How can two people propose to each other?
December 17, 2012 7:54 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I, two girls, have this slight thing bothering us when we talk about our future engagement. We both want to be proposed to. Is there a way we can make this happen?
posted by trogdole to Human Relations (34 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Do you both want it to be a surprise? If not, you could have a "proposal party," of sorts. Invite friends over and don't tell them what it's for, and then propose to each other in front of them all!
posted by xingcat at 7:57 PM on December 17, 2012 [15 favorites]

Yes. Buy your partner a ring. When it feels right, and in a way that seems both authentic to you and (if possible) fulfils some of what she was hoping for with the proposal, propose to her. If she says yes, yay! Give her the ring, celebrate privately. Then, when she feels right about reciprocating, she can do the same thing. (Obviously you can flip the order, I'm not suggesting you have to go first) Once you've both proposed, and both accepted, make it public and share it with your friends and excited family.

Coolest of all, you have not just one great proposal memory, but two.
posted by arnicae at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2012 [10 favorites]

Ooh yes!! I think you can make this happen, but of course the day won't be a surprise.
Here is my suggestion...

Agree on a date.
Put both names in a hat and draw out who goes first.
Person A has from 6am - 1pm
Person B has from 1pm - 6pm
Or whatever times suit, to plan activities and a proposal during that time.
Save the evening for a celebratory dinner together.

Then both plan awesome surprises for each other during your allocated times and get rings etc. The actual moment of proposal will still have the desired affect.
posted by Youremyworld at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2012 [9 favorites]

Do you both want to be surprised? Because if you don't care about it being a surprising thing, you could plan a nice romantic trip for a day, and have some kind of...symbolic act that you both do as a mutual proposal? Like giving each other engagement rings at the same time. But I don't know how you'd do it without coordinating in advance.

On preview what xingcat said! Or you could take turns...each plan a surprise for the other....
posted by daisystomper at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2012

Synchronously pull out the rings in the right hand, say "will you marry me?" say "yes," then each use the right hand to put the ring on the other's left hand.
posted by michaelh at 8:02 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Hire someone to propose to both of you simultaneously that you get married.

Make it a stranger that will meet you at a random time and place (but still somewhere nice) so it's still a surprise.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:26 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

You could go further with the synchronous proposals by recording romantic preambles and whatnot privately and playing them to each other wearing headphones. Agree on signals or timed moments at which you'll present the rings simultaneously and give answers simultaneously. Record it on video to line it up with the different audio tracks twice in a row and enjoy each other's reactions over and over.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:34 PM on December 17, 2012

I would organize it as a contest, but then I am a competitive man person :)

Just decide that you will both be organizing a proposal, and both of you go off for your planning and scheming, as romantic / complex / sneaky as you think your partner would like. No set time frame.

Whoever happens to propose first, the answer will be "I'll get back to you on that," or similar.

Once you have both done your proposals you can vote on who won.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:38 PM on December 17, 2012 [8 favorites]

Wedding vows are sort of proposals, that you respond to by saying "I do".

You could each write a proposal vow to ask of the other. You'll have to decide what order to do them in, but either way it will be beautiful.
posted by alms at 8:44 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

another thought: you could each buy a secret engagement present for the other, along with the rings. That would keep some romantic surprise in it for both of you. Heck, if you're not dead set on rings, you could pick out some other totally different and surprising symbolic items for each other (pendants, bracelets, etc.) to give instead of rings, which might be nice.
posted by daisystomper at 8:45 PM on December 17, 2012

Response by poster: I love these suggestions so far! Keep them coming, mefi has the best proposal ideas.

As an aside, we both would preferably like it to be a surprise for the both of us, but we know that seems impossible. If there were ideas on how to do that, we're all ears.
posted by trogdole at 8:46 PM on December 17, 2012

Propose by mail? You can each write out really romantic proposal letters, put them in a box with a ring, and mail them to yourselves. You can co-ordinate so you get them both on the same day, or so you each have a special day.
posted by Garm at 8:50 PM on December 17, 2012

Mefi Jobs: guerrilla proposal coordinator.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 8:52 PM on December 17, 2012 [24 favorites]

What about a mini (pre-marriage) ceremony (with or without friends) where you take turns telling each other the reasons you love each other and want to spend your lives together? Flip a coin to see who goes first. Have a weekend away in a gorgeous bed & breakfast, or go somewhere special that means something to both of you, like where you first met. Have the rings ready. Wear something pretty. Arrange for flowers, or rose petals in your bed. Champagne. Beautiful music. Hell, set up your web cam to record it, so you have it always.
posted by b33j at 8:53 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about two scavenger hunts?
posted by discopolo at 9:00 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

Get your friends involved. Give the two rings and have them plot when to run into the two of you and bring the rings out. They can make it as elaborate as the want...scavenger hunt, whatever. That's pretty much the only way to both be surprised.
posted by emjaybee at 9:23 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

From reading this, it sounds as if you already did both propose to each other. Now the only thing left is to surprise each other with rings or some such token.

