You (hopefully) only get one shot at a marriage proposal. And if you ask Sarah Pease, you should take the proper steps to nail it. Sarah is a professional event planner who specializes in marriage proposals. Her company, Brilliant Event Planning, helps guys plan proposals that will leave their future wives speechless. Their website even has a proposal generator that provides ideas on what type of proposal she’ll want based on her interests. [editor's note - why didn't I think of that?]
I recently sat down with Sarah to ask her a few burning questions about the proposal planning business and how it benefits the future grooms that are looking to leave a lasting impression with an innovative proposal.
Q – What is proposal planning what is your service all about? Do you simply come up with the idea, or execute the entire event?
I offer two levels of proposal planning services. First is concept only where we host a Question & Answer session with the future groom to learn about him, his future fiance and their relationship together. Based on what we discover in that Q&A session, and in conjunction with his overall budget, we develop the perfect proposal concept. At our second meeting, we present this concept and together make any final tweaks (maybe he wants red roses instead of pink or a guitar player instead of a string trio) and then email him his proposal “blueprint.” This document describes exactly how the proposal will unfold and provides him with a list of “To Do” items. From there, it’s up to him to recruit all the vendors and produce the proposal!
With full planning, it includes the entire Concept Only package, but also includes all vendor matches, full planning of the day – down to the smallest detail, and my team on site behind-the-scenes on the day-of so everything runs according to plan.
Q – What’s the most common question or concern that grooms have about their proposal?
Most guys just want to know what they can do to make it amazing. I give my clients a lot of credit – they recognize that a proposal at the end of a generic restaurant dinner won’t cut it and they come to me to create something memorable, a story to tell their future grandkids.
Q – Obviously, the element of surprise is always in play when planning a marriage proposal. Have you ever had any close calls where the secret was almost blown?
YES. The worst was where the future bride worked around the corner and had a habit of coming home for lunch every day – the client insisted on doing the proposal in his apartment and we needed all day to set up. With the help of the building super, we concocted a scheme of the exterminator coming on that day. It involved multiple notices in their mailbox (she always got the mail) and even one posted on their front door on the morning-of. Despite all of our efforts, she came home at lunch. I happened to be in the lobby talking to a vendor and see her walking in, headed for her apartment. Short of tackling her, there was nothing I could do to stop her and there was no way of explaining away what she would find in her apartment. Luckily, at the last second, the super caught her and said she couldn’t go up yet because the extermination wasn’t done. Boy did he earn his Christmas bonus that year!
Q – What’s the most elaborate proposal you’ve ever planned?
One of the most elaborate was for a girl who loved nothing more than reality TV and fashion so the decoy we created was that her sister entered her on a new tv show called “Fashion Scavenger Hunt.” We hired an entire professional camera crew, an actor to be the fake host and shut down a boutique in SoHo. If she answered enough questions right, she got a designer dress, shoes & earrings. The end of the day culminated in a makeover with one of NYC’s top hairstylists and makeup artists and a photo shoot on a yacht. As the yacht sailed around the bottom of Manhattan she was vogueing for the camera and the video crew was still rolling. She passed under Brooklyn Bridge and on shore saw a giant sign that said “Will You Marry Me?” My client sped out on another boat towards the yacht in a tuxedo and with a bouquet of red roses, boarded the boat and proposed. She said yes!
Q – What’s your take on sports stadium proposals? Have you ever planed one?
Please do not propose on a jumbo tron. Ever. Any guy can be more creative than that and she deserves something much more personal and thoughtful.
Q – What happens if she says no?
Luckily I can’t tell you from experience because it hasn’t happened (knock on wood). I imagine that it would mostly be very upsetting for both of them and it would be my job to cancel any remaining plans so they can have some time to themselves to talk things through. Hopefully it never does happen!
Sarah Pease is founder of Brilliant Event Planning. Based in NYC, BEP specializes in creating wedding experiences that delight all five senses. As masters of both the creative right brain and the organized left brain, Sarah has planned proposals and weddings for everyone from our next door neighbor to celebrities and professional athletes.