Love is all around

Turning Points 3 min read

It’s that time of year. Love is in the air, and romance can be found around every corner. Perhaps you and your beloved have been talking about marriage for a while, or maybe it just feels like the time is right. Whatever your reason for thinking about “the next step,” it’s not something to be rushed. The day you get engaged is a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. You and your partner are unique, and your proposal should reflect that.

It can seem like a daunting task, but there may be an easy way to get started. If you’ve got a canine companion in your life, why not include them? Whether it’s a dog you’ve had since before you began your human relationship or one that you and your partner adopted together, they’re an important part of your life.

We’ve included a few suggestions below for how to incorporate your dog into this special day, but these are by no means the only ways to go about it. You know your partner and your dog better than anyone else and can adjust accordingly.

Dressed to impress

One of the cutest ways to include your canine companion is to have them make the proposal for you. In this day and age, it’s quite easy to get anything custom made, so consider using a collar with a dog tag that says, “Will you marry me?” or even a dog sweater that’s been customized to ask your dearest one to spend the rest of their life with you.

If you’re crafty, you could make a sign to hang off their collar. It’s up to you if you want to get straight to the point (“Will you marry me?”) or if you’d like to make it lengthier. If you have more than one dog, they could each have a sign, although getting them to stand in order may end up being the most difficult part!

If you’d rather ask the question yourself, consider putting your dog in a bow tie to set the tone. This is assuming that you’re also dressed to impress and won’t be upstaged by your four-legged friend!

Canine delivery service

Another option is to use your dog as your own personal delivery service, depending, of course, on your dog’s level of training, and how much you trust them in a high-pressure situation. It could be something as low stress as having them carry a note to your partner telling them where to find you. If you feel like upping the ante, you could have the dog carry the ring (either on their collar or a custom ring pillow, much like a ring bearer at a wedding carries) to you at the appropriate time. If your dog is exceptionally obedient, consider training them to fetch the ring when asked.

A word of advice: If the dog will be carrying the ring on their body, it may be wise to pick a location that’s familiar and comfortable to them to eliminate any confusion or risk.

It’s a dog’s world, and we just live in it

Most likely, you and your partner spend a fair amount of time with your dog. Do you often walk to the dog park together? Perhaps a proposal at the dog park, surrounded by fellow dog lovers, would be the perfect location. If you’re a hiking family, a hike along your favorite route or a trail of treats for your dog to follow to the designated location would be an adorable choice. If you’re looking for something more labor-intensive, plan a scavenger hunt for your partner and canine to take part in while you wait at the end, ready for your big moment.

For those of you who are more traditional, there’s a multitude of dog-friendly restaurants these days, including more upscale options where you can propose over a delicious meal and fine wine. This will give you a little more control over the situation, and most restaurants are more than happy to assist on such occasions.

Read between the lines

Although the above are all thoughtful in their own ways, sweet and simple is sometimes the way to go. A book or collage of photos of you two together with your dog can detail how much your life together means to you and is a surefire way to melt someone’s heart. Whether you choose to include your proposal in the book or get down on one knee after your partner has read it, keep tissues on hand for the inevitable tears of joy.

The go big or go home approach

For those of you who don’t have a dog but have been thinking about getting one, or who know that your beloved has been dreaming of the day when you welcome a puppy into your home, there’s nothing cuter than a puppy with a bow AND an engagement ring. However, this idea requires a lot of careful consideration. Marriage is not to be taken lightly, but neither is becoming a pet owner!

Bonus pro-tip: If the plan you choose leads to a resounding “yes,” don’t forget to ask your reception location whether they require wedding insurance when you’re planning for the big day.

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