Blueprint Proposals Spot of the Week: Sing for Hope Pianos!

It's summer y'all.  Let us all take a collective deep breath and take in the sweet smells of the season, which in NYC is more likened to the scent of warm garbage, but we’ll take what we can get.

Any New Yorker will agree that summer transforms the city into a magical place.  Fresh off the anger from a rough winter, New Yorkers will find any excuse to be outside and the city does a fantastic job of providing amazing free outdoor entertainment.

Case in point: Sing for Hope Pianos.  This incredible public art installation includes 88 artist-designed pianos (one for each key on the piano) placed in parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy.  The pianos are around until June 16th at which time they'll be donated to underserved local schools, because duh, the kids.

What We Love:  Music can be an incredible expression of love and a perfect vehicle for popping the question.  Do your research and find a piano that’s in or near a spot that has special meaning to you and your honey.  What starts as an innocent stroll on a beautiful summer day will throw your sweetie into a tailspin when you spontaneously discover the piano and serenade her before popping the question.  Not a Mozart master? Hire someone to be waiting nearby and can tickle the keys on your behalf when you approach.

Who’s This For:  Beethoven enthusiasts, Beethoven the Movie enthusiasts, Alicia Keys, anyone who loves music.

What To Watch Out For: Actual pianists and/or tourists.  It’s a public space, so you’ve got to play nice and take your turn.  This problem should be easily avoided by sending in a few buddies ahead of time to scope the scene and claim dibs on the black and whites.

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Joshua Pompey will help you find a man

There are certain experiences that everyone shares when it comes to finding love.  Oh, you think I'm talking about the perfect first date or when he begins to introduce you as his girlfriend, don't you?  I'm sorry, I wasn't talking about those experiences.  I meant more along the lines of the worst first date in the entire world or the moment you begin to question why he won't introduce you as his girlfriend.  SIGH.  Yet, rather than sit around and share ware stories, perhaps you should hear from Joshua Pompey.  He's a professional online dating consultant, writer, and expert, and founder of www.getrealdates.com.  He's got some of the best advice out there and today, he's weighing in on the qualities that women should look for in a future partner.

7 Qualities You Should Be Looking For In A Future Husband

By Joshua Pompey

Marriage isn’t easy.  Especially when making that life-long commitment to a man that never had any business being married in the first place.  With divorce rates soaring to all time highs, it is more important than ever these days to choose someone of substance and quality before making that life-altering commitment.  

Luckily for all you women, there are plenty of amazing guys out there with tons to offer.  It’s just a matter of finding the right qualities.  Let’s take a look at 7 qualities you should look for when choosing a husband.

1.  Ambition

A man doesn’t have to make a lot of money, nor does he have to be career obsessed.  But he should have some form of ambition in his life, whether it is to start a big family, travel the world, experience life, etc.  When a relationship is one-sided in the ambition department, resentment will often build, leading to an unhealthy balance.

2.  Chivalry

Despite the prevailing myth that chivalry is dead, this is far from true.  A quality man will hold doors, be polite, pick up his date, and do whatever it takes to keep his woman happy.

3.  Humor

Looks may get the dating process started, but laughter is the key to long-term happiness.  Sharing a sense of humor ensures a life that will always be filled with good times and fun ahead, no matter how long the two of you have been married.

4.  Being open-minded

The desire to try and experience new things in life keeps the relationship vibrant, fresh, and most importantly, will allow you to enjoy new experiences with your husband as time goes on.  Those who are stuck in their ways early on, tend to only become worse with this over time.

5.  Romance

Does he constantly surprise you when you are least expecting it?  Do you get flowers on a random day for no reason at all?  Are his dates cute and creative, or does he suggest that you stay in every weekend?  Hopefully it is not the latter!  A little romance will go a long way towards keeping you happy and feeling special down the road.

6.  Commonalities

He’s nice, fun, sweet, and treats you like gold.  There’s only one problem.  The two of you have very little in common.  In fact, you are on the opposite side of almost every interest and hobby.  The truth is, having a lot in common is key to sustaining a long-lasting relationship.  The freshness of the relationship will eventually fade off, and than what will you both have to talk about once this happens if there are almost no common interests?

7.  Confidence

Marriage is forever.  Being with a man who gets jealous easily or is insecure about why you are with him will only lead to problems.  Confidence is not only important, but a turn on as well.  Choose someone who knows he is worthy of being the only man in your life.

Joshua Pompey provides relationship and online dating advice to men around the world.  Click www.getrealdates.com/online-dating-tips-for-men for free online dating advice or visit www.getrealdates.com/online-dating-email-tips to learn some great tips for sending out emails.

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Blueprint Proposals Spot of the Week: reRun Gastropub Theatre

Today we’re continuing our new series highlighting our favorite proposal spots amidst the gleaming streets of NYC.  We've scoured every neighborhood, Korean bodega, Indian headshop, and Jewish deli to bring the most inspiring and special spots the greatest city in the world has to offer.

reRun Gastropub Theatre in Brooklyn

Let’s set the scene: You’re sitting down at a movie theater waiting to see Les Mis for the 5th time, when your girlfriend says to you, “You know what this theater is missing? Pretzels stuffed with garlic mashed potatoes, popcorn covered in duck fat and seats that came from the back of a minivan”.

Worry no more, reRun Gastropub Theatre in DUMBO, Brooklyn, is about to blow your mind. Located right down the hall from reBar, reRun is a new independent movie theater, featuring 60 reclaimed car seats, a full bar and gourmet snack counter, and a twelve foot screen.  reBar and reRun together boast an enchanting allure, with stained glassed windows, art-deco décor and amazing hidden spaces certain to enhance your dining and movie viewing experiences.

