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Proposals: Public or Private

The Pro’s and Con’s to Public and Private Proposals….

When it comes to deciding how you’re going to propose, you really have to take into account the personality of yourself and your future fiancée. The setting, the engagement spot, is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make in the proposal planning process. All proposal locations can be divided into two basic categories, determined by level of seclusion from the rest of the world: public or private.


(Photo Courtesy of Evan Hunt Photo)

A public proposal is essentially just a proposal that occurs in a public space. What first comes to mind is probably the kind of engagements you find in a youtube search – jumbotrons, flashmobs, marching bands, movie theatres, etc. However, this isn’t necessarily  the only kinds of public proposals – yes these are in fact very public, but so is a proposal in front of friends and family, or in a park on a busy day.

A private proposal is the other side of the coin – a proposal that happens in a private, or secluded area. This is probably the more widely practiced form of proposals. These kinds of engagements occur in homes, venues, hotel rooms, and private dining rooms.

Now that you know exactly what the difference is between public and private- here are some pro’s and con’s for these proposal routes.

Public Proposals… The pros of a public proposal would be that there are plenty of people to capture the moment in photo and video, and you can instantly share your big moment with tons of people, and let me tell you people absolutely love to witness a man professing his love by getting down on one knee. However, on the down side, this kind of proposal may not be as personal as your fiancée would like, and keeping with her personality she may not feel comfortable with all eyes on her.

Private Proposals… The good thing about this is that since you’re alone, you can express your more raw emotions. But since you are alone, you might not get photos or video to capture the moment and emotions, but working with a planner you can come up with a great cover story to add into the mix of why there would be a photographer there.  Also, when doing a private proposal think on the transition the element of surprise, the moment she goes from thinking it’s just an ordinary date to, speechless….he is proposing.  This can be tricky in a private space so thinking on these things ahead of time will ensure a great transition.

Though private proposals are still the more popular choice, public proposals are gaining ground. In 2012, 36 percent of brides told popular wedding site the Knot they received a public proposal. But what it really comes down to is the two of you. If you both are comfortable sharing your proposal moment with large groups of people – whether they be friends, family, or strangers – go for it! If you two are maybe not so comfortable with it, maybe opt for a private, intimate proposal that you can later share with everyone via phone calls and social media. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and you have determine which option is in your comfort zone.

Now that you have in mind whether you want your proposal venue to be public or private, head over to our Top Places to Propose in Chicago for some great inspiration!

About Jenée Strickland

Visions Event Studio specializes in luxury events, including proposals and couture weddings. Jenée Strickland, owner, and lead visionnaire, has been an integral part of hundreds of weddings and proposals. Her job is a privilege; her work is a passion.

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