8 secret tips to keep you and your bridesmaid happy

How to pick your bridesmaids? Well, they need to be a group of women who are nearest and dearest to your heart. Your bridesmaid team needs to be special because bridesmaids are an important part of your ceremony.

Whilst you may want to pick your best friend to be your chief maid of honor, this is not always such a good idea. Your maid of honor needs to be efficient, cool under pressure and organised. If your best friend is fun, creative and disorganised and muddled, then you'd best think again and ask somebody else. (And in fact, your best friend might be relieved not to be asked anyway.)

At the same time, your bridesmaids need to understand that it is ultimately your day and they need to respect your wishes. A calm, cool, and collected planning process will ensure that these women will have your back long after you say "I do." Follow these simple pieces of advice to not only keep your bridesmaids smiling, but to keep yourself completely sane the whole way through.

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1. Make sure everyone is well acquainted

It's fairly uncommon for everyone in your bridal party to know each other like you know each of them. Take the necessary time to get the group together and have some girl time to get everyone well acquainted. Once everyone gets comfortable, you will feel as if you have one tight-knit team that communicates effectively as opposed to an unreliable disjointed bunch. You never know, the run-up to your wedding day might spark off some new, long-lasting friendships.

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2. Ask them in a special way

Right from the beginning it's important to make your bridal party feel like VIP guests. The best way to make them feel recognized is to find a creative way to ask them to be your bridesmaids. Try something like sending each of them a little handmade gift in the mail that ties to your overall wedding theme. Once your man pops the question to you, it's time to get crafty with popping the question to your right-hand ladies. This really isn't the time to text or e mail your girls with a message. Instead ask them in person or write a handwritten letter or card. It's an important occasion and you need to give it the drama it deserves!

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3. Ask them what they want to wear

A bride's most common mistake is not asking her bridesmaids what they would like to wear. It's helpful to get everyone's input in order to decide what will best suite both your vision and your bridesmaids' opinions. Be open-minded to maybe choosing one color and letting them pick a style to fit their specific body types. Instead of having everyone match perfectly, you should be more concerned about having cheerful, confident women by your side in your wedding photos. Be thoughtful about this - a girl who's self-conscious about her legs won't want to wear a short skirt and a girl who is voluptuous might not feel happy about wearing a strapless gown. So talk to them about what they feel comfortable in and take it from there.

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4. Let them know what you expect

Some women are bridesmaids many times in their lives, and some just once. Don't assume that everyone automatically knows how to be the perfect bridesmaid. Be up front with your ladies about when and where you will need their help within the many steps of planning your wedding. It's a good idea to learn to delegate and give each bridesmaid a separate task that plays to their skills and strengths. Keep communicating - your girls won't be mindreaders and they need to know what you want and what you're after.

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5. Delegate certain tasks to the maid of honor

Your maid of honor should be the first one to assist you with everything you need. She's your confidante who you can truly count on. Let her show you her worth by taking on some tasks that you feel she would be good at. If she's super-friendly, then let her be the key contact to communicate with the rest of the group. If she's the creative type, then let her handle packaging all of the favors. While the urge to resist handing over some of the reins will be there, you will feel a immediate relief when you don't have as much on your plate.

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6. Realize the world exists outside of your wedding

Your bridesmaid should realize it is definitely an honor to be a part of your special day, but that also doesn't mean their whole world needs to be turned upside down. Acknowledge that they have other responsibilities that they have to tend to when planning things like dress fittings or catering appointments. If she's a friend you can trust, then she'll make every effort to be there for those important decisions. Don't turn into that dreaded thing, a bridezilla!

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7. Avoid having arguments

It's almost inevitable that you'll hit at least a few rough points over the course of your engagement. However, the good news is that your bridesmaids already know there might be a few meltdowns, so they are well prepared. Don't worry if there are a few moments when your stress levels sky rocket, it's all part of the process. However, try to keep yourself in check. Is a battle with your bridesmaids really worth the fight? Try and talk things through beforehand so that they don't become cause for a row.