Both of you bake a dozen cupcakes putting the ring for the other into one of them. Then arrange them randomly on a plate. Both of you take one cupcake from the other's batch and start eating. Must eat the entire cupcake if no ring. First one to find the ring wins as it is the other person asking you. Could get ugly if both are eating 10 cupcakes before finding it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:23 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

When a friend of mine got engaged to his boyfriend, the boyfriend started the proposal and my friend stopped him halfway through and took over because he wanted to propose as well. So they did half each.* It wouldn't be a surprise to both of you, but at least it would give you both a chance to propose!

* A caveat: I don't know how the boyfriend felt about being interrupted halfway through! Although hopefully the joy of the engagement made up for it.
posted by badmoonrising at 12:15 AM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

You should talk to her and see if she'd be up for both of you proposing, as well as being proposed to.

Whoever goes first gets a little extra glory but I think also has to go out on a limb more. So it seems fair enough! Then you can plan whatever sort of fun thing you'd like to do for her - a romantic weekend, or a walk in a garden, or a scavenger hunt - and let her plan whatever sort of fun thing she'd like to do for you! (Or, if you're feeling picky, you can each give the other a list of suggestions for how you'd like to be proposed to.)
posted by Lady Li at 12:17 AM on December 18, 2012

Buy some sort of "broken in half" jewelry -- like those half-heart pendants. Each one of you gets one of them, and picks your own terms for the proposal.
When both pieces are put together, you have a whole engagement.
posted by jozxyqk at 2:31 AM on December 18, 2012

Appoint above-mentioned guerrilla proposal coordinator, ideally someone who knows your friends. They sit down with each of you separately to get an idea of your ideal proposal.

Appoint a day (OK, maybe that bit's not such a surprise) when each of you will go out with a different group of friends and do some lovely/amazing stuff separately in a surprise venue. At a particularly romantic (surprise) time/location, both groups coincide and the others melt away. You realise you're alone together and this is your time. You both sink to your knees.

trogdole: Will you...
trogdole's sweetie: ...marry me?
both: Yes!

Friends may then unmelt and come out to celebrate with you, or leave you alone for the romantic a deux portion of the day (which they have pre-arranged as a surprise).

(Note: I am imagining this happening at a stunning ruined castle where your friends bring you together on the battlements at sunset, and which happens to also have an incredible restaurant for celebratory purposes, but YMMV!)

Good luck - let us know how you do it!
posted by penguin pie at 2:53 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you want to propose to each other at the same time, surprise is logically impossible unless you involve another person. I mean, someone has to actually decide when to propose -- making that decision means it's not a surprise. So you have to give up one of the three constraints (no other people involved, surprise, proposing to each other at the same time).

Do you have a close mutual friend or group of friends who could accompany you on a few romantic outings? The idea being you'd give them the rings, and they'd choose the right time to surprise you both. They don't even have to accompany you -- you could give them a list of acceptable times and places to ambush you.

If you're willing to give up some surprise, you could plan a party, go on a date or travel somewhere meaningful and propose there. Others have posted lots of ideas in this vein already.

Or you could propose to each other separately. Then each proposal is a surprise. The second proposal could feel kind of redundant, though.

One solution could be to give the first proposal through a third party. Say you propose first -- your trusted messenger would set up whatever romantic situation you want, then give your partner the ring. But you don't get to see her reaction, and she doesn't wear the ring or say "yes" until she proposes to you herself, keeping you both in suspense. You both get the experience of being proposed to, though only one of you (the second to propose) gets to properly propose to the other.
posted by panic at 2:55 AM on December 18, 2012

It'll require some negotiation, but you could perhaps arrange to have one proposal that can require a special-location / special-event, and the other proposal can be done anywhere. Then when the (surprise) location-dependent question is popped, "[...] will you marry me?" the other says "Let me answer your question with a question..." and proceeds to do their proposal. Be tough, 'cos person 2 would have to be prepared at all times. Maybe person 1 has to bring a special package prepared and sealed by person 2, and present that as part of the proposal, which could contain anything required for the second proposal?

I guess we really need to hear from a magician, I bet there are tricks that could make the whole "both of you know what's going on but the outcome is still a surprise" thing work somehow.
posted by The Monkey at 3:52 AM on December 18, 2012

I vote for the GPC (guerilla proposal coordinator)!

1. You let them know where s/he can find you (plan many outings/activities together! you will never know when it happens - on the 5th time you're out or the 15th?).
2. Both of you write and record a proposal (about the same length) and give the audio files to the GPC. GPC could hold on to your rings or you start to carry them around (maybe on a necklace?) just in case from now on.
3. Then suddenly and unexpectedly the GPC appears out of nowhere and puts headphones on your heads and plays the pre-recorded proposals to both of you at the same time!
4. Kiss & be happy ever after!
posted by travelwithcats at 4:08 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Each of you should make a short video recording of your proposal. Of course don't let each other see them. Make the videos short but not too short, maybe a minute or so, and you can each talk about what you love about your partner, and how much you're looking to spend your lives together. Each video should be the same length. And end with the question: "will you marry me?"

