The MANual: Proposal

Should You Hire A Proposal Planner?

We here at the Plunge are in favor of the homemade proposal, one that you come up with yourself.  But if you really don’t think you can pull it off, a proposal planner is an acceptable way to go.

Which do you think is more romantic: making your girlfriend a special dinner at home, or taking her out to a special dinner at a restaurant? Of course, both will be pretty awesome from her point of view, but if you know your way around a kitchen, and put in the time to get some flowers and light some candles, a homemade dinner offers a unique romantic kick.

What if you’re a disaster as a cook? What if you can’t remember what flowers she likes, and which ones she’s allergic to? In that case, you might want to go to a nice restaurant.

Similarly, if you’re truly convinced that you’re going to blow this big moment, you can go to a proposal planner. It will cost you, but the end result will be worth it.

Photo by Petronella Photography

Do You Even Cook?

Here’s the scenario: you’re making your wife a romantic dinner. She wants veal scallopine with bearnaise sauce. You can’t remember which animal veal comes from (cow, as it happens), and you think–but you’re not sure–that bearnaise sauce has something to do with bears. It’s at this point that you call in the experts.

This principle holds true for proposals just as much as dinners. If you’re positive that your girl wants something that involves waterfalls, doves, puppies, and a string quartet, it’s time to bring in the pros. Professional proposal planners are definitely a thing now. But what exactly do they do?

Proposal

“Romantic” Proposal Ideas That Don’t Suck

What’s on the Menu?

The proposal planner business model is pretty consistent across brands, with tiered service levels depending on how much help you need. Most offer simple consultation services for about $100, and the prices rise from there, as they help with the concept and/or execution. Some sites, like Heart Bandits, are explicit about what you’ll get and what you’ll pay. Others, like Ever After Proposals or Brilliant Events planning, discuss cost on an individual basis.

The secret to the proposal planning industry is that it is largely run by women. Which makes sense if you consider that proposals are usually designed to please the bride. In addition to getting paid, the planners get to indulge their own romantic proposal fantasies over and over again: one woman actually claims that her own lame experience was the inspiration for founding the business.

For about $400, a planner will set up a romantic little picnic in the park that you and your girlfriend can stumble upon. Or maybe you envision asking her under the moonlight, in a garden festooned with candles? That’ll cost you about $500. If you feel the best way to tell your girlfriend “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” is a flash mob of people you don’t know, a proposal planner can make that happen, but it will set you back about $1,500. The only limit is your bank account.

Make Dinner or Eat Out?

So, what do we at The Plunge recommend? Well, as we said above, we recommend you plan the proposal yourself. A modest proposal that’s heartfelt and honest will always beat a grand production that fails to be intimate and meaningful.

To go back to our restaurant metaphor, sure, maybe you can’t make her the lobster frittata with caviar spread,  but how important is that really? Your girlfriend loves you for you–and if your best effort at cooking results in a slightly overdone steak,  she’ll probably love that too.

If you feel in your heart-of-hearts that a proposal planner is the way to go, then by all means be our guest. Just keep in mind what your ultimate goal is: coming up with a proposal that she’ll love, not one designed to get a thousand likes on Instagram.

Bottom Line

Proposal planners can be helpful if the circumstances are right, but if you can figure this out for yourself, your proposal will be more romantic in the end. After all, you know your girlfriend better than any planner ever could.

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