Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: Texas Mom on January 10, 2013, 12:24:18 AM

Title: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Texas Mom on January 10, 2013, 12:24:18 AM
When DD was home, we had a discussion about public marriage proposals.

One of the duties of the department (sports team) in which she works is to facilitate and set up such events for guests. 

Most of the time, the person says, "yes," but occasionally there is a refusal.

She wondered what the people at "Etiquette Hell" would recommend & ask me to post!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: twiggy on January 10, 2013, 01:09:01 AM
That's tough. I know that I, personally, would NOT want to be surprised by a public proposal. I think there's a big pressure to say yes because

-you're suddenly, and unexpectedly, the center of attention
  there you are, enjoying a sports game, when you see your face on the jumbo tron.
-there's audience encouragement
  Think of how much catcalling and whooping there is during a "kiss camera" where people who look like couples are put up on the jumbo tron and encouraged to kiss. When they do, there is chering. If they don't, there is jeering.
-you don't want to create a scene/make people feel uncomfortable
  when the answer is yes, the audience gets the warm fuzzys of seeing a tender moment. If the answer is no, it's just awkward.
-a fear that the proposee will be heckled for refusing
  Along the same school of thought that you should always accept a date because the poor person mustered up the courage to ask you. The poor guy/girl went to all the trouble to arrange this awesome proposal and that heartless Female Dog/Bacon Fed Knave ripped their poor heart out.

If you're going to say no, I think you should say no right away. Logistically, imagine the proposer had told friends/family to watch the game and they all think there's a wedding to plan?
More importantly, it's cruel to dash false hope. Here the proposer is thinking that there's a wedding to plan and a future with the love of his/her life, while the reluctant proposee is trying to figure out how to unaccept.

Yes, there may be some awkwardness, and some backlash from the public at the unexpected response, but that's on the proposer, not the proposee. The proposer is the one who is causing the situation. Imagine you're at a party when a guest admires your jacket. Guest then demands the jacket, and makes a scene. You can sense that Host wishes you would just give Guest the jacket to keep the peace. You aren't wrong to not give Guest your jacket, and the scene/discomfort isn't your fault.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: sweetonsno on January 10, 2013, 01:39:24 AM
I'm with Twiggy. I'd be pretty upset if a man ever tried to propose to me in an elaborate grand gesture that involved a large audience. I think it's unfair to the "proposee"." He or she will feel tons of pressure and is always going to look like the bad guy. (How could you say no to someone who obviously loves you so much that they'd go to all of this trouble and who is so confident that they're willing to take such a risk?)

I'd say no for all of the reasons Twiggy listed. Additionally, I don't like the idea of lying to someone.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Amava on January 10, 2013, 01:49:27 AM
What is she asking for help with, exactly?

Does she want to know whether it is a good idea for the department to facilitate such events?
Or does she want to know what she, as a facilitator, can do as "damage control" in case a proposal is rejected?
Or is she looking for advice she can give the prospective proposers when they come to her and ask her to facilitate their proposal? Or is she wondering whether it is "her place" to advise and warn them for things that can go awry? I think the latter would all depend on the policy of the department in these matters...
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 04:57:43 AM
I think you should do whatever you prrsonally feel like doing.

Some people have made it clear that "when it happens" they will accept. They migjt also be clrarly comfortable in the spotlight. Not eberynody would love it but some might
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: weeblewobble on January 10, 2013, 06:54:21 AM
When someone arranges this sort of public exhibition, they run the risk of looking like a fool.  I think the best course of action would be to smile, but tell the guy that you need to speak to him privately.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Emmy on January 10, 2013, 07:00:42 AM
I agree with twiggy's reasons of why it is a bad idea.  The only time a public proposal would be a good idea was if the both members of the couple had discussed and agreed to getting engaged in the future and the person to receive the proposal brought up they would like a public proposal.  If the proposer has any doubts he/she is putting him/herself and their SO in an awful position.

I don't think there is a 'right' answer.  I'll admit I would likely accept because of the shock being put on the spot in such a public way and to spare the proposer public humiliation, then discuss it later in private.  I am naturally a person who can't think of a polite, yet snappy comeback to a rude comment on the spot, how would I and those like me be able to respond in an appropriate way with thousands of people looking on with no warning.  I'm not saying that is the 'right' thing to do, but I think naturally most people would panic and just say yes to get the spotlight off of them.  I'd like to think I'd just lean in for a hug and whisper in his ear 'can we talk about this later'.  I really wouldn't want to make a rejection obvious in front of so many people.

If a person looks hesitant or doesn't immediately say 'yes', I think the camera should immediately go off of the couple instead of waiting for an answer.  I would also be interested in knowing about damage control when a proposal goes awry. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Yvaine on January 10, 2013, 07:04:47 AM
I agree with twiggy's reasons of why it is a bad idea.  The only time a public proposal would be a good idea was if the both members of the couple had discussed and agreed to getting engaged in the future and the person to receive the proposal brought up they would like a public proposal.  If the proposer has any doubts he/she is putting him/herself and their SO in an awful position.

This. These things can work, and be really sweet, but it has a lot to do with knowing the personality of the proposee (some people like public attention and some don't) and it's also a good idea to be pretty darn sure they're going to say yes.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: MrTango on January 10, 2013, 07:14:53 AM
If a guy wants to propose to his girlfriend in public, I think it's on him to be sure she's going to say "yes."  She isn't under any obligation to save him from embarassment he brings upon himself by proposing without already knowing she's going to say "yes."***

For example, when I made my "public" proposal to LadyTango, she had already picked out the ring and we had told our parents already that we were planning on getting engaged.  The surprise for her was that she expected the ring to not be ready until after she went back to school following spring break.  Fortunately, the jeweller had it ready in time for me to surprise her with it after the Easter Vigil mass in the church's gathering space.

**just using male & female pronouns for simplicity's sake.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 10, 2013, 08:37:20 AM
I don't think immediate refusal is always the right choice for a no either...but I would not accept on national television/at a public event if I wasn't sure my answer was yes.

Saying can we discuss this in private would be my choice.  I might be so stunned that I was thinking no but really wanted to talk it through before I said yes.

If any of that makes sense. 

I have seen a video on YouTube where a gentleman asks a lady in front of a camera during a halftime basketball game and she burst into tears and runs off camera...how humiliating would that be ?   agghh
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 10, 2013, 09:24:53 AM
I think if a person feels a "no," then they should say no. Public humiliation is the risk you take with a public proposal.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: CakeBeret on January 10, 2013, 09:34:34 AM
Personally, if I were proposed to in public and did not want to accept, I would probably choke out "Oh--no--I'm sorry" and then run away. I'm a coward like that.

I think a person should only propose in public if (a) you are certain that the proposee will not be embarrassed, (b) you are certain that the proposee will like and enjoy a public proposal, and (c) you have already discussed engagement/marriage and are certain that the proposee will say yes. Basically, you should be certain that you will not be causing the proposee any embarrassment or discomfort.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 10, 2013, 09:36:17 AM
I just wouldn't have the heart to refuse in public. 

But as soon as we are alone, he'd be getting a huge piece of my mind.  And even if I had considered marrying him, his public proposal would have completely changed my mind because I would realize how little he really knew about me thinking that a public proposal was acceptable.  Asking me to make a life changing decision is not a time to tell the world (or the ballpark)  "Look at me, Look at me."
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on January 10, 2013, 10:05:03 AM
I think public marriage proposals are disgusting.  And I think the best and most appropriate response of anyone - saying yes or no - is to immediately walk away to somewhere private.  I see a proposal on equal intimacy terms as sex, neither should have an audience, as much for the audience's sake as anything.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Winterlight on January 10, 2013, 10:12:52 AM
Since anyone who was close enough to propose would be aware that I hate the thought of such an event with the power of a thousand crabby nuns, if he for some insane reason decided to do it- well, let's just say it wouldn't end well.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: lowspark on January 10, 2013, 10:17:31 AM
This reminds me of the movie, Working Girl. Alec Baldwin proposes to Melanie Griffith at their friends' engagement party with everyone watching... about a week after she had caught him in bed with another woman.

She answers, "Maybe"
And he says something like, "Maybe? That's your answer?"
And she says, "You want a different answer, ask a different girl"

I'm with those who say that I would not answer yes just to save the proposer embarrassment. If my answer was no, then I'd say no.

However! Two points:
1. If my answer was really a flat out No, I would probably not be going out with this gentleman in the first place. More likely my answer would be "maybe" or "I'm not ready for that yet" or something along those lines.
2. Anyone who knows me and certainly anyone who thinks they know me well enough to propose marriage, would know that I hate those kinds of public attention situations and I hate surprises. So if they thought that it would be a good idea to propose at a baseball game or some such, the answer would almost certainly not be Yes.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on January 10, 2013, 10:21:50 AM
My personal theory is that when the answer is a NO, the asker suspects that might be the answer.  But, hopes that the public nature might force a YES. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Kariachi on January 10, 2013, 11:27:05 AM
My father and I actually discussed this a few months ago, and we came to the agreement that even if the answer would have been yes, a public proposal is a total deal-breaker. We just find it manipulative behavior, like this person thinks we wouldn't say yes if public pressure wasn't on, and we aren't having with any of it. If she thinks we won't say yes without pressure, what about her don't we know that she thinks we do?

Yeah, we can be kinda cynical and suspicious.

My response to something like that would probably be to balk and ask if she'd lost her beloved mind.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Texas Mom on January 10, 2013, 11:39:00 AM
What is she asking for help with, exactly? 

She's seen things go both ways & wondered  about the viewpoints of the Etiquette Hell community about the matter.  She's looking for a different point of view, and the diversity of this community is a great place to find opinions that run the spectrum.

Quote
Does she want to know whether it is a good idea for the department to facilitate such events?

The facilitation = $ for the team owners; it's not her place to decide whether it's a good idea.

Quote
Or is she looking for advice she can give the prospective proposers when they come to her and ask her to facilitate their proposal? Or is she wondering whether it is "her place" to advise and warn them for things that can go awry?


She talks to them when they book about the humiliation factor in the event of a refusal.


Thanks everyone who's posted so far.  Additional votes and opinions are welcome.

Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Firecat on January 10, 2013, 12:36:05 PM
I'd have hated it if my DH had staged a big public proposal. But, in situations where the couple has discussed marriage and it's clear to both that it's a "when," not an "if," I think it depends on the couple involved.

As a member of the audience, I probably wouldn't think more than "Good for them" in the event of a "yes," and "ouch" in the event of a "no." And then I'd go on with my day.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: LadyL on January 10, 2013, 01:15:47 PM
I think public marriage proposals are disgusting.  And I think the best and most appropriate response of anyone - saying yes or no - is to immediately walk away to somewhere private.  I see a proposal on equal intimacy terms as sex, neither should have an audience, as much for the audience's sake as anything.

I have never heard such a strong opinion about this before - interesting! If you don't mind me being nosy, how do you feel about more subtle proposals that happen in public - i.e. near a fountain where the couple had their first kiss or something - if it is just a quiet "get down on one knee and ask" affair? Do you feel it should be done with the equivalent privacy as sex? What about it moves it from "personal" to "intimate" for you?

Personally, we didn't have so much a proposal as it was literally a discussion at the kitchen table about our future where we agreed that getting married was a good thing to do before buying property together and/or having kids.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on January 10, 2013, 01:21:12 PM
I think public marriage proposals are disgusting.  And I think the best and most appropriate response of anyone - saying yes or no - is to immediately walk away to somewhere private.  I see a proposal on equal intimacy terms as sex, neither should have an audience, as much for the audience's sake as anything.

I have never heard such a strong opinion about this before - interesting! If you don't mind me being nosy, how do you feel about more subtle proposals that happen in public - i.e. near a fountain where the couple had their first kiss or something - if it is just a quiet "get down on one knee and ask" affair? Do you feel it should be done with the equivalent privacy as sex? What about it moves it from "personal" to "intimate" for you?

Personally, we didn't have so much a proposal as it was literally a discussion at the kitchen table about our future where we agreed that getting married was a good thing to do before buying property together and/or having kids.

If it happens in a public place, but privately, that's fine by me - I probably would not notice, or if I did, I would turn my head, just as I would if a couple were making out extensively and groping one another.  But at a sporting event, party or other way in which I was captive audience?  I would be very upset to be held captive to such a display.  It really would be extremely uncomfortable and give me a heeby-jeeby feeling and would sour my mood for the rest of the event.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: onyonryngs on January 10, 2013, 01:27:47 PM
I don't think I'd feel captive as an audience member at a sporting event.  One can always get up to grab a drink, use the restroom, etc.  They're always doing goofy stuff at events like that so whether it's the tshirt cannon or a proposal, I don't think the audience needs to stay seated for the entire event.   However, I would not be comfortable with one of the very public proposals if it were my own.  I would also hope that if the couple knows each other well enough, the one proposing could figure out if it's an appropriate location.  Mine was private, which is how I liked it.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: ilrag on January 10, 2013, 01:48:07 PM
I too think public proposals are icky for lack of a better word.

I think it's the similar vibe the the bigger ring, best party, show-offy nature pushed by certain parts of the wedding industry. If it was a frequent occurrence at any venue I patronized I'd stop going there.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 10, 2013, 01:58:38 PM
I answered "refuse publicly," but that's because I have the vague hope that a few very public "No, I won't/can't marry you" answers displayed on Jumbotrons or the equivalent might discourage people from making such proposals when it's not some form "we've already agreed we want to get married, but it won't be official until I give you a ring."

On an individual basis, the poor surprised person who doesn't want to accept should say whatever is least stressful for her, whether it's "no" or a loud "What?!? Are you kidding?!" or silence, or "yes" and then telling the guy "no" when they're offstage. But I'm like LadyL, there was nothing like a formal proposal in my relationship, just a conversation in which it became clear to both of us that it would be a good idea to get married. (I literally don't remember whether I or my now-husband said something first.) I don't get the appeal of that sort of proposal in front of dozens to thousands of strangers, so I may be more aware of it as a form of pressure than as a romantic gesture. (My idea of romantic tends toward small things, like turning up at my girlfriend's with a gift-wrapped box of a kind of chocolate I know she likes.)
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: DaDancingPsych on January 10, 2013, 02:22:25 PM
My advice to any guy (or girl) wanting to propose in public, would be that you should have some private conversations with the other person beforehand. Actually, anyone wanting to propose in any fashion should. I think all proposals should end in a “yes”, because the couple has already had TONS of conversations and knows that they do want to get married. The surprise of the proposal is not the proposal itself, but rather when and where it happens. It’s the wise thing to do on so many levels. There is more that goes into deciding to marry than a two second thought without any discussion can answer.

If a refusal is needed, I would probably recommend a quiet comment for the need to speak privately. Hopefully, the public will back off and the couple can discuss whatever that they need to on their own time. I think saying, "Yes" and then changing the answer is cruel. Saying, "No" is better, but still hurtful. I think getting out of the spotlight is the best answer.

To the OP’s daughter, I would suggest that once they realize that they are experiencing a refusal, that they should get the cameras off the couple and get the audience engaged (no pun intended) in something else. I would probably always have the announcer scheduled up next, so that he/she can either say, “Let’s hear it for the happy couple!!!” or “Don’t forget that the free hot dog drawing will happen at intermission.” I think the politest thing that they can do is to give the couple their space and avoid jeering by moving people along to something else. Hot dogs might sound insensitive, but I would much prefer that than having to be seen on the big screen trying not to hurt someone’s feelings!!!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: rashea on January 10, 2013, 02:30:26 PM
I think I'd say "I'm happy you asked" give him a hug, and tell him no in his ear. It's about as kind a response as I can think of, without leading him on. I'm less concerned about leading the public or his friends/family on.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 02:30:46 PM
If a couple are both into the big, dramatic public proposal, that's fine for them; I would never want one myself, nor do I particularly enjoy watching them. I voted I would say no, if my answer was no. And I agree with those who said that even if my answer might not have been no before that point, surprising me in so public a manner would show the person did not really know me very well at all, and they would get downgraded to at best a "let's talk about this later."

I am of the opinion that if two people have discussed marriage and agreed to marry each other, they are now engaged and there is no need for any kind of "one moment in time" proposal event, whether public or private. I should say, this is my opinion for me. For other people, it's really no skin off my nose if they want to do it differently. Privately I think it's a bit silly that my friend and her SO discussed marriage, agreed to it, and picked out a ring--but she didn't consider herself "engaged" until he actually presented her with the ring, as an "event" that she could then tell people about. BUT, it is totally not my business and I would never tell her I thought what she did was silly, because that's just rude. Let her have what she enjoys. Same with the jumbotron people. I feel very strongly about it for myself, but I also feel very strongly about not telling other people what to do in a harmless situation.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: White Lotus on January 10, 2013, 02:48:05 PM
I like Rashea's solution, but I think my instinctive response, whatever answer I ultimately gave, would be a horrified look and, "Not NOW!"  My instincts say this should be a private moment.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 10, 2013, 02:55:28 PM
Rashea's response made me think of something. 

The person doing the asking has had time to really think and consider if they want to marry the other person. 

Why should the person being asked not get the same amount of time to think it over before making a committment? 

I think that is one of the reasons I dislike Jumbotron proposals.  It's putting the person on the spot.

Or else, the couple has already agreed to marry and the public proposal is just a way to give the ring, do a "look at me, look at me" and create a story around their engagement.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Yvaine on January 10, 2013, 03:01:09 PM
Rashea's response made me think of something. 

The person doing the asking has had time to really think and consider if they want to marry the other person. 

Why should the person being asked not get the same amount of time to think it over before making a committment? 

I think that is one of the reasons I dislike Jumbotron proposals.  It's putting the person on the spot.

Or else, the couple has already agreed to marry and the public proposal is just a way to give the ring, do a "look at me, look at me" and create a story around their engagement.

I do think that most people, even if there hasn't been a "So, are we getting married someday?" conversation, have thought about it privately. I think in every serious relationship I've been in, I got to the point where I pondered whether I would want to marry this person if the question came up.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: bah12 on January 10, 2013, 03:20:54 PM
I would hope that when one half of a couple chooses to propose in public that the relationship has been long/deep enough that they know that their SO is in favor both of getting married and of being the center of attention for that moment.  And as much as I wouldn't like it myself, I know plenty of people that would love to have a big moment like that right in front of everyone...even a stadium full of strangers.

I would also think that the instances where the proposee doesn't want to marry or is not in favor of public proposals is not that often.  I think that if I were publically proposed to and I my answer wasn't "yes", I would have to say so and I would do it with the same tact and care as I would if it had happened in private.  I just don't think there is a right/wrong answer here.  Public proposals are great for some people and horrible for others.  Being proposed to and not wanting to say "yes", I imagine is awkward and difficult regardless of the location.  And if someone chose to say "yes" first and then say "no" later, I wouldn't fault them for feeling that was the tactful way to handle it.  Just as I wouldn't fault someone for being honest in the moment...realizing the proposer took a risk and likely doesn't know a whole lot about their SO anyway.

 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: FoxPaws on January 10, 2013, 04:11:31 PM
I chose the Accept in Public, Say No Later option. As much as I believe in honest answers, I would not have the courage to deal with the scene that might ensue if I refused right then.

A friend of a coworker arranged a semi public proposal at a dinner in front of all their closest friends. I was a nervous wreck on his behalf, despite the fact that he was a total stranger to me at the time. "Oh dear Diety! What is he going to do if she says No in front of all those people?" Years later I ended up working for the happy couple. When I told them that, they both laughed. The wife then informed me - and him! - that the proposal took place just shy of a personal deadline she'd set for him to propose or else she was moving on.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Dr. F. on January 10, 2013, 04:33:28 PM
Anyone who would do something like that to me doesn't know me well enough for me to marry him. At all. I *HATE* things like that. I don't like watching them, and I'd be mortified to be the center of attention like that.

My sister once dumped a boyfriend because he had the waitstaff at a restaurant sing her "Happy Birthday" against her stated objections. He claimed he thought she was joking. I agreed with her completely - that would be a HUGE red flag for me. (Others are fine with it, and that's great for them, but I'm not dating anyone who disregards my wishes like that!)