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8. Say and show how grateful you are

Saying thank-you is by far the most important thing to remember to do. On your big day, these women will be going above and beyond to keep you happy. Take note of the little things they have done for you along the way and remember to let them know how much it mattered to you. Gifting your bridesmaids with small matching tokens or even just handwritten cards will remind them of your gratitude for years to come.

They're going to play a big part in your big day, so respect that.

Photos by Jen Huang Photography, Abby Jiu, Black Hue Photography, Ivey Pictures, Brandy Angel Photography, Maria Harte Photography, and Ryan Nicole Photography

Should you elope? Or not?

 

Are you hyperventilating at the thought of 500 wedding guests watching you say your wedding vows? So you'd rather do it privately thank you?

Or would your parents be mortified if you got hitched on your Caribbean vacation?

Eloping and then celebrating later has been a growing trend in weddings around the globe in recent years and celebrities aren't the only ones that have made way for it. If you're both private people and don't like too much fuss, then getting married quietly and having a party later on might be perfect for you.

The pros and cons of a private ceremony with just the two of you

Steffen Wedding  10.3.15 by Megan Noll - Roselle Photography

The pros

  • You'll save money: All the details of a traditional wedding really add up. By cutting the guest list down to zero you are guaranteed to save at least 30% or more on your special day.
  • The romance: A wedding is meant for the bride and groom. But frequently the importance and true meaning of the wedding can get lost in the midst of all the planning. Couples who have eloped all agree that the simplicity of the ceremony truly makes for an unforgettable memory for just the two of you.
  • The destination: Of course Vegas is always an option, however with the money you save by eliminating the cost of guests, you and your fiancé can definitely find the funds to escape to somewhere gorgeous. Think of a destination on both of your bucket lists and go!
  • You're in charge: Forget about appeasing your mother in law's wishes, elopement means that you hold the reins and don't have to please anybody except your partner. Chances are the ceremony will turn out to be exactly how you envision because there are less opinions involved.

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The cons

  • No shared memories: The hardest part about deciding to elope or not is accepting that your wedding day will only be shared with your partner.
  • Fewer gifts: Not that you want to admit that you're the materialistic type or anything...but let's be honest. Everyone can admit that the gifts coming from a lavish traditional wedding definitely help you settle into your newlywed life.
  • Hurt feelings: With the spontaneous nature of elopements, they often come as a surprise to family members. It's hard for friends and family to not take the decision personally, especially if they were expecting to be present when you say "I do."
  • No guest photos: Many photographers admit that elopements are much more spectacular to shoot. The unique settings make for a perfect backdrop, however there isn't much diversity. Know that an elopement means no guest hashtags on Instagram, no group bridesmaid shots, and no wild dancing photos at the reception.

Are you spontaneously eloping or are you keeping it traditional with a big ceremony? Let us know in the comments!

Photos by Vasilis Lagios Photography, Megan Noll Photography, and Sylvie Gil Photography

15 signs you're turning into a bridezilla

Okay we get it. Planning and organizing your wedding day is fabulous but can also be unbelievably stressful.

You want it to look and be just the way you always wanted - but when you have setbacks (like not being able to get the photographer you want) it's easy to lose it and start turning into that person you always swore you'd never be. A bridezilla. 

If you recognise yourself doing any of the following then you're already showing bridezilla symptoms ... 

  1. You chase people up when they don't respond to your Save The Date message (and the wedding is two years away). 
  2. You've asked your wedding photographer NOT to take shots of any gorgeous female guests. You are the star of the day and nobody is going to eclipse you thank you very much.
  3. You're monitoring your bridesmaids calorie/carb intake 
  4. And you've set up a What's App group for your bridesmaids so that you can keep them informed of all aspects of your wedding planning. If you don't get double blue ticks you're onto them. 
  5. You send your bridesmaids photographs of how you'd like them to do their hair, suggesting they grow it/cut it/color it.
  6. Your other half now glazes over/falls asleep/ leaves the room/puts on headphones whenever the word 'wedding' is mentioned. 
  7. Same applies at work with colleagues. In fact every sentence you utter nowadays includes the word 'wedding' somewhere.
  8. You've chosen the wedding dresses you want for your bridesmaids and your word is law. Never mind that some of them don't suit short hemlines, frills, plunging necklines, pale pink satin, big bows ... 
  9. You have a temper tantrum when your friends leave your house at 11pm because they have work the next day and they've only crafted 200 of the 2000 paper flowers you want made. 
  10. You're completely obsessed by weddings on Pinterest.
  11. You have 75 wedding-themed apps on your phone.
  12. You haven't read a newspaper or novel since getting engaged. Just wedding magazines and blogs. As a result you have no idea about what is happening in the outside world.
  13. Your girlfriends seem strangely busy when you suggest meeting for a walk/coffee/lunch/movie. (Clue:you've turned very boring.)
  14. You tell your florist to try harder when she says that it will be impossible for you to have daffodils and tulips in your wedding bouquet. (It's September.)
  15. Your wedding theme colors are Tiffany blue and silver, and that includes the dress code. So you've included Pantone swatches with your wedding invitations so your guests get the exact shade you're after. 

