Call Us Anytime

0203 287 0107

Mail Us



Why do we get down on one knee when we propose?

Weddings and proposals: Filled with all kinds of weird etiquette and traditions we willingly partake in without knowing why.

Why do we get down on one knee when we propose?

Turns out it’s actually quite romantic – in a strange, antiquated gender roles kind of way. It’s all about the man momentarily showing that he’s willing to submit to his future wife’s wants and needs.

Young man proposing to girlfriend on beach, Torrey Pines, San Diego, California, USA

No one knows exactly how the getting down on one knee thing got started. But what we do know is that there are four historical factors that come into this long-standing tradition.


Think about another time when you kneel. Yep, people also tend to do it when they pray. It’s a sign of respect and submitting to a higher power.

And so, kneeling when proposing is a similar act – offering respect and giving your life to your loved one and whichever spiritual being you believe in. After all, marriage is still very much connected with religion. So it makes sense.

Man proposing to woman

Battle traditions

You also kneel to surrender, or to beg mercy. Bit weird then, that proposing marriage uses the same act. But there you go.

man proposing to girlfiend outdoors


And finally, kneeling down on one knee is typically done when you’re being knighted. Again, it’s a sign of the ultimate respect.



Bending down on one knee with the ring thrust upwards allows for the perfect height for your beloved to behold its sparkly beauty.

Close up of mans hand holding open box with engagement ring

What does getting down on one knee mean?

Today, kneeling has connotations of complete submission, giving yourself to the mercy of the other person who has the power to do whatever the heck they like. So when we propose in this way, we’re showing that we truly trust our partner, and that we’re completely committed to intertwining our life with theirs.

It’s also a respectful thing, which is nice, and shows that we’re willing to break down our walls (as kneeling is placing yourself in a vulnerable position with all power to the person standing) and be truly intimate. Aww.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2016 Emma Bovington