How to "chope" a wife

SINGAPORE - Remember the video of a man who created a mock movie trailer to propose to his girlfriend? What about the proposal at Disneyland that was a huge musical on the streets?

These proposal videos shot for family and friends have gone viral online, with viewers swooning at the movie-like gesture. What was once a custom of a private and intimate question from a hopeful man on one knee to a thrilled woman has now morphed into the stuff of social media mania.

In December 2012, Singapore saw its first professional proposal planner company HelpYouMarry, and even wedding photographers and planners getting a piece of the action, with portfolios now routinely including proposals of all shapes and sizes.

Chope, an online and mobile reservations provider for Singapore's top restaurants, has noticed a trend with regular requests for special restaurant accommodations around wedding proposals, and an understandable peak in requests around Valentine's Day. "Millions of Singaporeans have used Chope to create romantic moments at our restaurants, from their first date to wedding proposal, and then anniversaries." said Arrif Ziaudeen, Chope's CEO. "We decided to use this Valentine's Day as an opportunity to go all out for one of our diners."

Through the means of a giveaway, Chope selected a user who had a ring, a lucky lady, and big plans to gain a "yes" from her. From there, project Chope-a-Wife began. Chope worked with the selected diner, Jake, to dream up a once-in-a-lifetime proposal experience in Orchard, reminiscent of the Times Square jumbotron proposal which he had considered when the couple vacationed in New York City.

When asked why he reached out to Chope, Jake explained, "It was a chance for me to create a proposal for my girlfriend that I otherwise wouldn't be able to do so alone."

Following a surprise video projected in front of teeming crowds at a busy shopping centre in Orchard, Jake's now fiancée, Jia Ling, said yes to a rousing applause of well-wishing on-lookers. The couple was then whisked away by private car to their waiting reservation at Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt, a dream dining destination for the couple. "We felt like celebrities," Jake said.