A Mr and Mrs quiz

If you have an MC on your wedding day and you fancy giving your guests a bit of light entertainment to break up the speeches, then how about hosting a Mr & Mrs quiz?

 

It's certain to be an ice breaker and should have many couples shrieking with laughter when the (wrong) answers come out. 

Or if you don't fancy holding the quiz on your wedding day, you can do it quietly with your other half one cozy evening or take it to your batchelorette party. The questions are interchangeable - he can ask them of you too (just change he to she).

You may also have some of your own to add!

Mr & Mrs Wedding Quiz

  • Favorite pet? Dog or cat?
  • What was his first pet?
  • What would he save first in a fire? 
  • What does he think is your most annoying habit?
  • What does he think is his most annoying habit?
  • Who would play him in a movie?
  • What's his favorite part of your body?
  • What did you do on your first date?
  • Where did you meet?
  • How many children would he like to have?
  • Who is his favorite female celebrity?
  • What's his favorite film?
  • What makes him cry?
  • How many times did he take his driving test?
  • What's his favorite song?
  • What's his favorite country?
  • What's his pet name for you?
  • What's his favorite food?
  • What food does he really dislike?
  • What would he like to call his sons? His daughters?
  • What were you wearing when you first met?
  • What's the best present you've ever given him?
  • What's the best present he's ever given you?
  • What would he take to a desert island (apart from you?)
  • What's his favorite TV show?
  • Who's his favorite comedian?
  • What three words would he use to describe you?
  • What three words would you use to describe him?
  • How would he like to see you dressed on your wedding day?

Tips for planning a bridal shower

Tips for planning a bridal shower

Are you going to be a bridesmaid or the chief maid of honor? Then you better make sure that you read this post carefully!

Because one of the most important tasks that falls into bridesmaids' hands before a wedding is in fact organising the bridal shower. It's your job to throw a party that will truly wow the bride so that it becomes a memorable moment for you all to share.

It's all about the bride

Of course, you want to throw her the best-ever bridal shower there's ever been. One that will surprise and delight her. So the key point is to make it personal to her - it's all about her. Think about her personality and style. If she likes ribbons and bows, give her the by the books traditional shower of her dreams. If she thinks more along the lines of flower crowns and dreamcatchers, throw her a boho picnic in a meadow. Whatever the special day may call for, start rounding the troops and figuring out all the elements that will surely make her smile. Have some secret conversations with your bridesmaid conspirators so you can work out what she'd really like.

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The theme 

This is when it's time to hit Pinterest. Set up some boards (and share them with your fellow bridesmaids) and find inspiration in the things that your bride likes to do. You don't have to do anything over the top or budget-busting expensive.

If your bride is a foodie, then maybe a cookery class at the bridal shower would go down well. Or if she's into her fitness, maybe a yoga or pilates session. You could even have a wine tasting.

Less traditional and more casual is the way bridal showers are going. You don't need to have a particular theme - but you might want to have a color scheme to hang things together (like the invitations and the table settings). 

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The guest list

Unless you're having a surprise bridal shower, then you'll want to show the guest list to the bride beforehand. You really need to know who she wants there (and who she doesn't) - which is going to make addressing the invitations a whole lot easier.

