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Published on 10th February '24

woman proposing to man at Four Seasons

2024 is a leap year. What is a leap year? And when is a leap year? A leap year occures once every 4 years when an extra date - 29th February is added to the calendar.

In terms of proposals what is unique on leap year is that a woman can propose to a man on the leap year date, 29th February. 

So where does this leap year proposal tradition come from, and should you pop the question on Leap Day 2024? 

Where did the Leap Year Proposal tradition come from?

The reason why a woman can propose to a man on leap year according to the tradition, which can be dated back to the 5th century, is to do with a legend that St Bridget, an irish nun, who raised concerns with St Patrick that women were waiting too long for a man to propose to them. She made a deal with St Patrick, and agreed that on this one day in February every four years, it was acceptable for women to propose to a man. Women were expected to wear either breeches or a scarlet petticoat when they popped the question.

Some Leap Year traditions can also be traced back to 1288, where the Scots passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to a man in a leap year. The law also stated that any man who declined a proposal on this day would have to pay a fine. The fine to be paid if a man declined could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.

In some European countries, if a man rejected his girlfriends proposal he would have to buy her twelve pairs of gloves, thought to be worn to hide the shame of being rejected.

Piccadilly Circus proposal woman to man

Can a woman only propose to a man on a leap year?

Of course things have changed a lot since the 5th century, so no you don't have to wait until a leap year! If you believe in the tradition then that's great and your day to propose is 29th February, but in 2024 a woman can propose to a man any time of year.

If you're ready to pop the question then do it, don't feel like you have to wait for him! We would LOVE to see a lot more women pop the question all year round. 

Woman engagement to man on Tower Bridge

How to propose to a man on a Leap Year

If you are thinking of proposing on a Leap Year, then these are our best proposal tips to propose on a leap year or anytime, and to any gender -

1) Make it personal, fun and about the two of you. Personal touches can take a proposal to the next level. Whether that's the location you choose, the decorations, or the whole idea itself. Make sure that your proposal has personal touches that show your partner how much you mean to them - that is what will make your proposal unique! 

2) Don't propose in public if you're private. 95% of proposals that we do are private proposals, and we find that most couples prefer this. There's nothing worse than crowds of people around you staring and taking photos, as you drop down on one knee if you're a very private person. If you want to propose at a busy landmark but don't want crowds then why not look into more private options? For example, did you know that you can propose above Tower Bridge, or hire a private pod on the London Eye? Of course some couples truly love a public proposal in which case the crowd can lift your happiness higher with their cheers.

Woman proposing to man in London for leap year

3) Capture the moment. Having your proposal captured to share for your entire life is so important, and you may regret it if you don't. If you have the budget then get yourself a professional photographer and/or videographer. Any photographer that we supply will have endless experience in proposals so you know that they'll know get the best angles and photos for you without you needing to worry.

4) Work out if you want to do it yourself. There's nothing wrong with asking for a helping hand. We are expert proposal planners, who have planned over 5,000 proposals, and know all of the best locations, the best suppliers and exactly how to make the proposal run smoothly for you. It can be very time consuming to find and plan all of this yourself. We make sure all of our proposals are about you and your partner. 

Leap year proposal in Piccadilly Circus

Leap Year Marriage Proposal

Last leap year we planned a very special leap day proposal in partnership with LG. Kirsten dropped down on one knee and popped the question to David, in the middle of Piccadilly Circus on the big screen. 

Let us plan your Leap Year Proposal

engagement ring for men

We've planned over 5,000 marriage proposals, and have a 100% YES rate! We're based at the Shard, London, and have planned proposals from Paris to Barbados to Hong Kong and everywhere in between.

If you have been inspired to propose on a Leap Day, contact The Proposers to speak with one of our expert proposal planners.


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