20 Nov Creative Ways to Nail the Proposal

There are millions of ways to ask your significant other to marry you, from the traditional bended knee with ring in hand to announcing your intentions on a jumbotron in front of thousands. We’ve heard about a lot of different types of proposals over the years here at Robert Ryan Catering & Design, and our team has come up with a few tips for a successful one. We’re also thrilled that one happy couple we’re working with wanted to share their story, which is definitely one for the memory books.

Marketing manager Michelle Durinzi says, “Ask for the blessing! From Dad, Mom, aunt, grandparent, whoever did the raising. It shows your intentions and feelings.”

She also advises that even if your beloved knows a proposal is coming, make sure the actual proposal is a surprise and that it’s unique. “Even if it’s been done, it can still be unique—include details of your relationship to ensure it’s truly one-of-a-kind. Pick a location that is somewhere meaningful to you as a couple.”

And above all, capture the moment! “Capturing this once-in-a-lifetime moment is not an option—it’s a must! Hire a professional, hide a friend in the bushes, whatever it takes to capture the moment! You don’t want to ruin the surprise, so plan this one carefully.”

A piece of advice from Tiffany Johnson, Barn on Bridge event manager, echoes Michelle Durinzi’s advice on picking a memorable place that means something to you both and is somewhere you can revisit to honor the proposal. There’s nothing like an anniversary trip down memory lane to the spot where your new life started.

Madison Gentile, Columbia Station and off-premise event manager, says it can be fun to involve your family, friends and even pets in the proposal. She also says the element of surprise is often a key component.

Matt Lockhoff, who proposed to Holly Stevens this past summer, incorporated all these elements in his epic ask. The couple will be married next September at the Philander Chase Knox Estate in Valley Forge. Holly shared their story with us, and we think you’ll agree that Matt was a creative genius!

Throughout her childhood, Holly attended a summer camp in Vermont every year, along with her sisters and cousins, all following in the footsteps of their mothers, who also all attended the camp as kids. It was an important part of their childhood and remains a special place for the whole family. Her sister is even a camp counselor there! Every other year, the camp holds an alumni event, where former campers and their families come back to reminisce and have a good time. Holly, Matt, her parents and her sister and cousin were all there this year. There’s always a talent show, open to anyone. Matt mentioned that he was going to sign up, and Holly thought nothing of it.

Matt was the very last person to perform in the show, and he began singing Jack Johnson’s song “Better Together.”

At one point, he sang, “Holly, it’s always better when we’re together,” then got down on one knee and proposed. Holly said that the audience, comprised of about 350 people, screamed, and of course, she said yes. Later, Holly learned that her parents knew—Matt had asked them in advance—but they kept his secret.

“It was wonderful,” Holly said. “I had no idea.”

Seems like a pretty great start to the next chapter of their lives together, and now summer camp has an even deeper meaning for both Holly and Matt.

For many couples, the next step is usually sharing the news with friends and family. Here are some ideas for taking amazing engagement photos, and for advice on other things you might want to think about as you plan your wedding.

Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venuesSubscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Kim MacKinnon

Photos, top to bottom: Pexels (first three photos); Holly Stevens (remaining photos)

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