Marriage is a completely shared decision based on an equal partnership. So there's no reason one half of the couple should propose to the other. And with experts predicting a surge in proposals this year – and as more couples challenge traditional roles and gender norms – this leap year looks like it'll be the most popular year yet for women getting down on one knee.
A leap year was once known as the day women were ‘allowed' to propose to men. While that's certainly an outdated way of thinking, the sentiment remains, as many women embrace the once-every-four-year tradition and propose to their partner.
No matter your role in the relationship, you'll want to make sure the moment you ask the big question goes without hitch. Here at Marriott, we've put together our top proposal tips for 2024. They'll inspire you with ideas to stay ahead of the trends this leap year as you challenge stereotypes and empower other women to pop the question themselves.
Take control – and take the pressure off!
Planning a proposal all around one specific moment can feel intense. Relieve the stress and raise the level of surprise when you ask the big question as part of a mini break. After all, trends tell us around a quarter of men propose when on holiday, so there's clearly added romance away from the everyday.
Worried about the ring being uncovered, and the surprise ruined, at airport security checks? Choose a UK hotel for your proposal holiday instead. Exploring a city with stunning scenery and history, like Delta Hotels by Marriott York or Delta Hotels by Marriott Durham Royal County, makes your proposal just one part of your packed itinerary of things to see and do. That way, you're not putting all the pressure on the moment itself.
Make your proposal personal
Not the type to make a scene? You're in luck, as one of the biggest emerging proposal trends for 2024 is to find an intimate way to pop the question. Forget the grand gestures and forgo the huge public displays of affection. Instead, 2024 is the year for something more personal – and more romantic.
You don't have to propose in your living room to make it an intimate moment. Find your personal place away from home and nestle in 200-acres of private grounds at the Jacobean manor house of Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club. A countryside hotel is the perfect way to get away from the world and make it just about the two of you – ideal if you're a little nervous about being the one getting down on one knee!
Capture the moment on camera
An intimate moment doesn't mean you can't share your proposal with your loved ones once the nerves have gone away. Plenty of people planning to propose in 2024 are opting for a personal proposal photographer or videographer. Take part in this trend by planning for the big event with their professional help – sharing some tips and taking off some pressure! Then, your photographer will be there ready for the perfect moment when you pop the question.
For the perfect photo finish, don't forget to think about the background – like the sweeping setting of the world's oldest Marriott hotel: Delta Hotels Breadsall Priory Country Club. You could even use the venue's recommended wedding photographer for your proposal pictures, hiring them again on your big day for cohesive, on-theme photos. Simply ask your hotel's memory maker for the recommended supplier list.
Keep it casual
You might feel a lot of pressure to come up with grand plans. But if that's not right for you or your partner, your nerves might take over in the big moment. That's a particular worry for women taking the less traditional path and embracing the leap year proposal opportunity.
Make the moment meaningful and take your partner somewhere where they feel at home – whether that's a table at their favourite restaurant or taking a swing on the Delta Hotels by Marriott St. Pierre Country Club golf green. Start with a chat about marriage and values, then lead into a casual proposal as you suggest taking the next step together. After all, today's couples recognise marriage as a shared, long-term commitment – and you're equal partners. So there's no reason why it can't be you who starts that conversation.
Still not sure whether to take the proposal plunge? Pop the question this leap year and you'll have time to plan a 2024 summer celebration or winter wedding. And with your Marriott Memory Maker on hand to help you plan the big day – or even the proposal itself – you're set for an engagement and a wedding to remember, no matter how you propose.
Get inspired with ideas for the big moment and the big day at Delta Hotels by Marriott St. Pierre Country Club Wedding Showcase on Sunday, 18th February 2024. Starting at 11am, it's your chance to see the hotel set for a wedding, meet suppliers and even plant that proposal seed that takes the pressure off the big leap year moment! Get your free tickets here.