Surveys Proposal image 1

Published on November 22nd, 2016 | by Editor

The Marriage Proposal Survey

Will he or she say yes in 2017?

As far as life-changing events go, getting engaged is right up there with the biggies

With a new year on the horizon, it’s a time when plenty of people are thinking about the biggest things in life. And as far as life-changing events go, getting engaged is right up there with the biggies. At Chillisauce we speak to thousands of brides and grooms-to-be on a daily basis and we hear all sorts of stories about how the proposal went.

We’ve decided to release the hidden secrets of proposals


Over 10,000 people across the UK were surveyed

Comprehensive data on proposals is not something that has been readily available to those that don’t work in the biz, but we’ve decided to change that. This year we have embarked on our biggest survey yet by quizzing 10,000 people across the country. And not only are the findings fantastic research for those involved in the wedding industry, but they make for pretty interesting reading for the general public too.

Ever wondered what the busiest month for popping the question is? Or what women want and what men think they want in a marriage proposal? Or how about the different attitudes to betrothal in different cities around the country?

Well, we’ve found all of that out and more with our comprehensive proposal survey. Now let’s dive in to take a look at the results.

What’s the best day of the year to propose?


The festive month of December is the most romantic time of the year

Wedding season traditionally runs throughout the summer months but it seems the winter is when proposals reach their peak. Romance is very much in the air during the festive season, with Christmas time being the busiest time of year for people getting down on one knee. It’s not just our findings, Facebook also announced that the most popular months to get engaged were November and December, (which explains your social media feed being drowned with ring pictures and words of congratulations towards the end of the year).

Christmas eve is the most popular date of the year to propose with 31% of the votes!

Christmas Eve even tops Valentine’s Day, with nearly a third of all those surveyed choosing Santa’s busiest day of the year as the best time to pop the question.

Valentine’s Day came a close second with 22% of the votes.

This year we opened up the votes to include more flexible days, such as partners birthdays and the anniversary of the date a couple met. These dates still proved to be more popular than Boxing Day, (2%), with 9% of respondents choosing birthday and 11% recognising a lot of couples getting engaged on the anniversary of the day they met.

Overall, 40% of proposals are expected to happen over the Christmas period. That’s around 100,000 proposals this Christmas alone.

Sandy Moretta, Director at UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and owner of ternevents, shares her professional experience and insights into why Christmas is so popular for proposals:

“Here at the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners we, and our members, hear the stories of many engagements which happen on Christmas Eve, or over the festive period. We take the majority of enquiries and bookings between January and March, soon after Christmas, then the Valentines proposals.

Two of the reasons the Christmas season is so magical is due to romance and family, two elements which proposals combine so perfectly. So planning a proposal in the Winter months makes a lot of sense. On a practical note, if they wish to be really traditional, as many of my clients do, they are also likely to see the bride’s father to formally ask for her hand at this time of year.



Are you planning on proposing too soon?

When he/she thinks is the best time to propose

Are men popping the question too early?

Of course, men and women might not always be on the same wavelength and it seems some men are peaking too early with when they pop the question. A third of the men quizzed (33%) think Christmas Eve is the best time to do the deed, whereas 29% of women actually want their man to put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day.

Christmas proposal

What women want

A fifth of women chose the anniversary of when they got together as their dream day for a proposal, but some men clearly don’t want the hassle of having to try and remember when this is, as just 3% of the males picked this as their top time for proposing.

When asked why people propose over Christmas, the occasion being romantic was the biggest response, closely followed by being around family. Other humorous answers cited a lack of originality, an excuse to use the ring as a gift and even alcohol as reasons for popping the question.

