1+2 I proposed on Christmas day, at her parents' place. This was the main reason to inform her parents and get their blessing at the same time. The latter was never in doubt, but I believe they appreciated being involved in the plans and schemes
#1. We went up to her parents' house in Vermont this weekend. I'd previously told her I had one other Christmas gift for her, but it wouldn't come in time, then immediately had the "oh shit, I've said too much" lock-up. So she probably knew it was coming at some point, but not this soon. (I'd ordered the ring (etsy.com) off of Etsy on Christmas Eve after confirming the size with her mother, and the ring came in the mail a week later.) Anyway, we got up to the house Friday night, and after everyone finished unpacking and settling in, her parents went to bed, leaving just the two of us. She asked me about that last Christmas gift. My response: "Well, funny you should ask..." followed by me getting on one knee and pulling the ring out of my pocket. (Technically, I didn't ASK her to marry me, and when I asked "was that a yes?" to her surprise, she said "OF COURSE!", so she didn't TECHNICALLY say "yes". But we took care of those semantics the next day.) The rest of the weekend was spent wallowing in her family and a lot of warm feelings.
#2: Yeah, a few months ago at an engagement party for her cousin. There was no doubt, but everyone appreciated the formality.
You wanted the best, you got... the Out of Context Quote of the Week.
"£8.70 for a measly 16 out of your average fag machine." (dMr)
maybe jewelry? you don't ALWAYS have to go all out with something incredibly expensive. but maybe a silver bracelet or necklace with a pendant. those usually aren't that expensive. And women love jewelry. it's a fact.