So we’ve been trawling through the annals of YouTube and swallowing throat-lumps as we encountered more and more outstanding wedding proposals. In the end we decided to compile a list of all our favourites. We decided that most of us are familiar with the classic down-on-one-knee gesture – often seen beside a plush restaurant spread or in the glow of a fleeting sunset – so we thought we’d instead pay tribute to those rarer gestures, which could’ve only been dreamed-up by the wildest of romantics.
There are very few times in life when it seems appropriate to genuflect to a fellow person. In fact the moment you ask for your beloved’s hand in marriage is one of the very few exceptions when it is. After all, you’re only going to make this gesture once and so starting as you mean to go on sounds like an apt approach. What we realised whilst making this list was that ultimately it’s the heart and soul that wins through. Indeed there’s no wrong way to propose, just as long as you’re sincere when you tell your soon-to-be betrothed (fingers crossed) that you’ll love them forever, or, to use the words of a great English romantic: ‘until the stars grow old and the sun goes cold’.
THE LIVE SURPRISE PROPOSAL
There aren’t many everyday broadcasts more consistent and systematic than the weather forecasts. In fact, while we’re being honest, it’s safe to admit that they’re pretty boring; informative, but dull. In other words the forecast can be greatly improved by a sudden romantic interruption. At least this is what we found out when we saw another broadcaster suddenly appear from behind the camera, bringing the whole Weather Channel to a halt. We watched with bated breath while the weather girl stood confused, staring at her boyfriend as he approached live on air and dropped to one knee. Then, before she quite realised what was happening, the backlit screen cut from an info-heavy image of the forecast to the scrawled request: ‘Will You Marry Me?’
If that doesn’t summon a day of sunshine then we’re pretty sure nothing will.
THE FLIPBOOK PROPOSAL
We just loved this one for its simplicity and subtle charm. Rodney and his girlfriend Lex were strolling through the Lights Festival at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. What Lex didn’t know was that Rodney had previously enlisted the help of flipbook artist Ben Zurawski from The Flippist and was planning to propose. They stopped in a quiet place and Rodney presented Lex with a hand-drawn flipbook. When she opened the book and thumbed through the pages she discovered a cartoon animation of a dog chasing its ball and fetching a grey box. Then suddenly the box is opened and a wedding ring revealed, taped to the final pages.
THE MAGIC TRICK PROPOSAL
We didn’t have any rules when it came to ranking these proposals really. Admittedly it just came down to how they made us feel. Were they sad? Were they too cruel? The only factor we did take into consideration, though, was how convincing the surprise seemed. We had to believe that this wasn’t embellished or dramatized for the camera. So this is one example of a slow-burning surprise that’s so cleverly executed it elicits a beautiful response from the future bride, Cindy.
In this video Arvin and Cindy are stood watching a street magician that Arvin has previously talked to. Towards the end of the magician’s simple trick, which involves a disappearing ball and a cup, he asks Arvin to get down onto his knees to see if he can find the ball. That’s when he lifts the cup to reveal a red box. He then passes the box to Arvin who turns to his bewildered girlfriend and shows her the ring. Stunned for a moment, she finds that all-important word and the couple kiss and embrace. Meanwhile the magician turns to the reeling crowd and gives the moment some heartfelt recognition –
‘You’ve just been part of a very special moment in two peoples’ lives’, he says with a cheer.
THE PICADILLY CHOIR PROPOSAL
This proposal took place in March 2012 and began with Roger and Jeanie dressed to the nines as they strolled through Piccadilly Circus, soaking in the twinkling quiet of London at night. However the peace only lasts until Roger performs a rendition of Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, backed by the shivering force of 200 singers recruited via Facebook. When he finally gets down onto one knee Jeanie is so overwhelmed and overcome with emotion that all she can do is repeat ‘oh baby’, until someone yells ‘say yes’, to which she responds with a shaky nod.
