Some gentlemen need a little help in the romance department. Or so Kelly Simants surmised. The founder of Dallas-based nuptials planning service Sweet Pea Events noticed that more and more brides had less-than-special proposal stories.
Their boyfriends (now fiancés) would suddenly, nervously blurt out, “Will you marry me?” over bowls of cereal at breakfast or during the movie previews on an otherwise typical Friday night. Of course, grand proposals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But these guys could do better.
“They may have some awesome ideas but no clue how to pull them off, so we can come in to make sure the proposal is seamless,” says founder Kelly Simants.
So Simants, a 13-year wedding industry veteran, launched brother company Planning For Dudes about a year ago to help men conceive, arrange and execute marriage proposals.
“For most of our clients, this is their first time proposing, so they’re navigating unfamiliar territory,” Simants says. “They usually don’t know what vendors to hire, so we help steer them in the right direction and take the pressure off of them.
“Also, they may have some awesome ideas but no clue how to pull them off logistically, so we can come in to make sure the proposal is seamless and a true surprise.”
To keep women from falling victim to ill-planned proposals, Planning For Dudes offers two packages: Idea Generation ($300) is for the guy who wants help with the proposal concept but prefers to carry it out by himself. The PFD staff will get to know him and his hopefully soon-to-be fiancée by asking a series of questions and then brainstorming a plan with suggested vendors if needed.
The Idea Generation + Full Logistics is a more hands-on approach and includes a proposal timeline, décor setup (and takedown), vendor management (venue, florist, caterer, transportation, entertainment, photographer, videographer), and a team to take care of all the logistics. This will set a man back anywhere between $750 and $2,500.
The proposition doesn’t have to be flashy or formal, but it should be thoughtful. For example, a client recently proposed at the restaurant where he and his fiancée went on their first date. He brought his girlfriend under the pretext that they were going for a casual meal with a group of friends. At dinner, a hired magician approached the unsuspecting girlfriend as part of his performance. At the end of the trick, she was presented with a ring.
In addition to devising and choreographing proposals, Simants helps couples capture their memorable moment with personal touches, like a proposal bouquet with custom tile charm that can be used on the wedding day.
That’s assuming she says “yes,” which is left entirely to the dude.