Archive for December, 2007

Popping the Question on New Year’s Eve

  Date Thursday, December 27th, 2007

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular times of the year to “pop the question.”   At Ardenwood Affairs, a popular Fremont, Calif. wedding venue, Julie Ferrantino collects suggestions from brides and grooms about the best and worst wedding proposals.  Here’s her top ten suggestions for creating a memorable proposal.

1.    Make it romantic.
Several grooms surveyed by Ardenwood Affairs said they transformed their home into a romantic love nest with hundreds of candles, dozens of red roses, rose-petals and champagne. Creating a special environment and setting the mood helps to heighten the anticipation of the actual question. Putting in the effort to make sure everything is just right will definitely pay off.

2.    Surprise her with a proposal when she’s least expecting it.
Because most couples discuss getting married before the actual proposal, it’s difficult for a groom to generate surprise. For one couple, the surprise came as part of a routine, turned romantic.  Each weekend, they took time to hike. After a long climb, they would usually stop and enjoy lunch. The weekend of the proposal wasn’t any different, except when they sat down for lunch; he got down on one knee and proposed. Because he incorporated it into something they already did, she never saw it coming. Needless to say, they look back on that as their best hike ever.

3.    Involve family members.
Involving the family in a proposal often says miles about your commitment to marriage.  One bride said that during an Independence Day family vacation at Lake Tahoe, while basking on the beach, her groom got down on one knee in front of the entire family to propose. There wasn’t a dry eye on the beach!

4.    Personalize the proposal.
Proposing on a symbolic day or in a location with sentimental significance is quite common. One groom said held off proposing for months until their two-year anniversary. He said his bride knew he had a special dinner planned, but had no idea he was going to ask her to marry him. The day they met therefore remains doubly special in their hearts.

5.    Don’t be afraid to be extravagant.
One groom went so far as to hire a plane and wrote his message in the sky, “Will you marry me?” at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Going over the top will no doubt make the bride-to-be feel special. But because the day will always be special, tip number six is issued as a word of caution…

6.    Keep it simple.
The more extravagant a proposal, the greater the chance something can go wrong. Limit the components of the proposal to not more than three.  “The less to go wrong, the more confident you’ll be,” Ms. Ferrantino advises.

7.    Utilize the outdoors.
Beautiful scenery can be naturally romantic, so proposing outdoors reduces the need to intensify the atmosphere.  Almost 90% of the couples surveyed by Ardenwood Affairs had some element of the outdoors in their proposal. Whether you pop the question at a significant landmark, a favorite beach or park, or while sightseeing on a vacation, doing it outdoors is a surefire way to make it special.

8.    It’s OK to ask for help
A schoolteacher was stuck on exactly what to say, so he called together friends who were writers and other teachers. They helped him refine his thoughts and, more importantly, gave him the confidence to say them aloud. You can also use friends or family to help set the romantic situation. It’s difficult to arrange a surprise picnic on your own, but by enlisting helpers you can surprise her, totally. Imagine walking through the park and coming across a picnic basket, chilled champagne and a blanket, your friends having disappeared just minutes before you arrive.

9.    Don’t let the occasion override the circumstances.
Even a foolproof proposal can be derailed by something beyond your control. In one case, the groom arranged to propose in front of the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Paris, but he didn’t count on his fiancee being so ill with the flu that she still can’t remember agreeing to his proposal. Most obstacles can be overcome, but when they’re insurmountable, reschedule.  This is a fine line for grooms, Ms. Ferrantino advises, as nerves often cause them to look for any excuse to put off the proposal.

10.    Be spontaneous.
If the moment feels right, then propose!  One of Ardenwood Affairs’ surveyed grooms had planned an elaborate proposal to occur at Disneyworld towards the end of a vacation but on the first day of the trip, he felt inspired.  Further, he worried that she would find the ring before he proposed, so he found an attractive fountain and popped the question. She accepted while a nearby crowd cheered. They were thus able to spend the entire vacation living the moment as fiancés and planning the perfect wedding.

More wedding planning tips are found by calling (925) 426-3055 or online at