OP - has your daughter ever heard anything after the "no" responses? I'm curious what the proposers said, if anything.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on January 10, 2013, 04:42:29 PM
... The wife then informed me - and him! - that the proposal took place just shy of a personal deadline she'd set for him to propose or else she was moving on.

During the date where my husband proposed, we killed time at a bookstore waiting until a reasonable dinner time.  I scoured the shelves looking for a book with a title like "How to Dump Him."   (I really believe in books)   Fortunately, I couldn't find one.  Then the goof had his feelings hurt that I wanted time to plan a wedding.  He waited to ask until he was ready to BE married. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: CluelessBride on January 10, 2013, 06:37:18 PM
I answered "refuse publicly," but that's because I have the vague hope that a few very public "No, I won't/can't marry you" answers displayed on Jumbotrons or the equivalent might discourage people from making such proposals when it's not some form "we've already agreed we want to get married, but it won't be official until I give you a ring."


Youtube has 232 hits for: public proposal rejection.  (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=public+proposal+rejection&oq=public+prop&gs_l=youtube.1.0.0l10.2165.4386.0.6607.11.8.0.3.3.0.246.765.7j0j1.8.0...0.0...1ac.1.JTidBIpQzrA) DISCLAIMER: I haven't viewed any of those videos, so I can't vouch for them all being clean/without language/etc.

Refusals are definitely out there, and you'll even come across a news article on them from time to time. Doesn't seem to phase the public proposers.

I have a pretty mundane proposal story: nowDH took me to dinner and then proposed when we got home. But it was perfect for us. I don't think it is my place to judge what type of proposal works for others.

That said, if it were me being proposed to and I didn't want to marry the guy, I think I would go the deflect/stall route and decline later in private.

Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 10, 2013, 08:19:01 PM
I certainly don't think it's rude to simply say "no" to a public proposal. On the other hand, berating the proposer in public would be rude (eg "No way! I'd never marry an idiot like you. Yuck.")

That said, I also don't think it's rude to say "yes" to a public proposal and "no" later in private. Yes, the proposer might feel as if you lied to them, and led them on, by saying yes. But really, that's the risk one takes - a public proposal comes with a LOT of pressure to say yes!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: pearls n purls on January 10, 2013, 08:52:49 PM
If the answer was going to be no, I'd probably reply with "I need time to think about it" or give a non definite answer.  That would hopefully save the proposer some embarrassment.  I think the elation of a public "yes" shortly followed by a private "no" would be more painful.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Amava on January 10, 2013, 09:04:46 PM
What is she asking for help with, exactly? 
She's seen things go both ways & wondered  about the viewpoints of the Etiquette Hell community about the matter.  She's looking for a different point of view, and the diversity of this community is a great place to find opinions that run the spectrum.
Ahh... So she /has/ actually seen it happen that people said "no"?
So how is it usually dealt with? Does the facility use some "distraction" techniques for the audience when a proposal goes wrong?

By the way, I missed your poll question the first time I read this topic, so I didn't realise that the question she asked was what our opinion was on what a person /should/ do if they're proposed to in public and don't want to accept.  I honestly don't know what I would do. The mere thought almost sends me into a panic attack (not even joking!) and makes me very glad I'm already married.
Quote
Quote
Does she want to know whether it is a good idea for the department to facilitate such events?
The facilitation = $ for the team owners; it's not her place to decide whether it's a good idea.
Quote
Or is she looking for advice she can give the prospective proposers when they come to her and ask her to facilitate their proposal? Or is she wondering whether it is "her place" to advise and warn them for things that can go awry?


She talks to them when they book about the humiliation factor in the event of a refusal.
It's good to hear that she gets to "counsel" them a bit on the possible outcomes of their plan. (That's why I asked: to know whether she was allowed to speak any words of caution at all.)

The questions I would ask (if I were her, and if that was ok with my job description), from my own thougths and from reading other people's replies, are:
- Have you already discussed getting married
- Are you sure your partner wants to marry you
But also, and at least as important:
- Are you absolutely sure that your partner is ok with this sort of public display?
- Are you sure this is going to be like a lovely dream to your partner, and not a nightmare?

Important to me is that the person who wishes to propose, should not only take their /own/ possible humiliation factor into account, but also the feelings of the person who is about to be proposed to. 
Because even though to some people being publically proposed to seems like a beautiful dream, to others it really does seem like a nightmare - even if they do want to marry the proposer.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: blarg314 on January 10, 2013, 09:11:12 PM
I'm suddenly reminded of the beginning of a dreadful movie, called "The Zookeeper", I think. At the beginning, socially clueless guy has staged a massive proposal sequence - letter in a bottle, band, fireworks, everything. And the girl turns him down and makes it clear that she had been about the break up with him. A classic case of a guy who was so caught up in the spectacle, and his mental script that he failed to pay any attention to the girl he was dating.


I think a person should only propose in public if (a) you are certain that the proposee will not be embarrassed, (b) you are certain that the proposee will like and enjoy a public proposal, and (c) you have already discussed engagement/marriage and are certain that the proposee will say yes. Basically, you should be certain that you will not be causing the proposee any embarrassment or discomfort.

I think that's a good list. I would add

4) Your proposal does not significantly inconvenience your audience. A jumbo-tron is fairly innocuous as these things go; staging a flash mob in a crowded area, or trying to get random strangers to participate is a different story.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 13, 2013, 08:03:43 PM
I think a non-commital answer is the best route, so I voted other.  "Can I think about it?"  or  "Can we talk about this in private, please?".

I think the elation followed by the huge let down of yes-now-no-later is a very, very, very bad idea and is probably more hurtful than just a flat out no.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: poundcake on January 14, 2013, 03:19:36 AM
Public proposals are, in another poster's words, really icky, and if anyone did that to me, I'd know they had no idea what kind of things I value and would refuse.

I also find them incredibly manipulative, even at the best of times. Does anyone remember the YouTube video posted on Hell's Belles a few months back with the public proposal that turned into a whole over-the-top wedding? The bride went from sobbing because her boyfriend had been violently confronted by what she thought was either a stranger or a secret girlfriend, to, in front of cameras and a shopping mall of strangers, being asked to marry him right then and there. The whole thing smacked of a smug "Now look at this big wedding I gave her! She can't ever be mad at me for anything." The bride was put on the spot in humiliating public ways multiple times, and had no choice in any of it.

Another example I have is a coworker who had been dating her boyfriend for about six months. He kept wanting to speed things up, and talked a lot about how he wanted to get married and have kids asap. She was barely 22, and kept putting the breaks on, and was even starting to think she should break up with him. The holidays were coming up, so she decided to wait until after that and then have the "slow down or I'm out" talk with him. He knew this full well. What did he do? On Christmas Eve, at his family's house, in front of twenty people, he made a huge production of giving her her present: an engagement ring, and he proposed to her. She refused, and left immediately. A day or so later, during their break-up argument, when she demanded to know why he would do that to her when he knew full well she wasn't ready to get married, he said "But I thought if I did it like that you wouldn't say no to me in front of my own parents!"   

So I agree with people who have said, as long as marriage has been discussed between the couple, I'd grudgingly say that a public proposal is okay for them although it still seems more about performance and even control than real feelings.

Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Garden Goblin on January 14, 2013, 08:13:07 AM
I think if a person feels a "no," then they should say no. Public humiliation is the risk you take with a public proposal.

The problem is the humiliation tends to be on both sides, and only one side consented to it being public.

It wasn't a marriage proposal, but I got quite publicly asked out by a young man I had no interest in, and the public fallout was he was comforted and I was branded heartless to have refused his grand romantic gesture.  I guess that's another for the list of 'why I hate rom coms'.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Emmy on January 14, 2013, 01:51:08 PM
I think if a person feels a "no," then they should say no. Public humiliation is the risk you take with a public proposal.

The problem is the humiliation tends to be on both sides, and only one side consented to it being public.

It wasn't a marriage proposal, but I got quite publicly asked out by a young man I had no interest in, and the public fallout was he was comforted and I was branded heartless to have refused his grand romantic gesture.  I guess that's another for the list of 'why I hate rom coms'.

I agree.  I don't like lying, but I have a lot of empathy for somebody who is put in such a situation.  The proposer may feel embarrassed and hurt, but ultimately they chose to take that risk.  The proposee who said 'no' would probably be branded as heartless and would also feel embarrassed however they did not choose to be put in that position.  The proposee may say 'yes' as just a reaction to get the spotlight off of them as quick as possible, kind of like somebody pulling their hand away from something hot.  It would be hard to imagine being surprised in such a public area and calmly asking the proposer to talk about it later with your face still on the jumbotron.  Another chance the proposer takes is that the proposee says 'yes' because of the pressure and not because they really mean it.

Poundcake, that is an awful story however good for the girl for saying 'no'.  It's just hard to fathom people who are more interested in getting engaged than they are in the feelings of the person they supposedly care about so much.  Even if she had folded under pressure, would he be happy knowing his bride to be was unsure and reluctant and only agreed to get engaged due to the pressure of the public proposal.

My personal feels are to each their own.  I don't find public proposals offensive, but I don't find them romantic or exciting either.  I don't really care all that much that two people I never met got engaged on the jumbotron and would probably choose that moment to get a snack or use the restroom.  I'm really not a show off type of person and the idea of having one of the most special moments of my life in front of thousands who couldn't care less isn't appealing to me. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: illini on January 14, 2013, 05:32:20 PM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: blarg314 on January 14, 2013, 06:51:43 PM
It wasn't a marriage proposal, but I got quite publicly asked out by a young man I had no interest in, and the public fallout was he was comforted and I was branded heartless to have refused his grand romantic gesture.  I guess that's another for the list of 'why I hate rom coms'.

I've heard of this at the high-school level, with prom type invitations. Guy does a fancy invitation with balloons, etc, in public. Girl is then branded a heartless $#@% if she says no, even if she has no interest in the guy and has never expressed interest in him. On the other hand, some other girls are demanding the fancy invitation as a pre-requesite for the date.

So you've got manipulative guys who are using the giant public invitation to coerce girls into going out with them, girls who are being told that it's their duty to go out with a guy if he spends money and effort on the invitation, even if they don't like him, plus the nice guys who feel pressured into doing a big public hoopla to buy a chance at a date with a girl they like.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: ilrag on January 14, 2013, 07:11:13 PM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish.

