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In Online Communities

Memorable marriage proposals don't need to break the bank

Written by Sheryl Smolkin

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

You're planning to pop the question, but you aren't quite sure of the best way to do it. It used to be that flowers, dinner at a fancy restaurant and a nice ring were enough. But now, social media has made a big deal of viral marriage proposals and suitors who jet their lovers off to exotic places to propose marriage. There are even companies that plan lavish proposals.

But you don't need to spend big bucks to set the scene for the event. There are lots of other romantic ways to ask your love to marry you that will make terrific, lasting memories.

Take the example of Kyle Prevost, author of More Money for Beer and Textbooks. He first met his wife Molly in university, when he carried a fridge up to her dorm room. On their third or fourth date he learned that she loved to fish and since then, they've spent many happy hours together trolling for walleye.

So when he decided, after seven years together, that it was time to make their relationship official, he wanted to surprise her in a unique and personal way. “We were home for Christmas and I leaned her fishing rod against the wall and tied the ring box to the end of the line around the corner," Prevost says, “When she reeled it in the box came with it and I proposed."

Needless to say Molly said yes, and the couple had a destination wedding in Mexico the following year with about 40 of their friends and relatives.

But assuming fishing may not be your forte, here are 10 other cost-effective, charming ways you may want to propose:

1. Staycation: Plan a staycation and check out some of the local sites and entertainment. End with a romantic dinner you cook at home and present the ring with a heart-shaped cheesecake.

2. Love letter: Write a love letter on beautiful stationery and have it delivered to your love at a time when you're both at home. It'll be treasured forever.

3. Photo book: Take a selection of pictures of your courtship and order a digital photo album with, “Will you marry me?" on the last page.

4. Video: Put on your favourite love song in the background. Have someone video you telling your partner why you love her/him and then ask the question. Upload it to YouTube and send your partner the url.

5. Puppy love: Take the dog to be groomed and put a pretty ribbon on him. Tie the ring box to the ribbon. Ask your partner to call the dog when you come through the door.

6. Treasure hunt: Send your lover off on a treasure hunt with notes planted that lead to the next one. You'll be at the last location, ready to pop the question.

7. Sing a song: Do you have the voice of an angel? Write or adapt a song. Sing it solo or with a choir.

8. Website: Put up a webpage with milestones of your relationship and the future you imagine together. Send your sweetie the url.

9. Fortune cookie: Personalized fortune cookies can be purchased online. Take your future spouse out for a Chinese dinner and have the waiter present fortune cookies predicting a long and happy life together and asking the question.

10. Crossword puzzle: Are you crossword puzzle buffs? There are free instant crossword puzzle makers on the
internet. Create one with clues based on your relationship and ending with “Will you marry me?"

And don't wait forever just because you can't afford an expensive ring. When my husband proposed over 40 years ago, he was still a student. He presented me with a diamond stick pin made from part of a drop earring his grandmother left him. We made it into a necklace and then picked out a modest ring together for about $300.

On our 25th and 30th anniversaries, he got me a traditional pear-shaped diamond engagement ring and a diamond eternity band. Two children and three houses later, it was well worth the wait!


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