THE AROUND THE WORLD PROPOSAL
We’re suckers for any proposal that involves the whole family, especially if the kids and grandparents get involved. Well, in 2013, young couple Tyne and Jamie are posing for a family photo on the night before Christmas. Behind them the family is wearing white Merry Xmas shirts. Unbeknownst to Tyne’s girlfriend, Jaime, they reposition themselves between shots and cover certain letters so that their shirts spell: ‘Marry Me?’ When the photo is taken Tyne encourages Jaime to go see the preview on the camera. She doesn’t notice the letters at first, then, after being prompted, she reads the message and, shocked, turns to find Tyne down on one knee beside her.
THE ‘SIX-FOOT TURKEY’ PROPOSAL
This was one of our personal favourites and frankly it would’ve ranked much higher if it wasn’t for the fierce competition. In this proposal two palaeontologists have travelled to the arid landscape of the Badlands near Snakewater MT, where the original Jurassic Park was filmed. They set the camera up and start acting out one of their favourite scenes when the lead, Dr Grant, holds a hooked velociraptor claw and torments an obnoxious child who just dismissed the predator as ‘a six-foot turkey’. The boyfriend recites Dr Grant’s speech almost word-for-word and yet he also keeps alluding to his impending proposal. Then, instead of saying the conclusive line; ‘you’re alive when they start to eat you’, he says: ‘you’re surprised when he asks you to marry him’ and drops to one knee. His girlfriend looks down and sees the ring placed on the end of the raptor claw. In a very sweet and touching moment he calls her his ‘adventure buddy’ and, in the name of all things wonderfully nerdy, she accepts.
THE STUNTMAN PROPOSAL
Okay, so this one is a little cruel and also a daring twist on the sanctity of a significant moment. The reason we chose it was simply for its audacity. At the start the boyfriend steps up to the edge of a tall building and makes a toast. Soon he turns everyone’s attention to his girlfriend and sets himself up to ask the mother of all questions. Then he tells his friend to throw him the ring, misses it and stumbles off the building, supposedly falling to his death. His now terror-stricken girlfriend rushes to the edge of the roof and finds him lying on a huge inflated mat, surrounded by the words: ‘will you marry me?’
You’ve got to give it to the man; many people struggle to get through the words themselves, but to say them and then leap off a building takes real guts – it’s just a good job his girlfriend didn’t throw herself after him.
THE EMERGANCY PROPOSAL
This proposal is another one that isn’t for the faint-hearted. In the video the boyfriend, a ‘trusted’ airplane pilot, decides to take his beautiful girlfriend up in his two-seater plane. He waits until they’re soaring high over the scenery, sunlight glinting against the curved window, when he suddenly and deliberately jerks the craft. Acting panicked, he turns to his girlfriend: ‘Honey, I need you to stay calm’, he says, ‘the flight controls aren’t responding.’ Maintaining the drama he asks his girlfriend to go through the emergency procedure list.
She reads aloud: ‘initiate ring engagement procedure’, not noticing what she’s saying. Next she says ‘Pilot in command – determine if he’s a good mate who will always love and honour you’. She’s still silent, perhaps running on the pent-up adrenaline of thinking she was about to spiral downwards amidst a flaming fireball of wreckage. The last thing on the list reads: ‘Will you marry me?’ When she finally turns to her boyfriend he’s let go of the controls and the craft is flying steady. He holds the ring out and she just can’t stop laughing. In fact she only breaks her grin for a few seconds, which is just about long enough for her to say ‘yes’.
THE MOVIE TRAILER PROPOSALS
It might sound hard to believe but fake movie trailers are fast becoming a popular way for people to introduce their proposals. Through this medium many budding filmmakers have found the means to express that which is most precious and thereby most daunting to articulate. The results are invariably touching and unique. In fact we had two great movie trailer proposals that we couldn’t choose between so we decided to include them both:
Our first aspiring director created a comedic short and chose a resort movie theatre to play it before an actual feature. He invited both families to see it and hid a camera in a ficus plant in order to film his girlfriend’s reaction. This was a genius idea; if you look closely you can even see the moments that resonate, certain familiar lullabies or in-jokes that bring on a mixture of tears and laughter.
