Don't fall prey to Wedding Proposal Mania this Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day, Hallmark Day, Forever Alone Day… call it what you like, February 14 is without doubt the most popular day of the year for starry-eyed lovers across the globe to declare their affection for one another. And naturally, it’s also one of the most popular days of the year for wedding proposals.

But love-struck men be warned! If you're looking to pop the question dont fall prey to the ever-growing phenomenon that is The Modern (over-the-top, embarrassing and very public) Wedding Proposal.   

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It seems as though a day can’t pass without the world-wide circulation of some cringe-inducing ‘my proposal is more epic than your proposal’ extravaganza in the form of a viral YouTube video.  And thanks to the abundance of flash mobs, enlisted celebrities and Boys II Men lip-syncing, wedding proposals have become big business. In fact, some soon-to-be-grooms are spending more money on the proposal than the big day itself.

But when did it become so acceptable to turn an intimate and significantly personal moment into such a public theatrical performance? And when the old ‘dinner and roses’ gig doesn’t cut it anymore, what’s the average guy to do?

If you’re planning to pop the question this Valentine’s Day, you don’t need brass bands and fireworks to impress your bride-to-be. Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for turning Valentine’s Day into your Proposalversary, without all the hype and hoopla:

Don’t:

1.      Alarm The Potential Bride

With the enlisted help of professional stuntmen and makeup artists, a Russian gentleman by the name of Alexey Bykov elaborately faked his own death through a fake car accident. After ‘playing dead’ for a short time, he sprung to life again and popped the question to his sobbing and distraught girlfriend. Gentlemen let this be a lesson - upsetting your bride for the sake of theatrics is just not worth it.

 2.       Jeopardize The Ring

When Reed Harris asked Kaitlin Whipple to marry him by offering it to her in a Wendy’s milkshake, he certainly didn’t expect her to swallow it (http://nydn.us/LJ5igA). Hiding rings in cakes, fortune cookies and balloons are a big no-no - you wouldn’t believe how often this results in an accident or close call, so don’t risk it!

3.    Do it on a Ferris-Wheel, Hot Air Balloon or Anywhere Else You Can’t Escape

Why not you ask? Because in the unfortunate case she says no, things are going to get pretty uncomfortable. The best proposals are done in simple yet meaningful locations, whether it’s the city grocery store where you first met, or a late night Chinese restaurant that you both love – just make sure you have an escape plan if all goes pear-shaped.

Do:

1.   Propose In Private.

While love-struck blokes continue to raise the bar on popping the question, leaving women across the globe with some seriously unrealistic expectations, we’re left wondering. If a wedding proposal isn’t uploaded to YouTube for the pleasurable viewing by millions of strangers, did it really even happen? It can be tempting to share your creative genius and big romantic gesture with the entire world, but I can promise you - while there’s nothing quite like turning your engagement into a giant half-time show, the average bride-to-be won’t appreciate an audience. Ask a friend or hire a professional photographer to discreetly document the proposal instead by taking a quick snap that you can both keep forever.

2.   Keep It Brief.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably seen the infamous YouTube video of Justin Baldoni popping the question in a production rivalling a Hollywood blockbuster (http://bit.ly/1crqUUu).  Not only can some of the greatest moments in embarrassing internet videos be found here, the proposal itself goes for 27 minutes. Justin manages to incorporate a radio interview, three homemade music videos, a homemade movie trailer and a flash mob into his proposal (or rather, performance). This is unnecessary and over-the-top proposing at its best. 

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