Then give the videos to a friend with instructions to surprise you both while you're out at a coffee shop or beach or restauraunt or whatever with a pair of devices (borrow them if necessary) that have the videos already on them. Maybe the friend gives the devices to a waiter with $50 and asks they be delivered after a meal, and then five minutes later, the rings and a couple flutes of champagne. But you don't know which meal, which cafe, which beach, etc, this is up to the friend to arrange.

Then you each watch your partner's video proposal, separately but at the same time. Both of you drinking in these pre-recorded appreciations of love and devotion at the same time, and then you put the devices down, and you say, "Yes", and put the rings on, drink a toast, and then everyone sobs.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:35 AM on December 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

This is a long shot but if you live near me (Washington, DC) I would happy to be a surrogate proposer for one or both of you; might make it a bit more surprising (seriously I would totally love this SO MUCH). Very best wishes to you and your future fiancee!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:31 AM on December 18, 2012

You both plan secret proposals for some point in the future. Write down your secret dates in permanent marker and stick to them. Eventually someone will go first and propose. Yay, you're half engaged! Since you're only half engaged, no wearing of rings or telling anyone else. Second proposal date arrives. Yay! Now you're totally engaged and tell everyone and wear rings, etc. Proposer #1 gets the fun of being first, Proposer #2 gets the fun of making it official. However, if both of you are really committed to being #1, it'll be over tomorrow and if both of you want to be second, you may never get engaged. Send the dates to an impartial judge - the judge can say to pick new dates if you've both picked tomorrow or something and can rat on whoever doesn't stick to their proposed proposal date. You must stick to your secret date. It's sort of like bidding on the Price Is Right or something.
posted by artychoke at 5:42 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

To add what I forgot above: the impartial judge could be a mefite, because who cares if an Internet stranger knows before everyone, it's not like you're letting a friend or your mom in on the secret. Alternatively, you could each email yourselves the date, but then you wouldn't have anyone to see if both the dates are on the same day or seventeen months apart or whatever you would want to check. You'd have the email to check to see if you both stuck to your dates.
posted by artychoke at 6:12 AM on December 18, 2012

The two of you agree on a timespan in which you want these proposals to happen, say, "no less than two months from now, no more than six," or "Between the day after my birthday and the day before yours." Make it at least two months long.

Then you go into separate rooms and write down 5-10 days in that timespan, depending on how long it is. Really think about those days; give yourselves plenty of time. Use the same kind of paper and fold them the same way, because you're going to put them all in a hat, and each of you is going to draw two. Don't show the other person what you drew. Throw away the undrawn days without looking.

You must propose to the other person on one of the two days you drew.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came here to say what artychoke said. Person #1 gets the excitement of getting to go first. Person #2 gets the excitement of making it "official".

In my opinion, you both already agreed that you want to get married, proposing is just a formality and about giving each other some kind of experience and being romantic. So I don't think a second proposal is redundant at all. Since you both already know the answer to "will you marry me?" it is less like you are asking, and more like saying "this is why I want to marry you..."
posted by inertia at 6:42 AM on December 18, 2012

Well, for a secret proposal, you could propose by website. I read a story where a guy proposed to his gal online by creating a website. He didn't tell her, she had to eventually find it, so he relied on other people to link to the site (to raise his Google standing) and for her to eventually search for her own name. Once on the site, there was a series of questions everyone had to answer to see if they were the intended proposee, with the final question being "Will you marry me?"

Searching for this now, I found two similar sites:
This guy is very similar, an anonymous site that his betrothed will have to find herself and answer the questions.
This guy works for Google and did his using their Street View.

So you could take a similar approach, where you create the site an wait for her to find it. Include a note that if she hasn't already asked you, then it's her turn. But, hopefully, she will propose to you in the meantime in her own surprise way. Doing the website in advance lets her know that your proposal is genuine, and not just in response to hers.

Good luck!
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:35 AM on December 18, 2012

Somebody once described here a way to get engaged that I thought was the coolest thing ever: they decided to go spend a day on their favorite beach, then when the day ended, they would be engaged. No proposal at all!
posted by yarly at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2012

I like Youremyworld's idea, but it on such a short time scale it lacks the element of surprise - if you are not in a huge rush, you could each choose a month during which each of you will propose. That is long enough that it would still be something of a surprise, but because you choose different months, you won't be stepping on each other's toes...
posted by piyushnz at 9:17 AM on December 18, 2012

Maybe have a friend arrange a flash mob!
posted by wwartorff at 11:03 AM on December 18, 2012

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