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The Pros and Cons of a Birthday Proposal

Debating whether to propose on the bride-to-be's birthday? Here's what you need to know.

Contributing Writer
marriage proposal
Photography by: Rachel Red Photography

Once you're ready to propose, there are a few things you have to do. First, you'll need to purchase an engagement ring. Then, you'll need to actually plan the proposal, which includes deciding when you'll get down on one knee. Scanning the days on the calendar may bring up a valid question: Should I propose on my girlfriend's birthday? The scenario has several pros and cons, so we asked one wedding planner to break it all down. These points will help you determine if a birthday proposal is right for your relationship.

 

Related: Dos and Don'ts for an Unforgettable Marriage Proposal

 

Pro: There's an element of surprise.

Hollis Starks, a wedding designer and owner of Hollis Starks & Co., loves the idea of a birthday proposal. "The element of surprise would certainly be enhanced by proposing on the bride's birthday," she says. In other words, a bride-to-be won't think twice about secretive plans on her birthday, giving the groom more leniency to coordinate a sneaky proposal.

 

Con: Some women really hate celebrating their birthday.

Some people take full advantage of their birthdays, celebrating with fancy outfits, delicious desserts, and festive gatherings. Others may dread turning another year older. If your girlfriend has a negative attitude surrounding her birthday, save the proposal for a later date. After all, you want her to be in a great mood before saying "yes!"

 

Pro: You're probably already planning to celebrate with loved ones.

Many women celebrate their birthday with family and friends, so planning a proposal to coincide with her special day makes it easier to include the people that matter most to her in the engagement. You can plan a spa day, fancy dinner, or evening drinks with her closest family members and friends without her getting suspicious.

 

Con: One event will likely overshadow the other.

Getting engaged is a major milestone, and a proposal can easily overshadow birthday festivities. Prevent this from happening by emphasizing her special day in addition to the engagement; take care to wish her "happy birthday," and get her a gift unrelated to the engagement. "I would not recommend using the proposal or engagement ring as a birthday gift," says Starks. Ultimately, you should think about your partner. Some women simply won't like sharing their birthday with their engagement date, and if you have any feeling that she might fall into this camp, pop the question another day.

 

Pro: There are so many ways to make the proposal unique.

"The possibilities are endless regarding the actual proposal," says Starks, who loves the idea of incorporating the proposal into her birthday festivities. "Consider sliding a ring onto a lit candle on a cake or writing 'Will you marry me?' in a blank birthday card."

 

Con: The timing might not be great.

If you really want to propose on a bride's birthday but it happens to fall on a jam-packed weekday, then your plans could easily fall through. In this case, you can plan a birthday proposal that's not on the bride's actual day of birth. For example, organize a surprise birthday-dinner-turned-engagement-party the weekend before, then pop the question after. Alternatively, a groom could propose on his own birthday, which is guaranteed to take her off guard. No matter what, make sure the proposal is genuine, romantic, and memorable—most brides will be thrilled, no matter the date!