Bridebook’s 2018 Proposal Season Survey Results!

Last updated: 30th May 2022

proposal season survey results

Charge your glasses – we are about to enter the ‘Proposal Season’! The perfect marriage of mulled wine and mistletoe spurs more engagements than any other time of year. 

Leading wedding planning app can reveal new data showing that over a third of all engagements happen in the month of December (35%) with as many as 11% happening on Christmas Day (1 in 9) and 15% on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (1 in 6). 27% will happen between Christmas Eve and Valentine’s Day, and 40% between December and Valentine’s Day.

Experts also predict that Christmas Day itself will be the most popular date to get engaged this year, followed closely by Christmas Eve and then New Year’s Eve.

Following a recent ‘Proposals Survey’ can reveal how ‘modern couples’ are being affected by ‘wedding technology’ and cultural shifts, and the implications that is having on the ‘traditional British wedding’. Though 89% of Gen Y and Gen Z couples already live together when they get engaged and they are marrying at an older age, the data shows they are adhering to some of the oldest romantic traditions when it comes to getting betrothed.

Hamish Shephard, founder of, says We expect there to be 125,000 proposals over the festive season. With law changes on the horizon and in the wake of two royal weddings at which we saw gospel choirs, plastic-free parties and fairground rides, couples are more inspired than ever to make proposals and weddings their own. While we see couples rejecting various long-standing traditions, we are also seeing many customary gestures continuing to stand the test of time, with new traditions being formed too.”


Of 350 couples surveyed:


  • 72% asked permission first.
  • 78% got down on one knee.

Shephard says, “This tradition is believed to have stemmed from knights bowing before their Lords, pledging their allegiance. The ‘modern couple’, though forward-thinking and supportive of gender equality, continues to pay homage to that tradition, however out-dated it may seem.”

  • 24% followed the tradition of the ring costing the equivalent of a month’s salary.
  • Of the other 86% who didn’t 42% of them paid more than one month’s salary.
  • 59% gave guidance beforehand on the sort of ring they wanted.
  • 30% had help from a parent and 21% had help from a best friend when it came to choosing a ring.
  • 26% designed or chose the final ring together.

Shephard says“The cost of an engagement ring being a month’s salary dates back to the 1930s, from an advertising campaign. The idea is so embedded in popular culture that most believe it far pre-dates that. The rising spend on rings ties in with the ever-increasing expectations and growing costs of weddings in total.”

  • 46% or recipients had dropped hints/asked for a proposal.
  • 65% had discussed getting married before the proposal.
  • Of those, 58% had discussed specific timeframes.
  • 72% prioritised making the proposal itself a surprise.
  • 53% prioritised making it personal. 62% were planned around a specific location.

a newly engaged couple looks happy at the camera!

Shephard says“Whilst an increasing number of couples are discussing getting married beforehand and coming to a mutual decision on when the time is right, an element of surprise is still the priority for most.”

  • 18% started to plan the wedding within the hour of the engagement.
  • Of’s 120,000 users currently planning weddings, 28% of them downloaded the app the day they got engaged.
  • 39% thought about a new fitness/diet regime that week!

Shephard says“Wedding planning spans an average period of 20 months, and couples are starting to make plans as soon as they get engaged due in-part to an awareness of the incredible choices available to them. Gen X and Gen Y couples have high expectations and they take their time to ensure every detail is perfect. The average couple now spends up to 864 hours planning their wedding, of which 1/5 will be during the working day!” 

  • 53% did a selfie/social media post that day, marking a 12% increase from 3 years ago.
  • 18% filmed or photographed the proposal.

Shephard says‘Due to the rise in social media and technology, couples can share news of their engagement within minutes to their entire family and circle of friends. Hashtags such as #isaidyes #ido and #heasked continue to grow year-on-year. From the moment they get engaged to the day of their wedding their entire journey can be planned, executed and shared through apps.”

  • 27% now marry at a place of worship – an annual decrease of 2%.
  • Religious ceremonies have declined 50% in 20 years, from 127,000 to 62,000. 
  • 86% still choose to wear a white wedding dress.
  • 92% do not reveal their dress to their fiancé until the day.
  • 75% ask their Father to walk them down the aisle.
  •  88% spend their last unmarried night apart.

Shephard says, “Couples are choosing to maintain various traditions, and new habits are being forged all the time too. In 2019 we expect to see further increases in the number of brides giving speeches (already at 18%), and 27% of couples will go on a ‘sten’ or ‘hag’ as well as their stag or hen. In addition, we are seeing a rise in the number of couples asking close friends or family members to conduct the ceremony, acting as the unofficial ‘officiate’.”

Hamish Shephard, Bridebook’s founder, summarisesThe millennial generation is rising to the challenge of curating perfectly unique proposals and completely unique weddings, exercising their ability to be creative. Motivated by putting on a great authentic experience they are no longer restricted to their local area with the internet, social media and apps, like ours, allowing them to explore every possibility at their fingertips.

Whether it is discovering that perfect proposal cliff-top for a viral-worthy photo or flying in a mariachi band from the other side of the country for the first dance, ‘modern couples’ want their engagements and their weddings to be hyper-personal and memorable, whilst still standing the test of time. More people than ever now pay for their weddings entirely themselves, and they are able to orchestrate their perfect celebration, without being restricted.”

For further information please contact Hunt Communications

[email protected] or [email protected]

M: 07886 96908 or M. 07384 816782


Notes To Editor: is the UK’s leading wedding planning app and website with over 60,000 couples currently planning their wedding on the platform.

Launched in 2016,‘s state-of-the-art wedding planning toolkit with personalised ChecklistBudget and Guestlist manager, enables couples to plan their entire wedding from any device, anytime, anywhere, all in one place…for free. With over 70,000 venues and suppliers in its directory, increases the digital presence of industry professionals and connects them directly with local couples. 

Bridebook has also partnered with leading brands such as Mary Berry, Bobbi Brown and Jimmy Choo to provide genuine expert advice and inspiration to its couples. was founded by Hamish Shephard, an industry professional and recently married groom who used to plan his own May 2016 wedding. Visit online and on the Apple and Android App Stores.