Queanbeyan residents would have noticed an out-of-the-ordinary message outside the Taco Cartel restaurant last week.
“There was a ‘Marry Me’ light-up sign near Taco Cartel a couple of hours ago,” one posted to the Queanbeyan Community Notice Board on Facebook on 29 June.
“Hope they said ‘Yes’.”
The good news is they did. But the actual setup was devised by Natalie Calvani and Corinne Demetrius from new start-up Canberra Proposals, a company dedicated to creating memorable knee-dropping occasions.
“The bride-to-be thought it was for someone else,” Corinne says.
“She was just kind of looking around, until she saw her family all there. So yeah, a complete surprise, with tears and laughter. And because of the location, people could see the light-up letters from the bridge, so we had people honking and cheering as they drove past, which was really nice.”
Natalie runs party hire company Happy Days, and Corinne wedding and event styling company Truly Desired. But the two paired up on Truly Desired and tapped into Corinne’s experience with “intimate-type proposals” to set up a new niche service earlier this year.
“It’s only very new, but we’ve had one proposal almost every week or two weeks, or at least some inquiries,” Corinne says of Canberra Proposals.
A number of local venues, including Verity Lane, HQ Thirtyfour, Brindabella Hills Winery, Hyatt Hotel and several public parks have come on board as “trusted locations”, happy to host the proposal packages that range from “minimalist” to “extravagant”.
A standard picnic proposal includes cushions, blankets, flowers, candle, eating and drinking ware and a grazing platter for two, while their most popular option, the ‘glam standing proposal’, comes with firework flares, large flower arrangements, candles and scattered rose petals. There’s various versions of ‘Marry Me’ lighting across the board too.
“We try to tailor it so the budget can fit anyone, and they can always spend extras on photographers and things like that,” Corinne says.
“But I guess if you were to go for the average, it’d be about $1000 or slightly more.”
For Corinne, the standout proposal was during a sunrise in June by Lake Burley Griffin.
“As you can imagine, it was quite cold. But as I was setting up, the hot-air balloons were arriving in the park as well, so they were taking off as she was proposing to him. She also told me afterwards he had a ring as well, so it was a double proposal, which was really cool.”
She describes it as a “beautiful” job that frequently has her in tears.
“I’m sort of that little creep that stands away in the bushes, watching and crying. I get all shaky and teary every time. I love it.”
Thankfully, there’s yet to be a time when the answer was no.
“It hasn’t happened yet and I really don’t want to experience it,” Corinne says.
The plan is to host many more of these “special moments”.
“A proposal is something that’s going to be in the memory bank forever, so you want to make it unique. And we want to be a part of that and we want them to remember us and what we did to help them create that memory.”
Visit Canberra Proposals for more information.
Original Article published by James Coleman on Riotact.