How to Craft the Perfect Proposal Speech

Are you stuck trying to figure out what to say when proposing? Check out this post so you can be prepared with a marriage proposal speech that will set the stage perfectly for the big question.

Man and woman laughing and standing on rocks with pine trees in the background as he makes his proposal speech to her

Updated: May 3, 2023

Why you need an awesome proposal speech

Before we get into specifics on what to say when you propose, it’s important to step back and look at the big picture. 

Why is this stuff important? Why don’t people just say “Will You Marry Me?” and be done with it? Because technically you could just say those few words, and your partner would get the point.

But this moment, the moment that you ask your partner to spend the rest of their life with you, is one that you only get once in your relationship. This moment is going to take your relationship to a very special level and change both of your lives! 

So you want your partner to know that this moment is important to you, and that it means as much to you as it does to them. 

Man making a proposal speech to happy smiling woman in front of a waterfall in Costa Rica

On top of that, consider this. One of the first things that your partner will be asked after you two announce your engagement is this:

“How did they ask you?” 

Not only is your partner going to replay the story of how you asked again and again in their own head for years to come, but they’re going to be retelling this story to dozens of other people. 

Their friends, family, and coworkers will want to know all the details, from what you two were doing beforehand to really get the mood right, to how you set up the scene, and even what you did after to celebrate. 

There will be a frenzy of social media interest once you make the announcement and post that picture of the ring. You get the idea.

And there are no do-overs for this, so it’s important to be prepared!

But here’s the good news, just by being here reading this article, you’re already ahead of the game. You’re researching and putting thought into what you’re going to say. 

So keep reading and we’ll get into the specifics on how to create the perfect proposal speech!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, nailing the perfect proposal speech is only one part of the proposal process! Check out this post for all the things you need to think about to plan an amazing proposal!

Proposal speech styles + Examples of what to say when proposing

When you’re trying to think of what to say leading up to the big question, there are a number of different approaches you might take. Read through the following styles and find one that speaks to you. Or pick and choose elements of multiple approaches to create your own unique proposal speech.

Go back to the beginning

The first approach you can take is to go back to the beginning, when you two first met. What first struck you about your partner? How did you feel about your partner on your first date? What was so fun and exciting about your relationship when you first got together? It can be fun to reminisce with your partner and bring them back to those special memories before popping the question!

What makes your partner so special

Another approach to take is to tell your partner all the reasons why you love them. What are your favorite things about your partner? Why are they special to you? 

Do you love they way they dance around the kitchen while they’re making dinner? Or how about the way they loved your dog as their own immediately when you started dating? 

There are a ton of ways to approach this, from little things to big ones. But telling your partner why they are special to you is a great way to set the mood before asking them to marry you.

How you knew 

Think back to when you knew you wanted to marry your partner. Was there a specific moment or did it build up over time? There’s no right answer here, but either way, it can be very sweet to let your partner in on this little secret of how and when you knew they were the perfect person for you.

Woman laughing and smiling as man proposes to her in Garden of the Gods in Colorado

Why you two make a great match

Another approach to your proposal speech is to talk about why you two are meant for each other. 

Are you both the biggest fans of Star Wars? Do you share the same goals or values that you can work towards together in life? List the reasons why you two belong together as a sweet lead in to the big question.

How life is better with your partner

What was life like before you and your partner met? Can you think about all the ways that your life has improved since then? Then tell your partner! Often these things go unsaid in a relationship, and there’s no better time than your proposal to say them.

How your lives have changed together and what the future holds

Often a couple goes through a journey of life events together during the course of a relationship. This could be things like graduating college, getting new jobs, moving to a new city or country, getting a pet or having a kid, and so on. Going through these life events and experiences together can shape your relationship and bond you together in special ways. 

Remind your partner of all the things you’ve been through together and then tell them about the future you want to have together.

10 Tips for what to say during a proposal

In addition to thinking about what to say, here are 10 tips for nailing your proposal speech.

  1. Pick the right time and place. The location and day/time that you propose are pretty big components of pulling off a great proposal. Make sure you think through these aspects so that the mood is right for when you are ready to pop the question.
  1. Proposal ideas. Again, the proposal speech is only one part of the plan. If you need ideas for activities or creative ways to propose, check out this post!
  1. When it comes to the proposal speech, I don’t recommend totally winging it, but you probably don’t want to memorize something word for word either. Come up with general topics or ideas for what you want to say, and speak naturally. This approach will probably be easier for you, and it will sound more genuine than a rehearsed speech.
  1. Don’t worry if you stumble through it. Your partner will likely be nervous and excited just like you when they realize what is happening. There’s no need to feel like you have to get it perfect.
  1. Just go with the flow! You might get stuck or forget exactly what you planned to say. Just keep going and say what comes to you naturally.
  1. Don’t be afraid to get emotional! If there was ever a time in your relationship to show your partner your true feelings, this is it. So don’t worry about your emotions coming out. It’s a good thing!
  1. Practice! If you want to, you can always practice what you want to say in front of a mirror or with a trusted friend.
Man holding out woman's hand that has an engagement ring on it
  1. Try to make your proposal speech (and the proposal overall) specific to your partner’s personality and taste. Think about what your partner would want and whether they’ve ever mentioned anything to you before about what they would prefer. 
  1. But that said, also consider your own personality. Your partner will know if your speech just doesn’t sound like something you would ever say, and it will seem less genuine. Be yourself!
  1. Most importantly, speak from the heart. WHY do you want to marry this person? The answer to that question will guide you!

And of course, don’t forget the four famous words at the end “Will You Marry Me?”

Looking for a photographer to capture your proposal?

Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!

Or check out more posts on planning the perfect proposal!

Elopement Photographer Kim from Wild and Found Photography

Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in epic proposal photography in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on such a special day is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to plan the most amazing proposal ever! That includes everything from assistance with location planning, proposal ideas and logistics, plus lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!

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