Ladies… Thinking of a Leap Year Wedding Proposal?

Leap year

Leap year wedding proposal

You may or may not know that 2016 is a leap year. If you do, then you may or may not know about the legend of St Patrick and why he brought about this somewhat random Irish tradition of a Leap Year Wedding Proposal. The more people I speak to about the topic, the more it becomes apparent that very little is known about how this tradition came about. I decided to dig a little deeper and find out why it was decided that women could propose to men on Leap Day, during the course of a Leap Year. The truth is quite surprising.

It All Began With St Patrick

 St Patrick

St Patrick

Now I’m not going to go into the science of how they calculate a leap year (mainly because it’s too complicated for me to understand), rather how the tradition of women proposing to men on Leap Day came about. After reading various versions of the story, it seems that the tradition began in 5th century Ireland when Saint Patrick and St Brigid struck an accord. They decided that to balance the traditional roles of men and women in society, women would be able to propose to men on Leap Day (February 29th). This would apparently reflect the way the Leap Year balances our calendar.

A Fine for Those Who Said No

This is where it gets a bit interesting. There are many variations of the consequences facing the man if he was to decline the proposal. These fines and forfeits were introduced:

  • The man must buy the lady 12 pairs of gloves (to hide the embarrassment of not bearing a ring).
  • The man must buy a silk dress for the lady.
  • The man should pay the lady £1
  • The man should pay the lady a kiss

It sounds to me like the women had a great deal and if they asked enough people, by the end of the day they would have earned themselves a nice little sum, not to mention a new wardrobe (Although on second thoughts, they may end up stuck in an engagement with a stranger).

Leap Year Wedding Proposal – TLH Staff Opinions?

Feeling a tad confused and wondering how people felt about this quirky Irish tradition, I decided to see what the staff here at TLH Leisure Resort thought about women proposing to their partners. It’s fair to say there were mixed opinions:

Weddings at TLH Leisure Resort

We’ve had many happy couples tying the knot here at TLH and see couples returning to celebrate their anniversaries with us which is great! In order to celebrate Leap Year wedding proposals, wedding co-ordinator Joss Smith ( is offering a complimentary Champagne Breakfast to any bride-to-be who proposes to their partners this Leap Year and marries at TLH during the Summer of 2017. We have a great wedding package for upt to 50 guests for just £2017. We’d love to hear if you’ve proposed and how you did it so get in touch and share your story with us.

Anything Goes

After learning about Leap Year wedding proposals and how they came to be, I have no doubt that in today’s diverse society, women shouldn’t have to wait for a Leap Day or year to propose, if they feel the time is right for them. It definitely seems like anything goes!

From a man’s point of view, I feel that we only have a few occasions where we can really shine and be praised by our ladies – a wedding proposal being one of these! I certainly felt like I earned a few brownie points with my wedding proposal and if my now fiancée had proposed to me, I would have felt like I’d missed a great opportunity to be praised for my thoughtfulness (An occasion all too rare for me and probably lots of other men out there!).

Wedding proposal

My proposal on the first day in our first house together.

What are your thoughts? Ladies, would you propose? Guys, how would you feel about being proposed to? Comment below to join the debate.

TLH Wedding package for 2017

Wedding packages

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