Proposing the pro way

Proposing the pro way

For grooms-to-be here, it seems buying a ring and getting down on one knee in a restaurant is no longer enough for her to say "yes".

More men are hiring professional planners to execute grand and elaborate proposals, worthy of Facebook shares, likes, and even a chance at going viral.

Mr Lee Ming Hui, managing partner of proposal planning company HelpYouMarry, saw 15 clients in 2012, a number which doubled to 35 last year.

Of the 60 men Mr Lee and his team helped pop the question, 10 were tourists.

Spaniard Daniel Gartz, who proposed to his fiancee Bettina Schramm on a beach in Sentosa, was one of them. He sought HelpYouMarry out through the company's website.

The proposal, which took place in March, began with a waiter who presented a box - filled with memorabilia like the couple's photos - to Miss Schramm. The couple was lounging on a deck chair on the beach.

Later, balloons were presented to Miss Schramm, each tagged with words and letters which formed: Bettina would you marry me?

For the record, she said yes.

Popular locations for tourists looking to propose include local icons such as Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa.

Mr Lee said his clients are mostly men in their late 20s and 30s, who have worked for a number of years.

"They are typically very busy and sometimes struggle with coming up with ideas to bring meaning into their proposals," he points out.

The creation of such experiences do not come cheap.

Civil servant Wee Jie Hao forked out $6,000 for an elaborate proposal to his girlfriend on their ninth anniversary in February.

The 26-year-old counts the fee "worth it" as it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

He says: "I wanted a video of the proposal process, and although I could get friends to help, I didn't want to trouble them. Also, I could not expect quality since they are not professionals."

Such videos and photos add a nice touch to the couple's actual wedding day or banquet, said Mr Lee.

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