With every crazy lip dub or flash mob video proposal you see circulated around the internet, the bar is raised ever higher on would-be suitors—chalk up yet another thing a guy has to worry about when he’s preparing to pop the question. While guys are out emphasizing style over substance, however, Dwyane Wade pulled off a textbook example of a proper proposal last month, keeping it classy, simple, special
. He took her to the site of their future home, and with the help of his kids, got on one knee without any fuss. Here’s what you can learn about popping the question from the guy about to marry Gabrielle Union.
There’s no pressure
One of the most unclassy things a guy can do is put pressure on his potential partner. That includes proposing in a packed stadium on the Jumbotron, in front of both your families at an awkward time, or—yep, you guessed it—making a Rube Goldberg-esque lip dub vid that you’ll soon upload to YouTube. Unless she’s into that kind of thing. For the rest of us, there’s always the Instagram play-by-play you can do afterwards, not to mention the traditional phone call to your folks after she says the magic word. If you truly need to capture the moment, get a proposal photographer to take some subtle shots from behind the scenes. Just make sure she’s relatively photo-ready and you’re nicely dressed if it’s a surprise.
He did the math—and the homework
Every guy of marriageable age knows how much an engagement ring should cost: three months’ salary. For an NBA player making millions, that translates to one giant rock for future Mrs. Wade. However, Dwyane did the requisite research beyond just the price tag, and it’s something you should pay attention to: to get that cushion-cut, 8.5-carat diamond ring just right, he made no less than three personal trips to Miami to pick out the custom design. If you know her as well as she hopes you do, this is only one of the many ways you have to prove it, so do your homework. For the clueless among us, there’s a good chance she has a Pinterest account.
He had some help from his best men
Face it: even if it’s not a crazy production, you can’t do it alone. One of the best things about Dwade’s ask is that he got his two kids in on it. Union and Wade have been together for a long time, and she’d already grown fond of the kids from his previous marriage, aged 11 and six. The little guyshave long been asking them to get married, in fact. As Wade took to his knee, the kids held up signs asking, “Will you marry us?” With wingmen like that, how could she say no?
He showed her a future with him
Walking around their unbuilt home was certainly not just for kicks. This is a home that Dwyane and his wife-to-be will soon make their own, and it was a great way to remind her that the future will be harmonious, even if their long history together has been a slightly checkered by brief separations. If she can see a strong foundation for a future with you where you’re stable and in control emotionally, physically and financially—whether you make a lot or a little—your proposal is sure-fire.