What We Love: During off hours, reRun is available for private rental, and can transform into a spectacular proposal locale.  Enlist some friends to help make a film about your relationship and entice your partner to the venue for a private movie screening (ya know, another Brooklyn documentary you just can’t resist). When the lights go down, she’ll be treated to a screening she’ll never forget, and you’ll pop the question as the closing credits roll.  Little will she know the real surprise still awaits, as friends and family have gathered in the industrial-loft-space-turned-spectacular-private-dining-room at reBar just 50 steps down the hall.

Who’s This For: Film buffs. Anyone whose first make out took place in the back of a van. Bacon lovers. Brooklynites.

What’s to Watch Out For:  Actual independent movie screenings.  Proposing during a 3-hour film on urban dwelling horses doesn’t exactly scream romance. 

Bonus Jonus:  reBar just happens to be an amazing wedding locale and can accommodate up to 200 guests in their private dining room. Check out their blog to peep at some of their favorites. 

Hey Girl, Feel My Sweater

New York City, for those of you who shop from a JCP catalogue or gladly accept clothing from your mother, grandmother, great-aunt or ex-girlfriend, is one of the great Fashion Capitals of the world.  You don't have to look far from your fire escape to see that this is a city filled with fashionable men and women and sometimes men who dress as women.

While we, Blueprint Proposals, are neither stylists nor designers, we are female and therefore have a sincere appreciation (and most often attraction) for a well dressed man.  And although prospective proposers and clients alike are in constant search of our expertise on everything from New York restaurants and hotels to jewelers and Spanish guitarists, we gush each and every time we're asked "What should I wear when I propose?"

Longtime fans of Trunk Club, we've been following their blog as they take their style-worthy readers through the complexities and methodologies of becoming a well-dressed dude.  From answering reader questions about wearing dress shoes with jeans to pointing out why you should consider reading clothing care labels, these guys know what they're talking about.

Most recently, they took the initiative to identify the Six Men's Clothing Essentials which we think is a fabulous list and illustration of key components to a well suited wardrobe - and the perfect outfit to propose marriage.  Today we'd like to share with you this list, demonstrated by Ryan Gosling, who has no association with Trunk Club...or Blueprint Proposals...that we know of...but would be very pleased to find out.

The Six Men's CLothing Essentials by Trunk Club

Blueprint Proposals NYC Proposal Spot of the Week

Today we're launching a new series from Blueprint Proposals where we highlight a special gem amidst the streets of NYC that could potentially be the perfect place to propose.  We've scoured every neighborhood, Korean bodega, Indian headshop, and Jewish deli to bring the most inspiring and special spots the greatest city in the world has to offer.

So, our selection this week is, drumroll please….

Elizabeth Street Gallery & Garden

Way back when I had just moved to New York and only insiders owned iPhones, I found myself walking without direction in what would become my favorite neighborhood: Nolita.  Small cafes and petit boutiques, this was a low key and low profile part of Manhattan – I was in love.  There was one place, though, that always intrigued me until one day I finally called on the almighty Google and discovered the Elizabeth Street Gallery & Garden. 

What We Love:  A secret garden of sorts owned by Elizabeth Street Gallery, this private park is filled with romantic statues and sculptures dispersed over 0.000459136822 acres of prime Manhattan real-estate.  Green and lush, quiet and uninhibited, the garden is easily and often overlooked as a truly special space to do the deed.  Not that deed.  We're talking proposals people.

Who's this for:  Secret Garden aficionados, lovers of Mannerist sculpture, pigeons.

What to watch out for:  Rowdy downtown skater boys, San Gennaro Festival goers, fertilizer.

Stay tuned for more of this series as we help you find the perfect place to propose in New York City!

Elizabeth Street Gallery, 209 Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring

He comes with the garden, but can be removed upon special request.

He comes with the garden, but can be removed upon special request.

Imagine yourself amongst a soft autumnal breeze, just before dusk, wearing a manly cardigan...and on one knee.

Imagine yourself amongst a soft autumnal breeze, just before dusk, wearing a manly cardigan...and on one knee.

Ryan Gosling will show you how to wear a manly cardigan.

Ryan Gosling will show you how to wear a manly cardigan.

And a manly tanktop.

And a manly tanktop.

And still be incredibly sexy walking down the street playing a dainty-little-banjo-thing.

And still be incredibly sexy walking down the street playing a dainty-little-banjo-thing.

National Proposal Day – So Hot Right Now

Move over National Secretary’s Day and National Margarita Day (scratch that, stay put National Margarita Day), it’s proposal’s time to shine.

That’s right friends and Hallmark holiday lovers, it’s National Proposal Day!

Let’s talk it out: The day was invented, not by yours truly, but by Mr. John Michael O’Loughlin, who had a serious chip on his shoulder after his cousin’s boyfriend strung her along for years without getting down one knee.   Instead of bashing said cousin’s boyfriend with a baseball bat, O’Loughlin decided to stick it to him by creating a day strictly for marriage proposals.  Maybe he thought FOMO would get the best of the guy?

O’Loughlin chose the Vernal Equinox in March and Autumnal Equinox in September to celebrate the holiday, as these are the two times in the year where day and night are equal.  He theorized that the “equinoxes symbolizes the equal effort of two require to compromise a successful marriage”. That’s some deep thoughts, son.

Blueprint loves the idea of any day being dedicated to proposals. In fact, we’d prefer to make everyday National Proposal Day if we could.  The bottom line is that everyday is a perfect proposal day, not just those which the perfect amount of daylight.  Trust us, diamonds look good in any light – elevator lighting is divine, no joke.