Not during the show thought, right? Before or after? That would be really distracting during the show.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: illini on January 14, 2013, 10:20:06 PM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish.

Not during the show thought, right? Before or after? That would be really distracting during the show.

Yea, I figure right after. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on January 14, 2013, 10:37:27 PM
My husband consulted pretty much all my family and friends on how he should propose.  He said many of the females seemed to give answers on what they would like, mostly of the very public variety.  Which he knew is the opposite of me. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Yvaine on January 15, 2013, 09:33:29 AM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish.

Not during the show thought, right? Before or after? That would be really distracting during the show.

It's a fireworks show that plays out over a big chunk of the park, not something like a stage play where people should listen quietly, so I think illini is probably fine either way. I think proposing during a fireworks show sounds cute--at least as long as she can hear the proposal. ;)  I suppose, just based on that, it might be worth it to wait till after!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Winterlight on January 15, 2013, 10:56:25 AM
I think if a person feels a "no," then they should say no. Public humiliation is the risk you take with a public proposal.

The problem is the humiliation tends to be on both sides, and only one side consented to it being public.

It wasn't a marriage proposal, but I got quite publicly asked out by a young man I had no interest in, and the public fallout was he was comforted and I was branded heartless to have refused his grand romantic gesture.  I guess that's another for the list of 'why I hate rom coms'.

Exactly. I'd be horribly uncomfortable that all these people were suddenly looking at me- it's not like I volunteered for this!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on January 15, 2013, 11:42:13 AM
Quote

The problem is the humiliation tends to be on both sides, and only one side consented to it being public.


While the humiliation factor might just be limited to two people, the awkward intimacy factor is also extended to the public, who have also not consented. This is cruel to do to your intended, but even more so to the hapless folks you rope in as an audience without their expressed interest.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 15, 2013, 11:49:18 AM
I don't particularly care for public proposals personally but I like watching other people's. If people don't like to watch them, no one is forcing them to look.

I've been proposed to in public and I said no. It was not pleasant but I didn't really see the point in lying so that the asker would feel better about himself. Honestly, it would have been just as unpleasant had he asked in private because the answer would have been the same and then I would have had to deal with his histrionics. I didn't get much negative feedback for it so perhaps I am lucky in that way.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twirly on January 15, 2013, 12:03:01 PM
Man I would have LOVED a big public proposal, what can I say I do not shy away from a spectacle haha. However I was already an avid ehell lurker prior to my engagement and had been surprised to hear some people really, really hate just being around such things. Never wanting to be rude I asked my beloved to keep it private when the time came. Not as much fun for us but at least we didn't offend anyone.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sara Crewe on January 15, 2013, 12:14:20 PM
I think one of two things is going on with a big public proposal.  One is that the couple know each other really well and the proposer knows that the proposee will love the attention and will say yes (which is obviously what should be the case).

The alternative is that the person making the proposal is trying to emotionally blackmail the other person into saying yes, in which case he (going with gender stereotyping) deserves what he gets.

I think I would still say yes and then go back on it later in the second case.  I hate big public scenes.  I agree it is crueler to say yes and then take it back, but if someone did this to me then I think they deserve that in exchange for me being far more comfortable in saying 'no' in private.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Shea on January 15, 2013, 02:43:00 PM
I think it depends on the couple, particularly the person being proposed to. If the couple has previously discussed marriage (i.e., the proposal isn't just coming as a total surprise to the party being proposed to), and the proposer knows that the proposee is a) certain or very nearly certain to say yes and b) that the proposee enjoys being the center of attention and would not be embarrassed (or would be pleasantly so), then I think it's fine. Of course, the final caveat should be that the proposal should not distract from anything else major going on. A big public proposal should not happen during, say, a theatrical performance or a concert, and it really, really should not happen during something like a wedding reception, baby shower, or bar/bat mitzvah party. Don't take away the spotlight from the person or people being celebrated on that day.

Personally, I would hate a public proposal. I hate drawing attention to myself in public, and would be unable to enjoy the moment for the embarrassment. If BF tried something like that, he would be in very major trouble. Fortunately, that is not either of our style.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Allyson on January 17, 2013, 10:45:48 PM
I'm one who would be really uncomfortable by this happening near me. I don't think it's necessarily always rude but I personally would twitch. And I make it pretty clear that any sort of spectacle directed at me would not have the desired outcome!

I do think it's rude and a bad idea to publicly propose to someone if you aren't absolutely *sure* that they will say yes, as in have talked about marriage and the proposal is just a formality.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: LadyR on January 18, 2013, 07:05:56 AM
Most of my friends were aware their proposal were coming, so I think that in most cases if the answer was going to be no, discouragment could be done in advance. I don't know any of truly surprise proposals, but if I was going to say no, I'd do it right away and probably feel horrible.

Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: illini on April 07, 2013, 01:48:34 PM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish.

Not during the show thought, right? Before or after? That would be really distracting during the show.

It's a fireworks show that plays out over a big chunk of the park, not something like a stage play where people should listen quietly, so I think illini is probably fine either way. I think proposing during a fireworks show sounds cute--at least as long as she can hear the proposal. ;)  I suppose, just based on that, it might be worth it to wait till after!

So about 2 days before leaving, I found out that Fantasmic is actually in a big stadium type thing with bleacher seating, not at all what I was picturing (and it would have totally distracted others as well as been much more of a spectacle then I wanted).  Alls well though, I snuck a bottle of champagne out to the beach (thanks to help from the concierge & gift shop attendant) one night and insisted we go out there.  A bonus was that right after she said yes, fireworks started across the water (which I had no about).  So we got a nice private proposal and fireworks :-D. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: reflection5 on April 07, 2013, 01:58:04 PM
When someone arranges this sort of public exhibition, they run the risk of looking like a fool.  I think the best course of action would be to smile, but tell the guy that you need to speak to him privately.

I agree.

I love romance as much as the next person, but I’d kind of had it with these types of proposals.  Worse yet are the flash mobs that sometimes accompany or precede the proposal.

I saw a story recently about a news anchor who was surprised on air with a proposal.  I've even heard about guys coming on Jerry Springer and Maury (?) proposing.

Ugh.  I just think they're really corny.   
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Yvaine on April 07, 2013, 02:09:55 PM
I'm mulling over a semi-public proposal. It's semi-public in that we are going to Disneyworld (which is a very special place for her), and we are going to see the Fantasmic show, so I'm planning on doing it then (just get down on one knee, not anything to put the spotlight on us).  However,  we've talked about marriage, and even looked at rings so I'd know what she likes.  I don't think it's a look at me moment, but I hope it will help give her a story she'll cherish.

Not during the show thought, right? Before or after? That would be really distracting during the show.

It's a fireworks show that plays out over a big chunk of the park, not something like a stage play where people should listen quietly, so I think illini is probably fine either way. I think proposing during a fireworks show sounds cute--at least as long as she can hear the proposal. ;)  I suppose, just based on that, it might be worth it to wait till after!

So about 2 days before leaving, I found out that Fantasmic is actually in a big stadium type thing with bleacher seating, not at all what I was picturing (and it would have totally distracted others as well as been much more of a spectacle then I wanted).  Alls well though, I snuck a bottle of champagne out to the beach (thanks to help from the concierge & gift shop attendant) one night and insisted we go out there.  A bonus was that right after she said yes, fireworks started across the water (which I had no about).  So we got a nice private proposal and fireworks :-D.

Maybe they've changed it then--I saw it just standing on part of the street, and there was a whole crowd gathered to do that. Sorry. :(
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: NyaChan on April 07, 2013, 06:25:26 PM
Congrats illini!  :D
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 07, 2013, 08:42:37 PM
Congratulations!  How exciting!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: sammycat on April 08, 2013, 02:08:11 AM
When someone arranges this sort of public exhibition, they run the risk of looking like a fool.  I think the best course of action would be to smile, but tell the guy that you need to speak to him privately.

I agree.

Overall, I think public proposals are very "look at me! look at me!" and I'm certainly not interested in "looking at!" someone being so self centred.

My personal theory is that when the answer is a NO, the asker suspects that might be the answer.  But, hopes that the public nature might force a YES.

Interesting point I hadn't thought of before, but I do agree with. 

Public proposals just seem very manipulative overall.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 08, 2013, 09:48:25 AM
So about 2 days before leaving, I found out that Fantasmic is actually in a big stadium type thing with bleacher seating, not at all what I was picturing (and it would have totally distracted others as well as been much more of a spectacle then I wanted).  Alls well though, I snuck a bottle of champagne out to the beach (thanks to help from the concierge & gift shop attendant) one night and insisted we go out there.  A bonus was that right after she said yes, fireworks started across the water (which I had no about).  So we got a nice private proposal and fireworks :-D.

Congrats!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Calistoga on April 08, 2013, 04:11:57 PM
Grab hand, remove from public, decline in private.

Public wedding proposals are horribly unfair.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Cat-Fu on April 09, 2013, 09:48:25 AM
Congratulations illini!!

It's funny that this thread popped up again—the other day I was passing through the mall and I stumbled upon a flash mob dancing in the middle of a giant court area. There was a song about getting married playing over the mall speakers, so I stayed to watch what I figured what likely coming. It was actually very exciting, and I admit I got a little misty-eyed over the proposal.

It turned out that an acquaintance knew one of the dancers, so I meandered over to chat with them since I am terminally nosy. :P Apparently the woman proposing knew her fiancée well—she loves flash mobs in general (I guess they had done a few together?) and also loves public proposals. I think that is the way to do it... with someone who wants it that way! Anyone who wasn't interested in looking could easily walk on past since there was plenty of room.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: weeblewobble on April 16, 2013, 05:04:18 PM
A friend of mine recently dealt with a public proposal in front of her family and his family.  BG: My friend, Shelley, is fantastic.  But for some reason, she's never met a true nice guy, just a bunch of jerks posing as nice guys.  I honestly, don't think she minds being single.  But her mother is frantically, hysterically fixated on the idea that Shelley will never get married.  So when Shelley is single, her mother hassles her non-stop about getting out there, having standards that are too high and dressing up even when she's just going to the grocery because she never knows who she could run into.  When Shelley is dating someone, her mother is even MORE frantic about making sure Shelley stays in the relationship because this could be Shelley's last chance at getting married. No matter what sort of crap the boyfriend pulls, Shelley is told to forgive and forget and stop being such a nag.