You should also ask the bride how large she wants the bridal shower to be. Does she want it small and personal or larger and noisy! This might be the difference between having around the dinner table or renting out a large event space.

Traditional showers are all female - but your bride may want to invite some male guests. Ask her!

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The invitations

If you want to follow the rules of etiquette, you should mail out the invitations a month before the date so the invitees have time to block it out in their diaries.  While we love receiving a beautifully designed invitation through the mail with a stamp and handwritten envelope, the casual nature of modern showers can allow for Evites too. While registry information shouldn't be included on wedding invitations, it's allowed and almost expected on bridal shower invitations.

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The celebration

Games are often a fun and engaging part of a bridal shower but don't feel you have to have them. They tend to kill conversation - so limit them to one or two. You definitely need to give guests time to mingle. The same goes for opening gifts. While it's also customary to see the bride open her gifts, you don't want it to take hours and hours. Keep the process organized. And somebody needs to be in charge of writing a list that notes who gave the bride what. 

Photos by Wild Wolf Collective, Liz Banfield, Kathryn McCrary, and Cambria Grace Photography

6 Resolutions To Get Every Bride Feeling Great For Her Big Day

6 Resolutions To Get Every Bride Feeling Great For Her Big Day

I'm sure you made an intention or two as the famous ball dropped at midnight on the first of the month. Now that 2016 is in full swing, everyone feels the urge to become more conscience about what they should focus on for the future. Take the new year as the opportunity to set goals for yourself as a bride as well. As you enter the many stages of wedding planning, be sure keep a few promises to yourself to ensure your happiness and health on your special day. johnnymiller

1. I Will Eat Clean

Not only will eating healthy help you to look your best on your wedding day but it will also help you to feel your best.

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2. I Will Take Time For Myself

In the chaos of planning a wedding it is so easy to get stressed and overwhelmed. Taking the time to go to a yoga class or meet up with a friend for lunch will slow down your pace and keep your mind at ease.

Bishop_Goldin_RiverlandStudios_JB7_0_low3. I Will Spend My Money Wisely

It's easier said than done to set a wedding budget and actually stick to it. However, making smart financial choices on things like the dress, venue, and caterer will have you thanking yourself for years to come after the wedding. Plus with so many DIY ideas out there, it's so easy to have a wedding thats stylish and affordable!

GaganDhiman4. I Will Have More Patience

Patience is one key characteristic that people often lose when stress is in the air. Have patience with your groom, bridesmaids, and family members to keep your relationships strong.

ArnauDuboisPhotography25. I Will Communicate Effectively

It's important to remember that while you are the primary decision maker, this wedding is ultimately about you and your beloved. Communicating about emotions and ideas will help the two of you sail through the planning process.

ArnauDuboisPhotography 6. I Won't Expect  Everything to Be Perfect

There will inevitably be bumps in the road to your wedding as well as in your marriage in general. Don't get caught up in the making all the tiny details absolutely perfect, because everything always comes together beautifully in the end.

Photos by Gagan Dhiman, Johnny Miller, Dan Campbell, Riverland Studios, and Arnaus Dubois Photography. 

The Best Places To Incorporate Fresh Blooms

The Best Places To Incorporate Fresh Blooms



Delicate, fragrant, and decorative, fresh flowers represent special characteristics that make them a guaranteed way to add beauty to any type of wedding. Of course there are the traditional places we expect to see blooms at weddings, but with a little extra preparation you can think beyond the bouquet.  Before you even settle on a color scheme and variety of flowers, you should consider your endless possibilities in terms of places to arrange those flowers. Top florists' proclaim these to be the favorites to incorporate a gorgeous arrangement in your ceremony or reception. With the right amount of inspiration, a trusty florist & good old bridal intuition, we’re confident you’ll end up making your guests feel as if they are enveloped in an enchanted garden.



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Bouquets

A bride's bouquet is probably the floral arrangement that stands out the most to you when you think of flowers in a wedding. With that being true, the bride needs to consider her bouquet as a statement as well as a part of her outfit. Pick a floral theme that compliments both the bride and bridesmaids' dresses.

