By Janet Adetu

It is a woman’s dream to receive a proposal for marriage from her desired partner. The whole act of falling in love, getting an engagement ring and the excitement that suddenly lights her face when she savors the opportunity to tell the whole world. Depending on the culture and the geographical location, proposals for marriage come in various forms, ways and manner. Some cultures simply are void of any formality as  weddings are already pre-arranged for the couple. In other instances it is almost a given that the couple will marry, so it is assumed an automatic proposal. The millennials today have changed the dynamics, by reversing the traditions. Simply put we find cases of the woman proposing for marriage and taking men on by complete surprise.

What is your take, is the whole marriage proposal ceremony  a necessity?

Well ones again culture may determine a lot of “how it is done here” but there is no harm knowing and understanding the real art of the proposal to marry. Presently I believe that a man would prefer to ask a lady’s hand in marriage, rather than the reverse. It is not hard to understand, as it may be deemed that the woman is desperate, almost a little forceful hoping that the man would consider her over another woman.

How well do you know that person you intend to marry for life? Are you sure that person is the one for you? How long will it take you to be convinced? Are you ok with the family you will be marrying into? Have you received the parent’s blessings?

So many questions but relevant today looking forward. Let me start by addressing some things that should be considered when you are thinking of proposing for a hand in marriage.

The Art of Proposing

Short & Simple

Once a couple have engaged in a cordial friendly relationship over an acceptable time frame it may be mutual that they feel both fit for one another. At times you may not be able to read the mind and intentions of the other but be hopeful it may happen sometime soon. The proposal should be short and simple as “Will you marry me?” It is a question that requires a “Yes” or “No” answer and no beating about the bush. There should no condition attached to the proposal. I recommend that both parties should be ready for marriage before the question is popped.


Today we witness several inter-racial, inter-cultural and inter-denominational marriages. Remember they all come with their different etiquette values and ways of conduct. It is important to respect any culture that is quite different from the one you are familiar with. It is time to learn and develop other ways things are done. Go with the flow and be acceptable with your attitude towards new findings, if it works, go on ahead.


Just like culture, religious beliefs that are new must be respected. Is religion a core value that may affect your decision to continue a friendship? Varying faiths conduct the entire marriage in the way that best fits their faith or religion. Is your relationship going to be mutual or will it entail conversion to another religion? Ensure you have a full-length discussion on this before you decide to go ahead.


The engagement period that follows the marriage proposal should be fun and exciting, a moment that prepares the couple for a life of togetherness. You should learn to understand each other and accommodate each other’s weaknesses. During this time others will get used to seeing you both as an item and it sets the tone for marriage preparation. For this reason the ideal timing for a proposal should be at least 6-12 months before the wedding date.


Finally, a marriage proposal can be conducted simply anywhere you choose. It can be a restaurant, a hotel, a holiday getaway, at the seaside, at home, in the morning, afternoon or night. It does not need a whole lot of ceremony, It all depends on how classy and stylish you feel like being. It can be publicly displayed or within the private confines of your environment. A few traditional steps you may want to follow once again it all depends on you as to how you pop the golden question.

Guidelines to the Perfect Proposal

  • Find the right place
  • Choose the right moment
  • Kneel down on one knee
  • Take her hand
  • Bring out the ring (or a gift)
  • Wait for an answer
  • If yes rise up
  • Place ring on finger
  • Seal commitment with a kiss

Good luck this Valentine

To all our lovely couples out there.



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