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A surprise proposal can be an unforgettable moment you'll want to relive again and again. But is it always a good idea for a proposal to be a total surprise, or is it better to leave a few bread crumbs along the way? We've broken down your options so you can pop the question in a way that feels natural and — hopefully — a little less stressful.

Total surprise

A little shock and awe can turn your proposal into a priceless memory that will stand the test of time. Plus, a surprise proposal makes a great story for friends, family and future generations.

Before you start planning a surprise proposal, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Have you been dating long enough to justify a surprise proposal?

  • Are you confident that you will get that coveted “yes”?

  • Are you sure they really want to be swept off their feet?

While some people revel in the idea of being shocked by a beautiful proposal, others may feel differently — even embarrassed. Carefully consider how your partner may react to a surprise proposal before making any impromptu decisions.

If you feel confident that you and your significant other are equally ready to take the next step, a surprise engagement can be a dream come true. Just be sure you consult with a good friend or family member on their engagement ring preferences and correct ring size!


OK, the cat's out of the bag, and they have a pretty good idea a proposal is coming. Don't sweat it! There are still plenty of opportunities to add elements of surprise.

Even if your partner halfway expects you to pop the big question, you still control the time, place and circumstances. That's a lot to work with, and you can weave surprises throughout. Choose a common everyday setting when their guard is down, or plan a vacation around the big moment to make it that much more memorable. Or make it a romantic, intimate proposal by getting your closest friends in on the act.

There are endless possibilities to be creative. And, if they know a proposal is coming, you'll find it's easier to drop hints that you need an idea of what type of engagement ring they'd like.

No surprise

For couples who have been together a while, a proposal doesn't always come as a surprise. Sometimes that makes the proposal extra special, because it gives you both a chance to share in the experience.

When you're both in on the proposal, you can go engagement ring shopping together, which helps eliminate a lot of uncertainty and makes the experience less stressful. It also makes the proposal feel like an inclusive celebration that involves both of you, especially if you design a custom engagement ring together. Don't worry if you don't have an epic surprise planned for your marriage proposal. It can still be a treasured celebration that you'll both relive in your minds for years to come.

Planning to do some ring shopping before your proposal but feeling unsure how to pick out an engagement ring for her (or him)? Stop by Helzberg Diamonds and get some help from the experts.

Together or apart, pick the perfect ring. Shop all engagement rings at Helzberg.