Okay, so you’ve found “The One” and you’re about to propose. This is definitely one of the most important decisions of your life. To help the process go smoothly, read these dos and don’ts of marriage proposals.

Do Test the Waters – Make sure you have discussed the possibility of marriage. Make sure marriage is something both of you want. You don’t want her to be taken completely off guard.

Do Talk to Her Parents – We’ve come a long way from when women were property who needed their father’s permission, yet, there is still something nice and respectful about asking for the parents’ blessing.

Do Make it a Surprise – Even though you have discussed getting married, the marriage proposal itself should still be a surprise. Find a moment and a way that she won’t be suspecting.

Do Be Prepared – Saying, “Will you marry me?” is a huge deal, and one that leaves many proposers completely tongue-tied. So practice! If you must, write down exactly what you want to say, to make sure you come off as smooth and confident.

Do Find Out What Type of Proposal – Will she want it to be private and intimate, public with friends and family, your favorite romantic place?  Be Creative, incorporate your personality, and favorite things into the proposal. Make it memorable rather than a cookie cutter proposal. If you have the energy, try a flash mob proposal and include friends and family.  Here are two of our favorites on YouTube:

Do Propose With A Ring – It’s tradition. Not sure what TYPE of ring to get her? Don’t be overwhelmed.  You might find an opportunity to window shop for rings when you are walking past a store, you could also ask her mother or best friend to help choose the ring.  If you’re still not sure – you can’t go wrong with a simple solitaire presentation mounting.  Then you can come back in together to trade in that mounting towards whatever her heart desires.

Do Drop to One Knee – It’s not 1950, but there is something so charming and romantic about a man dropping to one knee asking the love of his life to marry him.  Even if you’re not a traditional guy, it will add to the seriousness and lovingness of the proposal.

Do Actually Say It – You can’t just open up a little velvet covered box and show her a ring. You have to ask something like “will you marry me”? You wouldn’t want her to think it’s just a really nice gift. As said before, dropping down on one knee helps put the point across.

Do Share the News – After the proposal, spread the good news to family, loved ones.

Don’t Hide the Engagement Ring in Food – I hate to say it, (as I’m sure there are some readers who were planning to do just this) but hiding the engagement ring in food is a tired idea.  It’s been in a thousand movies and TV shows, and you won’t win any points for creativity.  Even worse, you may end your romantic proposal with a trip to the emergency room or the dentist.

Don’t Propose at a Sports Game – Games are loud and chaotic events.  Even if she is the biggest sports fan you ever knew, the arena doesn’t allow you to have any of the reflection and focus that making such a momentous decision deserves.  And what if she goes to the concessions when they put her empty seat up on the Jumbotron.