Should I Propose Before or After Dinner?

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Are you planning a dinner proposal? Then you’ve probably got a lot of questions kicking around in your head, some bigger than others. One of the most common is “should I propose before or after dinner?”

Yup, when to propose is a big question! Granted, not as big as THE big question you’re gearing up to ask, but yeah, still pretty big! 

We are going to walk through the pros and cons and in-betweens of this very important dinner proposal question that must be answered before you can pop the question: Should you propose before or after dinner?

Should I Propose Before or After Dinner?

A couple clinks glasses of wine at a candlelit dinner outdoors.
Should you finish dinner before proposing? Depends!

Well, there certainly is no ultimate wrong or right answer for when should you propose because every couple is different! If you are proposing to someone who doesn’t like being put on the spot, then you would not propose in public, but if you are proposing to someone who loves the limelight, then a public proposal might be perfect. You need to consider your unique relationship when asking the question of whether or not to propose before or after dinner, too, so we are going to walk through some of the top things to consider when planning a dinner proposal.

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Pros and Cons of Proposing Before Dinner

Proposing before dinner pro: No jittery dinner to sit through as you run through the script of what you plan to say and what you hope your significant other will say in response.

Proposing before dinner con: If the answer is not what you hoped, you will be in for an awkward dinner together or a quick end to the night.

Proposing before dinner pro: You get to have a fantastic celebration dinner together when they say yes in a restaurant you’re sure to remember for the rest of your lives.

Proposing before dinner con: Your celebration might not be as private as you’d hoped as tables and waiters that have witnessed the proposal might be swinging by often to congratulate you two.

Proposing before dinner pro: You just might end up having a dessert or bottle of wine comped by the restaurant to congratulate you.

Proposing before dinner con: You just might end up paying for one of the worst meals of your life if your proposal doesn’t go the way you expect it to.

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Pros and Cons of Proposing After Dinner

A woman is shocked as a man proposes to her.
An after dinner proposal takes away some of the time pressure!

Proposing after dinner pro: You give yourself a chance to relax into the experience with your significant other and take in every little detail of the evening before you pop the question.

Proposing after dinner con: You have given yourself a chance to get worked up and in your head with nervousness about the proposal.

Proposing after dinner pro: You’ve just shared a nice meal together and the marriage proposal can be the perfect cap to the meal.

Proposing after dinner con: You’ve just shared a nice meal together and maybe now you’re feeling a little sluggish or perhaps even a little tipsy from all the liquid courage you’ve been drinking.

Proposing after dinner pro: You’ve had space and opportunity to feel out the vibe of the night and confirm to yourself that you are ready to pop the question and are confident in what the answer will be.

Proposing after dinner con: You’ve had plenty of time to psych yourself out of proposing, and maybe even feel a little stage fright.

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When is the Best Time to Propose?

A man proposes to a woman while they both smile drinking coffee.
Whatever time you propose, you always hope this is the energy!

Well, you’ve seen the pros and cons of proposing before and after dinner, so where do you stand? Do you propose before or after dinner? Some people like to set up an elaborate marriage proposal that includes the waitstaff at the restaurant, like serving a specialty dessert with the engagement ring placed on the top (if you’re considering this, take care because choking on your own engagement ring isn’t on most peoples list of “how I hope I’m proposed to”) or having friends and family hiding out of sight, ready to come out and celebrate after the proposal, and this obviously requires a bit more planning and schedule keeping.

However, if you’re planning on a classic, just-the-two-of-you-at-dinner proposal, then you don’t necessarily need to stress too much about the timing. Of course, you want to know how you’d like things to go, but you could also go with the flow of the evening and propose when the moment feels right!

Whether you are a planner and like to have every moment planned out or you’re good with letting the right moment find you, you at least know some of the pros and cons of proposing before and after dinner. Don’t forget that the most important part of the proposal is the meaningful intention behind it, not the exact timing of the ring being pulled out. Now, get out there and make some incredible memories by proposing to the person you love most!

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