If anyone is qualified to give us proposal advice, it’s Chris Harrison. As host of ABC’s The Bachelor, Chris has watched a proposal each season (with the exception of a few very memorable finales, that is). He’s also guided couples through every kind of romantic situation: from picturesque helicopter rides, to emotional rose ceremonies, to the ever-awkward two-on-one dates. Clearly, he knows what—and what not—to do, when it comes to making a moment special. Here are his tips for a proposal worthy of The Bachelor.
By the way, if you’re in the market to get a proposal on your calendar, don’t miss the Ultimate Disney Proposal Contest! One lucky winner will win a Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings proposal package that includes a custom, surprise proposal at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, along with a trip to the Park. All you have to do is download the Applause app on iOS or Android and submit a video telling us why you should win. See the official rules here, and make sure you enter before February 27!
Don’t overthink it.
“Sometimes people overthink it because it’s such a big moment. They make it more complicated than it needs to be. You know this person more than anybody in the world, and you love them more than anybody in the world, so just make it personal.”
Don’t forget that this moment is about two people.
“Make it something that the two of you are going to enjoy, and include yourself, by the way. It’s your day, too.”
Make a date with dad.
“I like the formality of asking a father’s permission. Gone are the days where they’re going to determine your marriage, but I still think it’s just a nice touch. It’s a romantic thing that the in-laws will appreciate, and so will your future wife, as soon as she finds out that you took the time to call her dad.”
Don’t mess with tradition.
“Getting down on one knee is still very much en vogue. It’s old school, it’s romantic, and I say yes.”
It doesn’t need to be a spectacle.
“For the most part, make it private. I’m not real huge on massive public proposals. Make it about you guys.”
Stick to a simple speech.
“For most guys, the best advice is ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ It doesn’t have to be a long speech, as long as it’s from the heart. Definitely including specific details: things you love about her, your life together, whatever the future might hold. After about 20 words, she knows what’s happening. There’s a certain point of diminishing returns where you can only screw it up.”
Know your audience.
“Know who you’re trying to please. Is she traditional, or more modern where she wants something different? You have to know her well, and obviously, go for her taste.”
Use those ears on your head.
“Listen to the things that she talks about when she talks about love and what she loves. Take that, incorporate it into your speech, incorporate into her ring, into the proposal, the whole nine yards. Usually women are pretty good about giving us clues.”
If nothing else, take Chris’ final advice.
“At the end of the day remember: The ring on her finger and what you’re about to do is much more important than where and when. Don’t worry that you’re not in a villa in Tuscany or on a beach in Bora Bora. That’s great for the show, but let’s face it, without our budget, those people are not doing that either. Make it something personal to you; don’t worry about the story you’re going to have to tell later.”
You heard it straight from the man himself—when it comes right down to it, don’t overthink it and make it personal. Oh, and don’t forget to put a ring on it.
Don’t miss Chris Harrison on The Bachelor, Mondays at 8|7c on ABC.