Should I Propose Before or After Dinner?

Engagement day is among the most important days in life and ensuring that everything goes well can felt like a lot of pressure. Making this special day even more special can be achieved by ensuring that everything is perfect. In this article, we’ll provide some pieces of advice for proposing and determining whether it’s best done before or after dinner.

So, when to propose?

It depends upon you that how you feel comfortable. Each option is outlined below, so you can decide what works best according to you and your partner.

A Proposal Before Dinner

It is as if you are “ripping off the band-aid.” Maybe you should consider proposing before the meal, especially if just the thought of eating overwhelms you. This will prevent you from feeling anxious all the time. It is also a great opportunity to share a delicious meal and celebrate your engagement together. It’s also a great idea to propose before dinner if you intend to meet family and friends later. After your dinner, you can celebrate with your loved ones. There are chances that if you propose before the dinner you are going to attract the attention of people present around you. So, people will come to your table to congratulate you, which can make you feel uncomfortable during your dinner.

A Proposal After Dinner

Proposing after dinner can also be the best idea. It might be best to wait until the end of the meal to propose if you’ve paid for an expensive meal. Engagement is an awesome thrill, so it’s likely your partner will be too excited to enjoy the meal completely. Proposing after the meal can be beneficial in the way that you and your partner can also enjoy some private time. Proposing after the dinner at dessert time can be the best idea. You can have an arrangement of table set for two with rose petals, candles, and bouquets on it along with the ring. This can be more surprising and romantic.

Things to be considered before you plan to propose

Following are some points that must be considered before proposing. They will also help you to decide whether a proposal should be made before or after dinner:

Is your partner comfortable being the center of attention?

Before you propose It’s important to consider if your partner will be happy being the center of attention. Create a situation that will attract the attention of the people around you, such as dropping to your knees, if you think your partner enjoys living a second life on Instagram. However, you should avoid such situations if you think your partner will feel embarrassed.

Will you be able to keep your cool until it’s time to propose?

Are you good at keeping secrets? Can you have a normal conversation while you wait for the waiter to clear the plates? Or there is a chance that your partner will realize that something is wrong, perhaps misinterpreting your refusal to discuss things as a sign that something is wrong. Or there is also a possibility that the proposal is causing you so much stress that you will not be able to enjoy your engagement dinner at all. So, the right answer for the question: should I propose before or after dinner is before the dinner. In this way, you will be able to celebrate throughout the entire meal.

Are you going to celebrate with friends and family?

Are you going to celebrate with your friends and family? If so, you should consider their role for the evening when preparing the plan. In such a case, an early evening proposal might be a good option. Some friends may wish to make reservations to join you after you propose. You may want to consider saving your proposal for the end of dinner if you’re dining in a fancy place. You can meet up with your co-celebrators elsewhere, so they won’t have to suffer any extra expense.

Do you have any after-proposal plans?

Is there anything special you plan for the rest of the evening? You may prefer to spend some time alone rather than celebrating with friends. Perhaps you have reserved a luxurious hotel room for spending some quality time together. In such type of situation consider proposing at the end of dinner so you’re closer to being able to sneak away together to enjoy the rest of your evening privately.

Is the meal a priority?

It’s a good idea to propose after a meal if you’re dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a place offering an elaborate tasting menu. You might not be able to eat another bite after you’ve proposed. If you’re proposing at your local diner in the memory of your first coffee date, your engagement meal probably won’t matter. Take the time to enjoy the meal if you choose a special restaurant, and your proposal can act as a dessert. So, if you have chosen a special restaurant first enjoy your meal and propose after the meal.

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What you should be wearing?

It is likely you will be photographed the night you get engaged, and that is one thing to remember. Make sure to put on some of your best attire so that you will have fond memories of this night.

Change your clothes before going out. If you are wearing something you don’t like or feels uncomfortable with in any way, change it. Furthermore, since you know, you are going to ask an important question, you should dress nicely. I think it’s very important to show how important the event is to you by dressing up.

Remember to check the dress code of the restaurant you want to go to as well. In certain restaurants, jackets and certain shoes are required. Your engagement dinner may need to be moved if you fail to come dressed appropriately.

Step by Step proposal guide

Follow these steps and you will have a perfect proposal evening. You will have a memory, that you and your partner will always cherish. These steps are valid whether you are proposing before or after dinner.

Hiding the ring

An engagement ring can be hidden inside a champagne glass as a classic way to propose at dinner. It might be a fun way to surprise someone when they wonder what is in the bottom of their glass. To make sure that it is set up correctly, you may need to coordinate this with the bartender ahead of time. Furthermore, you just invested a large sum of money into the ring; you shouldn’t let it out of your sight. This method has its obvious drawbacks, such as the possibility that your partner might not realize that there is a ring in the glass, in which case things may not work out as planned.

You will have to talk with your partner about the ring in the glass instead of keeping it a surprise. In my opinion, it would be better if you could avoid this and keep the announcement special. You can use this champagne method if you think your partner will notice everything and there won’t be any issues. Alternatively, you can still go about this process in a variety of ways.

Involving the waiter in the process

It will take some effort to get the waiter involved in your engagement. The plan for this will probably need to be worked out before the event, and you may even have to go to the restaurant another day to prepare. The idea of planning this whole thing on a whim is hard to pull off when you’re in a restaurant with your partner.

You can get your waiter to bring the ring on a plate to your partner. In this case, the waiter could remove the plate cover from the ring. The ring would be sitting in the middle of the plate. If you do not want the ring on a plate, you can have the waiter bring you the ring directly. Instead of bringing a salad, they can bring a ring on a plate.

If you have the support of the restaurant staff, there are lots of creative possibilities. Your night will be made extremely special by these people. Knowing the waiter or having met them before makes the waiter getting involved much better. You may consider this for restaurants that you usually visit, rather than restaurants that you visit only occasionally.

