Whether you’ve just started to look at venues, are half-way through cake-tasting sessions, or just putting the final touches to your centrepieces, it’s fair to say, wedding planning is a long journey.

But have you thought back to how it all began? Your, now, hubby-to-be getting down on one knee may be considered just the start for you, but future groom Gareth Jones is here to tell you different.

Before proposing to you, your other half has usually gone through weeks or months of (stressful!) planning. Here’s what went through Gareth’s mind with his own proposal

4-thoughts-groom-popping-question-eleanorjaneweddings.co.uk Jo & Huw-73

Talking to your dad

Even though it may seem a weird concept in this day and age, it’s still kind of expected for a guy to ask his future father-in-law permission to marry his daughter. After hearing many tales about guys who hadn’t thought to ask, I’d prefer to avoid the slightly awkward and tense father of the bride speech when the big day arrives.

Thinking I’d been clever, I texted my girlfriend’s dad to say I need to discuss something with him. I kept it light and casual – or so I thought. I later found out that he knew immediately what I was up to but played along.

When I did finally manage to speak to him, I thought my heart was about to somersault out of my chest and land on the coffee table. As the words tumbled out of my mouth – and I’m pretty sure the important ones: ‘marry’ and ‘wife’ were in there somewhere, – I waited for what seemed like an eternity for an answer. I think the big grin on his face more than summed it up for me!

4 thoughts he had before popping the question

Choosing a ring

Where to start? So much choice and not a clue where to begin. I can’t be the only man to admit the one thing I know about engagement rings is that there’s a diamond somewhere in the mix, right?

Luckily, engagement rings had been one of many conversation points over the past few months; lazily watching Netflix in our pyjamas and talking about our future kids’ names was a Sunday afternoon ritual for us. So at least I had some inkling of what she wanted.

When I say ‘some’, all that was going through mind as I walked up to the jewellery shop was “Princess cut, just remember Princess cut. Or is it Prince’s cut?“.

I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of her childhood friends, so any help was on safe ground. When you’re looking at a tray of slightly-different-but-still-the-same rings, having a second opinion really helps. Also, free hand model!

4-thoughts-groom-popping-question-bigeyephotography.co.uk James and Amanda's Wedding (274)

Plan of action

You could say deciding where to pop the question is almost as important as choosing the right ring. After spending hours in jewellery shops and deliberating on different cuts and sizes, it would kind of dampen the romance to pop the question while getting ready for bed in my eyes.

For me, I’d spoken to a few friends and work colleagues to get ideas and see what worked: “It’s a story she’ll want to tell your grandchildren, so make it special”, they all said. No pressure then!

Having ruled out the aforementioned bedtime proposal and several other equally-underwhelming ideas, I settled on an idea: we were going on holiday for my 30th to the Grand Canyon.

4-thoughts-groom-popping-question-clairepennphotography.com   Charlotte & Rob__134

Pulling off the plan

Having a plan is all well and good, but trying to make it go off without a hitch or raising suspicion is one of the most stressful parts of proposing. Just as you’re lining up the final details, it seems the whole universe decides to down tools and drop hints about what you’re up to…

If it’s not a TV programmes about engagement rings every two minutes (I almost had a heart attack trying to get through The One Show around Valentine’s Day!), you’re trying to casually laugh off commitment-phobe comments from her friends.

My plan was a proposal whilst looking over the Grand Canyon, away from our tour group for a bit of privacy – something to remember. Although, as I say, nothing ever goes to plan.

As we were booked on a private tour, we found out that morning that the other group with us had dropped out last minute, and we weren’t stopping at the top but were instead driving into the canyon down to the Colarado River. This meant there was no getting away from the tour guide.

As we drove into the Canyon and my lovely girlfriend was taking photos, I was drastically thinking of a plan B. Luckily, when we reached the bottom, our tour guide told us that he needed to go back to his car. As he strode back, I knew I had to take my chance.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked as I looked up at the mountainous Canyon walls and nervously fumbled with the ring in my pocket. “It’s perfect,” she replied. Breathing a sigh of relief, I shakily got down on one knee with a grin bigger than the canyon we were in.

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And a huge congratulations to the happy couple from us at Wedding Ideas! Love this? Well then you might love 8 things your groom is secretly thinking too…

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