So Shelley has stayed with a series of guys who are not good enough for her.  The latest, Darryl, has been the worst of all. Readers of Captain Awkward may be familiar with the term "Darth Vader Boyfriend."  This was so him, it wasn't even funny.  (Link here, warning some foul language: http://captainawkward.com/category/darth-vader-boyfriend/ )  He is lazy, selfish, talked down to Shelley as if she should feel fortunate to be with him.  And he's a reality bender.  Anything negative that Shelley perceived was chalked up to her being too sensitive, misunderstanding, looking for problems, or being a B----.  That was his coup de grace - "You're just being a b----." And it would make Shelley feel so bad that she would drop the argument.

Our friends talked to her about this guy consistently.  We pointed out the various weak spots in the relationship (talking down to her, Darth Vadering her) and encouraged her to leave before it was too late.  (He is not working and had started talking about them moving in together and having a kid right away so he could be a stay-at-home dad.  Translation: Shelley will support him.)  I think the baby talk scared her pretty badly and she started withdrawing from the relationship.  Darryl sensed her pulling away, he really start cranking up the "charm."  Flowers for no reason, showing up at work to take her lunch (which she paid for) and calling a lot more often.  All the while she was trying to find a way to break up with him.

He insisted on throwing a big party at his parents' house for her birthday, inviting her parents, both sets of siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.  He invited his friends, but not hers, because he knows we don't like him. In the middle of the party, he proposes in front of everybody.  Shelley's mom was overjoyed and cried out, "YES!!".  But Shelley said no.  She said that when she thought about being married to Darryl, her entire body went ice cold and she felt like throwing up.  She asked to speak to him privately.  He refused and said, "How can you say no to me in front of my whole family and yours?  Your mom wants you to say yes!  And I just threw you a party!" 

ETA: Forgot to add that when Darryl and Shelley finally moved their conversation to a private place, Darryl told her "You're just being a B----!"  Yeah, buddy, that's an awesome way to convince her to marry you.

So his motivations for a public proposal are pretty clear.  He didn't want her to get away from him, so he tried to trap her.  He thought she'd be too intimidated to say no in front of their families, particularly her mom.  Shelley's not dating Darryl any more.  He's playing the wounded baby deer. And Shelley's mom is furious with her. 

But Shelley's happier than I've seen her in years.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 16, 2013, 06:03:30 PM
Go Shelley!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on April 16, 2013, 07:09:33 PM
Please give Shelly a high five and hug from me. She's feeling happier then ever because she finally is taking control of her relationships on her terms. Good for her! If her mom likes Darryl so much, she (the mom) should take him in!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: weeblewobble on April 16, 2013, 08:02:46 PM
I think that Shelley will remain single for a while.  She's not one of those women who is always on the look for a relationship.   And I think her "close call" with being really and truly unhappy in order to keep peace with her mom scared the ever-loving heck out of her.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on April 16, 2013, 08:39:42 PM
Good choice, Shelley!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: lowspark on April 17, 2013, 08:13:55 AM
Her mom's tactic of convincing Shelley to stay in bad rel@tionships longer than she should have has probably worked against her finding the right guy. Had she moved on from these creeps earlier, she might have been in a position to meet a nice guy that she might actually want to marry. Instead she squandered time in bad rel@tionships which were destined to go nowhere.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on April 17, 2013, 01:49:13 PM
Plus, that HAS to do a number on your self-esteem when you own mother thinks current jerk is the best you can do. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Palladium on April 18, 2013, 02:20:40 AM
Shelley rocks!

I really don't like public proposals either, its so unfair. My view is that the proposee has to be able to say no if that's their honest answer. My DH agrees, although his opinion is that you should never propose unless you are absolutely, 100% sure that the answer will be yes.

In the end I got a semi-public proposal (we were on a cave tour, with about 20 other people, and the guide was in on it), but since we had been talking about getting engaged for a few months by then and had discussed rings, he knew what the answer would be.  :)
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Iris on April 18, 2013, 03:10:47 AM
Yay Shelley!

I have to say I cannot even *imagine* someone saying "You're being a B****" to my daughter and me going "Oh, marry him anyway". It would take all my self restraint not to reply with "Then dump him now. Why haven't you dumped him yet? Do you need to use my phone?" I would rather go without grandchildren altogether than have anyone treat my daughter like that even for one day. Shelley's mother is either completely one eyed or very toxic and probably doesn't deserve such an awesome daughter.

Also, thanks for introducing me to Captain Awkward. Lucky I'm on holidays :)
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twik on April 18, 2013, 08:13:37 AM
But Shelley said no.  She said that when she thought about being married to Darryl, her entire body went ice cold and she felt like throwing up. 

Pretty good signs, actually, that a wedding should not be in the offing.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: weeblewobble on April 18, 2013, 09:46:07 AM
Yay Shelley!

I have to say I cannot even *imagine* someone saying "You're being a B****" to my daughter and me going "Oh, marry him anyway". It would take all my self restraint not to reply with "Then dump him now. Why haven't you dumped him yet? Do you need to use my phone?" I would rather go without grandchildren altogether than have anyone treat my daughter like that even for one day. Shelley's mother is either completely one eyed or very toxic and probably doesn't deserve such an awesome daughter.

He is/was smart enough not to call her the B-word in front of her friends and family.  They went to a bedroom to talk and that's where he did it.  Though the way he did talk to her in front of us was bad enough.  Every story and statement had some negative connotation about Shelley. Even my husband noticed and he doesn't usually pick up on things like that.

The thing is I honestly don't think Shelley's mom cares whether she is happy.  She's very much about appearances. And she is way less concerned about Shelley finding a partner in life and more concerned with what the ladies at her church think.  She has said it's embarrassing for her that all of her friends' daughters are married and hers is not.

FTR, Shelley's mom and I have never gotten along, because ever since we were kids, I have encouraged Shelley to be "defiant and rebellious" in mom's view by telling Shelley she should choose her own college, her own career path, and not to put up with BS in the name of keeping the peace with her mom. At the time, my mom and her mom worked together and she actually went to my mom to complain about me encouraging Shelley to think for herself! 

Shelley's mom ran down a list of Shelley's "faults" like having a larger, curvier frame than her mother, being too stubborn (thinking for herself), and not accepting dates with boys just because she didn't happen to like them. (Like that has anything to do with it!) She said my mom and I should be helping her improve Shelley, not interfering.  Mom ADORED Shelley (still does) and told Shelley's mom in no uncertain terms to pull her head out of her rear quarters. "You have a beautiful, kind, intelligent daughter who makes good grades, has never gotten into trouble, has great friends who love her and wants to go into a career where she can help people. How on earth do you think you could improve on that?"

Shelley's mom said my mom wouldn't understand, because my mom didn't care how I turned out.  ::)
Well, I turned out enjoying my mom's company and voluntarily spending time with her, Shelley not so much.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Kariachi on April 18, 2013, 10:15:56 AM
Shelley's mom said my mom wouldn't understand, because my mom didn't care how I turned out.

"And that's when I killed her, Your Honor."
"Case dismissed!"
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Minmom3 on April 18, 2013, 01:30:40 PM
Shelley's Mom is a Nasty Woman.  Hope Shelley can successfully detach enough to see and hear less of her.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Iris on April 18, 2013, 07:05:30 PM
Shelley's mom said my mom wouldn't understand, because my mom didn't care how I turned out.

"And that's when I killed her, Your Honor."
"Case dismissed!"

Not a jury in the world...

I'm afraid I'm a slacker like weeblewobble's mum - I don't mind if the other parents are impressed by my kids. I know they're great. Although if I had to list how my daughters turned out "Not a victim of emotional abuse" would be near the top...
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Iris on April 18, 2013, 07:14:48 PM
Back on topic though. When I was a hopelessly awkward teenager I had a crush on another hopelessly awkward teenager. We were good friends but secretly I *yearned* for more, as only a 15 year old can yearn. Anyway, one day when we were all (about 15 of us in our group) horsing around he made a joke about asking me out. Great. Going out with me is a matter for joking...message received. So I made an equally joking response (along the lines of "As if...")

Years and years later I found out via my brother, who'd caught up with this guy for dinner that that in fact had been his attempt to get romantic with me*. In a joking way, in front of allllllllll our friends. And he was still vaguely hurt at my cruel rejection. For Pete's sake.  ::)

Anyway, it all turned out for the best as we are still friends, but looking at how each of us have developed and life choices we have made there's not a chance we would have made it as a couple.



*side note: How the heck did that even come up 10 -15 years after the fact? I'm still boggled by that. Especially considering his now WIFE was at that dinner. Either that dinner party was way too boring or way too interesting.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Calypso on April 18, 2013, 07:20:26 PM
I wish I could think you're making up Shelley's mom, but I unfortunately know someone like that... :P
(BTW, Shelley RAWKS!!!!)

I once witnessed a semi-public proposal that should not have happened, and the propose-ee's gentlemanly response to it.

Semi-annual poetry party. Probably about 30 people there, each taking turns reading their work. (Background that will be relevant in a minute: lots of pagans present). Anyway, one young lady reads her piece, very nice, and then at the end out of nowhere concludes her opus with "and so," ....and she gets up, goes down on one knee before one of the men present, and asks him to marry her.

