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    The Marriage Proposal

    reverendLast month I wrote about the relationship and marriage of a fantastic couple, Javier and Arthur Leddy, and especially about their proposal. Many other couples I’ve married have told me their creative, surprising and wonderful proposal stories, so I decided to list some links for readers to check out as they contemplate how to memorably pop the question.

    The Knot

    In this piece there is a proposal during breakfast in bed, one on top of a mountain in the tradition set by a bride’s grandfather, and at a party on the beach. There’s a quick and urgent one that happened just one minute after hearing about Prop 8 being struck down. There is also a dual proposal involving a video and embroidered sweatpants, as well as an introvert’s very private proposal with 400 guests present in the form of photographs!

    YouTube via the DailyDot            

    Here we see a couple on the ice before a hockey game, before the big question is posed. There are two separate proposals during concerts. One happens during a flash mob dance in Central Park. The songs “Teenage Dream” and “Rainbow Connection” precede another park proposal. These are all great and inspiring.


    How about a proposal made on the beach or with a surprise breakfast in bed?  Or what about where you had your first date? Or why don’t you plan a party together, and then turn it into an engagement party right under your partner’s nose? All are included in this fun feature.


    This is a really lively set. There are proposals at flashmobs, as well as singing ones, and surprise cameos. One proposal is made during a surprise party, while another provides big drama during a stage performance. Yet another proposal happens simultaneously in person and on video!

    You can also consider these tips if you are racking your brain, trying to come up with something really fantastic:

    Think long and hard about the kind of person your partner is.  Is she/he an extrovert who can handle a big public surprise? I hope you know this by now if you expect to have a lifetime together in marriage! And what about you? Even if your partner can handle something more public like this, could you? After all, your proposal ought to reflect your social style as a couple.

    There’s an old saying: Begin as you mean to go on. Look at the story in The Knot’s page, listed above, called “A Family Affair.”  The introvert there, Jesse, did not want a big public display, but she did put hundreds of hours of imaginative work into creating a house-sized collage for her Kate of over 400 people and adventures the couple had shared. It served as an incredible testament to her love for Kate, and to their relationship.

    If the proposal is to be in public, are you quite certain of the answer? Are you sure your partner is absolutely ready to say yes?   Make sure, if you can, that your partner is also not planning a proposal event.

    The “safest” proposals, of course, are those that are more private. Now that same-gender marriage is legal, however, many LGBT couples want to be as out and open as possible. It’s a natural tendency, as a result, to want to go public. Before you decide on public or private, consider what is most important: this very significant moment between you and your beloved, or whether you both are political enough to make your proposal part of the public dialogue about marriage equality.

    Rev. Elizabeth River is an ordained interfaith minister and wedding officiant in the North Bay. Please visit