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Published on December 17th, 2013 | by Editor

The Marriage Proposal Survey

Will he or she say yes in 2014?

As far as life-changing events go, getting engaged is right up there with the biggies

With a new year on the horizon it’s a time when plenty of people are thinking about the biggest things in life. And as far as life-changing events go, getting engaged is right up there with the biggies. At Chillisauce we speak to thousands of brides and grooms-to-be on a daily basis and we hear all sorts of stories about how the proposal went.

We’ve decided to release the hidden secrets of proposals

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7,000 people across the UK were surveyed

Comprehensive data on proposals is not something that has been readily available to those that don’t work in the biz, but we’ve decided to change that by quizzing 7,000 people across the country. And not only are the findings fantastic research for those involved in the wedding industry, but they make for pretty interesting reading for the general public too.

Ever wondered what the busiest month for popping the question is? Or what women want and what men think they want in a marriage proposal? Or how about the different attitudes to betrothal in different cities around the country?

Well we’ve found all of that out and more with our comprehensive proposal survey. Now let’s dive in to take a look at the results.

What’s the best day of the year to propose?

besttimeofyeartopropose

Romance is very much in the air during the festive season

Wedding season traditionally runs throughout the summer months but it seems the winter is when proposals reach their peak. Romance is very much in the air during the festive season, with Christmas time being the busiest time of year for people getting down on one knee.

Christmas eve is the most popular date of the year to propose

Christmas Eve even tops Valentine’s Day, with nearly a third of all those surveyed choosing Santa’s busiest day of the year as the best time to pop the question.

Valentine’s Day came a close second with 30 per cent of the votes.

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‘Tis the season to be jolly

Christmas Day (13 per cent) and New Year’s Eve (9 per cent) were also popular choices. It seems that the idea of getting betrothed fills some people with horror though, with 6 per cent of people plumping for Halloween as the best time to get engaged.

halloween proposal

Are you planning on proposing too soon?

When he/she thinks is the best time to propose

besttimeofyeartoproposemanvwoman

Are men popping the question too early?

Of course, men and women might not always be on the same wavelength and it seems some men are peaking too early with when they pop the question. Nearly a quarter of the men quizzed (24 per cent) think Christmas Eve is the best time to do the deed, whereas 22 per cent of women actually want their man to put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day.

Christmas proposal

What women want

A fifth of women chose the anniversary of when they got together as their dream day for a proposal, but some men clearly don’t want the hassle of having to try and remember when this is, as just 14 per cent of the males picked this as their top time for proposing.

What makes a good proposal

howshouldsomebodypropose

Men take note

More than half of women in the UK want their partner to get to the point and plainly say ‘will you marry me?’

Cut to the chase when popping the question. More than half of women in the UK want their partner to get to the point and plainly say ‘will you marry me?’ So while grand gestures are all well and good, cryptic hints and beating around the bush are not so welcome, keep it simple and get the words out.

Make it blunt & straight to the point

Has technology taken over?

Technology is playing a bigger part than ever though, with 15 per cent of women wanting their man to use some kind of digital device to ask the question for them. But is this reliance on all things modern damaging the more traditional forms of communication? Poetry and songs pull in just a lowly 6 per cent of the votes each, so wordsmiths and budding Shakespeares are clearly not as welcome as they once were.

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Would you propose using social media?

Unsurprisingly, social media is a growing trend for making public declarations of love, with celebs such as Kristen Bell taking the Twitter route to propose in front of the eyes of the digital world.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

40% of women prefer to be asked via social media

40% per cent of women in the UK picked social media as their preferred vehicle for a tech-based proposal. Of course, the risk of viral infamy should she say no is something to consider when planning a social media marriage proposal.

Techie Proposals

proposal tech

Has technology replaced conversation?

A trusty email was the least popular type of technology with 11 per cent of the votes, while 32 per cent said they would like to be proposed to over the phone. Engagement by text also proved popular with the tech-savvy younger generation, those aged between 25 and 34. Typing while on bended knee doesn’t seem to have the same element of romance though.

text message proposal

It is England where the technological revolution has been most readily embraced, with 17 per cent of women in England saying they would prefer a tech proposal. And it seems ladies across the pond are jumping on the techie proposal bandwagon, with Kelly Rowland accepting a proposal from her boyfriend and manager, Tim Witherspoon via Skype.