TownCountryStudios

Boutonnieres

We love the idea of mini arrangements for the boutonnieres. Traditionally the boutonnieres are one large bloom, like a rose, but consider incorporating small herbs, buds, or succulents to the mix as well.

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A ceremonial backdrop

Flowers can be one of the most strategic ways to create a unique backdrop for gorgeous wedding photos. A floral backdrop, arch, or arbor can function in moments like the vow exchange, the first dance, or even the cake cutting. If having a florist design a lavish arch is not in your budget, then try your hand at a DIY version. Many plants like hydrangeas and vines can be easily foraged and attached to some sort of frame with floral wire.

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Lining the aisle

An aisle doesn't always have to be established by a traditional runner. If your ceremony is taking place outdoors, consider outlining your aisle with smaller renditions of your bouquet. The vases will let guests know the clear set lines of the aisle while tying in the rest of the blooms placed upon the wedding party.

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Headpieces

Floral headpieces create a whimsical and ethereal flair to the bridal party. Remember that it's important to consult your florist and hairstylist to come together before the big day to test your vision.  You'll want the flowers in your hair to look effortlessly placed and not over the top.

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Centerpieces

Centerpiece arrangements for the wedding reception will most likely be the most expensive part of your floral plans. Centerpieces make a great statement to guests, just keep in mind that the bigger and more elaborate the design become, the more difficult it is for your guests to talk to communicate with each other around the table. Think about where else you are placing flowers in the reception as well when designing the centerpieces.

LumaWeddings

The cake

The cake is another great place to have two of your vendors work together. Let your baker and florist brainstorm what might be a beautiful solution for the cake to also become an arrangement. Think about adding in mostly edible flowers if possible so you won't have to remove them when cutting the cake.

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Pets' collars

We love those cameo appearances at weddings of that beloved member of your family...your pet! Including your dog or cat in the big day is becoming more of a common practice nowadays. If your furry friend is definitely making their way down the aisle then make sure they also have a fresh arrangement to glam out their collar.

NykCaliWeddingPhotographers

Chandeliers

Floral chandeliers are the perfect way to add drama and personality to any venue. If your space already has light fixture chandeliers think about how you could add fresh flowers into it. If your finding your space's ceiling to be a little bland, create opulence by creating chandeliers made entirely out of hanging flowers.

RhythmPhotography

Cocktails & beverages

Perched on the rim, or bubbling in the glass, flowers are very unexpected way to spice up a glass of champagne or signature cocktail. The pleasant surprise in the beverage will surely have guests smiling at the beauty in the little details.

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The place setting

While flowers are almost always somewhere on the reception table, they aren't always expected to be on the actual plate. Small sprigs and leaves work best when tying together a menu or a napkin to create a polished place setting.

If you love fresh flowers but also want to incorporate some alternative options, then shop our collection of fabric flowers!

Photos by  MP Photographie, Black & Hue Photography, Town Country Studios, Heather Waraska, Luma Weddings, Nyk Cali Wedding Photographers, Rhythm Photography, and MEF Photography. 

The Do's and Don'ts for Announcing Your Engagement

The Do's and Don'ts for Announcing Your Engagement

Engagement season will soon be here if it isn’t already for most couples, so we thought we would provide some “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to announcing your engagement. 

Do tell your parents or immediate family members first before telling the rest of the world. This should be done in person or on the phone if possible.

Don’t put it on social media before telling immediate family members – like your parents.  The last thing you want is your mother or father finding out through a Facebook status.

Do be prepared for people sending messages wanting to see the ring.  Just because they’re asking doesn’t mean you need to immediately show them.

Don’t forget to tell close friends before telling the rest of the world.  Let’s be serious, will you really forget?  We didn’t think you would either.

Do expect to have a wedding date and time of year in mind upon announcing the engagement. You will want to start looking for a venue pretty quickly after you make your announcement.

Don’t feel you have to though! It is all up to you!

Do go out and get a manicure before taking that engagement ring selfie.  Psst! Send us your selfies! Click here to see what you need to do! 

Don’t be afraid to refrain from answering the tough questions about your ring.  Like how much the ring was, the number of carats it is, etc.

Do expect you will have friends and even family members who won’t be entirely happy for your happiness. It happens.