Real Life Proposal

“After 9 years together and people constantly telling him that he was “dragging his heels” and then buying a house together, it might have seemed like it was inevitable that a proposal was on the cards, but it was nice to know that after all those years together he could still take me by surprise. On Christmas eve, we were planning on a casual night at the local pub. My sisters and best friend had phoned me several times during the day to suggest that we get quite dressed up – I was against this idea as it was the local pub – but unbeknown to me, I wasn’t going to be going to the pub. Late afternoon when we were about to get ready to go out, I was presented with a card (awkward as I hadn’t realised that living together meant that we bought each other Christmas cards) addressed to “my fiancée” and an unexpected early Christmas present, of the diamond kind. For once in my life I was speechless and don’t really remember much about what I did, other than saying yes of course. Minutes later, family and friends appeared, food was laid out, balloons went up and champagne started flowing and continued into early hours of Christmas day. Christmas then became more special than ever and we celebrated every day until we returned to work!”Danielle Jordan

What makes a good proposal

Men take note

More than half of women in the UK want their partner to get to the point and plainly say ‘will you marry me?’

Cut to the chase when popping the question. More than half of women in the UK want their partner to get to the point and plainly say ‘will you marry me?’ So while grand gestures are all well and good, cryptic hints and beating around the bush are not so welcome, keep it simple and get the words out.

Make it blunt & straight to the point

Has technology taken over?

Technology is playing a bigger part than ever, with 15% of women wanting their man to use some kind of digital device to ask the question or record the moment for them. But is this reliance on all things modern damaging the more traditional forms of communication? Poetry and songs pull in just a lowly 6% of the votes each, so word-smiths and budding Shakespeares are clearly not as welcome as they once were.


Would you propose using social media?

Unsurprisingly, social media is a growing trend for making public declarations of love, with celebs such as Kristen Bell taking the Twitter route to propose in front of the eyes of the digital world.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

58% of women prefer to be asked via social media

58% of women in the UK picked social media as their preferred vehicle for a tech-based proposal. Of course, the risk of viral infamy should she say no is something to consider when planning a social media marriage proposal.

Techie Proposals

It is England where the technological revolution has been most readily embraced, with 15% of women in England saying they would prefer a tech proposal. With people sharing more and more of their personal lives online, it’s no wonder they would like a proposal that was somehow captured forever or could be potentially shared with friends and family. And, it seems ladies across the pond are jumping on the techie proposal bandwagon, with Kelly Rowland accepting a proposal from her boyfriend and manager, Tim Witherspoon via Skype.

I think it is unsurprising that techie proposals are on the up as social media, tablets, phones and other gadgets are such a big part of life and communication today.”
Sandy Moretta, Director at UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and owner of ternevents

England vs Scotland vs Wales vs Ireland

Scottish women are apparently harder to please, with 18 % saying they wanted an extravagant proposal. Poetry proved the most popular method for Irish women, while their Celtic cousins in Wales want to be proposed to through the medium of song. We’re not sure whether or not every one of those women wanted the song to be delivered by Tom Jones, but it’s a thought that has made more than a few women swoon over the years.

tom jones

Or – you could do what this besotted fiancée did, and find her ‘wedding inspiration’ board on Pinterest to plan her perfect wedding and surprise her.

Should women pop the question too?

What men think about women proposing

65% of men quizzed would say ‘no’ if a girlfriend proposed

Is proposing a man’s job?

There are plenty of traditions attached to anything wedding related and one of those that has stood the test of time is that proposing is a man’s job. Whether he has any more jobs to do after getting that one out of the way is another thing altogether, but it seems most men still want that responsibility themselves.

the proposal

In fact, 65% of men quizzed told us they would say ‘no’ if their girlfriend asked for their hand in marriage.

How many women would propose?

But how many women would actually be brave enough to take on this task themselves? A whopping 79% declared they would not be willing to do it, so it seems popping the question is still very much a man’s job in most people’s eyes.




Jewellers must be doing a roaring trade in the run up to Christmas, as we can expect a flurry of engagements over the festive period.

But while getting wrapped up in the spirit of the season might make it feel as though it’s the perfect time to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage, men should take note that the majority of women still prefer to be asked on Valentine’s Day or the anniversary of when you first got together – so bide your time if you can. And make sure you get your anniversary date in the diary if you want to get that one right.

And finally, if you’re planning a festive engagement or want to make 2016 the year you pop the question then good luck! However you choose to do it, it’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask so make sure you enjoy it.


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Some say he once drunk Keith Richards under the table, and that if he could be bothered, he could crack the Da Vinci Code in 43 seconds. All we know is he's called…the Chillisauce Editor.

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