Even ditzy Phoebe from Friends can run down the checklist of what makes a typical marriage proposal (Season 10, Episode 5 for those of you with Netflix – they added the full series on January 1st!). But proposing on the Jumbotron, at a candlelit restaurant, or with a box of chocolates and bouquet of roses is so 2014. Lavalier revamps three proposal clichés so you can get it right.
The Dinner Proposal
The Expected: You take her out for dinner at a fancy restaurant. When her wine/meal/dessert arrives, SURPRISE! The ring is in her wine glass, or strategically placed on the plate, or the proposal is written in chocolate syrup around the dessert. We all have at least one Facebook friend who has posted pics of this ‘surprise engagement.’
The Unexpected: There’s nothing wrong with a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day. We’re all for it! Six million proposals were expected for Valentine’s Day in 2014, and 23% of men said that going out to dinner is the best setting for a proposal. But if you’re picking the nicest restaurant in town for your big moment, odds are at least one other man has the same idea. Imagine watching two other guys propose to their girlfriends while you and your future fiancée are noshing on appetizers. Suddenly your proposal doesn’t seem so special, right?
You don’t have to forego the delicious dinner. Instead, seek out a place that offers a private chef’s table. In most cases, you’ll be escorted to the kitchen, where the head chef will prepare and serve a special meal just for the two of you. It’s a fun, unique experience, and if anyone pops the question in the main dining room, it won’t steal your thunder!
The Wrong Way…No marriage proposal should involve tears (unless they’re happy tears, of course). So don’t spend the day acting like you’ve forgotten about Valentine’s Day just so you can surprise her. And definitely don’t pretend you cheated on her! It sounds unbelievable, but this restaurant proposal (orchestrated by the never-relevant Howie Mandel) involves accusations of infidelity – something that should be left out of any proposal. As the stunned prospective fiancée looks on, an actress storms up to the man and throws a drink in his face. It doesn’t matter how awesome your subsequent proposal is; the whole experience should be enjoyable. She should be happy before and after you pop the question.
Will You Marry Us?
The Expected: You buy the cutest puppy or kitten you can find and tie a ring onto his collar. When your spouse-to-be sees the new pet, you hold him up to show off the ring and say (in a sticky sweet voice), “Will you marry us?” Who could say no to a kitty or puppy?
The Unexpected: Is your significant other on board with buying a pet? If you’re not sure, do not use your proposal as an excuse to get an animal. The cuteness of the moment might have faded by the time your furry son or daughter is eating his twelfth shoe. Instead of buying a new pet (which is a big decision and one you should make together), this proposal works best for people who already have cats or dogs.
There are so many options here, and you can combine them with other romantic accoutrements, like a special home-cooked dinner or several bouquets of flowers. Dress your pet up in a cute outfit with a sign that says “Will you marry my dad?” Teach your pup to balance the ring box on his nose and surprise her with his new ‘trick,’ or hide a little bacon in the bottom of the box and send your dog on a scavenger hunt. The Internet abounds with suggestions on ways to incorporate that third member of the family into your proposal.
The Wrong Way: Unless your significant other is obsessed with a certain kind of animal, we recommend sticking with dogs and cats. Although many zoos offer a variety of engagement experiences, this has the potential to go seriously wrong, and beluga whales don’t exactly scream romance. Besides, you want her eyes on you when you pop the question, not on the “nine African penguins crowding around you” – even if your proposal package comes with your own personal penguin artwork.
This Is Where We Met
The Expected: You re-create your first date (sans the awkward conversation, we hope) or take her to the first place you met. This is probably one of the least surprising ways to propose, especially if you haven’t been back there in a while.
The Unexpected: Instead of replicating happy memories, create new ones! Take her to a few different places around town where you could see yourself getting married. Get a drink at an upscale hotel bar. Tour a museum or a botanical garden. You could even check out an outdoor venue or two as long as you dress for the weather. At the last location, casually say, “So, which of these places do you think might make the best wedding venue for us?” and pop the question. Even if you don’t get married at any of those places, she’ll be surprised and it will be a great story!
The Wrong Way: Unfortunately, we don’t all meet our future significant others in romantic locations. If you and your better half first crossed paths at, say, a fast food restaurant or a crowded bar, you’ll want to skip this kind of proposal. Case in point: this guy, who gets totally rejected during a very corny, very off-key food court proposal. What did he expect with lines like “I love the way you curl up next to me on the couch and you purr like a little kitten”?
Proposing is stressful, and there’s a lot of pressure to plan the perfect proposal, particularly on Valentine’s Day! You’re worried about what you’ll say, where you’ll do it, and of course, whether or not she’ll say yes. Lavalier can’t help you avoid public humiliation, but with jewelry insurance, you don’t have to worry about your ring getting lost, stolen, or damaged (especially if you’re involving animals in your proposal!). And you can easily add the gift recipient of that beautiful ring to your policy. At least that’s one worry you can check off your list!