14/08/2014 12:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

What It's Like... To Propose To Your Boyfriend

Lucy Ella, 25, met her husband Sam when they were both students at the University of Sussex. She proposed to him in 2011 and the couple were married in 2013. Here, the University of Surrey PHD student shares with us how she did it, why she did it and what it felt like to be the one to pop the question...

"When I proposed, Sam and I had been together for three years and I really wanted to make a grand gesture. We're not religious, but I thought it would be fun to get married and lovely to make that commitment to each other.

Lucy Ella proposals weddings

"I was really nervous on the day and for some reason before hand I hadn't expected to be. I'd bought Sam an engagement ring, we were on the beach in Brighton and now I just had to wait for the right moment. Knowing the right moment is actually really hard!

"Then I saw a little bandstand and as we walked towards it, I knew I would propose there. We were standing in the middle of the bandstand and because the floor kind of looked like a compass, Sam said, 'Imagine if something amazing happened right now because we're in the centre of this'. I replied, 'Or maybe I could just ask you to marry me?'

"I had my arms around his neck and my hands were shaking as I got out the ring - he said yes! It was very emotional, but in the sense that we were both so elated by the whole situation. It felt so exciting and was really empowering to propose to the man I loved. I was doing something unconventional - it wasn't a leap year, I just wanted to.

Lucy Ella; Proposals; Weddings

"I'm a feminist, so I basically believe I can do anything a man can - I suppose it never occurred to me to wait for a man to propose to me.

"Sam said afterwards he had no idea I'd planned to propose, but did say it was definitely the type of thing he could see me doing. When we were on holiday in Greece a couple of years later he proposed back to me with an engagement ring, so it was completely equal. We were married in East Sussex in a gorgeous place called Swallows Ost in September 2013 and it was a really beautiful day.

"To anyone else who wants to propose to their boyfriend, I would say you don't have to wait for them to ask you. If you think it's right then you can do it too and it will be just as special.

"You don't necessarily need to buy them a ring but I think it's nice. Sam's engagement ring is now his wedding band and he still says even now he can't stop looking at it - I'm the same with mine."

JUST ENGAGED? These rings are completely beautiful...