Clearly, he wasn't expecting anything of the kind.
Awkward!
Thinking fast, however, he said (very poetically  8) ) "I'll give you my answer when next the moon is full."
Awkward moment passed! (needless to say, the answer was "no." But it spared her having to hear it in front of everyone. I don't think she was trying to manipulate him, really---I think she had a script in her head and it didn't match reality very well.)
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 19, 2013, 04:56:51 PM
Seems like this is the time of year for public "will you go with me to the Prom" proposals, like a boy who serenades a girl in the school hallway with his friends as back-up singers or something like that. There always seems to be one of those in the "human interest" segment of the news, complete with video. I can't help but think how vilified the girl would be for turning him down after that--not just within their school, but sometimes nationally, if the video went viral! :(

Those actually bother me more than the marriage proposals. I feel like most people can understand turning down a marriage proposal if it doesn't feel right to you, but because there's less at stake with a date, even to Prom, it seems like people think the askee just ought to say yes for the effort, because it's only one date. What if they've already promised to go with someone else, or the asker creeps them out or something? Of course the askee should make the best decision for themselves regardless of what others will think, but it bothers me that they could get labeled as poor sports or something for that.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Winterlight on April 19, 2013, 07:11:03 PM
I agree, Lynn. I don't approve of putting people on the spot in the first place, and a situation that has the potential to make someone seem like the  bad guy because they don't want to go to prom with you is mean.

It's partly why I hate seeing people post videos asking celebrities out.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: JacklynHyde on April 21, 2013, 11:41:52 AM
There was a proposal at the prom I chaperoned last night.  She said yes because they had been discussing getting engaged, but she admitted being surprised.  The assistant principal wasn't annoyed at the attention the boy had taken away from the rest of the prom, but he was gravely concerned that the girl's father might not have given his blessing in advance.  There are so many levels of etiquette in these matters.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twik on April 21, 2013, 11:51:20 AM
Although if I had to list how my daughters turned out "Not a victim of emotional abuse" would be near the top...

It's amazing how many parents do NOT include this particularly important goal in their own lists.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: SpikeMichigan on April 21, 2013, 05:39:46 PM


 They can be nice , but like people have said, probably shouldn't be a surprise.

 Question though, is there a danger that 'discussing' marriage in a couple could be misinterpreted as a proposal? I've never been near the situation, so I wouldnt know. But it would suck to have your romantic proposal taken away.

 As for the captive audience thing, I really don't get it, but to each their own, I guess.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 21, 2013, 06:19:39 PM
I think one of two things is going on with a big public proposal.  One is that the couple know each other really well and the proposer knows that the proposee will love the attention and will say yes (which is obviously what should be the case).

The alternative is that the person making the proposal is trying to emotionally blackmail the other person into saying yes, in which case he (going with gender stereotyping) deserves what he gets.

I think I would still say yes and then go back on it later in the second case. I hate big public scenes.  I agree it is crueler to say yes and then take it back, but if someone did this to me then I think they deserve that in exchange for me being far more comfortable in saying 'no' in private.

What happens, though, if the proposer (or his friends / family around you) exclaims "Yay, now let's get on the phone and tell everyone the good news! Here, tell Mum and Dad the swell news!" You (general you) have backed yourself further into a corner. Better to rip the bandaid off right then with "Sorry, no" or "Um, let's go somewhere else ASAP and talk (so I can say no without public drama)"
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 21, 2013, 09:52:48 PM
There was a proposal at the prom I chaperoned last night.  She said yes because they had been discussing getting engaged, but she admitted being surprised.  The assistant principal wasn't annoyed at the attention the boy had taken away from the rest of the prom, but he was gravely concerned that the girl's father might not have given his blessing in advance.  There are so many levels of etiquette in these matters.

Wait, what?  Please tell me you don't mean you think the young man was "rude" because he didn't ask her father's permission?
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: twiggy on April 21, 2013, 10:22:25 PM
There was a proposal at the prom I chaperoned last night.  She said yes because they had been discussing getting engaged, but she admitted being surprised.  The assistant principal wasn't annoyed at the attention the boy had taken away from the rest of the prom, but he was gravely concerned that the girl's father might not have given his blessing in advance.  There are so many levels of etiquette in these matters.

Wait, what?  Please tell me you don't mean you think the young man was "rude" because he didn't ask her father's permission?

etiquette exists to help us through social interactions. In JacklynHyde's area, it might be totally commonplace and expected that a young man ask the father for his blessing. Note that JacklynHyde and I are using the word "blessing", not "permission". My DH talked with my father before he asked me to marry him, and I was touched that he did. Different strokes, as it were. 

Though, to be honest, I would still have married DH even if Dad wasn't a fan  >:D
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Iris on April 21, 2013, 11:05:26 PM
There was a proposal at the prom I chaperoned last night.  She said yes because they had been discussing getting engaged, but she admitted being surprised.  The assistant principal wasn't annoyed at the attention the boy had taken away from the rest of the prom, but he was gravely concerned that the girl's father might not have given his blessing in advance.  There are so many levels of etiquette in these matters.

Wait, what?  Please tell me you don't mean you think the young man was "rude" because he didn't ask her father's permission?

etiquette exists to help us through social interactions. In JacklynHyde's area, it might be totally commonplace and expected that a young man ask the father for his blessing. Note that JacklynHyde and I are using the word "blessing", not "permission". My DH talked with my father before he asked me to marry him, and I was touched that he did. Different strokes, as it were. 

Though, to be honest, I would still have married DH even if Dad wasn't a fan  >:D

I appreciate different strokes and I'm glad your DH understood you so well, but "gravely concerned" that someone might not have asked for the father's blessing seems a bit OTT to me, regional differences notwithstanding. Of course it's always possible that these kids were not of legal age to marry, given that it was a prom, and that's why he was concerned so I may be speculating over the wrong thing entirely.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on April 22, 2013, 08:36:45 AM
Keep in mind that Prom is for High School kids.  So, generally, under 18 and also living at home.  Depending on the state and their age the parents might have to even sign their consent. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twik on April 22, 2013, 08:39:24 AM
Keep in mind that Prom is for High School kids.  So, generally, under 18 and also living at home.  Depending on the state and their age the parents might have to even sign their consent.

They have to give their consent to a marriage. There is no requirement that they give consent to their child agreeing to get married at some future time, particularly as such an agreement no longer has anything legally binding about it.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: KenveeB on April 22, 2013, 09:06:21 AM
I was actually part of a public proposal yesterday! The happy couple are both actors at the local renaissance faire, and the groom-to-be planned it out to occur during one of the shows where the cast make announcements and advertise different shops and services at the faire. A few of the men came out and said they wanted to try the wedding services. The lord secretary (who always finds something to complain about) said they couldn't do that, you have to have a ring and a bride to get married. One of the ladies of the court said she could fix that and pulled out the bride-to-be. Then the GTB asked if anyone had a ring, and I ran up with The Ring. (I'd been carrying it around very nervously all morning!) Then he got down on one knee. It was beautiful. The BTB thought it was all just part of the performance until he got down on one knee. Her face was wonderful!

I think it worked for them because (1) they had been talking about marriage for a while. She'd even occasionally make comments to me about, "When 'Joe' and I get married..." So while the proposal was a surprise, the idea was not, and we knew she'd say yes, and (2) they're both performers and part of this group, and they worked it into the existing structure of the performance. So it was a nice show for all the people who weren't connected, while still being a great moment for the two of them.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 22, 2013, 10:13:52 AM
That's awesome KenveeB!



Yes, but etiquette isn't sexist.  A father's blessing for his daughter's engagement is utterly outdated regardless of regional norms.  It is rude to assume that family is still living in times when the daughter belonged to the father.  It is none of the principal's concern, and frankly, had I overheard him being "gravely concerned" about this, I would have some words.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 22, 2013, 11:12:57 AM
Question though, is there a danger that 'discussing' marriage in a couple could be misinterpreted as a proposal? I've never been near the situation, so I wouldnt know. But it would suck to have your romantic proposal taken away.

I've never been near the situation, either (good way to put it), but I'm sure there have been many couples where one person was more eager to get married than the other, and took any discussion of the subject (or even mention of someone else's marriage) as a confirmation that the other person intended to marry them. And when couples get out of sync like that, it can lead to some very sticky situations. :(

I know couples who have discussed marriage, agreed to everything, shopped for the ring together even, but don't consider themselves actually ENGAGED until someone does a formal proposal and presents the ring. So you can have both the pragmatic discussion and the romantic proposal.

Personally, if we discussed the subject and agreed we were getting married in the near future and started taking steps towards that, I would consider myself engaged, and wouldn't need (or even want) an official "moment." So I wouldn't have a cute proposal story to tell people, but that's okay with me, because I don't consider that personally important. To each their own.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on April 22, 2013, 06:24:51 PM
Question though, is there a danger that 'discussing' marriage in a couple could be misinterpreted as a proposal? I've never been near the situation, so I wouldnt know. But it would suck to have your romantic proposal taken away.

I think there is a huge, huge, HUGE difference between discussing getting married and deciding to get married. I discussed marriage with every boyfriend i ever had [once I was] over 18 years old. With some the discussion was more serious then with others. But we didn't decide to get married until the last one (my now DH), and that came at the time of the proposal. because ultimately that is what a proposal is - one person proposes the option of "hey lets stop talking about it and actually do it" and the other person considers the proposal and decides "yes lets" or "no lets not".

I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 22, 2013, 09:47:35 PM
Question though, is there a danger that 'discussing' marriage in a couple could be misinterpreted as a proposal? I've never been near the situation, so I wouldnt know. But it would suck to have your romantic proposal taken away.

I think there is a huge, huge, HUGE difference between discussing getting married and deciding to get married. I discussed marriage with every boyfriend i ever had [once I was] over 18 years old. With some the discussion was more serious then with others. But we didn't decide to get married until the last one (my now DH), and that came at the time of the proposal. because ultimately that is what a proposal is - one person proposes the option of "hey lets stop talking about it and actually do it" and the other person considers the proposal and decides "yes lets" or "no lets not".

I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

I would agree that if there hasn't been an explicit "let's get married" or "will you marry me?" from one and a yes from the other, the two people aren't engaged.

What seems weird to me is when Alice and Bob have had that discussion and agreed to get married, and have told other people that they are planning to marry each other, and then Alice (or Bob) says something like "we're still planning when/how he's going to propose to me," meaning "when we are going to do this particular shape of sentimental." If Alice and Bob have had that discussion and not told anyone, that's a gray area, and it's their relationship, not mine. If you are both telling people that you have agreed to get married, it seems odd to also be talking about the "proposal," so called, as an event that will happen at an indeterminate future date.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 22, 2013, 10:06:55 PM
Question though, is there a danger that 'discussing' marriage in a couple could be misinterpreted as a proposal? I've never been near the situation, so I wouldnt know. But it would suck to have your romantic proposal taken away.

