Proposal Vows: How to Make your Proposal Unforgettable

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (20/07/2023)
Categories: | Proposing  | Vows  | Wedding Traditions | 
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Proposal against a sunset sky. One person
                    kneeling on one knee.So, you've decided to propose to the love of your life. But now you have to figure out how to do it and what to say.

The pressure is on. Do you go for the big public spectacle, flash mob, brass band, or some OTT big production. Or not?

Whatever you decde, at some point you'll come across the words "proposal speech", made down on one knee, holding out a ring box, with may some big "Marry Me" sign as a backdrop.

But what exactly is a proposal speech, and why do I think that a speech without promises is not enough?

What is a proposal speech?


Way back when, a proposal speech consisted of not much more than the question, couched in formal terms. Would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?  No protestations of love. No reminiscencing. Not very romantic at all. And no ring. That came later.

As did "How did they propose?" Everyone from friends, loved ones, and work colleagues to all your wedding vendors, together with strangers who notice a new ring, wants to know the details. And that needs a story. How it was set up. What the scene looked like. What was said.

There's a good reason for this. And it is not just about everyone being a sticky-beak. How you propose, and the stories told about it forever after, marks a significant chapter in your relationship.
And so the proposal speech was born. You might call it your verbal justification for proposing. It will include some or all of the following:
  • Why the two of you are a great match
  • What attracted you in the first place
  • What is special about your intended
  • When and how you knew they were "the one"
  • How life is better together
  • What you have faced and overcome together

Followed by "Will you marry me?".  Pro Tip. It won't hurt to say Please!

But can you see what is missing?

Most people will say "The Arrangements"

Ask anyone about planning a proposal and they will come up with a long "to do" list
  • Decide where
  • Decide on what you'll be doing - an activity of some sort
  • Decide what you're going to do afterwards
  • Choose a proposal photographer (bonus, they may have some suggestions about the where and the what
  • Get anyone else who needs to be involved on board
  • Write your proposal speech
  • Develop a backup plan

And that's just a start.

What about promises?

It still says a lot about the assumption that getting married is the ultimate goal for women that proposal speeches are all about the person doing the proposing. Let's not be coy, while it is usual for the proposer to talk about how special the proposee is, basically it comes down to "this is why I want you to marry me"

It's sort of a "all care, no responsibility" sort of speech.

But there is a way to change that. To up the ante and make it truly unforgettable, for all the right reasons.

Make the speech. And also make vows, promises you commit to, before you pop the question. The speech puts the question in context. Your why. But the promises demonstrate your commitment.

What should be included in proposal vows

Everything you would include in your Proposal Speech, together with the same sort of things you expect to promise in your wedding vows. Promises of love, but also of how you will behave towards your partner, how you will support them, treat them, and be there for them, throughout your marriage. The proposal speech elements put your promises into context.

Simple. And Powerful.

And a great practice run for your wedding vows!

Need help writing your Proposal Vows?

Talk to me. This is one of the services I offer in my vow writing service

More thoughts about proposing

Thanks for reading!
Jenny xxx Let's talk
                        soon about how you can have the best ceremony
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