So for all of you sweating profusely on the way to meet your boyfriend/girlfriend tonight, take a deep breath.  No need to panic if you proposal doesn't fall on this so-called holiday.  

Besides, National Hug a Plumber Day is right around the corner.

The How NOT to Propose Files: Surprise Engagement at QVC

“You are a rascally rabbit, Yes you are.”

Confessions:  I have a snuggie. I bought my grandma a leopard snuggie. I have DVRed the Magic Bullet infomercial and may have ordered the BUMP IT as research. I love me some infomercials. They go great with red wine and insomnia. They do not, however, go great with proposals.

Sweet, lovely Adam thought to surprise his girlfriend Eleanor with an experience of a lifetime by taking her on a studio tour at QVC. Before she could be swept away by Joan River’s latest wig collection, he thought he’d sweep her off her feet with a proposal.   Seriously sweet.  If only it would have ended there.

 Just as the tears are flowing, the proposal gets interrupted from a QVC celebu-host who wants to wish the happy couple “Congrats!”  Unfortunately, we know this is headed south the moment he addresses Adam as a “rascally rabbit”, a moniker befitting Bugs Bunny, not a man who has just proposed marriage.  He continues by offering a heartfelt, impromptu toast to the newly engaged pair which he asks them to repeat:

“Because I know you, I’ve been changed for the better.  Because I know you, I’ve been changed for good.”

Sweet, endearing words, stolen from a Broadway musical….about a Wicked witch.   Sorry, Mr. QVC, these proposal queens know their Broadway, just as you know you’re overpriced soaps.  

Regardless of the proposal interruption, cheers to this happy couple. If you’re looking to get them a gift, we can assume they’re registered at QVC and at Walgreens in the “as seen on tv” aisle.   Nothing says wedded bliss like a shake weight.

Proposals We Love: Go Big or Go Home, Mr. President.

The story of a US Marine and the first same-sex proposal in the White House.

It’s official. We’re jealous. This proposal has pretty much everything we love. 

Marines. The White House, Christmas Trees. Gay Men.  THE President. 

If the ring was brought in by a toddler carrying a puppy, we may have had a heart attack.

U.S. Marine Corps Captain, Matthew Phelps (no known relation to Michael) isn’t shy.  After coming out publicly last year at the Pentagon, it’s only reasonable that he had his sights on the Commander-in-Chief when it came to popping the big question.  Well, he actually had his eye on boyfriend of six months, Ben Schock.

When Phelps scored a tour of the White House Christmas set-up last weekend, he wanted to make sure he didn’t waste the opportunity.  So while everyone else was hoping for a peak of Mrs. Obama’s Christmas decorations or the first dog, Bo, Matthew got down on one knee.

Then this happened.

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Then we imagine there were tears.

“It wasn’t something we were trying to do,” Phelps told the Washington Post,  “I just wanted to make it a special night for Ben.” Sure, Mathew, sure.  Whether intended or not, Blueprint extends major props to this courageous Marine  for turning “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” into “Do Ask and Tweet it to the World”.

Phelps shared a sweet message on his Facebook page.  Blueprint is waiting for the day when we can say "thanks to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for lending us your home for the occasion!” 

You hear that Barak? I smell a White House proposal flash mob coming your way.

Top 5 Places to Propose in NYC Over the Holidays

Take it from us, two girls with Midwestern roots, big city dreams and a passion for marriage proposals: there is no better place to fall in love, be in love and ask the one you love to be together forever than in New York City.

While it may take some creativity to truly see the beauty in the sidewalks and subways, the magic of New York City is undeniable and especially extraordinary during the holiday season. As such, we've rounded up of the top five places to propose in NYC during this time of year -- for the diehard Yankees and "I heart NY" toting-tourists alike

5. Plaza of the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue

Why we love it: The hotel, located at 455 Madison Avenue and steps from St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, is among the most iconic plazas in New York. While the hotel boasts luxurious rooms, stunning views and one of the most luxurious experiences at any time of the year, the plaza entrance to the hotel dazzles as bright as any fairy tale love story and is picture perfect for popping the question.

Who's this for: "Gossip Girl" fans, Catholics (St. Patrick's is next door to pray away the last minute jitters) and exhibitionists.

What to watch out for: The plaza itself may be free to visit, but the hotel will cost you. Set a budget and buddy up with the concierge in advance and let them in on your grand plan. While they won't be able to foot the bill, a complimentary upgrade to your suite or bottle of bubbly in the room will ease the pain and add to the excitement.

4. Washington Square Park

Why we love it: Formerly a marsh, a cemetery, a parade ground and at one point, a cesspool, Washington Square Park is now the ultimate gathering spot for artists, students, pigeon enthusiasts, pianists and anyone in love. The newly-renovated park and classic Washington Arch provide a perfect setting for anyone willing to publicly display their love and affection. Aside from the towering Christmas tree and thousands of lights, proposing underneath the historic Washington Arch with the accompanying orchestra you've hired will really create a once in a lifetime proposal.

Who's this for: Beatniks, presidential buffs, chess players and students.

What to watch out for: Pigeons be damned! Don't be fooled by their glistening, purple necks. These are rats with wings and will only add poo to your proposal.

3. The Holiday Window Display at Saks Fifth Avenue

Why we love it: The red velvet ropes and endless lines outside of Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store won't guarantee a new pair of Louboutins, but they will lead you to Snowflake Spectacular, also known as the world famous holiday window display that graces New York's best known department store. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, life-sized creatures and a beautiful soundtrack, the windows tell a beautiful story that also serves as a set for a unique proposal. Feel like getting extra festive? Contact the folks over at Saks to tell them about your plan and see if they'll sneak you in the last window to pop the question.