England vs Scotland vs Wales vs Ireland

Scottish women are apparently harder to please, with 18 per cent saying they wanted an extravagant proposal. Poetry proved the most popular method for Irish women, while their Celtic cousins in Wales want to be proposed to through the medium of song. We’re not sure whether or not every one of those women wanted the song to be delivered by Tom Jones, but it’s a thought that has made more than a few women swoon over the years.

tom jones

Or – you could do what this besotted fiance did, and find her ‘wedding inspiration’ board on Pinterest to plan her perfect wedding.

Should women pop the question too?

What men think about women proposing

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65% of men quizzed would say ‘no’ if a girlfriend proposed

Is proposing a man’s job?

There are plenty of traditions attached to anything wedding related and one of those that has stood the test of time is that proposing is a man’s job. Whether he has any more jobs to do after getting that one out of the way is another thing altogether, but it seems most men still want that responsibility themselves.

the proposal

In fact 65 per cent of men quizzed told us they would say ‘no’ if their girlfriend asked for their hand in marriage. But men clearly grow more accustomed to the idea the older they get though, with the number of men who would say yes rising among the older generations.

Age trends of people saying yes to a proposal

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Some cities embrace it more than others though, with Nottingham, Leicester, Glasgow and Birmingham all rare examples of cities where more men would say yes if their other half proposed to them.

What do men really think about women who do propose?

While we now know that the majority of men would turn their noses up at the idea of their girlfriend stealing their job and proposing, we also wanted to find out a bit more about why it is so negatively received. Just 11 per cent said they thought it was romantic, although 16 per cent admitted it is a brave thing for a woman to do. A handful of men even said they thought it would actually be a bit strange, although a comforting 43 per cent said it would be totally fine. ‘Fine’ is not necessarily the adjective you want for your wedding proposal though.

wouldyouaskamantomarryyou

But how many women would actually be brave enough to take on this task themselves? A whopping 79 per cent declared they would not be willing to do it, so it seems popping the question is still very much a man’s job in most people’s eyes.

wedding proposal

How many times have you proposed?

howmanytimeshaveyouproposed

17% of men have already proposed five times or more

You would think that asking for a woman’s hand in marriage is something that you only really need to do once. Unless you’re a character in a soap opera of course.

But it seems some men have had more practice than others. While more than half of the adult male population in the UK has never proposed once, a staggering 17 per cent has in fact popped the question five times or more.

Of course, this will include people being married multiple times, but no doubt there are some who have just been unlucky in love as well. So we thought we’d find out the more about the gentlest way to turn down a man who wants to marry you.

beach proposal

What’s the best way to turn down a marriage proposal?

Men can be assured that if she says yes, she means it

Avoiding the issue would seemingly be the preferred option for some women.

Again, getting straight to the point seems to be the key message from women on this one. More than half declaring that bluntly saying ‘no’ is the best way to do it, while 29 per cent said they would feel bad, cry and apologise.

Avoiding the issue would seemingly be the preferred option for some women, with 8 per cent revealing that they would say ‘maybe’ and then avoid the potential awkwardness by never talking to the man in question again.

But with just 6 per cent saying they would say yes and then turn down the proposal at a later date, men can rest assured that when a woman gives a definitive ‘yes’ then you can be pretty confident she means it.

Best way to say no to a proposal

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Conclusions

Jewellers must be doing a roaring trade in the run up to Christmas, as we can expect a flurry of engagements over the festive period.

But while getting wrapped up in the spirit of the season might make it feel as though it’s the perfect time to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage, men should take note that the majority of women still prefer to be asked on Valentine’s Day or the anniversary of when you first got together – so bide your time if you can. And make sure you get your anniversary date in the diary if you want to get that one right.

And finally, if you’re planning a festive engagement or want to make 2014 the year you pop the question then good luck! However you choose to do it, it’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask so make sure you enjoy it.

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About the Author

Editor

Some say he once drunk Keith Richards under the table, and that if he could be bothered, he could crack the Da Vinci Code in 43 seconds. All we know is he's called…the Chillisauce Editor.



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