Think it'd be cute to get engaged at an actual wedding?
Turns out, you're not the only one.
Who could forget the tragic tale of well-meaning wedding guest "John" who (now infamously) interrupted his best friend's wedding vows with a surprise proposal to "Jane" and in doing so brought on the full wrath of Twitter?
Then there's that poor Iowa couple who, despite having express permission from the bride, were completely ripped apart online after a photo from their mid-toast engagement proposal went irreparably viral on Reddit. It escalated from couple got engaged, to couple got massacred on the Internet. Still think it's a good idea to share the nuptial spotlight?
Look, we understand the impulse
Weddings are obviously romantic. The lights, the décor, the hundreds of eager eyeballs. You might be thinking, "Why not? Everyone we know will be there. The wedding guests are all our mutual friends, so what's the big deal? What better place to share the love and spread the news?".
Here's the thing. We live in a world where public recognition is the gold-plated holy grail of a life well-lived — where a whopping 69% of millennials take pictures of their food before eating it and where the King of Social Media's morals seem to be get looser by the minute. It's not hard to understand why people love to hate a spotlight swiper. Especially if that spotlight is getting posted straight to Instagram.
William Hanson is one of those people. The world-leading etiquette expert hails from the land of all things prim and proper, Great Britain, where we doubt there's ever been a real surprise proposal. He was pitted against mega-blowout proposal planner Daisy Amodio for the The Alan Titchmarsh Show to debate the topic of OTT proposals.
Here's how the etiquette guru made his case:
"It's awfully, terribly un-British this competitiveness that we are now getting with proposing, that we all have to top our friends. And the groom, if we're being traditionalist and the groom is the one proposing, is having to compete with everybody else. And actually, it should be something that is almost, not spontaneous, but it feels intimate and unplanned and sort of, almost unvarnished, rather than this Disney production."
Top our friends? Disney production? Ouch.
Now, we know know Disney On Ice is so not what you had in mind. And in the case of the aforementioned "John" (a.k.a. He Who Shall Not Be Named), he swore left, right and center that he just got swept up in the moment — that the mid-ceremonial proposal was completely unplanned. After all, it was the most important moment of his life (on someone's else's big day) so surely we can understand.
Yeah, we're not buying it.
(Oh and for the record, Daisy the mega-proposal planner retorted that, "If they love Disney then it should be a Disney production." But honestly, no one heard her. You can watch all 4 painful minutes of the nuptial throwdown right here.)
We accept that there may be circumstances where the bride and groom are all for it. In the case of the ill-fated Iowa couple, the bride and the proposee were sisters for crying out loud. The fact that the proposal was literally the bride's idea got completely overlooked by thousands of judgmental Internet users, and probably more than a handful of wedding guests too, if we're really honest.
Because at the end of the day, a wedding is supposed to be about two specific people above all others. It's a wedding to celebrate this couple, not a wedding-slash-engagement party.
And even if it seems like everyone's on board, the truth is people can't always predict how they're going to feel. Your family members and closest friends may say it's fine, and then later regret giving you the A-OK. The last thing you want is for the bride and/or groom to regret a single thing about their big day.
Bottom Line Just don't do it. The only surefire way to avoid being called a "classless douchebag" by trolls both real and virtual, is to NEVER get engaged at someone else's wedding. It's not worth sacrificing a long-term friendship, or putting a tasteless mark on your own upcoming marriage celebrations.
After all, you and your partner deserve your own special moment too.