Deciding that you are ready for engagement and marriage is a big step.
Ensuring that everything about this special day is perfect is going to help make it even more special.
The engagement day will be one of the most special days in your life, and it can be a lot of pressure to ensure that everything is done correctly.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips when it comes to proposing and whether it should be done before or after dinner.
Chances are you already have in your mind the way you would like this day to go, but these ideas can offer just a bit of extra guidance.
Should I Propose Before Or After Dinner?
It is best to propose before dinner.
When you propose before eating, you are then able to use the dinner as a celebration of the special event.
Having dinner after the engagement helps to make the night even more important.
In addition, traditionally, a person is much more nervous before they propose than after.
This means that sitting through an entire dinner could become difficult.
It is much better to get the proposal over with and then take the time to celebrate the event.
Now that you have the timing of this all down, there are still some important details to have in place about an engagement.
Let’s take a look at some of the other questions that people have before they pop the question.
How Do I Pick The Right Restaurant For A Proposal?
Most of the time, people pick a fancy place or a sentimental place to get engaged.
The high-end fancy restaurants typically have great food, and they will work with you if you choose to get engaged in the restaurant.
In addition, these restaurants are typically accustomed to celebrating a special occasion, and that will help to ensure that the night goes off without a hitch.
The only problem with going with the high-end restaurant is if this is something that you wouldn’t normally do.
If you would not normally go to a high-end steak house for dinner, your partner may think that something is up.
If you can keep the dinner details a secret, then you may not need to worry about this.
Another way to choose a restaurant for an engagement is to choose something that has meaning.
Did you meet at a certain restaurant?
Do you have a special place that you go to for birthdays and anniversaries?
Choosing somewhere like this that has sentimental value to you and your potential spouse is a great idea.
This can be made even better because of the fact that it may not feel like such a surprise but instead a traditional way to celebrate.
If you can’t choose between the familiar or the fancy, try to consider what food your partner really likes.
Do they always enjoy Mexican or Italian food?
Find one of the best restaurants in your area that will specialize in this type of food and make your reservation.
For an engagement night, we would always recommend booking a spot at a restaurant that has reservations.
It can be slightly disappointing if you show up and the line is already out the door.
Chances are you have saved up and planned for this night, so you will want everything to go very smoothly if you can help it.
Pros And Cons Of Proposing Before Dinner
You know how we feel about proposing after dinner.
The problem becomes that you will then have to choose another place to go and celebrate because dinner will already be finished.
However, like anything else, there are some varying opinions on this.
Here are a few of the negatives associated with getting engaged before dinner.
If the engagement occurs right before you are supposed to eat, chances are you are not going to be too worried about the meal you are consuming.
Essentially, you will pay for a high-end dinner that costs a lot of money, and you and your partner are not even going to be able to focus on enjoying it.
This is a valid concern but one that can be easily fixed.
The best way to go about fixing this would be to get engaged somewhere else before going to dinner.
If you are in a city and you can get engaged at a landmark and then walk to the restaurant, this gives you some time to talk and settle down before dinner.
The idea of going directly into a meal may be a bit too much, and you will not enjoy it quite as much.
We still think that the whole day works out better when you propose before dinner, but be sure to watch your timing and pay attention to the impacts of that.
2. Low Profile
Chances are, if you are going to propose in a restaurant before your meal, you are going to attract the attention of those around you.
People will likely come over to the table, and they will offer their congratulations.
In addition, people are going to talk about how their engagement was and more.
You may have some people who don’t leave you alone the entire time you are trying to eat.
Of course, the best thing to do in this situation is to try not to engage and enjoy your dinner with your partner, but this can be difficult.
If you wait until dinner is over to propose, you will likely be leaving the restaurant soon after, and you can get away from any onlookers that are getting too involved in your business.
If you prefer to keep a low profile, getting engaged in a restaurant before eating your meal may garner a little more attention than you might like.
The best way to avoid this is what we recommended when we talked about the timing.
Simply get engaged in a private place directly before the dinner.
When you walk in to eat, it’s up to you to decide if you want to tell anyone about the engagement.
If you want to bring attention to the table, that is fine, but if you want to keep a low profile, you will be able to do that as well.
What To Wear To A Proposal Dinner?
There are a few things to remember about the night you get engaged, and one of them is that you will likely be photographed.
Ensuring that you have on some of your best attire will help you to look back on this night fondly.
If you are wearing something that you don’t like and you feel uncomfortable in any way, make sure you change it before heading out.
In addition, it makes sense to dress nicely since you know that you will be asking a pretty important question.
Showing that this means so much to you that you decided to dress up is quite important.
Make sure that you also consider the dress code of the restaurant that you are going to.
Some of these restaurants require jackets and certain types of shoes.
If you don’t come prepared with the right attire, you may have to change the place you wanted to enjoy your engagement dinner.
This is one of the reasons many people will choose a restaurant that is familiar to them.
With this, they won’t have to worry about being dressed inappropriately.
How To Propose At Dinner
If you are set on the idea that proposing at dinner is the best choice for you, there are several different ways to do this.
Some people simply like to rip the ring out of their pocket and get the night started.
Others are going to be a little more unique in their approach.
If you are interested in proposing at dinner, here are a few ideas to help ensure that this process goes off without any issues.
1. Hide The Ring In Champagne
One classic way to propose at dinner is to hide the engagement ring in a champagne glass.
Some people think that this is a fun way to surprise a person when they wonder why there is something in the bottom of their glass.
