February 29th – Look before you Leap
According to Irish tradition every 4th year 366th day it is permissible for woman to propose marriage to their suitor. It is said to date back to 5th century when St Brigid of Kildare bitterly complained to St Patrick that women had to wait far too long for men to propose. The legend says that St Patrick decreed the women could propose on this one day in February during the leap year. Wow, they must have been thrilled!
Now in 2020 it’s a very different world; with the advances in women’s rights and independence the date itself is probably less likely to be so significant, unless you’re the type of person who loves tradition?
There may be lots of reasons that you might be tempted to take charge of the proposal, perhaps you are a couple that have always had a non-traditional relationship, perhaps your partner lacks confidence or is just very laid back, maybe you’re sick of waiting for your partner to pop the question? Or, perhaps you think your partner would just love it.
Before you drop to one knee (if that’s the plan) be cautious. Think about any discussions you may have had around marriage, sometimes people don’t feel ready either financially or in terms of reaching their full potential in their career and would rather wait for the right time.
If you the type of person who is an extrovert, you may be tempted to do something very publicly but remember some people prefer private and romantic. I’ve spoken to a number of couples during my time as a celebrant and got to know their stories, how they met, what their interests are and where the proposal happened. Most have had a quiet private moment, on holiday or a significant date. Think about how and where you’d prefer to be asked one of the most important questions of your life.
If you are going to take the plunge tailor it towards what you both like, think of a special place, if you don’t feel particularly comfortable speaking the words how about a quirky way of writing them? If you love the outdoors it could be you go for a walk and stop at a favourite place where you’ve hidden a sign or if you like going out, go for a meal and have a label stuck on your favourite bottle of wine? Whatever you do it’s worth thinking about making the proposal memorable.
Don’t worry about engagement rings either, a lot of couples these days prefer to go shopping together or even crafting their own designs. You can still make a proposal memento as a keepsake and everyone these days has a mobile phone with a camera to capture special moments and locations.
So, whether it happens this leap year or not remember one day you’ll say, “I do”.