Graduating from college, miltary school, or any institution of higher learning is a time of celebration and change for those who are lucky enough to experience it. The heady siren call of a bountiful and exciting future beckons, and the act of walking across the stage to receive that all-important diploma takes on a ritualistic aura.
It becomes a moment when everything is transformed, and the people witnessing the event understand that they are seeing a once in a lifetime moment. As such, it’s a great time to propose marriage to a fiance, someone who has been working so hard to finish school and waiting for that right time to look ahead to a marriage and a life of love and family (assuming she’s not uncomfortable with gran public gestures of love that is!). Here’s how to pull off a romantic graduation marriage proposal if you think this is a great idea for you and your partner.
This kind of proposal is going to be one of those on the knees, pop the question types, where time is of the essence. As such timing is a big part of getting it right, as is a plan that takes into account the venue (where the ceremony is taking place) and the access plan – how you’ll get to the stage. And that’s another important aspect of a graduation marriage proposal to be aware of before you commit to it – it’s not for the shy and reticent type.
Graduation Marriage Proposal 101
1. Scout It Out
You’ll have to do a scouting run in the venue where the graduation will happen. Hopefully it’s a publicly accessible place like an auditorium, gymnasium or field where you can have a look around and prepare your plan of attack. You will also want to try to see the stage set-up if it’s a temporary placement so you can calculate your steps. Try to find someone who knows the ceremony well in advance and who can tell you where the various phases will happen – the mounting the stairs up to the stage, the crossing to the podium, the handshake and diploma passing, the acknowledgement of the crowd, and the path to the stairs going down. You’ll want to get an idea of how long this will take so that you will know when to leave your seat and get to the stage in time.
Whether it be yours or your partner’s graduation, it’s a perfect opportunity to carry out a proposal, like in this military proposal example:
2. Develop A Strategy
Now that you know where your fiance will be during the all-important crossing of the stage, and where you will be during the ceremony, you can plan your advance. Remember that you will be doing this in front of a fairly large number of people, if it’s a typical graduation event. So you’ll need to afford yourself some mental preparation time for what you are about to do. You will have to leave your seat with time enough to run to the stage. You won’t want to arrive at the left of the stage too soon, but you will need to be in position to go at the right moment. It’s also important not to take away any attention from the primary purpose of the ritual – the handing off of the diploma – so again, timing is extremely important.
Make it even more memorable by getting up on stage yourself, as this guy does in the following video:
3. Don’t Lose Your Nerve
When the big day comes, be sure you have the ring, and that you have prepared and practiced what you will say. Remember that you will have a very short time to run to the stage, mount it in front of your fiance, drop to one knee, pop the question, get a response, get a hug, and take off. The important thing is that you have trained and made yourself mentally ready for this very important moment.
All that’s left is to do it – don’t lose your nerve now! The guy in this video certainly doesn’t!
4. Bring Your Friends
You will feel better if you have a group of friends who can cheer you on when you propose. They will help take some of the crowd’s attention away from your movements and will encourage participation. It’s also very important to have a videographer who can get the whole thing recorded for posterity. If you can find someone who’s willing to follow you up to the stage for an intimate camera angle, so much the better. It will also be a great time after the event to have a party – and celebrate the graduation and the proposal at the same time.
Now that you have your proposal plan in place you need to think about the ring. As such head over to our engagement ring buying guide where you will find answers to all those unanswered questions you have floating around your hear. Check it out here.