Nataliyia Lavryshyn was enjoying a typical date night with her boyfriend, Josh Ogle, when the music started to play.
Ogle was proposing.
“I didn’t realize what was happening until I finally grabbed the ring and put it on my finger,” Lavryshyn recalled.
But the ring was just the beginning. After the proposal, Ogle swept off his bride-to-be in a vintage car, and the pair went to a high-end restaurant where they were feted by a celebrity chef. They finished by jetting off to Europe for a post-proposal celebration.
“It’s very much in my character and, I think, in our relationship, for me to try to do things that are goofy and clever and catch her by surprise,” Ogle said.
Proposals are getting bigger and better; simply getting down on bended knee to pop the question now seems to be a thing of the past.
“With the advent of social media, things like Facebook and YouTube, guys are thinking outside the box,” said Sarah Pease, a New York City-based marriage proposal and engagement expert.
“It’s no longer lame dinner proposals,” she said. “It’s things that are personal and unique to their love story.”
A visible example of that phenomenon is the engagement flash mob. Videos of engagement flash mobs being staged to catch women – or men – by surprise are rife on the Internet.
These memorable proposals don’t always come cheap.
Salman Ali spent $2,000 on a choreographer for his flash mob proposal in Times Square, saying it “described me and who I am.”
“It was just like a dream come true for any Indian girl,” said his fiancee, Shumaila Rangoonwala, who said yes. “It was Bollywood. It was dancing. It was music. [It was] everything we grew up with, so it was awesome.”
Ogle, of the celebrity chef dinner and trip to Europe, shelled out $45,000 for his elaborate proposal. That total included the cost of the engagement ring, celebrity chef, roof top and vintage car rentals, and the trip to Europe.
Asked if the expense was worth it, Ogle replied that he was spending money on what was important. He said that men often didn’t have control over what happened at their weddings but said he had total control over the proposal.
His fiancee, Lavryshyn, expects to have a small wedding, with no more than 25 guests, but she said she’ll cherish her memories of the proposal.
“To have that feeling and remember the feeling always, I think, is more important than just remembering the words, ‘Will you marry me?’” she said.