I think there is a huge, huge, HUGE difference between discussing getting married and deciding to get married. I discussed marriage with every boyfriend i ever had [once I was] over 18 years old. With some the discussion was more serious then with others. But we didn't decide to get married until the last one (my now DH), and that came at the time of the proposal. because ultimately that is what a proposal is - one person proposes the option of "hey lets stop talking about it and actually do it" and the other person considers the proposal and decides "yes lets" or "no lets not".

I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

I would agree that if there hasn't been an explicit "let's get married" or "will you marry me?" from one and a yes from the other, the two people aren't engaged.

What seems weird to me is when Alice and Bob have had that discussion and agreed to get married, and have told other people that they are planning to marry each other, and then Alice (or Bob) says something like "we're still planning when/how he's going to propose to me," meaning "when we are going to do this particular shape of sentimental." If Alice and Bob have had that discussion and not told anyone, that's a gray area, and it's their relationship, not mine. If you are both telling people that you have agreed to get married, it seems odd to also be talking about the "proposal," so called, as an event that will happen at an indeterminate future date.

My sister did that. She and her then boyfriend (now husband) used to randomly throw out "Oh, it's almost Christmas / other holiday. You never know, I might show up at Christmas dinner with a ring on my finger, tee hee." So at one point I entered a wedding contest and won a bridal emergency kit for her (aspirin, bobby pins, nail polish, etc). She told me "Um, thanks, but you ruined the surprise for bf and I. We aren't engaged yet."  ::) 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: SpikeMichigan on April 23, 2013, 05:22:46 AM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 23, 2013, 07:27:16 AM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

Even if that is taken away by her proposing to you?
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: SpikeMichigan on April 23, 2013, 07:36:45 AM
Quote
Quote from: SpikeMichigan on Today at 06:22:46 AM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

Even if that is taken away by her proposing to you? 


     Honestly, yes. I was discussing this with friends the other day. I would hate to be proposed to for that exact reason. Not necessarily that it 'must be the mans job' - if the girl proposing works for other couples, more power to them. But me personally? I can't say it wouldn't bother me. And I really can't articulate why. I just really would want to orchestrate the proposal. Hopefully, if (a big if) the situation seems remotely likely to be impending, the lady in question would know well in advance of my feelings.

 I really hope I'm not perceived as sexist. Or if I am, that people would understand that this is a one-off view I can't help.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twik on April 23, 2013, 08:57:27 AM
SpikeMilligan - of course, everyone is entitled to their own preferences!

My own preference would be to avoid flowers, down-on-one-knee, all that stuff. I'd consider the perfect proposal to be something like, in the middle of moving furniture, have someone say, "What about getting married sometime?" To me, that would be incredibly romantic, but I'm sure a lot of people don't share the feeling.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 23, 2013, 10:10:55 AM
I would agree that if there hasn't been an explicit "let's get married" or "will you marry me?" from one and a yes from the other, the two people aren't engaged.

What seems weird to me is when Alice and Bob have had that discussion and agreed to get married, and have told other people that they are planning to marry each other, and then Alice (or Bob) says something like "we're still planning when/how he's going to propose to me," meaning "when we are going to do this particular shape of sentimental." If Alice and Bob have had that discussion and not told anyone, that's a gray area, and it's their relationship, not mine. If you are both telling people that you have agreed to get married, it seems odd to also be talking about the "proposal," so called, as an event that will happen at an indeterminate future date.

It seems weird to me, too. For example, a friend of mine and her BF had many serious discussions about marriage, agreed that marriage to each other was the next step in their relationship, began plotting out a timeline and other plans for the wedding, and went shopping together and purchased rings (and told me, and other people, about all of this). But, she did not consider that they were actually engaged to be married, because he had not yet made an official proposal in which he presented her with the ring and asked her to marry him, as part of a planned evening with dinner at a nice restaurant, etc.. And then after that happened they called everyone and announced that they were engaged. (And I have to admit I was like, "Oh, that's great. But I thought you already were? You asked me to be a bridesmaid the other day..."  ???)

Honestly, it doesn't matter to me either way, because it's not like her attitude is hurting anyone else. I just don't personally share it. I'm pretty low-key about some things and if I couldn't pinpoint the exact date and time that I "became engaged," because it happened at some point in between agreeing it was the next step and actually starting to make a wedding a reality, that would be fine with me. If the person I had agreed to marry started making noise about how we "weren't really engaged yet," I would be looking at them nervously and saying, "Wait a second, are we getting married or not? I thought we agreed? I've been writing out guest lists and looking up 'change of marital status' forms at work! Am I jumping the gun here?" And if they said they wanted to have a big proposal "moment" I have to admit I would think they were being kind of silly. But, that's probably unlikely to happen, just because if we were getting married, we would hopefully know each other better than that, and be on the same page about such things.

But like I said, it really doesn't affect anyone else (unless the couple is roping in unwilling third parties or something), so neither attitude is rude. But, to go back to the original subject of the thread, my opinion on this is why I personally don't find (other people's) public marriage proposals to be especially enjoyable to witness. I wouldn't ask any third party to not do one if they both wanted to, or rudely interrupt them somehow, but I would be one of the people quietly walking on by, not part of the crowd standing there watching and applauding.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on April 23, 2013, 10:11:58 AM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

Even if that is taken away by her proposing to you?

Honestly, yes. I was discussing this with friends the other day. I would hate to be proposed to for that exact reason. Not necessarily that it 'must be the mans job' - if the girl proposing works for other couples, more power to them. But me personally? I can't say it wouldn't bother me. And I really can't articulate why. I just really would want to orchestrate the proposal. Hopefully, if (a big if) the situation seems remotely likely to be impending, the lady in question would know well in advance of my feelings.

 I really hope I'm not perceived as sexist. Or if I am, that people would understand that this is a one-off view I can't help.

I think that makes sense. I think my DH would have been very upset on several levels if I'd proposed to him. And once one is engaged and planning and even on the wedding day itself it becomes clear to me why proposing should be left for the man - so much of the wedding hoopla is about the bride. The pre-parties are mostly about the bride (even the bachelor party usually has to consider the bride's feelings on some 'traditional bachelor party' activities!), the big deal is made about the bride's attire, the MOB traditionally gets to pick her dress first, the MOG then follows suit, the photographer more follows the bride, bride, bride, bride, etc.

The proposal is the time when the groom gets to really shine and be the star of the story, if not the show. Because even after the proposal its the bride who wears the ring, and often if the one who is asked about the proposal. But at least when she is asked, her story is all about the groom, what he did, how he did it, didn't he pick a lovely ring, he knew just what she wanted, etc.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 23, 2013, 10:43:19 AM
I think that makes sense. I think my DH would have been very upset on several levels if I'd proposed to him. And once one is engaged and planning and even on the wedding day itself it becomes clear to me why proposing should be left for the man - so much of the wedding hoopla is about the bride. The pre-parties are mostly about the bride (even the bachelor party usually has to consider the bride's feelings on some 'traditional bachelor party' activities!), the big deal is made about the bride's attire, the MOB traditionally gets to pick her dress first, the MOG then follows suit, the photographer more follows the bride, bride, bride, bride, etc.

The proposal is the time when the groom gets to really shine and be the star of the story, if not the show. Because even after the proposal its the bride who wears the ring, and often if the one who is asked about the proposal. But at least when she is asked, her story is all about the groom, what he did, how he did it, didn't he pick a lovely ring, he knew just what she wanted, etc.

That's a nice way of looking at it that works well for some people. I really mean that. But, for other couples, neither one wants to be the "star" at all, you know? Personally I would want to have a very small, casual wedding because I abhor being the center of attention, especially in a large group. My SO is only hypothetical and future, but it's not a stretch to imagine they might feel the same way. People might be disappointed that I didn't have a proposal story to share with them (or possibly even an engagement ring, I'm ambivalent about them), but that would be fine with me, if *I* had gotten the type of "proposal" (discussion and mutual agreement) that *I* wanted. I don't even really like the idea of our relationship/wedding being a "story" or "show" for other people, though pragmatically I understand it would be in some sense, just due to the linear nature of life.

Sorry, not trying to be argumentative or anything, just presenting multiple viewpoints. :)
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: WillyNilly on April 23, 2013, 11:03:42 AM
To a great extent though, the bride doesn't get too much of a say in being pushed into the spotlight. I certainly didn't take that position willingly. My husband is a performer. I am more a producer. But other people (family, friends, vendors, etc) focused on bride, bride, bride. Sure to a certain extent you can push back and say "no, not me, not bride, us, couple" but its definitely an uphill battle. A winnable battle but not an effort to be dismissed.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: ilrag on April 23, 2013, 02:13:41 PM
SpikeMilligan - of course, everyone is entitled to their own preferences!

My own preference would be to avoid flowers, down-on-one-knee, all that stuff. I'd consider the perfect proposal to be something like, in the middle of moving furniture, have someone say, "What about getting married sometime?" To me, that would be incredibly romantic, but I'm sure a lot of people don't share the feeling.

That's basically what went down with my husband, except sub in "driving to do boring errands" for "moving". He's the best.   :D
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 23, 2013, 06:04:53 PM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

Even if that is taken away by her proposing to you?

Honestly, yes. I was discussing this with friends the other day. I would hate to be proposed to for that exact reason. Not necessarily that it 'must be the mans job' - if the girl proposing works for other couples, more power to them. But me personally? I can't say it wouldn't bother me. And I really can't articulate why. I just really would want to orchestrate the proposal. Hopefully, if (a big if) the situation seems remotely likely to be impending, the lady in question would know well in advance of my feelings.

 I really hope I'm not perceived as sexist. Or if I am, that people would understand that this is a one-off view I can't help.

I think that makes sense. I think my DH would have been very upset on several levels if I'd proposed to him. And once one is engaged and planning and even on the wedding day itself it becomes clear to me why proposing should be left for the man - so much of the wedding hoopla is about the bride. The pre-parties are mostly about the bride (even the bachelor party usually has to consider the bride's feelings on some 'traditional bachelor party' activities!), the big deal is made about the bride's attire, the MOB traditionally gets to pick her dress first, the MOG then follows suit, the photographer more follows the bride, bride, bride, bride, etc.

