When you're at a beautiful wedding, it's natural to think about your own love life. Heck, if the flowers are gorgeous and the food is delicious, a wedding may inspire you to start planning your own nuptials. Of course, before you really go for the gold (or princess-cut sterling silver), you may be wondering: Should you propose at a wedding? Well, it may be helpful to consider your surroundings.
Like a romantic version of the stomach bug, love can feel contagious. When you're sitting next to a parent holding their sleeping baby on the subway, or you see a cute couple in the park, it's hard not to feel your heart melt a little. If you're at a fun wedding with your boo, it can be easy to start daydreaming about your own ceremony. Still, while there's no law against popping the question on someone's big day, it may be important to check in with your hosts. Though proper attire varies from couple to couple, someone else's wedding typically isn't a BYOR (bring your own ring) affair. Love is contagious, but you never want to step on anybody's toes. So, err on the side of respectful and consider running your plan by the couple getting married first.
Here are 11 stories about people proposing during someone else's wedding that will make you think twice before popping the question.
1. She planned her your own engagement party.
My cousin proposed to his girlfriend during our other cousin's wedding reception. She was so embarrassed she broke up with him the next day. If you're at any event that is celebrating anything, and that thing isn't you — don't try to hijack it. You're there for the thing everyone else is there for, so respect that. If you want to throw an engagement party, plan your own engagement party and invite everyone to come.
2. Her mom was mad about it for decades.
My grandfather used my parents' wedding reception as the place to announce that he wanted to renew his vows with my grandmother. I think my mom was mad about it for decades.
3. Some people love to one-up each other.
My friend got married a few years back. His brother decided that the wedding reception would be the perfect time to propose to his girlfriend. Last year my friend announced that he was going to be a father. His brother decided that would be the best time to announce that he was also going to be a father. Some people love to one-up each other.
4. Don't let it take away from your special day.
If your future sister-in-law's boyfriend proposes at your wedding — he will look like a jack*ss. Don't let it take from your special day. I just made a little speech about how wonderful it is that our love is so inspiring to others. Bring it back around to you gracefully. And then go back to having fun.
5. She needed the spotlight to herself.
My maid of honor got engaged a few days before my wedding announced her engagement during her wedding toast at the reception. A few of us obviously knew, but she had kept it hush-hush from most people. She just always needed the spotlight on her, I guess.
6. The new fiancé was mortified.
I went to a friend's wedding where another friend proposed at the ceremony, so they could "Share the reception" as all their mutual friends were already gathered.... His girlfriend/fiancé was mortified because he had said he had OK'd it first and he definitely hadn't.
7. She didn't steal anyone's spotlight.
I proposed to my girlfriend in private at a wedding, not in front of everyone. I asked her to keep it a secret until after the wedding and then we informed our friends and family. This way we didn't steal anyone's spotlight and we got to have a fun secret to keep.
8. The setting was beautiful.
We got married at a vineyard in the mountains in early fall. It was gorgeous. Two of my guests snuck off into the vines and got engaged under the moonlight...I didn't begrudge them for that. It was a super romantic environment and it was a destination wedding, so it's not like they could go back next weekend. I think the only exception is if the setting is really beautiful and you aren't going to be around it again. Though, it's probably best to err on the side of caution here. At the very least, run it by the bride and groom before you do it to feel out their reaction.
9. It seemed like a pretty good time.
We were in a romantic setting, surrounded by lots of our friends, having a good time and enjoying ourselves... we already knew we're getting married, I just had to propose. It seemed like a pretty good time to me.
10. The bride brought it up.
Oh my gosh... I was in a friend's wedding in January and my fiancé and I were not yet engaged, but had been talking about marriage. The bride brought it up and joked about him proposing at her wedding, and I was like "Oh, haha that would be weird." But she was serious, and went on to insist that she wouldn't mind. Still, I just said... "Ummm, no. It's your day." And changed the subject to planning stuff.
11. They had the couples' blessing.
My wife is a twin. She and her sister do everything together. I proposed at her sister's wedding because I had the couples blessing and the whole family was there.
Asking someone to marry you can mean committing to them for the long haul. While someone else's wedding may inspire you, remember that you have the rest of your lives to make your own memories. If you're thinking about proposing at a wedding, it may be wise to ask the couple getting married first. Though they may be more than happy to have you share their big day, you don't want to risk upsetting anyone. Of course, you know your relationship best. From picking the ring to nailing the engagement, you'll know the perfect time to pop the question.