Is It Okay If I Propose At My Friend Or Family Members Wedding Reception?

We have all witnessed this exciting moment take place in a variety of ways. Engagements can be joyous and memorable. But should your moment really come at the expense of someone else’s? Our short answer concerning this topic is: probably not. 

There are just so many different opportunities that you can have – or make to be – at your disposal and taking the attention away from your best friend’s or brother’s wedding day shouldn’t be on the table. Even if the mood seems to fit your vision. The venue is great. The season is perfect. And nothing compares to the romance of a successful wedding, there is something rather wrong about going about a proposal at another couple’s celebration.

Honestly, we’re not even 100% confident in the fact that you should ever ask anyone if it’s okay to propose at their wedding and put them in the uncomfortable position to have to answer. They’re already stressed enough over wedding preparation, throwing another wrench in their plans shouldn’t be something you offer.

At the end of the day, someone else paid for the space. The ambiance, the venue, the music, the decor, it wasn’t created for your special moment. And there just seems to be no redeeming reason that makes this proposal option a good one.

No matter how close you are as friends, how many mutual people you know, or even that they gave you the go-ahead to proceed, try figuring out a spot and a moment in the time that’s more personalized to you and your relationship instead of mooching off someone else’s. 

Other Expert Advice

“According to Swann, there are absolutely no circumstances in which a proposal at another person’s wedding is acceptable. “The day of someone’s wedding is one day out of an entire year,” Swann tells in an e-mail. “We have to keep in mind that the couple is creating a memorable moment that will last a lifetime and a proposal should not be part of the one day that the couple has to themselves: Let them enjoy it!”

Gottsman, mostly agrees, but says there is one exception to this rule: If the proposal has been prearranged and pre-approved by both the bride and groom well in advance. Gottsman says this could happen if the to-be-engaged couple comes from a close-knit family and the proposal is expected to be a family affair. For example, if the family is scattered across the country, or even globally, having a celebration like a wedding is a convenient time when everyone is already gathered together. She also notes that if one of the members of the to-be engaged couple is part of the armed services and is home for only a short time, that might be part of the conversation, too.” – Real Simple

“Etiquette expert and editor-in-chief Diane Forden, shares three things anyone must do before they even think about putting a ring on it at someone else’s party:

  1. Clear it with the couple first and if they are in any way hesitant then reconsider (if they politely say, “Well, OK,” then that’s not a good sign). We bet that if you follow up a few days later with just the groom-to-be, then you’ll find out how his bride-to-be really feels about it.
  2. If the couple agrees and is excited about it, then it should be done at the very end of the wedding, perhaps after the bouquet toss or just before the last dance. That way, the proposal won’t “steal the thunder” from the newlyweds.
  3. Feel out what your intended’s reaction might be. Solicit a little help from her friends and have them bring up this Reddit photo in conversation so that they can suss out how she responds to the idea. She might think it’s fun and romantic. However, if she proclaims that it’s awful, and she would prefer for her own proposal to be more intimate and not associated with anyone else’s happy occasion, then scratch the idea entirely.” – Bridal Guide

And then there’s this always delightful list from Buzzfeed mapping out real-life examples and reason to just not go there.

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