My Grandmother Louise knew she’d found a keeper; smart, funny, sincere and loyal, my Grandfather John was everything she felt she’d ever need in a husband. So after accidentally swallowing a small but lovely diamond ring he’d buried deep in a piece of his Mom’s cherry pie, she decided she could forgive the man for his short-sighted and ill-timed foray into proposal-mania.
“I just knew he was the one for me, so it didn’t matter”, she said, up until her death at 89 many years ago.
Nowadays, such an action could be considered pedestrian, even passé by many young couples waiting to take that first step into matrimony. Certainly, they did nothing for the digestive tract, and at worst, presented a choking hazard and perhaps a trip to the emergency room for the prospective brides.
“These wedding proposals include choreographed dancing, movie theater trailers, adorable little puppets and even graffiti street art,” said Jamie Munroe, editor at Trendsetter.com. “Some of these wedding proposals are extremely moving, and it’s hard not to tear up at the amount of effort and creativity shown by these love-struck individuals.”
Creative wedding proposals have become a cottage industry unto themselves. Seemingly overnight, companies have formed that are dedicated solely to the exercise of aiding men (and quite a few women too, nowadays) in asking for their partner’s hand in marriage. And it’s not just the men who feel the need to go create a noteworthy story of their engagement. Many women have begun to expect lavish, dramatic proposals that offer a unique alternative to the bended-knee proposition of marriage many of us heard stories of as children.
With every passing year, men scramble to outdo one another by trying increasingly more elaborate means of popping the question. In February of 2013, motorcyclist Hector “Tank” Martinez, aided by over 100 of his closest biker friends, staged an elaborate proposal on the eastbound portion of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway in West Covina. The bikers stopped traffic for two to five minutes, doing donuts and wheelies across the interstate as pink smoke plumed from Hector’s bike while he dropped to one knee and proposed to Paige Hernandez who, amid the noise, confusion and traffic, happily accepted his brazen, if ill-timed proposal.
From extreme flash mob, skywriting and Twitter proposals to gold-plated letter concealing lockets with tiny, printed messages that say “marry me” inside, the initial steps to get to the altar have become as intricate, detailed and unique as the wedding itself. Gone are the days when a young man would quietly slip the musician at a favorite restaurant an extra $20 for a serenade along with his proposal. With trends being what they are now, you’re more likely to find the ring presented on a dessert cart, as an offering amongst the Tiramisu, chocolate cake, and assorted cheesecakes, with the entire restaurant in on the caper.
The new millennium has wrought a plethora of fascinating, daring and some downright dangerous and foolhardy attempts to seal the deal when it comes to a couple’s love. According to trendhunter.com, a man in China proposed to his beloved on that country’s Valentine’s Day accompanied by 48 people dressed as dancing carrots. Speaking into a microphone to his intended, the man waxed poetic on the happiness he’d shared with her over the past 6 months and courageously popped the question, as the crowd chanted “Marry Him, Marry Him.” Considering the three weeks it took to coordinate the stunt, including choreographing the human props dressed as vegetables, and at a cost of $15,000, it’s fortunate for our Far East friend that his proposal was accepted.
Women, too, are becoming more proactive and have found exciting and fun ways to nudge their men toward the altar. One young lady was ready to settle down with her boyfriend, a Nintendo fan, and designed an adorable box with a Mario theme and tiny slips of paper, one which said “Be My Player 2?” above two slips of paper, which said “Player One – Ready” with a woman’s engagement ring, and “Player Two – Press Start” with a man’s engagement ring.
In New Hampshire, a young man named Sid Carter staged what he’s dubbed “The Proposal,” using custom-made Muppets from New York’s FAO Schwartz’s Muppet Whatnot Workshop. The custom-made Muppets were utilized in a self-produced movie trailer he was given special permission to play at the end of actual movie trailers. Using the Muppets to represent him and Sara, Sid’s trailer portrayed the two, their burgeoning attraction and eventually blossoming romance with a wonderful love song playing in the background. Truly a sweet and two-hanky video to watch, Sid’s trailer shows us the touching and amazing lengths people will go to, to keep those we wish to spend eternity with in our lives.
Not particularly creative or handy? Don’t despair. There’s a unique proposal for every personality. For the intellectual couple, you can hollow out a copy of one of her favorite novels to hide your precious gem offering, write a short story with you and she as the subject, then leave it around casually for her to find. Or create a word search or crossword puzzle with the words “Will you marry me” hidden and pretend to need assistance in solving it.
No matter how intricate, expensive or simple the proposal, keep in mind that it is but one step on the road to the oneness that is marriage and commitment. While it may be amusing and exciting to recall the moment of engagement, the important, overriding emotion and memory should recollect the love and feelings of closeness that special proposal brought.