Overall the short is a very personal parody on their relationship, told with unfailing wit and charm. At the end David stops the production, appearing from behind the camera as the director. ‘I’ve got to do this in person’, he says. Then he approaches the screen and passes the baton to himself, sitting in the movie theatre. The production is smooth so as to seem almost effortless and, which is more, it’s funny too. There’s one particular moment when the actor finally manages to describe how he feels to his son, only to find that he’s engrossed in his phone and didn’t hear him.
The second trailer is a little different, imbued with a more tenacious flair, but lacking the wit of the former proposal. The fiancé-to-be is sitting in the cinema, entirely unaware of what’s about to happen. She even sounds a little disgruntled when the trailer starts; sinking into her seat she says: ‘this better be good’. The shock seeps over her gradually as the trailer dives into a scene with her boyfriend Matt asking her dad for her hand in marriage. However it’s not until they eventually hug that her dad’s face, unfocused before, is now revealed. That moment when she realises it’s her father, looking like a kindly Ernest Hemmingway, is very powerful and again the beauty is in the reactions.
After that sweet exchange the trailer plays at a fast pace showing Matt sprinting to the movies in dramatic, cinematic fashion. In the end the trailer bleeds into Matt appearing in the cinema and pulling his girlfriend from the front row. He holds her hand and says: ‘ever since our second date I said we’d be making the movies jealous’. It’s a neat little line to tie off another very charming romantic gesture.
THE PROPOSAL ON ICE
This proposal is as simple as it is superbly executed. There isn’t some overly-extravagant build-up or long drawn-out interlude; Heather (the fiancé-to-be) is led out onto the ice in her skates and joined by a gang of dancing mascots. That being said, though, it did require a long period of deception and meticulous planning. The boyfriend behind it all stated that a marriage proposal is more than just a singular gesture; it is the culmination of countless moments all leading up to that point. This explains the attention to detail evident in the proposal, including the assorted lobster, bears and other amiable mascots; a reference to Heather’s pet name for her boyfriend, which was Pooh bear, and also Heather’s nickname, Lobster, which she acquired after her fair skinned French-Irish skin suffered the brunt of the Central American sun, during their holiday to the Panama Carnival.
The proposal took place on a Sunday afternoon in the late fall at Bryant Park; site of their first date. As Heather skates with her friends, blissfully unaware of what’s about to happen, the mellow tones of Frank Sinatra suddenly soothe the intercom and the mascots appear, padding slowly over the ice as the other skaters disappear. Heather’s friends take a step back and she’s left alone with the costumed dancers, who show her a long message before one of the mascots drops to their knees and slides over to her. When he whips off his furry helmet she recognises her boyfriend and, beaming, accepts the subsequent proposal.
If that wasn’t enough though, the ring was also specially chosen to suit one of the couple’s favourite quotes about love, which is ‘more than yesterday, less than tomorrow’. The Pooh-bear boyfriend told Heather that it meant there are only two days out of the year when love isn’t perfect: yesterday and tomorrow. That means today is a gift when love is finest. With this in mind he requested that Heather’s ring include a centre stone of 2.16 carats and a setting of 1.47 carats, equalling 3.63 carats (two days less than a year). What he was saying was that those were the two days when love might not be perfect so we only have today – now that’s how you choose a ring!
THE DEEP WATER PROPOSAL
After four years with his girlfriend Sarah, Canadian Navy man Nathan decided it was time to make up for the last 5 months they’d spent apart. To do this he intended to execute a unique and unforgettable proposal. The location he chose was the King Cruiser Wreck near Phuket, Thailand, some 20 metres underwater. It made for fantastic viewing as, surrounded by spiralling shoals of fish, Nathan plants his flippers on a shard of coral-encrusted debris embedded in the rock. Then he asks Sarah to play a white-card game of truth or dare. He tells her to either put her thumbs up or thumbs down for each question. The only catch is that he will only be answering truths, whilst she will be restricted to dares. First he asks her to flip upside down vertically and put up her thumb. Next he gives himself a truth, holding up a card that reads: ‘I love that you go along with my sometimes stupid ideas’. Far from being stupid it’s actually a very sweet and carefully planned idea that concludes with him turning over the last card and asking for Sarah’s hand in marriage. On this final card, besides the ‘no’ option, he’s also added ‘pull my reg out’, permitting her to cut-off his oxygen if he can’t be with her. The subtle and calm charm of this proposal belies their wild location and evokes a strong sense of their relationship.
