Popping the question: What’s your ideal marriage proposal?

A marriage proposal will (hopefully) only happen once in your lifetime, so it’s important to make it memorable and perfect. However, there is no perfect proposal, just what is perfect for a couple.

For example, when Rodgers Munyaneza proposed to his girlfriend of five years, the two went out for dinner at Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata.


On the terrace by the poolside, they stared at the stars and held hands, and that is when Munyaneza popped the question.


Munyaneza says that what made his proposal special was the privacy they had which allowed them to express what they felt and of course, his choice of venue that added sparkle to the moment.


“I didn’t want a public proposal where you invite friends and family because they can always come in later. I believe a proposal is a time to be relished by the couple alone,” he says.

He says proposals should be personalised if they are to create beautiful memories, otherwise following trends or doing what others are doing may lead to disappointment.

Getting it right

A marriage proposal involves one person — in most cases the man — in a relationship asking for another’s hand in marriage.  Acceptance of the proposal marks the initiation of engagement, and a mutual promise of marriage for the future.

Although it may seem like a dated tradition, it is important to know enough about your future spouse so that you can create an ideal and meaningful experience. Think about your partner’s likes/dislikes, tastes, current activities and so on.

Pick something that has become memorable during the course of the relationship. For example, a particular place, hearing a specific song, or an occasion such as where you first met, first kissed, had your first date, and etcetera. If you choose to do something ‘silly’, make sure your girlfriend or boyfriend has a good sense of humour. The more complicated the marriage proposal is, the more things could go wrong with your proposal plans.

With the festive season fast approaching, many weddings are set to take place and some feel it is the perfect time to propose. But what makes a great proposal?

Some prefer privacy when popping the question, and others want witnesses. Some want over-the-top proposals, like a helicopter carrying a ‘will you marry me’ banner in the sky kind of thing, while others are happy with a romantic dinner for two in the privacy of one’s home.

Belinda Umurerwa, an event’s organiser, says a perfect marriage proposal to her is that which entails a dinner date with a few friends around to be part of the celebration.

She says that her choice of a low-key event is because she doesn’t like big surprises.

“I don’t like big surprises and I also want to have a few friends around because then your fiancé gets to show your friends that he loves, cherishes and celebrates you. And, when he proposes to you with a few people around, they will be like witnesses to your love,” Umurerwa says.

Mark Mugisha says the perfect proposal will be one where he won’t have to kneel. Mugisha says kneeling during a proposal is taking things overboard for no reason.

“I know most girls want the whole down-on-one-knee thing when being proposed to but I don’t find it necessary. As long as it comes from my heart, why should I kneel? I don’t think it really matters if I’m seated or standing,” he says.

Mugisha is also against some of the stunts men pull when they are proposing, for example, hiding the ring in a dessert course during dinner, saying that this can backfire and ruin everything.

“I think it is always better to make it simple to avoid things that could spoil the entire moment for you,” he says.

Robert Bishumba says he is okay with going overboard with for this special day, adding that it is an expression of love and a chance to enjoy a moment that in most cases happens once in a lifetime.

“Some people go to mountain tops, others hire helicopters, but this is all fine to me. If you love your girlfriend and can afford the luxury, why not do it then?” he says.

Simple is the new fancy

Claudine Mwangachuchu, a makeup artist, says that for her, the ideal proposal is when a man goes to her father and asks for his permission to marry her.

“The other thing is my boyfriend taking me somewhere to get pampered, like for a manicure, but most importantly, the proposal needs to be sincere and thoughtful,” she says.

Mwangachuchu says the proposal is way more important than the choice of venue.

“Going to a beautiful place, like a cosy restaurant, and proposing is enough for me. We don’t have to fly to Paris to do it, but it would be nice if the guy put in a little more effort. So, my ideal proposal is asking my father for my hand, but I also expect it to be unique,” she says.

Carine Nirere, a fashion model, also says fancy proposals are not what she considers.  She also doesn’t like crowds or public proposing, arguing that this moment is meant for the couple alone.

“I think the ideal marriage proposal for me is when we are at a restaurant, or at home, because I like it simple and I also don’t want it to be fancy. I like privacy because a relationship is meant for two people and so are important moments, such as getting engaged. When we fell in love we didn’t consult anyone and for that reason, I don’t like a group of people being present for that moment,” Nirere says.

She also says she likes individuality, and not doing things just because others are doing them.

Alex Mucyeza, a drone pilot, says it is okay to do what you can with the means available, instead of masquerading and giving the wrong impression.

“I would love to take my girlfriend to an expensive hotel but only if I can afford to, and at a time when I am not in a position to, I would go for a simpler way. Love is showing what you are not what you are not,” he says.




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