Popping the question, with a little help from my proposal planner

A year after Stefania Sciascia begged her boyfriend Jad Gerges for a picnic, there it was, sitting pretty on a lawn in Montreal’s Old Port neighbourhood. Cherries and wine waited for her among the peonies, as did a wedding-ring box, tucked away in the picnic basket.

“We were both on both knees,” recalled Ms. Sciascia of the day last August. “Obviously I said yes.”

Lurking in the bushes nearby was Vanessa Ferrara and a photographer capturing every second with a telephoto lens. Ms. Ferrara, a wedding planner who parlayed her skills into crafting proposals, delivered the picnic, which would set a client back $750, photography included.

“I had no idea what to do,” said Mr. Gerges, a 25-year-old contractor who admits that even with the steadying hand of a proposal planner, he had to down “eight to 12” grappa shots before uttering those four words – at noon.

Despite the fact that her proposal had been orchestrated by another woman, who hovered in the park, Ms. Sciascia, 24, said, “it was worth it.

“It was shocking that he would do something like that. It was a good shocking – considerate.”

In this era of men out-proposing men with highly choreographed scenes and flash mobs on YouTube, proposal planning is taking off. Increasingly, hapless boyfriends are seeking out wedding planners to help them pop the big question. Women may never have to endure the stadium proposal again.

While wedding planners chart out the big day with women, proposal planners in Canada and the United States scheme with men. Fees run from $100 for a basic consultation to $12,000 and beyond for deluxe, multi-day proposals.

Read the full story in The Globe and Mail.

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