Shortly after, when the two newly-engaged divers are back on the boat, Nathan gives Sarah the ring he chose, which appears to feature an ocean-blue aquamarine; the jewel of the sea.
THE ‘ALL ABOUT YOU’ PROPOSAL
For this momentous proposal Levy stated his foremost priority was that he wanted his girlfriend, Tiffany, to feel comfortable. He wasn’t going to embarrass or make an exhibition of her, but instead he intended to discard his ego by creating a day that was all about her. If you want some indication of the kind of romantic we’re dealing with here; this is a guy who’s had a special proposal account since he was a preteen. So, using these precious savings, he sent his girlfriend Tiffany on an elegant scavenger hunt with all of her best friends and family. Together they cruise the sun-baked California streets in a mimosa-stocked limousine, stopping off to get their nails done, grab some food at their favourite restaurant and then shop for dresses to wear that night. When the night finally arrives Tiffany is blindfolded and led by her family to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where she finds her boyfriend standing centerfield.
THE CARRIAGE CHOIR PROPOSAL
We just love the idea of interrupting the daily grind with a Bonnie Raitt style ‘Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About’ gesture; something that stops everyone in their tracks and perfumes the air with romance. Usually when you’re riding in a crowded train you’ll look around and see everyone staring at the ground or into phones, avoiding eye contact. Well that’s often the case, except on one occasion, on-board the overground train travelling between London Euston and South Hampstead. That day Lucy Rogers was making the long trip home from work when a group of commuters (choir mates from her boyfriend’s street choir) spontaneously burst into a crescendo rendition of Bill Withers ‘Lovely Day’.
Quickly the singing builds as more and more people join in throughout the carriage. Then the voices suddenly halt and Lucy’s boyfriend, Adam, appears through the crowd and kneels before her seat. Laughing hysterically, Lucy accepts and their first joyous moment as fiancés is back by the rising hook: ‘…a lovely daaay’. The hijacking of this humdrum moment makes for a fantastic surprise; one that boyfriend Adam had practised for months, in fact he even built a replica carriage in order to coordinate the choir’s movements.
THE ROAD BLOCK PROPOSAL
Here’s another day-stopper, after that last proposal, which is not only wildly illegal, but also outstandingly romantic. I guess Hector ‘Tank’ Martinez doesn’t sound like your average Romeo and, in fact, I imagine he’d resent the insinuation that he was even trying to be. However he did cut a great romantic figure when he and 300 of his untamed biker brethren caused a traffic jam on one of LA’s busiest highways. As the long queues ground to a halt, Tank hopped off his hardtail bike and proposed to his girlfriend, who was riding on the back. When she accepted the convoy’s engines growled in a long, guttural chorus before they burned off down the road with special pink exhaust fumes left wreathing in their wake.
THE STADIUM PROPOSALS
There must be a whole lot of secret Casanovas out there since we’ve had the same problem as the proposal trailers and wound up being spoilt for choice again. After a while we decided that the decision was just too hard to make and so we’ve included two of our favourites. Together they capture that unique American unanimity that has long imbued the nation with a sense of enthusiasm, as well as a reputation for acting like anything’s possible. In our opinion there are few places where this attitude is more prevalent than at their gladiatorial sports events.
‘She said yes’, he says as the mascots and dancers swarm and hug the couple. Then finally they rush off court and receive countless congratulations from members of the audience.