The proposal is the time when the groom gets to really shine and be the star of the story, if not the show. Because even after the proposal its the bride who wears the ring, and often if the one who is asked about the proposal. But at least when she is asked, her story is all about the groom, what he did, how he did it, didn't he pick a lovely ring, he knew just what she wanted, etc.

It's the opposite for me. I refuse to date anyone who would be bothered by me proposing. I figure if (general) he isn't okay with that, he's not going to be okay with my other crunchy / feminist / offbeat life choices. I was the one who proposed to BhaktaBoy (a boyfriend I just recently broke up with). People were never rude or disappointed to hear our engagement story IRL and he was rather proud when we told it.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Sophia on April 24, 2013, 12:21:09 PM
I guess you could say that I was one that didn't consider myself engaged until the proposal.  In my case, it wasn't the proposal itself.  But, the next step was all on me.  He wasn't interested in planning a wedding, and that was OK with me.  But, I wasn't going to do all that work until I had a clear-cut "Yes, I absolutely want to get married" from him.  Rather than a more iffy, "Yes, I think it would be a good idea sometime in the near future (bit not now)"
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Venus193 on April 24, 2013, 03:46:05 PM
OK, made it to the end of the thread.

I hate these things because I think the proposal should be a private affair because it's about a relationship of private emotions.  I cringe during Moonstruck when Johnny Cammarreri proposed to Loretta in the Grand Ticino.  Since I am one of those people who hates the birthday thing in public this would send me running for the exit.

As to the poll question, I think the answer would be "it depends."  If the guy is otherwise a reasonable person I would say "Can we talk about this?"  If I had any reason to think he was a manipulative type my answer would be to refuse publcly so there can be no question about it when you request a restraining order two days later.

BTW, my love of that music notwithstanding I would be embarrassed to death if a gentleman sent a mariachi band to do the public serenade thing.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Twik on April 24, 2013, 03:47:53 PM
I guess you could say that I was one that didn't consider myself engaged until the proposal.  In my case, it wasn't the proposal itself.  But, the next step was all on me.  He wasn't interested in planning a wedding, and that was OK with me.  But, I wasn't going to do all that work until I had a clear-cut "Yes, I absolutely want to get married" from him.  Rather than a more iffy, "Yes, I think it would be a good idea sometime in the near future (bit not now)"

I agree, there's a *big* difference between "well, we might someday get married" and "Will you marry me?" It's just that some people talk about how they've bought the ring, circled a date on the calendar, and started making non-refundable deposits on wedding stuff, and they're still not "engaged" until the "official" proposal, which is a detailed production, rather than a simple agreement.

Even that's ok, if it's what floats your boat. But I'd consider the first "meeting of the minds" on the subject, whenever it occurs, to be the real proposal. Great if it's on a beach in Malibu, but hey, just as great if it's while taking out the garbage. It just seems a little odd that someone has asked, "Will you marry me?" and someone else has said "yes," but they don't consider it "real" until it's done in a specific manner.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Alynne1113 on April 24, 2013, 05:15:50 PM
This happened to my cousin, she was proposed to very publicly and said yes because she felt she had too. It all got out of control very fast and before she knew it her family had planned an elaborate huge wedding for her and I think she got swept up in the attention also everyone kept saying that "cold feet" are normal and that he was a great guy ect., so she ended up marrying him, they didn't even last 6 months before she caught him messing around.

I have NO IDEA what I would do. probably say yes right away and so no later---hopefully unlike in my cousins experience people aren't planning a wedding by the time I get home and news hasn't gotten around to all the family!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: weeblewobble on April 24, 2013, 06:56:18 PM
OK, made it to the end of the thread.

I hate these things because I think the proposal should be a private affair because it's about a relationship of private emotions.  I cringe during Moonstruck when Johnny Cammarreri proposed to Loretta in the Grand Ticino.  Since I am one of those people who hates the birthday thing in public this would send me running for the exit.


My favorite line in the movie is when Ronnie has proposed and Mama asks "Do you love him, Loretta?"  Loretta says, "Ma, I love him awful."  Mom says, "Eh, too bad." 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Kariachi on April 25, 2013, 09:11:14 AM
I was just looking through a book I've got on superstitions(specifically western ones) and saw something interesting.

Fun Fact: Apparently public proposals are/were considered bad luck. Who knew?
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Last_Dance on May 07, 2013, 03:03:35 AM
In spite of being pretty shy in RL, I actually wouldn't mind a public proposal - provided it's from DF, of course  ;)

If he proposed by hiding the ring in a slice of cake, however...Now that's bound to end in tears!
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Chivewarrior on May 08, 2013, 12:04:01 PM
OK, made it to the end of the thread.

I hate these things because I think the proposal should be a private affair because it's about a relationship of private emotions.  I cringe during Moonstruck when Johnny Cammarreri proposed to Loretta in the Grand Ticino.  Since I am one of those people who hates the birthday thing in public this would send me running for the exit.
I think it's worth bearing in mind about that scene that he initially just asked her over dinner, with a bottle of champagne, and then she made him do the get down on one knee and offer a ring thing. So that's kind of a case of the bride making it more public than it was initially planned to be.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Venus193 on May 08, 2013, 12:46:45 PM
I guess what bothered me the most about that scene is his awkwardness.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Emmy on May 11, 2013, 01:54:40 PM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

I agree with this, I am a woman and a proposal was important to me.  A female friend of mine expressed disappointment over her non-proposal.  One friend and her FH had been discussing and planning on getting engaged.  They went ring shopping together and he handed her the bag with the ring.  It sounds so anti-climatic to me.  My DH didn't do anything dramatic, we were on a visit to NYC taking a walk in Central Park, but the fact he got on one knee and asked me formally made the moment very special.  I don't consider myself a demanding woman, but I would have felt let down if he had just considered us engaged because we had talked about marriage and wanted to head in that direction.

I think the marriage conversation should come up before a proposal (both people should agree about the direction of the relationship), but simply because two people have discussed marriage doesn't automatically mean they are engaged. 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: Pen^2 on May 21, 2013, 09:51:27 AM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

   That's exactly what inspired my question! I encountered a few posts opining that a couple who have agreed that they will one day marry are already engaged and there is 'no need' for a proposal. The combination of 'every couple should discuss marriage seriously', with 'when they agree marriage is the next step, they are engaged' pretty much kills the very concept of the proposal event, which I think is a shame, because I think proposals have a certain charm to them, and are often a great story.

 Perhaps its my masculine pride rearing its head, but I would greatly resent being deprived of the chance to execute my (entirely hypothetical) ultimate romantic proposal.

I agree with this, I am a woman and a proposal was important to me.  A female friend of mine expressed disappointment over her non-proposal.  One friend and her FH had been discussing and planning on getting engaged.  They went ring shopping together and he handed her the bag with the ring.  It sounds so anti-climatic to me.  My DH didn't do anything dramatic, we were on a visit to NYC taking a walk in Central Park, but the fact he got on one knee and asked me formally made the moment very special.  I don't consider myself a demanding woman, but I would have felt let down if he had just considered us engaged because we had talked about marriage and wanted to head in that direction.

I think the marriage conversation should come up before a proposal (both people should agree about the direction of the relationship), but simply because two people have discussed marriage doesn't automatically mean they are engaged.

POD. No-one, including a couple, should commit to anything without properly considering it first. And when there's more than one person involved, that means discussing it together. For all one person knows, their partner is against marriage as a concept, or is strongly against the idea of certain types of proposals (e.g. public ones), or whatever. Maybe one person is expecting to have children when married and the other has always been a "no children" person. Basically: it's a huge life decision, and therefore the most important thing is whether both people are on the same page. Getting engaged means officially being committed to getting married at some future point. It needs to be discussed beforehand.

DH and I, for example, before we were married or engaged, talked a bit about things. It was all hypothetical. Largely because he was terrified that I would not want to get married or something, and once I realised this, I made sure to comment whenever there was a wedding in a film or something: "I love the way they did ..., what do you think" or "I could never do ... could you?" From there, we talked about personal preferences and beliefs and knew roughly where each other stood. A proposal before knowing those things would have been recklessly irresponsible.

If one person is going to say "yes" or "no", the other should hopefully have a good idea of it beforehand. Nothing certain is possible, of course, but at least an inkling of what the answer would be. Similarly, they should know if the other person detests public proposals or something before they commit to doing one.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on May 21, 2013, 03:31:53 PM
Emmy- I think your husband's proposal was very nice and very romantic.  Central Park is a lovely place and it sounds like he didn't do it with a big production...that's about the right amount of "public", in my opinion.  Yes, you were in a public place but he didn't do anything to really put you on the spot in front of hundreds of spectators.  Very nice.
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: daen on May 24, 2013, 09:55:44 PM
Quote
  I always think its weird when I read in posts that if a couple is seriously discussing marriage 'they are already engaged' (usually followed by 'why do they need a ring' or 'a proposal isn't necessary'). Seriously discussing, and even know the plan is for it to happen someday, does not mean a couple is engaged - discussing a plan and implementing a plan are two separate stages of being.

I agree with that - my now-husband and I discussed marriage very seriously. Systematically, in fact - we went through one of those before-you-get-married books that asks questions about how each of you manages money and wants to raise children and so on. I wasn't prepared to marry him until after I had a good idea of where our areas of agreement and disagreement are.

Where I find the line gets blurry is when the not-engaged couple has put down a deposit on a reception venue for a specific date. And yes, I have heard of that happening.

Edited to clean up quoting error.

 
Title: Re: Public Marriage Proposals
Post by: ThistleBird on June 02, 2013, 09:20:58 PM
I've thought about what I would do if confronted with a public proposal from a guy I didn't want to marry. Partly because--how awful would that be?

1. Say "I need some time to think about it." The audience can't tell if that's a yes or a no (whether they have audio or not!), so there's no big drama.
2. Wail till you're in a more private/anonymous space.
3. Tell him "no", set him straight if he's clueless, ream him out if he's not.

I think a woman's perfectly within her rights to say "NO" in front of everybody if that's what she wants/needs to do, but I feel like my solution would make it easier on me as well as everybody else.