Thinking about popping the question to your one true love? Our top tips for how to plan the most romantic proposal for your one true love.

Just thinking about proposals gets our heart skipping a beat. It’s the ultimate romantic gesture, that moment where you ask someone to share your life, through thick and thin, better or for worse, through man colds and pregnancy cravings. And, unlike life, the proposal is something you can plan to a T. To get you started, here is our top list of tips for planning an amazing proposal your significant other will never forget.

Make it personal. This is somewhat of a disclaimer and something to keep in mind, for everything you read on this list and every piece of advice someone gives you on proposal planning. It will do no good if you plan your beloved a Disney-themed getaway and castle proposal, like one you read about online, if they’ve never seen the cartoon princess movies and have no clue who Mickey the talking mouse is.

Ask yourself, would they really enjoy a public proposal or a private one? Even the most extraverted can prefer a just-the-two-of-you intimate moment, so really think about this before you ask for anyone’s hand at the 10-year family reunion in Napa.

Opt for a sentimental location. Your first trip away together, the place where you had your first kiss, the moment you first knew you were in love—all romantic options that connect your past, present and future. Unless it was a late-night pizza place, then in that case we suggest you find a different (cleaner) sentimental location.

Include historic details. This is the ideal opportunity to look through your archives and pull out sentimental details to reference during the proposal. Your first song playing in the background, bringing the first flowers you ever gifted (or a bouquet with a flower for every year you’ve been together), a dinner reso at your special spot, planning it on a special anniversary date, etc.

Theme it out when applicable. Sometimes going with a theme (like a favourite movie) can offer great inspiration. Take this special Banff proposal for example: Saket knew his girlfriend Nupur was obsessed with Harry Potter, so he had a jeweller make the ring box into a golden snitch. (Find the full story and photos of this amazing top-of-a-mountain proposal here).

Pop the question before the funtivities start. If you have a whole range of activities planned (horse-drawn carriage through the park, fancy dinner, followed by a helicopter ride and champagne toast), propose early in the night so that you won’t be nervous and stressing (and sweating) all night that everything is going to plan. This way you can just enjoy the ride, plus, then your fiancé gets to show off the ring all night and get congratulations everywhere you go.

Keep it a surprise. You’ve talked about it, you know they’ll say yes, but that doesn’t mean you should even for a second think it’s OK to give away the mystery. Be your sleuthiest and protect the surprise details at all costs!

Consider picking out the ring together. OK, this sort of goes back on the surprise element a bit, however, Zola released some research that said 1 in 4 couples prefers to pick out the ring together. And it can be a lot of pressure to pick a ring someone is going to wear forever, during yoga, while kayaking, etc. And this way you’ll have no worries that the ring isn’t to their taste.

Plan a surprise manicure ahead of the big event. This is a pro tip. This ensures the digits are in top form for all the ring showing off, and you can book it a few days ahead if you don’t want to arouse suspicion.

Hire a professional photographer to capture the moment. Not only can a professional capture that glorious look of surprise and pure joy on your faces, but it’s a wonderful memento to look back on and you’ll have gorgeous photos to use to spread the great news! Check out Flytographer’s special proposal page for more info. 

If you hire a professional photographer, book a reservation for after your proposal. Book a lunch or nice dinner, that way you both are dressed your best and it’s not suspicious to be looking camera-ready.

Pre-test the outfit with knee lunges. Trying to figure out what to wear? Make sure you do a few tests of you kneeling down on one knee to see how it feels, and try out a few places to hide the ring so you’re ready at Crucial Moment and won’t have any wardrobe malfunctions.

Take a few dry runs opening the ring box. Picture this, you present the ring at it’s upside down and falls out and into a street grate. Practice, practice, practice and avoid all potential disasters.

Plan a post-proposal event for just the two of you. After the crying and the kissing of the main event, your fiancé will LOVE IT if you’ve planned some alone time for the two of you to bask in the big moment. A special dinner, a gondola ride, a rooftop cocktail under the stars—make it romantic, and make it for just the two of you. They can share the moment with friends and family at an engagement party later!

Think ahead of time about what you’ll say. The words, this is why we’re here. Even if you plan nothing elaborate, telling your significant other why you love them, why you want to spend the rest of your life together, this is what they want to hear ALL ABOUT. So think about it ahead of time, practice it aloud, even write it down and take it with you if needed. It doesn’t have to be spontaneous to be romantic. And who doesn’t love someone thoughtful enough to plan ahead?