Our first proposal took place during the Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Redskins game in Glendale, Arizona. In the clip US Airforce captain Erick Straub marches onto the pitch – wearing full military uniform bedecked with medals – and surprises his Cardinal’s cheerleader girlfriend, Claire. Caught in the middle of her high-energy dance routine, Claire stands breathless and confused as Erick approaches. After she says ‘yes’ they both embrace and the whole stadium erupts with a touchdown-worthy applause. She later said that Erick’s whole family was there and so was hers – ‘It was the epitome of the best day ever’ she added. And, if that wasn’t enough; the Cardinals also won 30 – 20.
Our other favourite proposal involves a Chicago Bulls cheerleader, Ariana, who was caught off-guard when her fellow dancers suddenly dispersed around her and changed the routine. Confused and out of step, she flounders about at the centre of attention for a while. Then a mascot appears from behind her, sits her in a swivel chair and wheels her around while dancers and other mascots encircle her. Soon Ariana is pushed forward with the dancers behind her and one of the mascots in front. The basketball crowd looks on as, in a cool flash, the mascot’s suit unfolds around its wearer and drops to the floor at his feet. Hands on either side of her face, Ariana immediately recognises her boyfriend, who drops to one knee and proposes. A moment later the commentator’s voice resounds around the stadium.
THE FLASH MOB PROPOSAL
It took us a while to sift through the mountain of flash mob proposals in order to find our favourite. The one we eventually chose takes place in the sunny city-lungs of Bryant Park and gives testimony to how powerful this style of surprise routine can be, especially when it’s organised to gather momentum and grow to epic proportions.
Unwitting girlfriend, Allison, is led by one of the dancers to sit at a special white-clothed table by the edge of a long lawn. The flash mob starts out as a few skilled dancers throwing shapes on the crowded grass. Then three ranks soon form, performing synchronised moves while an excited crowd gathers around Allison’s table. The next stage includes a uniform-clad marching band and columns of drummers and trombone and trumpet players. At this point Allison’s family also arrives and files past the table, taking Allison from sheer amazement to overwhelming happiness. Indeed her eyes have filled with tears by the time the drum major approaches, holding his baton. As he nears he lifts his cap slightly to reveal himself to his girlfriend. After Allison’s boyfriend proposes the couple are showered in confetti and the band begins to play again, muffled, this time, by raucous applause.
THE NUTCRACKER PROPOSAL
So far we’ve seen all kinds of proposals from comical pranks to cinematic film trailers. Now we thought that it was time for us to change the tone slightly and give a slot to something a little more elegant and sophisticated. Enter Ed and ballerina Rachel, who, after a performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ by Rachel’s former dance troupe, begin to slow-dance backstage at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa. Then the song ‘Falling Slowly’ (from the film ‘Once’) starts to play as they sway together through the low amber-light. Next the graceful dancers circle the couple and Rachel watches, enchanted, thinking that she’s at the centre of an impromptu performance. That’s when the curtains suddenly lift, revealing a theatre filled with their family and friends, who’ve just emerged from their hiding places on the top balcony or in the foyer of the theatre. While the music plays and the dancers sweep back, Ed drops to one knee and the whole family watches him propose.
THE WHITE HOUSE PROPOSAL
How about a world first to kick-off our last few proposals? US Marine Corps Captain Matthew Phelps set a flag in the fabric of history when he became the first gay man to propose at the White House. Remember that this was the same building that, 40 years prior to this bold gesture, symbolised a system all too happy to list homosexuality as a mental disorder. Indeed the government had recently been wrapped in stringent Christian restrictions, condemning what they termed ‘laws against nature’, which could perhaps be better defined as ‘laws against ‘our’ nature’, since the gay community in America, championed by outspoken political figures like Harvey Milk, seemed to be anything but an unnatural bunch. And so, no doubt feeling the relative embrace of modern America, Captain Matthew Phelps and his boyfriend, Ben Schock, were attending the Military Partners and Families Coalition when Matthew dropped to one knee in the marble-tiled corridor. Coincidently it happened to be the six month anniversary of their first date, which was also at the White House during the LGBT Pride Month Reception.
