Girls, You Take The Leap!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Proposing To Your Guy

Ladies, you take the leap! Ask for your guy’s hand and throw the traditional wedding proposal out the door.
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Read on if you want to eliminate once and for all the guessing and get him to say the yessing.

Leave it to a leap year to turn the tradition of wedding proposals on its head.  Sure, it’s long been held that it is up to the man to do the asking.  But if you’ve been entertaining the idea of popping the question to your guy, this is the year to bust it out. Ever since the Middle Ages, leap years—and especially February 29—are the right time to ask your guy: “Will You Marry Me?”

Who started it? We can thank St. Patrick, the same patron saint that banished snakes from Ireland and laid the groundwork for the March 17th revelry we all know so well today. Legend says he also had a hand in allowing women the freedom to propose every four years (thanks to the medieval lobbying efforts of St. Brigid on behalf of women).

What do I wear? Fashion is just as integral to the ancient custom as it is to a wedding. When a woman is in marrying mode and she’s poised to do the asking, custom dictates that she don a scarlet petticoat—albeit nicely concealed under her skirt—to show she’s ready to propose.  And what if she’s asked a gent who declines a trip down the aisle? She shall receive a silk dress from the man who snubbed her as a parting gift.

Scottish law in the 13th century even went so far as to fine the man who said no. If he couldn’t pony up the silk dress, he’d have to compensate the woman with a kiss or a pair of gloves instead.

What if February is too soon? For the woman who wants to do the asking but can’t drum up the courage to do it this February, there’s always Sadie Hawkins Day. Based on a 1930s comic strip character, in the United States, tradition also accepts women to propose to men on the first Saturday in November, also dubbed Sadie Hawkins Day.

What’s the success rate? If Miranda from Sex and The City or Monica from Friends (both ladies proposed on their respective TV hits) are any indication, your chances of the guy saying yes are pretty good.  In a sample of readers we asked on Facebook, many of the now-engaged ladies who responded said that: 1. They proposed and their guy said yes but 2. There is usually a “re-play” of the proposal about a month later where the guy proposes to make it “official.”

Any tips on how to do it? Forget dropping down to one knee.  Some graces are simply men-only. But other than that, if you take our readers as any indication, it is surprisingly less intense than you would expect.

After all, you’re pretty much aiming to ask the love of your life and thus someone you expect is going to be a willing participant. Think of it as more of a romantic prodding than a prowling and your man is likely to say yes. Just don’t be surprised if he wants to turn around and do it his way a few weeks later. There’s no downside: what’s better than two proposals?

--Erinn Bucklan

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