Friday, August 31, 2012

Public and Private Proposals - Go Big or Go Home?

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The other day, at the end of the news, they were discussing the rise and rise of public marriage proposals, and not just public, but big, theatrical, and expensive. Think Howie Mandel flash mobs, movie cinemas, public parks and gardens, full marching bands, complete military parades, helicopters with flying announcements, you name it. Talk about going BIG!

The most expensive the commentators said, cost the guy $10,000, minus the ring. And of course they closed with a clip from the video of a theater proposal that went viral on Youtube. When I tried to find it for this post, I discovered that a second one has been made. Meanwhile, a small subset of youtube seems dedicated to public proposal, each one trying to get the biggest awwws, or provoke the most envy.

When we discussed it, a male friend said he didn't know whether to pity the men who may be pressured to do more than whatever their would-be fiancees have ever seen on the interwebs, or to pity the women who may be disappointed if they buy that coolaid and then their fiances decide to go the quiet route. It is definitely a trend that makes me say "whew, glad I already have that over with" :)

This morning, I read of Diane Odiaka, a Nigerian ex-beauty pageant contestant, whose fiance proposed at the Silverbird Galleria Cinema and the questions came again to me.

Do people prefer a big, public proposal or a small, private one?

Who are those pushing this trend for big, men or women?

Say cost is not a factor, which would you prefer?

What is your definition of private or small? Just the two of you at home? Two of you and one or two witnesses in the park? 10 friends or 50 friends and family at a party?

How big is big enough, or too big? A restaurant or cinema full of strangers, 1000 seater stadium, or a TV broadcast to millions of viewers?


  1. All just for this element of surprise? In this recession? $10,000 minus the ring is just too much...well provided I'm the lady in question.
    Before Proposal:

    Woman: Honey, surpriiise!!!!! *feeds him Chinese rice.*
    Man: Honey, surpriiise!!! *dangles red dress he bought for her*

    Definitely women will want bigger surprises for the proposal. So if a TV broadcasts a proposal to millions of viewers what's left in the surprise bank? Men we like to record your feats, better watch out!

    I recommend that couples stop giving each other unnecessary surprises before proposals so they don't run out of surprises for the big day or surprise themselves with hunger. Only give surprises you can afford! Keep the surprises for bedroom action.

  2. In my opinion the most important part of the proposal is the engagement ring itself. You can spend money doing something in the movie theater and all (that might actually be cute since I love movies) but that ring better be a BEAUTY. Afterall, its the ring I'll be carrying around forever not the proposal planning.

  3. What matters to me is that you put some thought into the whole thing. Waking up and just shoving the ring at my face will be a tad dissappointing.

  4. I agreeing with anonymous here :-)
    I want to be surprised. dont want t oknow when, dont want to know whether you talked with my fam (daddy dearest) or anything...

    Im big on planning (as my blog shows) so It wouldbe really special to see my future beaux put a little planning effort into it. As for size, Not movie theatre big, not 100's of strangers big Not entire family and friends big either...lets keep it under 10...yes..10 is a golden

    I dont like the idea of a very public proposal because everyone gets to see... sharing the story several times is part of the excitement and that is spoiled when every tom & harry just has to youtube or google my name.

    Who am I kidding though... anything could happen. lol

  5. I prefer quiet. Just the two of us. No sirens blarring, blah, blah, blah:-) It's the fact that he asked that matters the most.


    Lol no not really just kidding.

    Like someone already said in the comments the two most important things (for me at least) are 1) the element of surprise and 2) planning

    Cos even if we've talked about a future together et. al. I still want to have that OMG moment when you propose

    And if we've talked about a future together, then definitely pulling out a ring when it's just you and I is definitely out of the question. Nothing special about that biko

    I want the less than 10 with only family and close friends around. (I mean.. if it's bigger I no go reject am o).

    I like the concept of "everyone else was in on it except you"

  7. I'd like a quiet proposal, just the two of us. I would hate it - HATE IT - if it was in a public place. I think it's a private, intimate thing. I wouldn't want to share that moment with strangers, or anyone else, really.