THE ‘SAY YES’ PROPOSAL
We wouldn’t usually rank video proposals highly, simply because they lack that visceral edge and spontaneity we love so much. However this one, created by Matt for his girlfriend Janice, is unlike any others we’ve seen so far. For starters it’s introduced by director/actor Zach Braff – when he was handing out favours to make his independent film ‘Wish I was Here’ via Kickstarter – who comes on listening to Matt’s music through headphones.
‘You caught me listening to one of my favourite songs by my good friend Matt’, Braff says, holding up Matt’s photo, ‘Man he can really rock out’. Then, after the funny celebrity intro, the video dives into a series of ‘say yes’ themed clips, including Janice’s rabbits chewing on ‘say yes mum’ cards, members of the family sharing drinks with ‘say yes’ written under the glass, ‘say yes’ license plates, ‘say’ written in steamy mirrors and then ‘yes’ being held by a man in a bikini, shrieking and jumping behind a shower curtain… in short this video involves all the couple’s loved ones, children, babies, pets; even granny gets a look-in at the end, holding a jarring card with ‘no’ written on it, before she reveals another, which says: ‘granny wants him for himself’. As far as we’re concerned humour is the key ingredient here with a huge helping of heart thrown in for good measure.
THE EVEREST PROPOSAL
We’ve all heard the expression: ‘I’m shouting her name from the rooftops’ right? Well how about: ‘I’m shouting her name from the summit of the highest mountain on earth?’ That’s surely a much rarer claim and no doubt one that only a few people on earth could rightly make. Swedish mountaineer Raul Helander is amongst that hardened few. Indeed he made his proposal, wind-battered, half-frozen and most likely suffering from altitude sickness, from the snowy summit of Mount Everest. It’s simple, honest and backed by the kind of stoicism that very few humans possess.
‘Now I am looking at this wonderful view and I can’t stop thinking about you, Patricia,’ he says, between arduous breaths; ‘Marry me’.
THE MUSICAL PROPOSAL
By now we’ve seen all manner of ways to propose and finally we’re down to our Top 3 favourites. After much deliberation (and several gallons of coffee) we’ve chosen some very special and unique gestures to crown the list. We picked these for the sheer soul that went into them, as well as the reactions of the women on the receiving end. So, without any further ado, let’s start with something entirely unexpected; an ingenious tribute to love that could be our most creative yet.
In the late afternoon Kriss arranged for a car to pick Lauren-Joy up from work and deliver her to an intimate LA Theatre. Once there Lauren walked in to find a dimly-lit makeshift set with one of her close friends waiting to greet her. She was then shown to a lone seat in the front row where she sat and watched a retelling of her and her girlfriend’s story by way of a neatly-scripted musical. Comical re-enactments of defining moments and in-jokes are interspersed with renditions of her favourite songs, during which Lauren is serenaded up-close by her friends and family. From the start to finish the play maintains a light yet heartfelt tone, causing Lauren to oscillate between laughing and sobbing, until her girlfriend finally appears at the end and invites her up onto the stage to pop the question.
THE LIVE LIP-DUB PROPOSAL
Isaac invited his girlfriend Amy to his parents’ house for dinner, but when she arrived he was nowhere to be seen. Instead her brother greeted her, bundled her into the boot of a car and gave her some headphones to put on. While Amy sits staring out from the open boot, kicking her legs over the driveway, the car sets off at walking speed onto the sunlit road. The music starts to play as her brother follows the car and kicks off the first live lip-dub performance, banging a drum to the opening beat. Then slowly the car turns onto a quiet, suburban road edged by trees. Next an enthusiastic couple walk into view – the girl, wearing a summery red dress, seems like a professional dancer – link arms and pursue the car, boogying in perfect synch with certain lyrics and beckoning others who come dancing wildly across the road, sweeping quickly out of sight, much to Amy’s delight.
The performance gathers momentum like a good flash mob and soon family and friends have made their unique entrances. Together they follow the car, attempting to match the energy of the lead dancer in her flowing red dress, whilst also executing their walking choreography to the notes of ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars, which plays through Amy’s headphones. What’s great about this proposal is the energy and personality on show. We see different generations of couples, all uninhibited and dancing in their own inimitable ways. Then a marching band charges into view, creating a crowd of dancers almost 60 strong, including wave after wave of grinning loved ones, some walking with laptops playing clips of more distant family members who join in the dance.
