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First Things First: Choosing a Date
By: | Posted: 02/11/2011
Here's the latest by Mpls.St.Paul Weddings guest blogger and contributor Andy McPartland:
Hi, I'm Andy, an editorial intern working on projects for Mpls.St.Paul Weddings. If all goes according to plan, I'll be scraping by as a starving writer someday. In the meantime, my job is to share the male perspective in Aisle File. So, feel free to crack open a non-light beer, make a bacon sandwich, and let the belches fly while reading. On a personal note: I'm not engaged, but thinking about marriage does make me weak in the knees. With sheer terror.
Except for our mutual feeling toward felines, Greg Focker and I don't really have that much in common. If you're looking for something on par with the uber-staged proposal made by Ben Stiller's male nurse character during the opening scene of "Meet the Parents," I'm not your man. However, there are plenty of fellas out there who've found that special someone, purchased the ring, and worked up the nerve to ask.
Monday is Valentine's Day (as if you didn't know), which ranks as the No. 1 day for proposals—followed by her birthday, Christmas, your dating anniversary, etc. Just in case that ring is burning a hole in your pocket during this Hallmark season, I'm here to help.
I asked veteran local wedding planner Joan Nilsen for her expert input. After nearly eight years at the helm of Ambiente Wedding and Event Planning, Nilsen has heard hundreds of proposal stories. "Any proposal is memorable," she says, noting that there isn't a "right" way to go about it. "They're each special," she assures us, "I've never heard of anyone saying 'Oh, I did it the wrong way.' " That's good to hear when there are guys like this out there making us all look bad.
Soliciting her father's permission in advance depends on the situation, Nilsen says, adding that "I think it's nice and would be most appropriate" for a guy to ask his future in-laws beforehand, or at least let them know. That's assuming you have a good relationship with her folks, Nilsen says. Asked about Robert De Niro's nightmarish father-in-law character, Nilsen admits, "Quite frankly, I couldn't stand watching 'Meet the Parents.' The father of the bride just made me crazy. I thought that was the wrong way to try and welcome someone new into the family."
As for February 14? "Valentine's Day is about love and sharing your love with others," Nilsen says. "When a woman gets a ring, whether it's on Valentine's Day or not, it's really special."
Ah, the dreaded 'r' word. We mustn't forget that little guy. Check back with me next week in Aisle File for tips on buying a respectable ring—on a less-than-stellar budget—during a rough economy. Sounds like fun.
Madison Square Garden proposal photo (below): YouTube
Emily Howald Sefton is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s deputy features editor and Mpls.St.Paul Weddings’ editor. See bio
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