Ask Kirsten: Who Should Propose?

Equallywed's editor in chief shares her expertise on all the tricky questions that come up when you're tying the knot.


Photo: Gareth Weeks/Stock Xchng

Dear Kirsten,
We’re two women in love, and we want to get married. We each want to surprise the other with a ring and ask the question. If this were a straight relationship, I guess the guy would propose to the girl. Neither of us is a guy, so how do we do this? Whoever goes first gets to be the one who does the surprise, and then what’s the point of the second person doing anything? Is there a solution we’re not thinking of? Has anyone else come up with a workable idea? How have other same-sex couples become engaged, if both wanted to do the asking? —Confused On One Knee

Dear Confused,
Let’s think of this like surprising each other with an invitation to go on a date. Both invitations are equally special, though who does it first might be considered the braver or more prepared of the two—as well as the one who’s story is told first when people ask to hear your engagement story.

Many Equally Wed readers have talked to us about this very issue, and the solutions are as varied as the couples themselves. But it usually boils down to most couples choosing to select their engagement rings together, and then knowing proposals are imminent. Some, like one of our Real Weddings couples Jesse and Fernan, have been so in sync they actually proposed to each other on the same night—unplanned!

You could also plan a proposal evening together if neither of you likes the idea of getting to be the one to surprise the other. It would be like a wedding ceremony where you write your own vows, so what’s being said by each of you is a surprise, but you both know that in the end, you’ll be asking her to spend the rest of her life with you and vice versa.

The purpose of the second person in the relationship proposing is usually if the original proposer wants to also be swept off her feet with a proposal or has the need to wear an engagement ring. It’s not necessary, and not all lesbian couples do it. But if you both want it, that’s all that matters.

(Readers, have you been in this situation? What did you do, or what would your advice be for this reader? Leave your suggestions in the comments.)


Kirsten Palladino is the editor in chief of Equally Wed, the nation’s premier same-sex wedding magazine, online at Equally Wed offers gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer couples a guide to their weddings, a social community and a marketplace of vetted LGBT-friendly wedding vendors. Follow Equally Wed on Twitter @equallywed.
Stumped on when to send out your save-the-date announcements? Don’t know who should be invited to your rehearsal dinner? Get the answers to all your etiquette questions for your gay wedding by submitting your dilemma to


Edit ModuleEdit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Why Kids With Same-Sex Parents Aren’t Different From Other Kids

Childhood is childhood.

The Parent Trap

LGBTQI parents are uniquely vulnerable to parental alienation.

Raising And Un-Raising A Spoilt Princess

How this Mom unwrapped herself from her daughter’s little finger.

Queer Kid Stuff: What Is Gender?

A new educational LGBTQ+ webseries for kids is releasing its first full season of ten episodes.

Add your comment: