The ultimate guide to college proposals

Grab yourself a spouse before they run out


You navigated freshers’ week, survived until week five (hooray) and have your eyes set on the perfect college spouse to see you through. Now only one obstacle stands between you and wedded bliss: the college marriage proposal. Trust us, you don’t wanna fuck this one up and become a story to be told to incoming freshers.

First up: Finding the ring

As everyone knows, there is one ring to rule them all. Once you find your intended betrothed’s ‘precious’, how could they say no? Possibilities range from the edible, ideally of the haribo variety, to the inane, which look like they belong in a Christmas cracker.

Unlike in real life, don’t go for something timeless – remember that all college marriages end in both parties finding real other partners. Instead, embrace the whimsical or even the kinky (cock ring, anyone?). College marriage is at root a ridiculous institution and should be commemorated as such.

How you present the ring is another question altogether: from hiding it in a Chelsea bun at the end of a treasure hunt across Cambridge to hiding it inside a balloon you leave in their room.

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Appreciate the artistry

Wording – “will you marry me?” is so over.

Though you may have only known your intended fiancée for a matter of weeks, this speech has to be one of the most powerful and emotional pleas you will ever make. Forget the rhetorical marathon that is your weekly supervision, and focus all your efforts on the more pressing matters at hand. The classic ‘will you make me the happiest person on earth’ and all other variations are just boring. Make it personal, make it funny, don’t make it overtly sexual, and make it impossible for them to say no.

If all else fails, do it when you’re both drunk and give your intended an embarrassing memory that will last forever (unlike your love). Propose to your college sister if you have to.

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“But who gets New Court in the divorce?”

Location – bridge of sighs to Sainsbury’s self checkout

Even if you spend hours crafting the perfect heartwarming declaration of platonic love, it will not survive the Bermuda triangle of romance that is the Life smoking area. Remember: location, location, location (no idea what it means but it’s week five so anything that clichéd sounds like good advice).

Bridge of sighs, Mathematical bridge, Clare bridge – fuck it, any bridge on the Cam – is classic Cambridge and very romantic. There’s something here about bridging the gap between your hearts, but we’re too tired/cynical/bitter/self-aware/live in a post-irony world to come up with it.

A slightly less obvious, water-based alternative is to just do it on a punt, so long as neither one of you falls in – the dirty water of the Cam will ruin any semi-romantic encounter and also probably kill you.

If you’re an exhibitionist and want the proposal to be forever preserved in a thousand tourist snapshots, you could always do it on King’s Parade. Doing it in a restaurant could also work if people think it’s a real proposal and so give you free stuff – one lucky college couple were given champagne in Yo Sushi (and no, we didn’t know that they served champagne either).

If you’re scared of rejection, you could always pick a large, instagram-worthy green space where you can be at one with nature once your heart has been broken.

Definitely not staged for the purposes of this article

Definitely not staged for the purposes of this article

It didn’t happen unless it goes big on social media, right? We’re talking instagram, facebook, twitter, snapchat story or whatever new platform the kids are using these days. You need a cute, aesthetically pleasing photo where you both slay, and a caption to go with it.

Options range from the adorable and loved-up to the edgy and ironic. Just pick whatever feels right, and make sure you get at least fifty likes (you don’t want that shit to flop – unlike real marriage, you only get to do this once.

It goes without saying that all of the above is only a recipe for perfect matrimonial happiness if you pick the right person.