A whopping 70% of all couples get engaged between December & February each year, so I thought it was the perfect time to ask my fellow WPIC Alumni Wedding Planners what their dream proposal was or would be.
It seems that when it comes to engagements, social media would have you believe that it is “Go big or go home.” We have all seen the grand schemes and gestures men are making when popping the question, but is that really what a girl wants? It all depends on the girl 😉 And hopefully her boyfriend or girlfriend knows exactly what she would like.
I think most people would assume that I would want a grand gesture, but my husband got it right when he proposed to me after a quiet dinner at my apartment.
Of his own proposal, ArthurK of Fusion Events: “As a man and wedding planner I agonized for weeks over how I was going to pop the question. I first thought of the most elaborate ways to do it. I realized however that I was doing this for her and not for my career. She is not a flashy person and doing something public or trying to catch it on tape would only embarrass her. So this is my story. I told my then GF that I was taking her to an event industry networking event as a date (to her…boooring!!). As she was getting ready she picked up our cat who then proceeded to take a bite out of her lip. She was upset, bleeding and didn’t want to come with me to what she thought would be a boring industry event. With some coaxing I finally convinced her but she wasn’t all that happy about it. When we left our apartment I had a limo with red carpet leading right up to our front door (she had never been in a limo before). Upon opening the door the driver was there waiting for us and escorted us into the limo. At this point she was kind of freaking out! Once we arrived in the limo I had prepared a slide show of pictures spanning our entire relationship. It was pretty emotional. Once the slideshow concluded I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me in the limo. We then drove around in the limo and shared a bottle of champagne. I had called ahead to this amazing restaurant called Bravi (on Wellington St.). In the back of Bravi they have an antique freight elevator that they use as a private dinning room for 2. I had arranged for them to have a nice floral arrangement and sprinkle rose petals all over the converted elevator. Once you order your meal (and the food was AMAZING!) you close the doors to the elevator and take it up into the middle of the building and eat by candle light in the elevator shaft (not for the claustrophobs out there). We then carved our initials right into the elevator. It was fantastic!”
From Natasha Di Carlo of dress.cake.love Wedding & Event Planning: “I am a sucker for sappy, over the top proposals in the movies and on TV, but in reality I think I would want something more simple. When my parents got engaged they had already booked the hall and had most of the wedding planned…kind of backwards, I know, but they knew what they wanted. They had just finished building their first home together and one night after a long day of painting and decorating my mom went into their ensuite bathroom and on the top of her make-up case was the ring box. When she turned around there was my dad kneeling in the doorway. Simple. Beautiful. It’s the words that are said after the ring that mean the most.”
Maria Badian of Envision Elegance Weddings & Events had it all planned: “Last year in Las Vegas, my boyfriend and I went up the Eiffel Tower replica. I told him that I wanted him to take me to the real one in Paris and propose to me at the top. Fast forward, 1 year and some months later… Christmas Eve 2012. He asked me to marry him at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I said yes and we had champagne at the top from the Champagne Bar. Couldn’t have been more perfect.”
Sherry Vanhoorne of Wedding Passion said: “My dream proposal would be at a Monster Jam event. Both of us are fans of monster trucks. He would ride out on the Northern Nightmare, tell me how he felt and propose. The Jumbotron would show me saying “yes”. I would then be escorted to the field where I’d be given the ring. We would then ride off the field on Northern Nightmare.”
Sheryl Hammond of Bella Chic tells how she was whisked away: “My husband proposed to me less than 24 hours after we first met in Asia in the hotel lobby. Crazy me, I said “yes”. He did not have the ring of course, he wasn’t planning to get engaged on the first day of his trip in Asia. As fast as it was, he bought me the diamond engagement ring that I wanted within a week after he asked me to marry him. 3 weeks later I flew to Toronto from Maui to see my now fiance. He took me to Niagara Falls, but he thought it wasn’t the perfect place to formally ask me to marry him, so he decided to book a dinner at the CN tower a few nights later. He then popped the question “Will you marry me?” This time with the engagement ring. Of course, I said yes again! 3 months after we met, we got married during a sunset on the beach in Maui with my closest 20 friends. A year after we got married, we had another 125 person reception in Niagara Falls for his family & friends. We have now been married for almost 7 years of craziness and full of surprises with boys!”
