Guys, I'm gonna let you in on a little something: Being proposed to is literally (LITERALLY) the most important day in a woman's life. All of us (every single one of us) spend our whole lives (OUR ENTIRE LIVES) imagining our dream wedding proposal. Will he be on one knee? Or two? Or none? Perhaps he'll stand on his elbows? Will he ask our dad first if he can now own me? Will he a hire an orchestra of 200 strangers to play "Hey Baby" as the Rockettes do a kick-line and the sky lights up with the sparkle of a million fireworks and it's all on a jumbotron and broadcast live on Mars? Am I being videotaped? Will this go viral!?
Or, wait, no. The truth is that most women don't give a shit about that stuff as long as the right person is doing the proposing. If you're the person we decided we want to spend the rest of our lives with, as long as there's a little romance and maybe a splash of booze, it just doesn't fucking matter what you do.
Unfortunately, there are businesses popping up that are convincing clueless guys that they need to spend mega bucks on something that should last ten minutes and be followed by a meeting of the families at Hometown Buffet, or whatever.
Josh Ogle recently proposed to Nataliya Lavryshyn, his girlfriend of several months, on the roof of the New York City's McKittrick Hotel at sunset. He scattered pages of Pablo Neruda's love poems, and when she said yes — a 1932 Hupmobile took them to fancy pants restaurant Daniel, where they had dinner in the exclusive skybox, served by executive chef Daniel Boulud. The next day, they were off to Greece and France for two weeks, where they stayed in private villas and honeymoon suites. The price tag? $45,000.
Please stop before you think any further about how differently that $45,000 could've been spent. I started a few hours ago and haven't been able to stop — I don't want you to suffer a similar fate of first starting at "feeding hungry people," and getting to "buying and eating 45,000 Kit Kats," at the end of day two.
Ogle, 27, spent $3,500 on his planner alone — and he's not alone.
"People, and it's not just men, really are going bigger and bigger with their proposals," says Stacy Tasman, founder and CEO of the Manhattan-based Web site HowHeAsked.com, which spotlights awe-inspiring engagement stories.
"The media has a lot to do with it. There are tons of these stories going viral, and they're all over the news," she adds.
In the age of YouTube, the pressure is on to produce slick video footage - with flash mobs, scavenger hunts and mock movie trailers setting the bar ever higher.
At the risk of sounding like the pragmatic harridan that I am, a wedding proposal isn't a spectacle — it's a promise of a shared commitment two people in love make to their future together. It doesn't need a band, fireworks, or a Madonna impersonator reworking the lyrics of "Like a Virgin" to "Will You Marry Me?". (Although that last thing would be pretty fresh.)
It seems even Ogle's fiancee Nataliya Lavryshyn probably would've survived without a planner, too. "Before this whole thing, I didn't know there were proposal planners," she said. "I thought the guy would just have the creativity by himself. But it was all amazing."
That's sweet, and I'm guessing a nice dinner or walk on the beach or short trip to a special place — whatever's important to your couple — would've sufficed for Lavryshyn. Most women don't want or need a two-day scavenger hunt through their childhood hometown to get excited about marrying you.
The other thing is, an elaborate proposal goes back to this idea of a man having to show he can take care of a woman. When a man pays a planner to think of an elaborate proposal, he's effectively removing his would-be fiancée's voice from the matter. He's guessing what she would want — actually, he's having someone else guess what she'd want — and most marriage today is a mutual decision. That said, perhaps a huge proposal that plays coast-to-coast is something a couple mutually agrees upon, but that's definitely a decision made between two people.
Listen, people have the right to spend their money on whatever stupid shit they want (lord knows I do — hello, I recently got a PERM), but seriously, dudes: You don't need to do this shit. Weddings are already an expensive scene — can't we at least rail against the idea that even the proposal needs to be a moment of conspicuous consumption? Just take that fine lady of yours down to the seashore where she first rescued your paddle-boarding ass, and then share a bottle of bubbly on the beach.
Hmm... maybe I should get into proposal planning.