Who's this for: 99.9 percent of women, 100 percent of gay men, shopping addicts and recovering shopping addicts.

Watch out for: Tourists and, of course, your credit card. Separately these can both wreak havoc in a proposal scenario, but are ultimately a recipe for disaster if you get a tourist who steals your card.

2. Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Why we love it: This restored historic carousel from 1922, now named Jane's Carousel, sits in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a stunning, special space between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. While it may look like a translucent jewel box from South Street Seaport, the carousel itself offers picturesque views of the city. Hoping for a bit of privacy? After your romantic ride, take a walk around the park and propose with hot chocolate and a cashmere throw on the waterfront.

Who's this for: Equestrians, Brooklyn residents, circus lovers and anyone named Jane.

Watch out for: Babies, nausea and motion sickness. Make sure your sweetie has a strong stomach or wait until the carousel comes to a complete stop to avoid a sticky situation.

1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, "'Faking It:' Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop" Exhibit

Why we love it: With countless world-class collections all under one New York City roof, any room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue provides a suitable and impressive background for a proposal. Yet for those looking to take it one step further, we recommend piggybacking your proposal on one of The Met's many amazing exhibits. "Faking It," which is open through January 27, boasts miraculously manipulated photographs long before Photoshop was conceived. Add your own photo to the collection by manipulating a photo of you proposing to your love and showing it to her on the spot.

Who's this for: Graphic designers, art history majors and real New Yorkers.

Watch out for: Pesky security guards. Your question is likely to cause some kind of squeal or cry when you pop the question. Just make sure you hear the word "Yes!" before getting off one knee and being escorted from the museum.

Still looking? Here are a few bonus proposal spots: Gapstow Bridge in Central Park, The Cloisters, theice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center, and anywhere outside with Christmas music and hot cider will always do the trick.

Source

This could be you!

This could be you!

Just be careful to not include any of these guys.

Just be careful to not include any of these guys.

The Blueprint Proposals Holiday Engagement Gift Guide

Raise your hand if you got engaged over Thanksgiving.

That’s okay, I didn’t either. 

You’d think with so much going on during the precious six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas that a marriage proposal would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.  Except, for some reason far beyond my single 20-something-minded comprehension, turns out it’s not.

Maybe it’s the colder weather that leads to layering that suggests you may gain a few lb’s over the course of a marriage and no matter what your spouse will always love you because you're beautiful not matter what…that leads to the thought of a proposal. Okay, maybe not.

Maybe it’s all that quality time you spend with your close friends and family that reminds you how much you love your other half which leads to a warm heart and silly grin with the thought that you’re so lucky to spend this season with them, but even more so for next year when you'll be married and all the future years to come.  Okay, maybe your heart isn’t so much warm as it the heart burn you have from all the White Russians and stuffing you’ve had to numb the presence of so many family members in such a short window of time.  The silly grin is just a sign of sedation.

Nevertheless, one point I’d like to make is that during this time of year, when crowds swarm mall entrances and your credit card bill swells to the size of the paycheck you wish you had, it’s always nice to check two gifts off the list if you only have to give one.  What I mean by that is if your friends have recently announced an engagement and you suspect at some point there will be a party, why not just give them a holiday gift in honor of their recent engagement and save both time and dolla bills when your invitation arrives.  See?  Now it makes sense.  And don’t think I’m cheating anyone out of presents.  They’ll get enough come wedding.

So, what goes into a great holiday gift that is also engagement appropriate? I’m so glad you’ve asked!  Blueprint Proposals has put together the perfect Holiday Engagement Gift Guide this year to help you find the perfect present that celebrates the happy couple and (insert preferred religious belief here).

We're always in favor of a festive cocktail (sometimes four), but what really compliments the seasonal spirit is a great cocktail glass and barware.  If you're short on time, Mr & Mrs holiday cocktail glasses are a good buy, otherwise personalized tree trunk glassware is beyond adorable.

Art is always a lovely gift and Etsy is one of the best sites to find fun-loving, undiscovered artists.  In addition to And They Lived Happily Ever After, be sure to check out the rest of Linnea Axelsson's work by visiting her Etsy shop.  Speaking of prints, Baking for Good in NYC has done the unthinkable with the instagram-cookie mashup.  Image, a dozen pics of the happy hipster couple that are good enough to eat!  SORRY.  I hear cookie and get excited.

Perhaps the couple met and fell in love in New York.  Perhaps Blueprint Proposals played an integral part of the proposal which took place in New York.  Perhaps the couple are just New Yorkers for life and will never get enough of this incredible city.  Perhaps you should give a classic coffee table book...about New York.

Rounding out the Engagement Guide, while a bit cliche, are two classic options.  If the couple met at a coffee shop, Craft Coffee of the Month will be sure to delight and remind them every thirty days or so of that special cup they first shared when they met.  What if they didn't meet at Starbucks?  Lucky for you there's a Month Club for pretty much anything you can image (bacon, scotch, avacado, underwear).  And finally, with two people in a relationship there will always be two mouths to feed.  Give a gift certificate for a cooking class.  Maybe they'll even invite you over for dinner one day to say thanks.

Champagne and Caviar Dreams on a Ramen Budget

Blueprint Proposals is in the business of "helping a brother out", As such, this week we've teamed up with our buddies at the Good Men project to put together Blueprint Proposal’s Guide to Proposing in NYC on a Budget

Blueprint Proposal's Guide to Proposing in NYC on a Budget

Amazing. Enchanting. Nerve-wracking. Life-Altering. Expensive.

Proposing marriage to the love of your life is likely to invoke all of these words.  As a man, it is one of the most gallant acts you’ll ever make and when everyone learns of your recent engagement they will gleam with excitement, then immediately ask, “How did you do it?”

