News and musings about my life as a civil celebrant
Proposal with a Difference!
Proposal with a Difference!

3 September 2018

Zsa Zsa Gabor made a habit of it, but most people only marry once or twice. That means that, when you propose, you won’t have had much practice. So how do you propose to your loved one?

Do you go for a public display – at a stadium, say? Would a quiet proposal be preferable? Or how about something that may knock your partner off their feet?

I am a professional civil celebrant, as you may know. This often involves me with weddings. So people assume that I’ve been part of a lot of proposals. Apart from my own descent to my knees some 20 years previously, the only proposals I had seen were in films or on TV.

All that changed, when I witnessed a beautiful and emotional proposal last week. It was a bit special.

For a start, I had never met – or even had contact with – the couple before.

So what was I doing there? Patience – all will be revealed!

The set-up

Imagine a terrace at the back of a 5-star boutique hotel near Gloucester Road. There are a handful of tables and chairs plus a “birdcage”. This area resembles an aviary, perhaps,  but is not for birds. It’s a sort of gazebo with benches, a chair and a table.

For this particular event, the outside wedding planners decorated it so that it looked like this:

You may notice an i-pad with a handwritten note on the table. We’ll come back to that presently.

This is what happened (as arranged by the proposal planners –

Frankie had brought Jessica (let’s call them) to the hotel. A member of staff (actually, a planner) met them at reception to take them through to the birdcage. However, Frankie pretended he needed the toilet, so Jessica was led out alone. There she saw the note on the table, inviting her (by name) to play the i-pad.

She watched a compilation relating to Jessica’s and Frankie’s time together as friends. At the end of which, Frankie (everything was timed, of course) emerged. After a few words, he sang her a love song (rather to Jessica’s amusement as well as delight!). He then went down on one knee and proposed.

Rather fortunately, she accepted. After a minute or so, I emerged from where I had been skulking, and introduced myself to the couple. I had prepared a brief ceremony, which is what my role was. Poor Jessica dissolved into tears, and clearly loved it.

We ended with a secular blessing and sincere best wishes.

It was time for champagne, but, unfortunately, my job was done, and I had to miss out and go on my way!

But what an experience (for all concerned)!



Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.

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