    Or maybe I'm just strange.

    I'd like to be surprised, sha. And for him to put some thought into it.

  8. My dream is that my future husband will pull out all the stops, the bigger and more public the better. All these videos and stories about others engagement make the dream stronger. God please!

  9. small and private. Just the two of us. I do not like public grrrrrrr

  10. I don't know that i really have a preference, so long as the proposal is meaningful.

    I think its men who push the trend, afterall they are the ones doing the proposing, yeah? Im sure they go big because they assume that's what all women want. Same thing with putting off getting engaged because you're saving up for some humongous ring.

    I couldn't even begin to define small vs big lol. People have been constantly raising the bar on what a "big" proposal is that even an audience of 100 might seem small. I think its more about the circumstances. Like my all-time fav proposal was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge production but it was also very private and intimate because of how it was done.

  11. Go big :) Future beaux must put some thought and effort into the proposal.

  12. Private all the way for me...I love the feel of private proposals.

  13. I honestly do not understand the need for a proposal AT ALL. When you start dating someone, if that is not a proposal, why are you wasting time?

    I mean seriously, during the proposal what are you expecting your partner to say, NO? then what's the point of asking. Yes? Are you kidding me? Why the unnecessary feigning of surprise. If you are not sure, why not mend your relationship first before wedding plans!

    Then public ones? they make me want to throw up, for their sake, I hope such people have a marriage that lasts till eternity!

  14. All i believe in is being comfortable with my partner.Then,i know it won't matter whether i do a public proposal or a private one.

    Before a man decides he wants to propose to a woman,he's seen a future with her,i think that's the best surprise of all because some people stay together 5-10years and end up not proposing or being proposed to.

  15. I'm with Lady NGO on this one, i'm indifferent as long as the proposal is meaningful.

  16. I would go for a private one. Maybe with one or two guests, it just makes it special. :D

  17. as long as it is creative and the bling is nice..and i want to spend the rest of my life with the man

  18. I'll prefer a private proposal, just the two of us.
    I wont mind any 'paparazzi' though, as long as its just us. I'm fine

    I remember a friend's fiance proposed to her on a plane with the help of the captain& the crew members. It got people 'awwwing' and clapping but dear friend felt uneasy through her 45mins flight.She almost wanted to disappear.

    I sure won't want any uneasy feeling alongside my proposal

  19. Being a private person i would very much prefer a private and quiet proposal...if i were a man though i would propose on a clifftop or in the middle of the ocean just the two of us there is no way she is saying no in those two locations lol

    1. and why is her engagement ring on the wrong finger? (top photo)

    2. My dear, Nigerians put their engagement ring on the middle finger. So annoying :) But I guess once the ring is on, it doesn't matter what finger it is on.

    3. @Ayo you α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ right. Engagement and wedding ring is on same finger. I don't really care about BIG proposals sha. J̶̲̥̅̊u̶̲̥̅̊ƨ̣̣̣̇̇̇̇τ̣̣̥ put some tot into it

  20. I think that it depends on the individuals in question. I personally did not and would not prefer a large crowd, but rather an intimate setting with the two of us. After all it is our personal relationship and that part of our lives will not be shared with the world anyway. In terms of the big flashy proposals getting bigger and flashier, you can't help but question the legitimacy of the proposal. Is he doing it for her or for the attention? And what will the relationship really be like? It seems as though once you go big...the expectations will be the same for the wedding, and he may always find himself trying to one up himself. I don't know...just sayin'.

  21. Thank God my partner didn't make a public proposal, I might just have walked out or done something stupid. I get crazily akward when I'm shy and I get shy very easily.

  22. I'm more interested in the words he'll be saying, its got to be thoughtful. Yes I want to be surprised but I don't expect him to shut down 3rd mainland bridge or civic centre... Just make it romantic, I won't mind a friend or two cos I def want a pix of him on his knees!


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