Weddings have become a billion dollar business in the United States with over-the-top extravagance and months, sometimes years of planning.  When celebrating a lifetime of marital bliss, the average wedding runs about $27,000.  And that’s less than 12 hours of full-on celebration.  So much attention, these days, is spent on every moment leading up to saying “I do,” but so many overlook the truth that without a proposal there would never be a wedding in the first place.

From friends and family flash mobs to full on YouTube productions, there’s no surprise that marriage proposals have joined the procession to become a focal point and sometimes pricey affair.  It’s easy to see how some get caught up in all the excitement of a perfect proposal, but ultimately it will be a moment and memory—a story that they will always be able to tell—which you will give the person you love when asking for their hand in marriage.  Gentlemen, remember, this is your time to shine.

But have no fear struggling actors! Grad students! Cheapskates!  Blueprint Proposals, a boutique event planning company specializing in marriage proposals, is here to offer expert advice and tips for creating a champagne and caviar proposal on a ramen noodle budget.

Disclaimer:  When it comes to the ring, you’re on your own.  As women (one single, one not) we are more than understanding when facing financial limitations versus female expectations.  Yet, when you do decide to put a ring on it, keep in mind there’s no understanding for a budget diamond.  Save wisely, spend wisely gents.

$10—Let NYC do the planning!

So the Lincoln Center isn’t available to rent for the evening. As it turns out there are infinite places that are just as magical and perhaps meaningful when it comes time to ask away.  New York City is full of free (yes, free!) gems that can be picture perfect for popping the question.  Whether it’s an intimate picnic on the New York Highline or revisiting the coffee shop where you first met, let this low-cost proposal speak more strongly towards deep sentiment than dollars and cents.

Budget-friendly ideas:

  • An evening in and candlelight dinner that you’ve prepared (or at least carried in) followed by a special slideshow you’ve prepared telling your love story in third person.
  • A walking tour of every spot across the city that reminds you of your love.  Plan ahead by having a bodega prepare flowers and ask the owner of her favorite bakery to sneak the ring on top of a sweet treat!

 $100—Use insider tips to find great deals!

You’ve got an extraordinary ring for an extraordinary girl, so planning to do something a bit out of the ordinary is the natural instinct.  However, out of the ordinary won’t have to mean big bucks when it comes to the plans.  It’s 2012 and you can barely check Facebook without some type of daily deal or group coupon popping up.  Keep your eye out for the NYC deals for special offers from all her favorite spots.  Start with surprise like a special massage from a spa they’ve probably mentioned in passing using a daily deal.  Tasting menus and wine pairings make for memorable meals, thanks to the 50% voucher you purchased weeks ahead at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.   End the evening with a stroll through Central Park as you share some chocolate truffles you picked up from, yep you guessed it again, another group coupon.  She’ll swoon at each piece and personal touch you give while your wallet takes a giant sigh of relief.

Somewhat budget-friendly ideas:

  • Tickets to an off-Broadway show run less than $50 and the “not-quite-on-Broadway” theater may be willing to get in on your scheme.  Proposing after a curtain call? She’ll say “I do! I really, really do!”
  • Take in the beautiful city lights on an Adirondack cruise around Lower Manhattan. You’ll skip the hefty ticket prices and huge crowds of tourists on the big cruise boats that pass by and you can propose with your own BYOB meal while taking in the stunning skyline.

 $1000—Spend big … spend well

So you’re going all out, over-the-top, unbelievably big. There’s as much potential for romance in New York as there is for a shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue.  However, just because your budget is bigger, there’s always the chance it may not be better.  It will still serve you best to employ the aforementioned thrifty tactics and get more for your money by incorporating DIY touches with classic NYC staples.  Only in New York can you leave the start your evening with a glass of champagne followed by the opera and end it with a hot dog or soft pretzel on a bench in the Village.  This is a city of high and low brow, so if you have something over-the-top to start remember this proposal may set the tone for the entire wedding process so bring it back down to reality and make it memorable, make it about both of you.

Not-so-budget-friendly ideas

  •  The chef’s private tasting menu at Per Se? Go for it, go all out!  Just make sure you’ve got her friends at the Landmarc bar (your tab of course) for you to surprise her with an impromptu engagement party for after she says yes.
  • Not so tech-savvy, but a true romantic?  Use your money to hire a videographer or photographer to capture the big moment as you get down one knee.  The money will be well worth the memories it will provide and a special gift you can always give the night before your wedding.
  •  Consider using your year-end-bonus to include the special people in both your lives.  You’ll get extra brownie points for flying in the parents and best friend from Alaska, too.

Read more at http://goodmenproject.com/the-good-life/weddings/the-good-life-blueprint-proposals-guide-to-proposing-in-nyc-on-a-budget/#Ic2QcRe03aXKJhtk.99 

Because everyone loves a great infographic

I remember a few years ago when Good began publishing infographics here and there.  Mostly in the magazine, but with time online as well.  The charts and diagrams gave a color to numbers and stats I never thought possible and I sulked slightly at the fact that I could have passed Intro to Business Statistics had my professor studied graphic design as opposed to economics.  It's just so obvious.

Now-a-days everyone has an infographic.  Some are good, even brilliant.  Others are bad. This one is just stupid.  Sometimes I find myself so inundated with infographics I can barely walk to the subway without noticing some sort of artsy flow chart detailing why walking to the subway is the most effective type of transportation to public transportation followed by all the fancy factors that influence those who walk to the subway, I guess, instead of skipping or sprinting or the dragging of ones feet as I sometimes do on a Friday or Monday.  Morning.  FINE.  Sometimes it's Tuesday through Thursday too.  