Don't allow anyone to try on your ring, it can be admired on your hand, but not on someone else's.

Already thinking about bridesmaid dresses? Check out all of our newest fall styles at Dessy.com!

 

4 Must-Haves for a Winter Wedding Look

4 Must-Haves for a Winter Wedding Look

Getting married next month or in the next couple of months, so you obviously have your wedding day look complete down to the earrings and necklaces.  But did you think about accessories you might need since it is in fact winter?  

Here are some of our top must-haves for your winter wedding look:

Pashmina Shawl/Evening Shawl:  We love our shawls, the come in a variety of colors and will definitely keep you warm for your winter wedding. They make a great gift for the bride and her bridesmaids.   If you are really feeling generous, get one for all the women attending your wedding as part of the wedding favor.

PashminaShawl:EveningShawl

 

Pashmina Shawl/Evening Shawl 


Winter Hosiery: While many of us hardly wear hosiery anymore, it's a good idea to consider them for your winter wedding.  They will keep your legs warm underneath the dress and this is a chance to have some fun with different colors and patterns.  Anyone say reindeer patterns?

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Image by Ruffled.com 


Snow Boots:  How can you not do an outdoor winter wedding photo without wearing boots? This is for bride and her bridesmaids. It makes for a good winter wedding photo.

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The Mini Bailey Bow boot by UGG 


Keep Your Hands Warm:  Another great gift alert! White gloves for the bride and different color gloves (matching the dresses) for the bridesmaids.  How lovely is that? Especially for all of those outdoor wedding photos. If you don't want have gloves, faux fur hand muffs might be a good idea too.

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Image by HappyWedd.com 


Looking for more accessories for your winter wedding? Check out Dessy.com!

9 Unlikely Places to Pop the Question (She'll Love It, We Promise!)

9 Unlikely Places to Pop the Question (She'll Love It, We Promise!)

As we head into engagement season, where men everywhere are holding engagement rings anxiously trying to find the best way to pop the question, we thought we would make this a little easier.  We ask that you leave this post open on his desktop.  You're welcome!



Her Childhood Home: If her childhood home was a place filled with wonderful memories, this could be a good idea for the perfect place for a wedding proposal.  She can add this to all the wonderful memories she already holds dearly.  It's a great way to show the connection between her past, present and future.

School Playground: Take her to the swing set or the sandbox and get down on one knee.  This is especially a good idea if the two of you met as children.   Chase her around a bit like kids do before you get down on one knee, to add to the fun.

Where You Two Met: This isn't entirely an unlikely place, but it could be unique depending on where you met.  For example, take her to the coffee shop where you two first bumped into each other,  or the laundry mat if you two met over the separation of whites and colors.  It's sweet and different!

The Top of a Skyscraper: There isn't anything more beautiful than being proposed to surrounded by beautiful scenic views of a city.  The top of Empire State Building perhaps?

On a Ski Lift: It will get hard to get down on one knee here, (wait until you get to the top) but how romantic is it to propose on the way to the top of a high mountain? It's a great way to say, "I am willing to soar mountain tops for the rest of my life with you."

The Same Place Her Parents Got Married:  Do her parents have a wonderful love story? Emulate that by proposing to her where they got married.

A Place You Find Special: Is there a place you go to from time to time? Maybe it's the golf course or quiet place in nature that brings you peace and serenity?  Take her there and get down on one knee and propose. It shows how committed you are to having her be part of your life forever, that you want to make this place the place for your proposal.

The Zoo: Nothing says he wants to take the plunge of getting married like proposing in front of the lion cages at your local zoo.  In all seriousness, this could just be a fun idea if you two have a love for animals.

The Aquarium:  If you can get someone at the aquarium to hold a "Will You Marry Me Sign" in the fish tank,  all you will need to do is get down on one knee.. she will get the rest.  A good one if she loves fish!

Ok girls, here are some ideas, now all you have to do is leave it where he can see it!  Also, once he does propose, make sure to take a selfie and send it to us!  Read this post by clicking Here to find out more information!

Also, don't forget to visit Dessy.com when you begin shopping for bridesmaid dresses!

Featured photo by Origin Photos