A certain breed of men, and some women, look upon marriage proposals not as an intimate moment between two people, but as an opportunity for a very public, and recordable, display of affection. In an era in which social media and YouTube play an increasingly dominant role, the bar to garnering public notice has never been lower — and higher when it comes to delivering something unique.
Yet when flash mobs come crashing, with swoon-worthy tunes like Bruno Mars’s “Marry You” and choreographed routines by dancers who quickly assemble and just as quickly disperse, the sum is quite often a cinematic moment that is fleeting but everlasting. Even hard-core cynics can be left feeling a little choked up.
“Most single guys’ reaction to this is like: ‘Oh great, you raised the bar. How am I supposed to beat that for my proposal?’ ” said Craig Jones, 26 and a financial consultant in New York, who took the flash-mob concept one step further when proposing in June in Bryant Park to his girlfriend, Allison Leclaire, 29 and a textile designer. “I really love the energy of a flash mob, but that’s been done before,” Mr. Jones said.
So in addition to hiring a dance troupe, he negotiated to bring in a marching band from Port Chester, N.Y. Bob Vitti, the director of Port Chester High School’s band, so loved the idea that he enlisted his whole 140-piece band.
On the day of the proposal, the band rode into the city on four school buses and did its very best to remain inconspicuous standing by, in formation, on one side of the New York Public Library, next to the park. When it was time to make its grand entrance, as Ms. Leclaire patiently sat, the band hit all the right notes. Of course, Mr. Jones did, too.
When asked why some men make a spectacle of their marriage proposal, W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, said: “Over-the-top proposals allow men to signal to a future wife, and to family and friends, that they are all in. They are ready to man up, forgo all others and become a responsible husband.”
- New York Times