Using a note

You may want to keep things simple. Sometimes a hidden note is a great way to get your partner to understand the level of commitment you have towards the relationship, especially if you are worried about saying the right words.

Notes can be placed under or on the napkin on the table. Upon opening their napkin, your partner will find the note and help you ask your question. You should just secretly hide the note. By doing this, the whole thing will remain a surprise.

A well-tailored menu

What about creating a special menu for your engagement? It is up to you how creative you would like to be with this menu. Put together something that will alert your partner that you are proposing. The menu can be a letter, or it can have a variety of choices for living together.

Your menu should be unique and something you and your partner will remember for years to come. You can arrange with the restaurant beforehand to use this specific menu for your engagement dinner. Your partner will quickly realize that it is a unique and special surprise you are giving them when you hand them the menu.

You may find some restaurants go above and beyond to tell you what size menu is necessary for it to look like theirs. It helps to keep everything a surprise until it is revealed. It’s fun to watch their faces when they realize you are proposing as the menu does the talking.

Propose while you are at the table

The way you dress, the restaurant you choose, and the method you use can make proposal dinner more enjoyable. But the most important part is what you tell your partner. Propose at the table if you want to keep things simple. Begin a typical conversation with your partner and then stop and ask for their hand in marriage. Both you and your partner will inevitably get emotional. You can make this a truly special occasion even without creating a special menu or renting out the entire restaurant. The relationship between you and your partner will undoubtedly be the most important part of the entire process, and that is not dependent on the restaurant or the method. If something on your engagement day doesn’t go as planned, don’t let it ruin the whole thing. Don’t forget that the engagement process is more about your relationship than anything else. Make it a great day and you will remember it for the rest of your life.

A few tips for a perfect restaurant proposal:

Restaurants are a lovely and traditional place to propose, but here are a few tips for making the evening flow smoothly like butter and champagne.

1. Prepare some tissues. An emotional proposal can lead to happy tears. It’s good to have a napkin on hand, but you should also have some issues. Maybe you should hand them out to the waiters as well if your proposal is gorgeous enough.

2. The ring should never be hidden in food. You can propose dramatically as the waiter arranges your engagement ring on top of a beautiful dessert; that’s a different thing altogether. Do not try to hide the ring, for instance, inside something your partner is eating, such as a molten chocolate lava cake. Just imagine what would happen if they ate it or chipped their teeth on it.

3. Be prepared with your photos. It’s not a good idea to give your iPhone to the nice couple at the next table if you want commemorative photos of your big night. If you speak with the restaurant in advance, they may be able to make suggestions regarding a particularly photogenic location — maybe a fireplace or a table outdoors, or maybe they’ll hold an outdoor table for you at sunset. It’s better to hand over the responsibility of photography to someone who you know will do it right. If you’re incorporating friends and family into your big day, they can do it.

4. Don’t forget your partner’s outfit. It may be humorous for you and your partner to take engagement photos in dressy clothes versus casual ones — however, you might not find it funny. Thousands of people are likely to see your proposal photos via social media, so make sure your partner looks their best for the photos. So don’t forget your partners dress at this special event. You may guide your partner about the dressing, and you can also gift the dress according to the event.

5. The restaurant needs to be involved. The staff at most restaurants is happy to assist you with making the moment perfect when you propose. Perhaps the staff can suggest a special table covered in candlelight that will be just right. They will help you assure the proper lighting for the perfect and romantic photography. If you need to provide the restaurant with information on the presentation of the ring, the arrival of friends and family, and even the timing of the meal courses, they will be happy to work with you. They will feel happy to welcome your friends and family warmly and presenting the ring most romantically. For a perfect evening, have the staff suggest a menu and drinks. The restaurant staff has likely completed this task before, so they’re likely to provide diverse ideas on how to make the evening perfect, unforgettable, and the most romantic. So, take their advice!


Let’s see most of the frequently asked questions over the internet about when to propose.

Do you propose before or after dinner?

Well, we hope this would be clear from this article. Proposing before or after dinner is up to you. You should go for the option that suits the both-you and your partner.

Should you tell anyone before proposing?

You should at least let the restaurant management know so that they can offer you the best services.

What should you not do when proposing?

You should never lose your calm whether you are proposing before or after dinner. Most importantly, always keep your partner comfortable. Do not do anything that embarrasses him or her.

What time of day is best to propose?

Well, this depends on you, how you and your partner would like to enjoy this memorable moment. Any time of the day can be made best. Usually, proposals at dinners work great as people are usually free at that time.

If you propose at the restaurant, do you get free food?

Well, the fact is quite opposite. You may have to pay higher costs for the restaurant booking for providing premium services. Restaurants may offer you free desserts as a gift.

What’s the most romantic way to propose?

The romantic way depends on your sense of romance. For some people, the romantic way could be to come out of the box, let everyone know that you are proposing, and make great Instagram memories. For others, a more private proposal with all attention towards each other would be romantic.

How can I surprise my proposal?

There are plenty of ways to make your proposal a surprise. You may make a hidden note or hide the ring.

How do you propose a family dinner?

For proposals at family dinners, you can involve the family member in the surprise. You can propose at the table or better if you do it alone first and then announce it in front of family members.

What are Romantic Dinner Proposal Ideas?

  • Sweet Surprise: Surprise while you are having a dessert.
  • Propose at the place where you met first
  • Arrange a chef to prepare food for you.
  • Have dinner and a romantic movie
  • Organize a flash mob presentation

What are Family Dinner Proposal Ideas?

  • Have dinner during family holidays
  • Take all family on vacation and arrange a dinner there
  • Arrange a romantic evening at your home.
  • Let your family pop up at your proposal dinner.