Should I Propose Before or After Dinner?

December 2, 2021 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

Asking someone to marry you during a romantic meal is one of the most popular ways of proposing. There are many ways to plan a proposal at a restaurant: hide the ring in the champagne glass, hire a violinist to create a mood, or simply get down on one knee and pop the question. However, one of the most important factors to think about is whether you should propose before or after dinner. 

Proposing Before Dinner 

Proposing at dinner table indoor

Those who propose before dinner probably want to get it over with as soon as possible. The reason so many opt for a pre-dinner proposal is because they’re too nervous to wait for the end of the meal, especially if they have to sit through an entire three-course or four-course dinner. This situation can be potentially uncomfortable if the nerves affect your appetite. Moreover, people who can’t keep a secret might find it hard to make conversation and pretend everything is normal the whole evening.  

If you propose before dinner, and they say “Yes,” you’ll be able to enjoy the meal, knowing they’ve agreed to become your spouse. Additionally, if it isn’t just the two of you at dinner, but your friends and family as well, it will be that much more of a joyful occasion that all of you can experience together. If everything goes according to plan, the dinner will become a celebration for your engagement.  

On the other hand, if they decline your proposal, you’ll most likely skip the dinner and leave the restaurant as soon as possible. This situation can become particularly awkward, especially if your proposal gets the attention of everyone in the room. What’s more, if you propose the moment the food is served and things don’t go as planned, you could be stuck there until your bill arrives.

If you choose to propose before dinner, make sure it isn’t the same second you walk into the restaurant. It’s a good idea to inform the staff that you’ll propose before dinner. That way, no one will bother you until you decide it’s the right moment.

Proposing After Dinner  

In situations like these, waiting can pay off. People who want to propose after dinner typically do it before dessert or after the waiters clear your table. An interesting idea, though cliché, is to place the ring in the champagne glass or dessert. You could also just get down on one knee and catch them by surprise.  

If you propose to someone after dinner, chances are you are probably going to leave soon. If you or your partner don’t want to attract a lot of attention, you’ll be able to leave the restaurant and celebrate the engagement in privacy. On the other hand, a pre-dinner proposal means that everyone will be staring at you for the rest of the evening. You can expect applause, and a lot of people might approach and congratulate you, which leaves less alone time for the two of you.  

As we mentioned before, hiding the ring the entire night is likely to make you anxious. Ask yourself if you would be able to keep cool the whole time. Otherwise, you might even be too nervous to eat.  

For those who want their proposal to be more intimate, you can propose to them right after you leave the restaurant. Another point to consider is your after-proposal plans. If you want to propose after dinner, plan to make the most of the engagement instead of going straight home and calling it a night.  

On the off-chance that they say “No,” you’ll be able to leave the restaurant right after. Just make sure you’ve paid the bill before you ask the question.  

How to Propose at a Restaurant  

Proposing at a restaurant

Even though proposing at a restaurant has been done a million times, there’s no reason it should be bland and boring. You could personalize your proposal in a bundle of ways. It all boils down to how creative you can get.  

If you want your proposal to be so memorable that it will be the best day of your life (until your wedding day), you will have to think of every last detail. If you’ve decided to propose at a restaurant, the next step is to plan out the entire evening. Planning a proposal is by no means a simple task, which is why you need to set aside enough time to think everything through and do it when you’re ready.

To quote Kosher Cactus, a restaurant reviewing website, “If you pick the right restaurant, it will be a glorious and memorable proposal, and if you pick the wrong restaurant it will also be memorable – but for all the wrong reasons.”

First, you need to choose the location. The restaurant you pick could influence the entire proposal, but we’ll get to that later. When you find the perfect spot, make sure to contact the staff and inform them about your plans. They could help you by reserving the best table, preparing a special menu, or even placing the ring somewhere in the food.  

Ask yourself if you want your table to be in the center of the room or somewhere more hidden where you’ll have more privacy. Music can also play an important part in a proposal. If the restaurant doesn’t typically hire a band, you could ask them to play a specific type of music. You can even arrange for someone to take pictures if they say “Yes.” A lot of the decisions you make should depend on your partner’s taste and preferences.  

Some people just like to keep it simple by taking the ring box out of their pocket, getting down on one knee, and asking, “Will you marry me?”  

How to Choose a Restaurant for a Proposal Dinner  

So many people choose a restaurant as a proposal spot because it’s a romantic gesture that still feels intimate. However, what kind of restaurant should you choose for this special occasion? 

When choosing a restaurant to propose at, people usually go with two types of restaurants. The first is a nice, fancy restaurant that creates a romantic atmosphere, which you could be going to for the first time. The second option is a restaurant the two of you have been to before, somewhere with sentimental value for both of you.  

For example, it could be a restaurant that you went to on your first date, or where you celebrated your anniversary. The restaurant doesn’t have to be refined or popular; it could just be a place the two of you love to go to once in a while.  

There are other reasons to choose a particular restaurant for your proposal. For instance, it could be where your favorite local band performs or where they make your favorite food. If you’re on vacation, you could pick a restaurant that has a beautiful view. It could also be a restaurant your partner always wanted to go to but never had the chance.  

Dinner Proposal Tips  

Proposing at dinner Table with Diamond Engagement Ring

Here are some things to think about before the magical moment arrives: 

  • Hide the Ring at a Good Place. We’ve mentioned that you could hide the ring in the food or the champagne glass. It definitely gives you the element of surprise. However, this could be potentially dangerous, as your partner can accidentally swallow the ring. You could also place the ring on a plate and cover it with a cloche. Of course, you could always keep it in your pocket; just make sure your partner doesn’t notice.  
  • Make Plans With the Restaurant Staff. Ask the manager and the waitstaff to help you execute the perfect proposal. Waiters can help you pick the ideal spot, food, and moment. If you have someone helping you on the inside, the entire evening will go much more smoothly. Just make sure that you tips them properly.
  • Invite Family and Friends. If you think that your partner would want to share this moment with their closest family members and friends, why not invite them? The trick is to hide them somewhere behind the curtains and have them come out when your partner says “Yes.” 
  • Make Sure Both of You Are Properly Dressed. Your partner won’t know what’s coming, so try to prepare them in some way. They will likely want to take pictures afterward, so make sure they’re dressed for the occasion. As a bonus point, ask another family member or a friend to take them to get their nails done.  
  • Hire Someone to Take Photos. Such special moments can only happen once, which is why it’s a wonderful idea to hire someone to take photos before, during, and after the proposal. You’ll be able to look back and remember this moment for years to come.
  • Pick a Magical Ring. If you don’t already have a family heirloom that you’re planning on proposing with, make sure that you search for something that suits her personality and style. If she’s a vintage girl, feel free to take a look at our collection of one-of-kind vintage rings.

The Perfect Dinner Proposal  

Picking Restaurant for Marriage Proposal Table Set

When planning a proposal, timing can be everything. That’s why it’s so important to decide whether you will propose before or after dinner. Proposing before dinner can be a better idea if you want to get it over with right away, but it could be awkward if they decline. If you propose after dinner, you’ll be able to focus on your meal and have more privacy, but it could be particularly nerve-wracking to wait until the meal is over.  

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. At the end of the day, many more factors can influence your partner’s decision. The proposal doesn’t have to be perfect for them to say “Yes!”  

Enjoyed this article? Here are some more tips for the perfect marriage proposal!