Before you pop THAT question, or are popped to, there are a few more you should ask first.
Now we’re not trying to put the frighteners on you at all – and why would we? This is an amazing, exciting time. All we’re doing is giving you a bit of a heads up so you’re going into this thing with your wits about you.
Because after all, isn’t marriage itself a balance of romance and practicality?
1. First things first. Who picks the ring?
You might choose a pear-shaped yellow stone encircled with encrusted pave diamonds in yellow gold, crushing the dreams of your beloved who was after a cushion-cut solitaire on a platinum band. It might not be romantic, but either do your homework, or propose with a dummy ring and pick the real sparkler together.
2. How are your finances looking?
Sorry to be a drag, but weddings aren’t cheap, so it’s best to have a few bob in your bank account before you start making any major wedding plans. Either that or some generous benefactors willing to foot the bill.
3. Would you wipe your intended’s bum – like, if you really had to?
I was asked this question recently by a friend who needed, erm, help in the toilet not long after going through labour. I thought it was a pretty good yardstick for true love. If you’re willing to do this, chances are you’re meant to be together.
4. What are your thoughts on calligraphy?
Because pretty soon the merits of gothic forward-slant italic versus bold rustic capitals will become a major life concern.
5. Do you want a religious wedding?
Civil, religious or humanist – what’s important to you? And are you both on the same page?
6. Are you ready to explain the ‘how you proposed’ story 34,546 times?
Because you will soon start to hate the sound of your own voice as you tell the story over and over. You’ll finally crack around time 47, when you’re asked by Ann in the canteen to tell her everything (you don’t even know her!)
7. Do you know all the legal stuff?
Because weddings aren’t just about cake and speeches – as soon as you sign that piece of paper you’re tied to each other in the eyes of the law.
8. Do you want a big bash or intimate do?
Does the thought of a huge wedding break you out in anxious hives? Or do you want to invite the entire parish and it's mother? Maybe you’ve always had a yen to elope? Either way, make sure you’re on the same page, or can reach a happy compromise.
9. Do you like each other’s family?
We know that love can conquer all, but in the same breath you don’t want to be stuck with a load of plebs now do you?
10. Do you both want kids?
Pretty much a make-or-breaker.
11. How handy are you on the DIY front?
Because fairly soon you’ll be trying your hand at building a candy cart with nothing but nails, MDF, pink chalk paint and a prayer.
12. Does the thought of going down on one knee make you want to vomit with embarrassment?
Then don’t. Do it your way.
13. Do you like Prosecco?
Because not long after popping the question, everyone you’ve ever met will be flinging bottles of the stuff at the pair of you to beat the band.
14. Where do you want to get married?
Because Dublin is a pretty gorgeous choice. Well we would say that.
15. Can you kindly but firmly demand that people reply to you ASAP or else they will be banned from not only your wedding but your life?
Welcome to the frustrating world of RSVPs.
16. Are you ready to make the impossible decision between violet, mauve or lilac hyacinths?
Gah! Who knew there were so many purples? If you thought you were indecisive before you started planning a wedding, just you wait my friend.
17. Do you have elasticated trousers?
Because you will be doing a LOT of cake and menu tasting. And it will be free. Just take a minute to let that sink in and then run and propose this very minute for God’s sake.
18. Are you actually excited at the thought of getting married?
It’s normal to feel a bit scared – it’s like, “I’m an adult now, ARGH!” But if you’re thinking you should do it because you’re under pressure, or because everyone else is at it, you’re probably just not ready yet.
19. Do you have some sort of politics degree? An MA in political science?
Don’t worry, you basically will after the wedding.
20. Do you want to travel?
If living abroad for a while is a dealbreaker for you, now’s the time to figure that stuff out.
21. Is there a once in a lifetime trip you’ve always wanted to take?
Because now you can go on a big, no expense spared blow-out without feeling a shred of guilt. Hello honeymoon!
22. Are you worried because, although you’re non-religious, your parents would love a church wedding?
Well don’t be. The Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green is a brilliant compromise. It looks the part, but is non-denominational. Sorted.
23. Should you do a public proposal?
Think carefully. It might look romantic in the fillums but do you really want a repeat of that Rose of Tralee proposal? (“No, no, no, no NO, NO, NONONO, no, noooo!”)
24. Is the proposee ready?
You generally have a good idea if the person you’re asking to marry you will say yes – but if you don’t, do a little digging first. While a, “Jaysis no, I’m not ready yet” isn’t the end of the world (ish), it’s not ideal (particularly if you pop the question on your holliers and you’ve nowhere to run and hide).
25. What’s your storage sitch like?
Because your gaff will basically become a wedding props storage facility for the next 18 months or so.
26. Do you like bunting?
If not, you're fecked.
27. Do you need to ask the parents’ permission?
‘Permission’ is just the traditional way of saying it, isn’t it? No one really asks permission, but it’s a sweet mark of respect to give them the heads up. Plus, they might have a heirloom ring for you to propose with (which means more cash for the honeymoon!) Ultimately, it's up to you.
28. Are you good at compromising?
Because if you think that compromising on important issues throughout a lifelong marriage sounds tough, wait until you have to pick between the sea green or rusty terracotta runners for your reception tables.
29. Are you ready to feel the love?
Seriously, the outpouring of love and congratulations from friends, family and some fella you met in the deli queue for your daily ham roll will make you feel amazing.
30. Do you not give a toss about any of the above questions and basically just want to be with this amazing person for the rest of your life?