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Learn to Propose (With Help from Very Public Failures Caught on Video)

Bride Vs Groom, Wedding Blog

As our regular readers will know, my marriage proposal didn’t exactly go swimmingly. With my darling fianceé scuppering my carefully laid secretive plans at every step the moment ended up being completely improvised. However, she did eventually say yes and later described the proposal as “perfect” – it could have been a whole lot worse as you’re about to see! However well you’ve planned things can always go wrong, and sometimes that big, grand proposal idea just isn’t the right way to go. Fortunately help is on hand! So stand by all you hopeful grooms for what could prove to be the most important lesson of your life, courtesy of the lovely Miss Ashlee McCullen: How to propose.

The marriage proposal is a loaded event these days. Partly due to Hollywood films, online viral videos, and cheesy commercials, men today may have a skewed vision of what is the best way to pop the question.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, a marriage proposal does not have to be a lavish, involve or even be a public affair. Instead, it can be a private or simple and romantic event.

To that end, I thought I’d share a few basics tips for marriage proposals, with help from the very public failures of a few hapless men. I’ve collected some of the funniest, maybe even saddest, failed wedding proposal videos. However, I present these not to be mean-spirited (for all I know, some of my examples may be staged prank videos), but instead to provide men with a few pointers and everyone else with laughs.

Lesson 1: Be Prepared

Even if your proposal is a simple affair at a nearby park, or a no-fuss, candlelit occasion at home, make it something. Have a plan, have a ring, and for god sakes, don’t do it on a whim.

Lesson 2: Make it About the Two of You

Ah, the classic stadium proposal. In the states in particular, these are fairly popular, or at least the ones that do happen receive much publicity. But think twice before arranging any kind of public proposal; many women simply don’t like them. And unless you have a very specific, special reason for proposing at a stadium, don’t. I repeat: don’t. Just because the grounds are special to you does not mean they carry any significance to her. (Same goes for the noisy pub.)

Lesson 3: Don’t Rush the Proposal

Be extremely wary of making a proposal the first occasion you discuss the subject of marriage with your girlfriend. I’ve seen it work, but it can also lead to disaster. She may feel downright awful if she does not want to say yes, all the more if it happens in public. Talk things through, and please please please do not use the proposal as a cure-all for an unhealthy relationship.

Lesson 4: Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle

This is a silly example, but it illustrates my point: Keep your proposal sweet, simple and romantic. Or if you are going to go a little creative, maybe a scavenger hunt, plan thoroughly and sweat the details. Maybe a bungled proposal would actually be charming, but certainly not in the way you had planned.

For more information, look into these marriage proposal tips and marriage proposal ideas.

Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for, a website about fashionable aprons and sexy kitchen style.


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