A very public proposal: Would you follow Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's lead?

The public proposals usually involve flashmobs that culminate in someone getting down on one knee - all of course caught on camera

This weekend, American viewers of reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians will see the programme's star, Kim, get engaged to her rapper boyfriend, Kanye West. The proposal, which happened in October last year, was rumoured to have cost millions and involved hiring an entire baseball pitch, fireworks, a 50-strong orchestra, private jets, a diamond as big as a Ritz cracker... and lots of TV cameras.

West's very public gesture is the zenith of what is a growing trend for proposals with viral potential. We're talking flashmobs; a pre-organised happening, usually in a very ordinary place (shopping centres are popular), involving apparently ordinary people breaking into a choreographed dance or song, culminating in someone getting down on one knee. All caught on camera, preferably professionally shot.

Efforts shared on social media get serious traffic. "Spencer's Home Depot Marriage Proposal" – filmed in a DIY shop in Utah – has had 11 million views since September 2013.

There has been a rise in OTT British proposals, too. This week saw the broadcast of the first episode of The Proposers, a TV series following London-based "proposal planners" as they arrange engagements. The series features a flash-mob choir on the London Eye and a choreographed ice dance. "We've had wedding videos for some time," says videographer Marco Federici of Federal State Media. "Now people are taking it to the next level; they want their own reality show made around it – from proposal to the big day."

Federici is accustomed to filming in Ibiza's superclubs, but in December, his venue was Glasgow's Braehead shopping centre to capture 32-year-old Bobby Beattie proposing to his girlfriend with the help of a dance group and Bruno Mars' "Marry You" track on the PA. The video, "A Christmas Love Story in Glasgow", has had more than 21,000 hits. And Federici has now been booked for more wedding-related work.

Jay Marsh, a freelance musician from south London, has also benefited from the trend for public proposals. In the last four months he’s been hired to play for three nearly-weds. Though none of the performances were filmed, he’s clear on what’s spawned the ideas:

“When there’s a superman cape involved and a series of placards to declare the guy's intentions, viral videos spring to mind.”

Are all-out proposals with an eye on internet fame going to become the norm? Not according to Bernadette Chapman, of Dream Occasions, an Essex-based wedding planner. She started offering proposal packages after reading about similar dedicated services in the US. But she soon scrapped the idea. "No one wanted to pay," she says. "People would ask for a flash mob, but they're expensive – there are musicians or dancers to hire, PA systems, a videographer, a photographer, plus an organising fee."

Both Chapman and Miryam Farrell, the weddings manager at Create Food and Party Design, a London-based catering and events company, say the couples that they work with err on the side of tradition.

"Our clients choose low-key ways of proposing, such as a romantic holiday or their first-date venue," says Farrell. "They tell us they want the actual moment to be private."

If it's a quiet proposal that's wanted, there's still help available. This Valentine's Day, "luxury lifestyle club" iVIP – accessed through apps, ranging from £0 to a whopping £699, offering a scale of access to exclusive hotels, supercars, private jets and more – is on hand to arrange last-minute proposals. In practice, anyone willing to pay can use the app to instruct iVIP's partner concierge service buy:time. In 10 years, it has organised about 50 proposals and is expecting a rise in demand after its inclusion in the app.

For many, any third party involvement in asking that special someone for their troth remains unthinkable. Ed Perrin, 30, a London-based windfarm developer, proposed to 29-year-old literary agent Camilla Young in the middle of watching a film while they were staying in an unglamourous B&B (with bunk beds instead of the more traditional four-poster).

"Milly would've been mortified if I'd done it in public," he says. "For years, I think she was avoiding climbing mountains with me at sunrise or sunset.

It's the most vulnerable and personal thing you can do together, and the idea of sharing that with anyone seemed a bit daft."

Try telling that to Kanye.

federalstatemedia.com

jaymarshmusic.com

createfood.co.uk

dream-occasions.co.uk

ivipworld.com


 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us