From Jacquie Swadi of One Sweet Day: “My dream proposal as cheesy as it is, would have been on the big screen at a Jays game. Pre-children, we went to a lot of baseball games. My actual proposal was quiet and perfect. It was 5 years ago this boxing day. We went to Niagara Falls, had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the falls. He had already bought me a blingy watch for Christmas, and after dinner asked if I wanted something to match my bling and then asked if I would marry him and make babies with him. The joke over the years was how long he was taking to ask, so I asked if I could think about it, for say…six years? He said, sure. You have six SECONDS! So, I said well when you put it like that, how can I refuse? We were married 6 months later with 90 guests at the same venue and hall where my brother had his barmitzvah, because it was the last place I had remembered my Grandmother having the time of her life. We were pregnant 7 weeks later, with our first child! We’ve now been together 11 years. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!”
Jennifer McDougall of A Signature Experience shared: “My husband proposed to me by playing into my planning and organization skills. He wanted to do something lower key, but something that would make me laugh as well. I came home from work and he was waiting at the door for me and seemed quite excited/antsy. He’d been off work that day, so when he asked me to look at my ‘To Do’ list on the fridge that I keep (because hey, I’m a Planner for a living, it needs to be on paper…haha), I thought maybe he’d done a bunch of things around the house and was excited to show me. I looked at the list, and he had written a “To Do” on the bottom of the list that said – ‘Propose to my beautiful girlfriend’. I turned around and there he was, down on one knee. It was perfect and very ‘us’.”
Like a Star Wedding‘s Amanda Kueneman told us: My husband took me by complete surprise when he proposed! We went to South Dakota for holidays and we wanted to do the “Harney’s Peak” hike (to the top of the hightest summit between the Rocky Mountains and the Pyreneese Mountains in Europe). We are not big hikers or anything, but to have the opportunity to hike a mountain… we couldn’t resist. So, after a 3.5 mile hike up the mountain we took our time taking in the view. It was quite busy with picnickers and other hikers but once we had a moment alone, he got down on 1 knee with a custom made engagement ring. It was the sweetest moment we shared as a couple. When we made our way back to the gift shop at the bottom of the mountain the clerk asked how I enjoyed the mountain. I told her we got engaged at the top and she told us we just got engaged on top of the world. All the patrons and staff cheered and congratulated us. It was definitely our best holiday ever!
And a last note from the recently engaged Chelsea Morgenstern of Everything But The Ring: “My fiance and I decided to spend this past Christmas in Las Vegas. It was a Sunday-Thursday trip, and both of our first times in Vegas. He had booked us a “special surprise dinner” for Boxing Day, since we were going to shows the two nights before. Too excited to keep it from me anymore, the day before he let the cat out of the bag that we were going to Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris hotel for dinner (we watch Hell’s Kitchen and have always wanted to have beef wellington’s in a restaurant and never have.) I thought maybe he would propose at dinner…. and sort of panicked in an exciting way. We got ready to go for dinner that night and thought we’d check out the famous Bellagio Fountain Show before heading to dinner since we were early. Being Christmas time, the fountains danced to “Sleigh Ride” in their cute and sort of cheesy Christmas way. When the song finished, he turned me around and said “Chelsea…”, and there was just something in the way he said it. He told me he loved me with all his heart and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket and I couldn’t tell you what he said next (he also can’t remember,) but I cried and of course, said yes. I somehow hadn’t been expecting it at that moment.
He got up and hugged me and told me how relieved he was… I asked him if he seriously thought I would say no… and his response?
“No, it wasn’t that, it’s just that I’ve been carrying this ring in my pocket for three days, checking myself every 5 minutes to make sure it’s still there. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about it anymore!”
And I’m more than happy to take it off his hands!
We then went straight to the casino, put some money on red and waited for our reservation. We had the most amazing beef wellingtons and the best meal of our lives (maybe a little biased given the events of the evening) and didn’t tell anyone back home about the engagement for two days until we got home. It was the BEST thing we could have done. We got to enjoy the rest of our holiday (without being interrupted by constant phone calls), no crazy phone bills for calling back home and most importantly? Time to just be with each other and take in this special time in our relationship. We often look at each other and just wish we were back in those two days, when it felt like the world just stopped. I’ll always treasure that!”
What is your dream proposal?
Maria Badian says
Thank you for the article!
I’m not sure if it’s everyone, but it seems all wedding planners want a low-key romantic proposal. Maybe we’ve seen too much hype and we want to bring it back to what it started with: love.