It’s February 29th. The one day a woman is allowed to propose. As if we actually need permission to declare our love. Pfft.
The women at People Tree aren’t the type to be told when we can and can’t do something. Instead, we’re using February 29th as an excuse to celebrate powerful women and suggest alternative proposal locations, which you can use on any day of the year you please!
The tradition of leap year proposals
The whole process of a proposal has a lot to answer for over the centuries. Men have traditionally been faced with the big three questions even after finding The One: ‘When is the right time?‘, ‘will they say yes?‘ and ‘what’s the best way to do it?‘.
But St Patrick mixed things in the 5th Century when he lent a sympathetic ear to women in Ireland. St. Brigid of Kildare had complained about how long women had to wait before they could tie the knot. Rumour has it that in response St Patrick issued a decree granting women the authority to facilitate their own engagement by proposing to men. But he imposed a pretty serious restriction: Women could only propose to men on the 29th of February, during a leap year.
This is just one theory about the origins of leap year proposals, but fast forward to 2016 and the concept itself is looking pretty ridiculous. Happily, marriage is no longer just between man and woman, and a woman popping the question is no longer such a radical act. And yet 2016 is a leap year and the debate still rears its head amongst straight women this time of year: ‘would you ever propose to your man?‘. So you know what? We’re going to join in that conversation too.
You don’t have to propose today, or tomorrow or next week, but just celebrate the fact that you can now propose to whoever you love and enjoy musing with us on some amazing favourite potential proposals spots!
Open up a new chapter
Where better to start your own story than somewhere magic! Housed within an old Victorian railway station, Barter Books in Alnwick is one of the largest second hand book stores in the UK and it speaks volumes in terms of passion, enchantment and longevity.
This unique labyrinth houses all kinds of books including first editions and special copies. With roaring fires, a delightful tea shop and sofas and tables located around almost every corner, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like. There’s also so many incredible nooks and crannies that chances are, you’ll end up with an alcove all to yourself when you decide to pop the question.
Lose yourself to find what you want
Why not stage the ultimate treasure hunt at Hampton Court Maze, if you and the lucky partner can manage to find each at the centre of arguably the world’s most famous maze, deciding on the wedding seating plan will be a doddle!
Take a breath of fresh air
Spring is coming which means longer, warmer nights and the potential of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre as a romantic and unforgettable hotspot, with a captivating view. After all, you can’t go far wrong with a site that’s channeled so much Shakespeare! Karma is most definitely with you here.
The wow factor
You’ve got the location, the ring and the motivation! Now all you need is the killer confidence to bring it home. Check out the People Tree team’s ultimate shortlist of mojo-fuelled outfits to help you pull this off in style.
The Romola Dress
The Romola Dress ticks all the boxes for irresistible chic. Formal enough to be remembered as ‘the dress’ but dainty enough to wear under a denim jacket with sandals on a spring day in the park, the flattering cut of this dress makes it a confidence booster whatever your plan of action.
The Stella Dress
Planning something a more formal? A little black dress is a classic for a reason and the Stella Dress cuts such a sharp finish, you’ll have the whole room next in line. This siren of a dress allows you to do the talking but would be pretty impossible to say no to.
Ripley Pencil Skirt
Dresses not your thing? The Ripley Pencil Skirt makes its own intentions clear. Bold, bright and unmistakably stunning, told you this would suit you!
Enid Slim Fit Trousers
The snug complimentary shape of the Enid Slim Fit Trousers makes them a no-brainer with anything, anywhere, anytime of year. Paired with a pretty white cami in Summer, a delicate sheer blouse in Spring or a cashmere jumper in Winter, you’ve got this.
As far as traditions go, leap year proposals seem to encourage some of the most memorable and liveliest celebrations of a commitment otherwise frequently left down to the man. But if women today aren’t held back in their careers by tradition and old gender stereotypes, why on earth would we let stereotypes get in the way of love?
If you’re lucky enough to be with someone worth getting down on one knee for, ask yourself this … if Mhairi Black, a 20 year old female MP, can bring the House of Commons to a resounding applause with her first ever speech, what’s stopping you from asking one tiny, teeny question? Leap year or no leap year.