Although proposing can be terrifyingly overwhelming, the only three things you need to remember are what they will want. No one else matters, and nothing else matters in that moment. You are creating a memory that will time and time again be told to your closest family and friends.

So if that’s the case, then what do they want? We’ve done some special One & Only research and found that the top three things your significant other wants in a marriage proposal are the following:

1)      A unique story

The best way to create a special story is to make sure that it is unique. Your soon-to-be fiancé will only find a Christmas Day proposal unique if you do it somewhere extremely exceptional. Think about the timing, the location, and the elements. If at least one out of three is unique or different, you’re on the right path!

2)      A reflection of your personalities or relationship

Making this memory a true reflection of any aspect of your personality or relationship is going to be what ties this moment together. Proposing at the zoo in front of the penguins because she once told you she likes the way they waddle – not very thoughtful. Proposing in a canoe at Emerald Lake because she loves the outdoors and you spent your first trip away together there – very thoughtful. Now is the best time to brainstorm a list of possibilities and then narrow down to your top few favorites.

3)      To be surprised

Even if your partner knows that you two plan to get engaged sometime soon, this does not mean they don’t want some sort of surprise. If you want to blow them away, the best way to do that is by proposing when they least expect it. Maybe you take them out for dinner at a romantic restaurant and they think that’s when you’ll do it, but instead, when you leave the restaurant there is a limousine and another adventure ahead that is even more romantic (we know, that’s a good one).

The bottom line when planning your proposal, is to remember that although this is only the start of the marriage, the start is what sets you off on the right foot. Heading into the wedding planning process, which can be stressful for many, it would be wonderful to have the proposal story to look back on before the big day arrives.

And we know just the tricks.