For the most part, numbers are boring which is why 1) I didn't pass Intro to Business Stat and 2) I plan marriage proposals. So, it should come as no surprise that, when I do begin to research all the various elements that weigh in and influence the wedding planning process (read: NOT Blueprint Proposals) it's so much more entertaining when there are pretty pictures to accompany what it is I'm trying to understand.  Thankfully I asked The Internet and received just that: pretty pictures to illustrate boring things.  While I've been willing and able to share statistics with you before, today is a treat.  Enjoy the infographics and if you don't want to spend a fortune on the wedding, at least spend a small fortune on the proposal.

Infographics don't lie. The average cost of a wedding in NYC is $70,730 which is why I'll be having my wedding in Fargo. Nothing says Destination Wedding like North Dakota.

Infographics don't lie. The average cost of a wedding in NYC is $70,730 which is why I'll be having my wedding in Fargo. Nothing says Destination Wedding like North Dakota.

The post in which I admit to eating 50+ slices of pizza

Well, it’s officially fall.  And we all know what that means…

Actually, I take that back.  I’d bet that no one actually knows what that means in the sense of what I’m alluding too: proposal season.

Everyone who’s anyone who knows someone who is obsessed with weddings will tell you that June is the most popular month for marriage, but as it turns out December is actually the most popular month for proposals.  And, as the leaves continue to turn, we approach the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it and I break out the best of my cashmere we approach proposal season.

I recently visited Dallas, Texas for that other job that pays the bills and was surprised and slightly in awe of Robbins Bros World’s Biggest Engagement Ring Store.  Impressive, right? Sorta like all the pizzerias in NYC that have the Worlds Best Slice of Pizza?  I mean, I’ve probably eaten fifty, upwards of eighty of the worlds best slices and man, I feel like a queen in NYC among all the other peons who must settle for the Hut or petit Caesar in other cities. I also feel slightly in need of a trip to the gym after admitting that.  I digress.

Robbins Bros hooked themselves up with a fancy consumer study conducted on the Interwebs to identify the trends and preferences for popping the question.  Luckily, I stumbled across this while procrastinating on that other job that pays the bills and would like to share some interesting statistics with you today.

STAT: 25% of women view the proposal as more important than the wedding ceremony.

To the 25% of women who submitted this response: Girl. You. You. Know. Its. True.  And to the remaining 75%, remember that if you find yourself looking more forward to the wedding than the actual marriage, please know YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO HAVE A PARTY.  

STAT: Long gone are the days of women waiting for men to propose marriage as many are taking on the responsibility themselves, and according to the survey, 37% of women are open to taking on this role. 

Monica had it right when she proposed to Chandler.  While this is slightly out of the norm, it doesn’t mean its wrong.  Remember Rule 37 of Laws of Modernwoman, if you want to be his wife, what are you waiting for?

STAT: Nearly 100% of men and women view electronic proposals as impersonal and unimaginative and would never accept even if it was followed by an in-person gesture.

Okay, who honestly proposes electronically? And what does that even mean? What the n-e-r-d thought that was a good idea. I can’t even.


STAT: The majority of men who responded would still ask their future father-in-law permission for his daughter's hand in marriage before popping the big question.

Always a good move. Unless she has a mom. Maybe two. Then you should ask them instead.

STAT: The majority of men and women still agree that dropping to one knee is the best approach. 

Taking that small step back and bending down to one knee, it is one of the most gallant and timeless acts someone can take. You get one chance to ask, make sure you do it right. And if it appears things may be going south then you'd better get on that other knee too and beg until you're blue.

STAT: Living in a world where reality shows rule the tube, a third of those surveyed would consider having their proposal broadcast to the world.

Interesting. Never thought of planning a proposal for reality television. That is all I will say. 

Source

Jeremy Grey: Never walk away from a crasher in a funny jacket! Rule #115! 

Jeremy Grey: Never walk away from a crasher in a funny jacket! Rule #115! 

The Proposal Diaries: From whirlwind to the whirpool: A super sweet spa proposal

Each week, Blueprint Proposals shines a spotlight on some of our favorite unique, heartwarming, interesting and unpredictable proposals happening in our backyard. Here's this week's edition:

FROM WHIRLWIND TO THE WHIRPOOL: A SUPER SWEET SPA PROPOSAL

The Bride: 28, 90s-boyband loving fashionista who finds jobs for other fabulous people.  The Groom, 29, lawyer by training, furniture lover by trade.    Here's what she said:

Date of Proposal? Thursday, August 18th 2011

How long had you dated? 5 months (Seriously people…. 5 MONTHS. Blueprint would like to extend the “Way to Lock it Down Award” to this gutsy groom, who gets major props for following his instinct.  Why wait when you know its right? We’re getting a little flushed thinking of this whirlwind romance.)

Where did it happen? We were going to his family’s lake house and decided to take an extra day and go to a nearby spa.   I should have known something was up when he woke up at 6am awkwardly all ready to go. We checked in to the spa and quickly changed in our room and then he said he wanted to workout before his massage (Warning: Exercising on proposal day may induce heart attack.  The groom later said his heart was jumping out of his chest on the treadmill and he had to stop said workout.)  I on the other hand, had a lovely 45 minutes of relaxation before the treatments.  After an awesome massage, I was headed for a facial and he told me he would meet me in the room because he wanted to take a nap.  I went back to my room in my robe and opened the door to see rose petals all around the room.  We have a tradition of giving each other gifts each Friday (Blueprint thinks this is an excellent tradition. Men… take note.), so I didn’t think anything of it when he said he had a gift for me.  This was our first trip away together, so I just assumed he was being romantic with the rose petals.

