when it comes to the proposal is location. Where will you pop the question? While many choose to get down on one knee in an exciting, often public, setting, others prefer the comfort of their own home. Neither is a wrong choice, but determining which is right for you depends on a variety of different factors.
According to Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, proposals at home are a long-standing tradition. "Not everyone has the time, money, or desire to plan an expensive or elaborate proposal," she says. "In truth, the only requirements for a successful proposal are two people who love each other and want to spend their lives together, the question of 'Will you marry me?' and an affirmative answer." Even an engagement ring is not always a must-have, she adds.
If you're thinking about proposing at home, consider these pros and cons.
Pro: There's way less pressure.
Home is often the most relaxed and comfortable setting for any occasion, but especially something as monumental as a proposal. The lessened pressure to perform in front of a crowd allows the couple the opportunity to solely focus on what's happening between them. In addition to a more relaxing setting, couples proposing at home score the benefit of having more control over their setting, whereas in a public forum, anything can happen to get in the way of their moment.
Con: It can be underwhelming.
If you've been dreaming of the moment you would someday be proposed to since you were a child, and always pictured it happening in a romantic place with lots of people around to ooh and aww it, you might be sorely disappointed when your partner winds up asking for your hand at the dinner table you sit at each and every night.
Pro: Your furry friend can play a role.
It's tough to include Fido or Fluffy in a public proposal, especially since he might cause a distraction in the midst of such a crowd, but in the comfort of your own home, he can be the star of the show! There are countless ways to involve pets in proposals, and doing so might make the moment all the more sweet and memorable. "My favorite proposal has always been putting the ring on a collar,' move," says Catherine Kowalski, founder and designer of Catherine Kowalski Bridal. "While this can get dangerous if you're cat or dog isn't trained properly, when done in the security of your home, your chances of a disaster greatly decrease."
Con: You might not have a photographer on hand.
Unless you hired a photographer, or asked a family member, to hide out in your home until you popped the question, you'll likely have a hard time scoring a photo of your proposal. If you propose in a public setting however, you'll have a plethora of people to ask to take your picture, or capture a video of you in the act.
Pro: It's affordable.
If you're looking to start saving for your future wedding, the idea of proposing in a place that will cost you an arm and leg isn't so appealing. But, as Lehman points out, a proposal does not have to be an expensive undertaking. "Other than purchasing an engagement ring, you only need the love in your heart," she says. "The emphasis should be on the words you say and the memories created in that moment."
Con: It's not the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon.
If you and your future husband or wife like to travel or visit grand locations like museums, concert halls or monuments, then an at-home proposal may seem a little lackluster, Lehman explains. However, as an alternative, she suggests making a scrapbook of all the places you've visited together, including photos and mementos. "You can title it 'Our Journey Together,'" she adds.