By Blake Mandelberg, 26th December 2016

In Defense of Casual Proposals

Why the Subtle Approach often Works Best!

Why the Subtle Approach often Works Best!

It’s the time of year when engagements run rampant, and it got me thinking about what a marriage proposal really means. I’ve never been a high maintenance gal. Even in the single days of going out nightly, maintaining weekly beauty regimes, it has never taken much to make me happy. I’ve actually always considered myself pretty low key, whether single or in a relationship.

I didn’t fantasise about a ‘dream wedding’ growing up, and once I found that life changing relationship, the last thing on my mind was a ring.  So four years later, when it came time for my own proposal, I never could have imagined what it would look like, or how casual it would turn out to be.

These days, it’s become more normal for a woman to be involved in her own engagement, from emailing Pinterest ring boards, to even ring shopping together. Over the top productions are also increasingly popular for asking that coveted question, whether your partner is aware or not. Whatever works for each couple is great. But sometimes, it’s been said, the best laid plans of men go awry.

Engagement Ring Shopping

In some cases, a change in plan, or spontaneous moment can make all the difference. Even if you always imagined something else, it’s the more casual proposals that can be the most unforgettable and exciting.

Today, many couples take the topic quite seriously. In the last decade, marriage proposals have been scaled to super size, viral events, from flash mobs to daring sky diving and bungee jumping proposals. There have even been elaborate schemes like the video I recently watched.  A woman is ripped from a car by a masked gunman. After being terrified, she’s let in on the joke as her boyfriend is revealed before her, ring in hand.

My own experience couldn’t have been more different. I’d been on the couch watching Seinfeld, an hour after cancelling ice skating date night due to sheer lack of motivation. In retrospect, it seemed odd that this man would be overly excited for ice skating, enough to ask multiple times. When my better half returned home, I instead focused on TBS and Pinterest board dinner planning.

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I felt a presence hovering over me until it moved next to me on the couch. “I wanted to go ice skating tonight”, he said bluntly, making me feel guilt over my choice, but not enough to change my mind on my current status.  “Well, the thing is, the reason I wanted to go ice skating is…” His body sunk from couch to floor until he was kneeling beside me, telling me the reason; he wanted to know if I’d be his wife. After immediate shock followed a mixture of euphoria, relief, and sincere surprise.

Through tears and laughter, we somehow still managed to catch the muffle of Seinfeld jokes in the background; only fitting for this monumental event.

The night had begun like any other but ended like no other ever would. Relaxing in sweats with my laptop, watching TV and waiting for the door to open, I never saw it coming at all. Like any coupled female, it had naturally crossed my mind, but potential real life details never had. I realised my own laziness had unknowingly foiled a special plan, but it didn’t matter. It was followed by a celebration of oysters and champagne at Mermaid Inn, one of our favourite local spots. A Perfect NYC date night to celebrate our perfectly chill engagement.  A surprise couch proposal may have been unplanned, but it wound up being perfect anyway.


Some people might prefer fireworks, baseball game big screens and well crafted schemes to casual proposals. These surprising attention grabbers will always have willing participants and avid supporters. Personally, I like the good old fashioned, low key kind of story beginnings. The ones that take place in your home talking about your day with the love of your life, (while watching Seinfeld of course). If those days sometimes come with a surprise twist ending, even better. You don’t need to have an overly fancy, or expensive proposal experience to have an unforgettable one.  Because sometimes the smaller moments that are the closest to mirroring real life, are the most special ones of all.

(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Blake (Bee to her friends) for sharing her story with us. Blake is a native New Yorker, writer and storyteller but also the founder of lifestyle site Style Island. She has a passion for horror movies, monograms, vintage, Jean Paul Belmondo and venti lattes. For more information about Blake, you can check out her twitter page here or her Facebook page here. Or pop over and check out her blog at

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