 Did he get on one knee? He told me to close his eyes while he got the gift (which I noticed was in a Victoria Secret bag… my thought was “new lingerie, yay!”). When he told me to open them, he was on one knee.

Were you surprised? Completely.

What was your FIRST response?  I put my hands on my head and started turning in circles. I think he was saying nice things about us, but I have no idea.  Finally, he said “So?” and finally I said “Of course!” (Turning in circles?Normal.)

Were there tears? It took a little bit for the waterworks to start, because I was so surprised. We sat down and he told me the whole story. Turns out he had met my father weeks before and asked for his permission. He had also had our parents get together – and I thought they had never met!  When I saw how all the details came together and how thoughtful the process was, THEN I started crying. 

Whose tears were they? See above.

Anything else?  After an amazing night calling all of our loved ones , we drove up to his parent’s lake house the next morning. While I thought I would see my family at the end of the weekend to celebrate, he surprised me AGAIN by having both of our families waiting for us to celebrate at the lake.    We spent the weekend as one family- it was the best weekend of our lives….well 2nd to our wedding weekend.

While it seems like this eager groom was in a hurry, he took tremendous thought in planning each and every detail of this unforgettable proposal.  They hadn’t known each other long, but he proved he knew her perfectly by planning a simple, sweet and (most importantly) intimate and private proposal. He also knew her well enough to know that the celebration would not be complete without her tight knit family, and thereby extended the celebration far beyond his time down on one knee.  

We know what you’re thinking, relationships like this only happen in romantic comedies (or reality tv), right? Wrong again, friends.  This love story is as real as can be… and much more impressive (and long-lasting) than Matthew  McConaughey’s abs. 

The "How not to propose" files: seriously? she's shoplifting at the dollar store?

Blueprint loves us a man who is willing to risk whatever it takes to defend his lady (or lady-like man).  We've seen some remarkable acts of chivalry, although the only one that really comes to mind is the episode of Friends where Chandler pees on Monica after she's stung by a jellyfish.

Nevertheless, in this particular case of the "How NOT to Propose" files we're able to actually bestow several points of interest (POIs if I may) which support the dire components of this unfortunate proposal.  Please, before going through with any marriage proposal, consider the following circumstances.

Indications you should reconsider proposing marriage:

  • If your partner is shoplifting...at a Dollar Store.
  • If you are willing to defend your partner who is shoplifting...at a Dollar Store.
  • If your partner is wearing a Playboy Bunny t-shirt...while being arrested...for shoplifting...at a Dollar Store.
  • If you decide, while being arrested...for defending your partner...who is shoplifting...at a Dollar Store...that it is the perfect time to propose.
  • If your partner accepts your proposal while wearing a Playboy Bunny t-shirt...while being arrested...for shoplifting...at a Dollar Store.
  • If the police representative sounds as though he's using a voice silencer, even though he's not...while explaining to the news the circumstances of your marriage proposal to your partner who was shoplifting...at a Dollar Store...well, at that point it's just too to reconsider.

And lastly:

  • If the news anchor from HLN ends the segment with "Chew on that one"...I actually don't know what to say, this man is by no means a journalist or deserving to be on the news.

Now that we've covered the basics, I give you "Couple Gets Engaged While Being Arrested for Theft...at a Dollar Store" and something, very, very special for purchase at your local Family Dollar.

Wedding Rings: The worlds smallest handcuffs.

Wedding Rings: The worlds smallest handcuffs.

Proposals We Love: The Irresistible British Boyband Lipsynch

You guys, it’s super hard to blog while crying.

(Editor’s note: the writing of this entry required a large box of tissues and a serious pep talk. Proposal planners cry over this stuff too, ok?)

Move over “dancing Jews” from Portland, there’s a new lip-synch proposal sweeping the interweb.  And this one involves a British boyband.

Youtuber “Brad”  kicked some serious proposal ass  (read: ruined everything for every man looking to propose) when he recruited friends and family to join in one of the most extravagant, intricate and well-planned proposals we’ve ever seen.  It also doesn’t hurt that he chose a super catchy tween anthem and convinced everyone in his life to memorize the cheesy lyrics and matching dance moves. 

We know what you’re thinking, “ Been there, done that. Lip synch proposals are soooo Spring 2011”.  

 You may be right, but that take nothing away from this masterpiece. In fact, it makes it that much better.  It was as if Brad was getting back at all of the previous “lip-synch-proposers” who stole his genius idea and showing them how a pro does it. He made have used someone else’s idea, but he did it bigger, better and with genuine sentiment which overwhelmed the love of his life.

Enough. Just go watch the video.  

Bravo, Brad. And bonus points for hooking up a flat screen tv on a beach.

A special thank you to Nicholas Sparks

What is it about certain words, when pieced together, can within an instant bring an overwhelming rush of sentiment and love - whether whispered, written or read - even when coming from a perfect stranger?

"That's the girl I'm gonna marry."

"You have made my life complete."

"And here is round one of your endless pasta bowl, m'lady."

It's an incredible, undeniable truth that there are thoughts and feelings that when shared from one heart to another can ultimately forever change ones life.  Way back when the world existed sans iPhones or FaceTime, Vimeo and Chatroulette, there was something called a love letter.  Deep thoughts and feelings poured on to paper with the help of a pen or mechanical pencil, sometimes withheld from the person it was intended for, but more often taking days or even weeks to be delivered to the intended recipient.  And then, of course, there is one of the greatest literary tales ever told, written by Nicholas Sparks, and delivered in an awe inspiring on-screen performance by Channing Tatum, detailing the exchange and impact of such love letters:  Dear John. Sigh.

