Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wedding Q&A Thursday: Help a Brotha' out...

Q: My future brother-in-law wants to propose to my sister in Savannah, can you help me with some ideas?

A: Fun stuff! And, technically, wedding-related since before all of the "here is the church, here is the steeple.."-mumbo-jumbo must come the engagement, right? Tricia and I both brainstormed on this one and came up with some suggestions. I think that the best way to take these is to use them as a generic template into which you add personal touches that relate to your relationship and individual stories...because THAT is was makes the proposal special. ANYONE can go to that restaurant and have the waiter bring the ring out with champagne for dessert. But that says nothing about your relationship - unless you share a running personal joke involving cliches.

From Me

I have to start out by saying that I think that the best way to propose is alone. But that is purely based on my own personal aversion to people being too focused on me. I also am really uncomfortable opening gifts in front of people, and would worry that my reaction to an engagement ring would be awkwardly marred by my self-conscious attention-phobia. If you think this sounds like your soon-to-be-betrothed, consider proposing in private and then surprising her with fun and romantic activities after the fact (or before).

Spa Surprise

Tell your girlfriend that you are scheduling her a massage. I think that this is innocent enough that it will just seem like a really sweet what-a-great-boyfriend-I-have gesture without setting her on edge like she should be expecting a proposal. Don't even take her! Leave the house or hotel a little earlier and say that you're doing something like getting your oil changed or going to the gym or looking for a good place for dinner. Then go on over to Savannah Day Spa ahead of her. Reserve one of their amazing, private Hydro-lounges for the big surprise. The package comes with adult beverages, fruit and chocolate - but let them know ahead of time that it's a proposal so they can help you with setting up any other special things you require.

She will check into the spa by herself and think she is just being taken down to a changing room! Surprise, you are there...proposing! It's private and peaceful and you can spend some time alone - taking a bath or steam shower, or just eating and drinking - before bedding down for a couples' massage instead of her solo treatment she was expecting.

From Tricia

Seems to me Tricia has put a lot of thought into this...and hers are pretty darn inventive.

Gift within in gift...
Take a carriage ride to a romantic restaurant like Bistro Savannah, Local 11 Ten or 700 Drayton. Order champagne, go all-out so that she's expecting you to propose. Look lovingly into her eyes and tell her you have something you've been wanting to give her for a long time... And then give her a gift of some sort that is not the engagement ring - but have the ring hidden in the gift. For example, give her a really nice purse with a story like "I know you've been saying you really need a new purse! So check this one out, it's got all these great pockets inside so you'll be able to find everything. That pocket could be for your cell phone and...wait..there's something in that big pocket..."

It will give her a nice pause before getting the ring and a renewed sense of surprise.

Traditional B&B
Check into one of Savannah's wonderful B&Bs or hotels, such as the Kehoe House, The Gastonian or The Mansion on Forsyth Park, and then head out to a romantic dinner. While you are at dinner, ask someone at the hotel, or a friend, to set up champagne, candles and rose petals in the hotel room. After dinner, come up with some sort of reason to go back up to the hotel room - spill something on your shirt, forgot something up there, etc. Have her walk into the room before you and kneel right down in the doorway so that when she turns around, shocked, you are ready to propose.

Pre-arrange with one of the street artists on River Street to give you a helping hand! Take her down to River Street for some pralines or cocktails and as you're walking by the caricature artist suggest you get your picture drawn. The artist will draw you as a bride and groom and then when he turns it around for the "big reveal" she will be surprised to see it, and then even more surprised when you propose!

Old-School Film Surprise
Bring an "old school" disposable camera with you and say that you just found it in the back of a drawer and you are curious to know what's on it, but you have to finish up the last few shots. Take a bunch of random pictures beforehand, including some with you holding signs saying "Will," "you," "marry," and "me." Take the camera out that morning and have a few shots taken of the two of you out-and-about in Savannah and then drop the camera off to a 1-hour development location. Pick them up later and suggest taking a seat in a nearby square to look through them. Obviously, let her do the flipping and she'll get the message.

Readers: Do you have a suggestion to help a brother-in-law out? We'd love to hear how your fiance popped the question, in Savannah or elsewhere!

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