Top 5 Proposal-Popping TrendsClose your eyes and imagine the scene that whole movies are made of: the moment when your true love lays it all on the line and pledges his or her desire for a lifelong commitment to you. Does it involve a bended knee? A bear-skin rug before a raging fire? A ring nestled at the bottom of a glass of champagne?
Then you may be surprised to hear that times, they are a-changin’. It’s a new world, and with it comes new ways of doing the most basic things: ordering groceries, tackling holiday shopping, planning vacations -- and even proposing marriage.
We talked to Anja Winikka, managing editor and wedding expert at The Knot, for some current trends in popping the big question.
Kat Tuohy Photography, Flash Mob America
Flash MobsIf you’re a follower of social media, you may have seen a few of these pass through your newsfeed recently: the flash-mob wedding proposal. “Public over-the-top proposals are very trendy, and flash mobs in particular are going strong,” says The Knot’s Winikka. If this sounds like the right approach for you, you may want to call in the experts, such as Flash Mob America, to organize a personal “mob” in your local area.
If you prefer to go it alone, it’s best to stage your mob proposal in a bustling public place, such as a park, shopping area or event venue. Some examples of past flash-mob-proposal sites include the Prudential Center in Boston, Pier 39 in San Francisco, Market Square in Pittsburgh, Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City, the St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis and Union Square Park in New York City.
But just remember, things can get a little ... tricky when you organize a public event. One proposal, for example, in September 2011 took place at Disneyland with a cadre of professional dancers, but the moment almost got quashed because of a lack of permits. With some explanation (and understanding park officials), the would-be groom still managed to make it happen.
Disneyland or Disney WorldSpeaking of Disneyland, if you visit The Knot’s My Proposal Story section, which consists of viewer-submitted first-person accounts, you’ll see a LOT of photos with mouse ears in the background. It’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. “Disney is consistently a big deal,” says Winikka. “A big chunk of people propose at Disneyland and Disney World.”
And why not? Disney’s theme parks offer a unique mix of childhood nostalgia and adult adventure, with no shortage of opportunities to be different. One My Proposal Story, for example, recounts a proposal by caricature, with the unsuspecting would-be bride learning of her boyfriend’s intentions when the artist drawing their photo turned the picture around to reveal him on bended knee and her crying “Yes!” (We wish we’d thought of that, actually.)
Destination ProposalsAnother trend? “Taking her out of her element, either somewhere exotic or somewhere nearby,” says The Knot’s Winikka. But since “a lot of women want to be proposed to when around -- or at least near -- friends and family,” you might want to choose someplace affordable (and we don’t just mean affordable in terms of travel and board; we mean someplace with lots to do -- without lots of money).
For that reason, you might consider a group trip to Yellowstone National Park (camping! hiking!), Savannah, GA (great restaurants! incredible architecture!), Washington, DC (free museums! tons of hotels!), San Antonio (The Alamo! SeaWorld!) or Myrtle Beach (beaches! golf!). Also be sure to check out our Memorable Places to Propose for other ideas.
Holiday ProposalsAs you might guess, Proposal Season occurs between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. “At TheKnot.com,” Winikka explains, “we see huge spikes in traffic after major holidays, and especially the day after New Year’s, as women go back to work and start planning their weddings immediately.”
Well, if the sparkle and excitement of the holidays creates just the right setting for proposing marriage, you may find yourself on bended knee among fellow revelers in New York City, Las Vegas or Orlando, traditionally popular year-end destinations. Alternately, based on 2012 data, you may also be considering your proposal in a setting somewhere in Miami, Los Angeles, Cancun, San Francisco or Honolulu. (Darn!)
Costin Thampikutty, flickr
Recording the MomentWith cameras now on every phone -- cameras that are as good, if not better, than their standalone counterparts -- it’s not surprising that the moment he or she pops the question will be recorded for posterity. With social media's inroads into almost every aspect of our lives, it's also no surprise that proposals are no longer entirely private moments; couples want them documented to relive in the future or share with friends and family. “Documenting is so huge,” says The Knot’s Winikka, “people are hiring a photographer or videographer, or else asking a friend to take pictures.”
If you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not choose a place that is as beautiful as the moment? Judging from couples’ guest-starring role on photo-sharing sites, then, your top choices are Taiwan’s Siam Paragon, Disneyland, Times Square, the Eiffel Tower and the Santa Monica Pier.
With these creative and fresh ideas, your true love just may answer with a resounding, “YES!”