Sorry, I meant Dear John.

UGH did it again! Last time, I swear. Dear John.

And while we have endless options of how to best express ourselves between one another in 2012, capturing the deepest, most sincere emotions one can ever express - there remains a romance with the written word.  Love letters.  

Oh.  You're still on Dear John?

Regardless, if you are one to admit that you cannot begin to recall how to write in cursive and do decide to use a virtual form of delivering a very special love note, here are a few recommended apps from Blueprint Proposals.

Bon Bon Mots

Cartolina

Postale

Red Stamp

Sincerely Ink

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Blueprint Recommends: 5 Places to Propose in Paris

Disclaimer:  Blueprint Proposals lives and breathes NYC and firmly believes it provides the perfect setting for any and all proposals.  Ok, we can agree that we still love New York, right? Great. Moving on.

Following a recent trip to the city of lights, the land of baguettes and women who make us feel badly about how we dress, we couldn’t deny that Paris, well, it’s a pretty perfect place to propose.

Here’s our roundup of recommendations for perfect Parisian proposal spots, should you be taking a trip… and the plunge.

1.        Sacré-Coeur Basilica 

Why we love it:  High on a perch in Montmartre, the church of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” is the highest point in the city. It also has an incredible lawn for enjoying an afternoon of sunshine and beautiful views or for an evening toast.  While the Sacre-Coeur Basilica is a popular monument and bustling with tourists, it’s surrounded by incredible gems slightly off the beaten path  - Hello, Mur des je t’aime

The proximity to Montmartre’s bustling cafes and funky boutiques ensure that you’ll have plenty of celebration points after popping the question.  Top that with the carousels and street performers and you’re talking a proposal perfect, day or night. 

Who’s this for: Brooklyn hipsters, religious romantics, people who like to work out on the stairmaster,  anyone who loves Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Watch out for:  Drunk teenagers and hustlers trying to sell things while hurling spinning toys in the air. Nothing says “marry me” like getting hit in the head with a miniature flying Eiffel Tower.

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2.       Boat Cruise on the Seine

Why We Love It:  By far the best way to see the city lights at night, we recommend that you think of the boat cruise as your personal romantic lifeboat.   From small boats with personal guides to grand dinner cruises, there’s no shortage of boat tours every night on the Seine.  With a full hour or more along the river, you can find that perfect spot that suits your style.  Wherever it is, it’s bound to have an exquisite view of something iconic and Parisian.

Who’s this for:  Swimmers, sailors, nautical lovers, people who don’t easily get seasick, anyone who loves Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Watch out for:  Brides and grooms taking wedding photos on the picturesque staircases along the river.  Nothing like a beautiful buzzkill to steal your shining moment.  

Beware. Happy nearly newlyweds are everywhere.

Beware. Happy nearly newlyweds are everywhere.

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3.       Pont des Arts

Why We Love it:  Bridges are about as common in Paris as kings named Henry and Louis. This one, however, is special.  Commonly referred to as the most enchanting bridge in Paris, this pedestrian bridge leads to the Louvre and offers stunning views.   Don’t feel like getting too creative?  Come a few hours early and place a Love Lock with the words “Marry Me” among the hundreds on the bridge.  She can casually discover it as you cross the bridge and your proposal will become a tiny piece of French history.

Who’s this for:  Architects, locksmiths, hopeless romantics and anyone who loves Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Watch out for:  Lock pickers.  Make sure yours is sealed tightly and in a recognizable spot so you’re not scanning thousands while awkwardly shaking on one knee.

Locks of love.

Locks of love.

4.       The Tuileries Garden

Why We Love It: This public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde is the perfectly picturesque setting for a picnic in the park with your soon to be betrothed. When you’re finished looking  at the Mona Lisa - and all of the other things you’re obligated to take a picture of in the Louvre - grab a baguette, some cheese, a bottle of your favorite vin and make your way to the garden.  After proposing, you can easily stroll to view any of the famous Parisian spots for impromptu engagement pics. 

Who’s this for:  Art history buffs, tree huggers, anyone who loves Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Watch out for:  Tourists, tourist and a few more tourists.  Make sure to get your picnic goodies before making your way towards the gardens to avoid the overpriced tourist traps.

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5.       Eiffel Tower

Why We Love it:  Yes, it’s obvious. Yes, it’s cliché.  That still doesn’t make it any less perfect.  Afterall, Tom Cruise proposed to his beloved  baby-mama at the top of the Eiffel Tower.  Are you calling Tom Cruise cheesy?

The magical powers of the Eiffel Tower cannot be ignored. Should you be on a whirlwind adventure in Paris with the love of your life, why NOT propose at the Eiffel Tower?  Plus, there will be plenty of people around to capture the moment on camera.

Wanna splurge? Practice your French, save your Euros and make a reservation at Le Jules Verne, the exceptional restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Besides an exquisite meal, you’ll skip the waiting lines and get your own private elevator to the top.  Let’s just hope you have a diamond that matches the setting.

Who’s this for:  Scientologists, ultimate romantics who don’t fear being called “cliché”, people who don’t have a fear of heights, anyone who loves Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Watch out for:   Windy days.  Steady-handed as you think you are, gentlemen…. one good gust of wind and your ring can go flying. 

The view from up above.

The view from up above.

...and down below.

...and down below.

Now, we understand that proposing on a Paris budget is out of the realm for some, so we recommend not discounting Paris, Texas or the Eiffel Tower on the Las Vegas strip. It’s the thought that counts and you can always make it up with a plane ticket to the magical spot for the honeymoon.

Special shout out to our beautiful friends, whose fairytale chateau wedding provided a perfect excuse hang out in Paris for a week.