Eventually the boyfriend walks through the parting crowd, looking like a veritable Moses. He then helps Amy down from the boot and proposes with the procession gathered behind him.
THE WILDFLOWER PROPOSAL
Here we are, arriving finally at the pièce de résistance of proposals. However it’s much more than that; this is a film about love made by an admirer of a girl whose beauty and courage spirited him into outright devotion.
Max was the on/off boyfriend of Bonnie Kate for two years until he scared her off with an overtly outrageous gesture. In the years that followed Bonnie Kate travelled to Haiti for a charity project and suffered a severe tropical illness that caused her to vomit, wither and, frankly, slowly die. She was rushed home to receive treatment and, though she recovered only a little, decided to go on a road trip from Seattle to Baton Rouge with a close friend. One night, during Bonnie’s trip, Max was laid awake with a restless spirit. He seemed almost aware that, many miles from him, Bonnie was in trouble. In fact she’d gone to see the midnight preview of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado. By a cruel twist of chance she was involved in the unforeseeable massacre that took place that night. Fortunately she survived, although an AR-15 rifle bullet shattered her knee and left her in excruciating pain. Afterwards she talked about what happened and explained that, amongst the chaos, smoke, screams and gunshots, there was a surreal sense of peace, as if she was closer to God than ever before.
Soon Bonnie began to recover, although she was still burdened with the deep pain, which she described as the core kind of relentless pain that splits your every hour. In spite of adversity Bonnie learnt to walk again and all the while Max stuck by her side as a friend. He spoke about how she was the kind of girl who beckoned his best self and continued to wait, pursue and serve her. He also gave her space and was there as a friend, nothing more, until eventually they began to date again. After a year he bought her a ring – ever a man of loyal certainty – and began to enlist the help of friends and family to aid his gesture. In the end he decided to teach her not to fear films by taking her back to the cinema and unveiling his own movie-standard trailer, complete with various dramatic proposals, from Eastwood-esque cowboy to Mexican lothario igniting a heart of fire. He also offered masked descriptions of her character, saying how he just ‘can’t help [him]self’ from going to these great romantic lengths.
After the trailer Max leads Bonnie Kate out of their hometown theatre, having revealed to her – via the onscreen actor and a sneak-peak behind the scenes – that the trailer was about her. Overwhelmed and beaming, Bonnie clings to Max’s hand as they hurry through the entrance and are suddenly confronted by their family who’ve formed a tunnel outside. After rushed greetings, Bonnie is taken to a chauffeur-driven car and delivered to the restaurant where they had their first date. Once there her brothers appear as a sharply-dressed quartet of singers and serenade her. Still laughing, she’s then whisked off to her old family home where her sisters await her with an outfit and yellow dress similar to the one Bonnie’s great grandma wore when she caught the eye of her husband, Papa Mills, 72 years ago.
Having dressed and adorned her flowery crown, Bonnie, accompanied by close friends and her sister, is driven to her mama and papas farmhouse, where they shared over 70 years of sweet marriage. Finally Bonnie is led to the old barn where Max and Bonnie Kate first kissed and also where Bonnie’s grandmother was proposed to. The moment when Max proposes is tastefully left out, so as not to overly dramatize that very private exchange. Afterwards, though, an army of family and friends all crowd the farmhouse and the couple are showered in balloons and celebrated with fireworks and sky lanterns.
After all that we assume we don’t need to provide too much information about why we chose this as our favourite proposal. The sheer production value is breath-taking and the movie captivates with illuminating home videos interspersed with cool animations and special effects. That being said, though, it’s the narrative that wins through in the end. At one point Max revealed his belief that creativity should be used as a service and certainly he utilises his talent to vividly convey the grit and beauty of his fiancée. In doing so he also frames his proposal and creates a convincing portrait of the women he loves.