Asking someone to marry you takes no shortage of courage and in most instances, an ability to think outside the box. Your significant other may dream of a perfect wedding and how they wish to be proposed to, yet in reality the situation, often times, comes off as spontaneous, despite the best laid plans of mice and [timid] men.
In the case of myself asking the love of my life, Jen, to marry me, I knew I needed to do something unexpected. I could easily rely on cliches or bank off prior proposals of close friends and acquaintances (a fake radio broadcast, how unique!). But having always considered myself a creative person, I needed to conjure up an experience that while not 100 percent original, could be formatted to catch Jen completely off guard.
From the moment I knew I wanted to marry Jen, my brain went right to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts as a proposal idea. It’s a favorite cultural attraction of ours, and it contains one of Jen’s all-time favorite paintings – “Painters Honeymoon” by Lord Fredrick Leighton. Easy enough, propose in front of the painting on Valentines Day (OK, allow me one cliché).
The consensus was unanimous from friends and family – she’ll love it! But how to capture the moment? After working in PR for just about two years, I knew we needed to find a way to capture the moment for the ages, i.e. get it up on social media.
Thus began the chain of calls to the MFA. Fortunately, the MFA had its own PR campaign underway, “Love at the MFA,” a month-long celebration of couples and art who could earn incentives for posing at specific artworks (“Painters Honeymoon”) included and posting their pictures on social media. They loved my PR plan even though I never expected to have a PR plan. Thus begins the secret phone calls and arrangements, plotting out the best shots, video, angles, etc, all the while Jen (supposedly) being none the wiser.
The big day comes and everything works out. The moment is sealed. She says yes and then she sees the cameras. “Gotcha!” Suddenly we’re on YouTube; by Monday we find out we’ve been mentioned in the Boston Globe “Names,” Boston Herald’s “Inside Track,” and on WCVB. All for my asking one question!
Still, it makes for a great story, even months later. When people ask us about the proposal, my usual response is, “Jen got the ring, I got the publicity.”
TIPS FOR A PROPER PR WEDDING PROPOSAL:
- Visualize your venue and perfect proposal spot.
- Think of ways to draw attention to the experience.
- Secure photo/video permissions with venues where applicable.
- Think outside the box in terms of how you want to propose.
- Leave your hesitations at the door!
– Ira Kantor, Team Paula