Former ad exec-turned-proposal guru Daisy Amodio explains why people love a good engagement story (and why you should never pop the question in a car park)…
I’m a serious romantic and my boyfriend wouldn’t propose for ages and ages. I nagged and nagged and nagged. He thought it was funny. Very annoying. I did begin to think it would never happen.
Anyway, a couple of years back I was walking through Hyde Park early one evening with my friend Tiffany Wright, and there was a guy spelling out “MAKE ME THE HAPPIEST MAN ALIVE” in tea lights. He was about to propose to his girlfriend. The only problem was he’d spelled “happiest” wrong so we ran over and pointed the mistake out.
He said, “Oh I’m so grateful – you’ve saved the proposal.” We said, “Do you want us to take some pictures for you?” So we hid behind the tree, his girlfriend came along, she loved it – it all went beautifully. We showed them the pictures, and they actually invited us to the wedding, which was lovely.
Talking it over, Tiffany and I thought there was a gap in the market, hence the business we started – The Proposers. We now show up No.1 on Google for proposal ideas and planning.
I finally got engaged last year. Like anyone else, the first thing everyone wanted to know was, “Oh my God – how did he do it?”
He had covered the house we had just bought in candles and tea lights and signs that led me to the roof terrace. There he was, fully suited, looking great. And he proposed. He did very well. Top marks.
The proposal is a very, very important moment. When my boyfriend proposed I knew in that instant this was the guy I was completely happy about spending the rest of my life with. I knew where my life was going.
So the story of your engagement proposal is one you’re going to tell forever – to your friends, family, kids, grandkids. I think it’s important to get right. It doesn’t need to cost the world. In fact it doesn’t necessarily need to cost anything – there just needs to be some thought behind it. My friend, for instance, was proposed to in a car park. Her boyfriend was going to do it in the pub but it was too busy, so it was in the car park later on instead. And she really hates telling that story.
It sounds obvious, but it’s important to think of the person – who they are, what would be special to them. Not everyone does consider it, actually, and not everyone is creative. So if someone comes to us, someone who is struggling, Tiffany and I each come up with a proposal plan for them. The clients usually love them both ideas so we usually integrate elements of each. We love a challenge.
One guy said his girlfriend had always wanted to be an artist. So we hired out part of an art gallery – Riverside Gallery, Richmond upon Thames – and put pictures of things that were special to her on a selection of canvases and easels. She loved it. At the very last canvas, he ripped off the velvet cover and it read: “Will you marry me?” Of course she said yes.
Some people want it intimate, some people want to tell the world. A lot of Brits can be quite shy about public displays of affection. But if it’s a proposal with a flash mob, or it’s on the Tube with lots of people around, some people love the public gesture and I think that’s great. We did a big Bollywood one recently in Tower Hill – the guy had learned all the moves to perform with the proper dancers – and it was absolutely thrilling.
Everyone’s different. Not everyone wants a huge gesture. But I think everyone wants some kind of romance at that moment, something that makes them feel special, something that gets the heart pounding and leaves them a little bit breathless.
Daisy and Tiffany are looking for romantic sorts who’d like to propose on TV for their new show – The Proposers (an Alaska TV production), filming from mid-June until the end of July. If that’s you contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 644 0011