However, there are some concerns with this method as well.
You may have to prepare this ahead of time with the bartender to make sure that they set it up properly.
In addition, you have just spent a great deal of money on the ring, do you really want to let it out of your sight.
Of course, the most obvious concern with this method is that if your partner somehow misses the fact that there is a ring in the glass, the whole thing turns out a little different.
Instead of it being a surprise, you will have to talk to them about the ring and then give up the fact that it is in the glass.
This really takes away a bit of the special announcement and it is best if you can avoid this.
If you think your partner notices everything and there will be no issues, then go for it with this champagne method.
If not, there are still lots of other ways that you can go about this process.
2. Get The Waiter Involved
Getting the waiter involved with your engagement is going to take a bit of work.
You are going to probably have to work this out prior to the event, and you may even need to go to the restaurant a different day and get everything planned out.
It’s hard to walk into a restaurant with your partner and plan this whole thing on a whim.
One of the best ways to get the waiter involved is to have them bring your partner the ring on a plate.
If you’re eating at a high-end restaurant, sometimes plates will come to the table with a cover on them.
The waiter could bring the plate and remove the cover to have the ring sitting in the center of the plate.
Another option is to have the waiter just bring the ring on a small plate.
For instance, instead of bringing the salad, they simply bring a ring on a plate.
There are lots of ways to get creative once you have the help of the restaurant staff in place.
These people will ensure that your night is made extremely special.
The waiter getting involved is much better when you know the waiter or have met them before.
This may be a better idea for the restaurants that you are usually going to, rather than something that you would go to only occasionally.
3. Hidden Note
Maybe you want to keep things simple.
If you are worried about saying the right words and getting your partner to understand the commitment level you have towards the relationship, sometimes a hidden note is a great idea.
You can place a note on the table under or on the napkin.
When your partner sits down and opens their napkin, they will find the note directly in the napkin and help you get your point across to ask your question.
The hidden note usually works quite well.
Just try to hide it as discreetly as you can.
This will ensure that the entire thing is still kept a surprise.
4. Special Menu
Have you ever thought of the idea of creating a special menu just for your engagement?
You can get as creative as you would like with this menu.
Simply put something together that will let your partner know that you are proposing to them.
The menus can be a letter, or it can have different choices on it for spending a life together.
Whatever you decide to do with the menu, make it unique and something that you both will talk about for years to come.
Then you can arrange with the restaurant ahead of time that you want this specific menu used the night that you come in for your engagement dinner.
When the menu is handed to your partner, and they start looking it over, they will soon realize that this is a special and unique surprise from you.
Some restaurants will go above and beyond and tell you the size of the menu that you would need to be printed to make it look like one of theirs.
This helps to ensure that everything is kept a top-secret surprise until it is brought to the table.
This is one of our favorite restaurant engagement ideas.
If you are smart about this, you will find that it makes for a very special engagement.
In addition, if the menu is designed and prepared correctly, you won’t have to worry about having to say all that much to your partner.
Let the menu do the talking, and you enjoy getting to watch their face as they realize you are proposing.
Overall, the special menu is a smart option to consider, and not enough people take advantage of it.
5. Simply Propose At The Table
Don’t start to feel bad if some of these restaurant ideas are feeling a bit too complicated for you.
The reality of this is that you don’t need to get overly involved in this process.
The bottom line is that you are trying to ask a critical question, and the question is what matters the most.
Choosing the restaurant, the outfit, and the method are all parts of the process that make it more fun, but the most important thing is the message that you convey to your partner.
If you want to keep things simple, propose at the table.
Start a typical conversation with your partner and then completely shock them by stopping and asking for their hand in marriage.
There is no doubt you are going to get emotional, and so will your partner.
This is a special moment in life, and even if you don’t create a special menu or rent out the entire half of the restaurant, you can still make it an important event.
The connection between you and your partner will undoubtedly be the more critical part of this entire process, and that is something that won’t change based on the restaurant or the method.
If something that you plan on your engagement day does not go the way it should, don’t let it ruin the entire event.
Remember that the engagement process is more about who you are with than anything else.
If you can find a way to make it a great day, it will be something that you remember for the rest of your life.
6. Restaurant Band
Some restaurants will have a band or live music.
If you have some connections with the band, another excellent choice would be to enlist their services to help you complete your engagement.
Most couples have songs that are uniquely special to them and remind them of certain events in their lives.
If you have a particular song, you can ask the band to play that song and then propose while the song is being played.
This is an excellent choice for those who think your partner will recognize the song being played.
For people who care a lot about music and are always listening to the song in the background, you can make this a great way to propose.
After the band plays, you can get down on one knee, or you can do it directly in the middle of the song.
However you decide to complete the proposal, incorporating music into the event is a great idea to consider.
The smaller the details used to make the day special, the better it will be as a memory.
Everyone gets engaged with the idea of being married for many, many years.
Your engagement day is something that you will look back on and smile about.
With a restaurant being such a popular place to get engaged, make sure you take these extra small steps to ensure the day is even better than your partner could expect.
By now, you should have a pretty good handle on the best possible scenario for you to get engaged at a restaurant.
There are hundreds of ways that you can go about this, but you must think of what will make the most sense for you and your partner.
What is it that means the most to the two of you?
Do you care about something grand or smaller scale?
Always try to consider what your partner would think a perfect engagement would look like.
Since this is truly a surprise for them, you must be sure that you think about their likes, dislikes, and hopes for this special day.
Never forget that your engagement will be something you remember for the rest of your life.