Feel like the chaos of the last few years has robbed you of the marriage proposal of your dreams? You’re not alone, with an increasing number of couples opting to do a ‘re-proposal’ – a redo of popping the big question. Caroline Ralston, founder and CEO of the Dubai-based Proposal Boutique, says that the trend has been gaining momentum. “A re-proposal is a chance for already engaged or married couples to pop the question again, but this time with the proposal of their dreams,” she explains. She says that a re-proposal offers a second chance when the original proposal’s circumstances weren’t ideal. “A number of couples tell us that they had initial proposal regrets the first time, such as not getting down one knee, forgetting to ask for her family’s permission and we even had one client that forgot the ring. Our re-proposals allow us to discuss with our client why exactly they would like to re-propose, so we can find out what didn’t go according to plan for them the first time and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
The Covid-19 pandemic and its ongoing fallout is also cited as a major reason for couples wanting to try again, with couples having had extra time to mull over how to make it special. “The pandemic meant that a significant number of initial proposal plans were rescheduled or postponed indefinitely, and many of our clients intended on waiting until everything was back to normal,” says Ralston. “However, as time went on, they went ahead with their proposals at home, but it was nothing like either of them had envisaged their proposal it to be, especially during lockdown.”
“Cultural values also have a large role to play in the re-proposals we are planning,” adds Ralston. “Some of our clients initially get engaged at their home in the presence of their family, often because they are asking for permission to marry. However, they still want the big Hollywood movie star proposal for themselves, so they contact us at for the re-proposal.” And sometimes, it’s just not that deep. “Due to the popularity of social media, proposals have come a long way and proposing over dinner is no longer considered enough for some women. Many clients are asking their partners to re-propose so that they can have the perfect Insta images that can be shared.”
Ralston says that either the man approaches her team directly, or it’s the woman making the initial inquiry, before looping in their partner with Proposal Boutique to plan the re-proposal to try and ensure it is a surprise the second time around. With the planners taking over to make sure every detail is perfect, there’s no margin for error. “For our re-proposals, we ask our client everything about their initial proposal, with the reasons why they want to re-propose. We then work on ways to incorporate beautiful aspects of the first proposal into the second proposal to keep the special first moment alive,” details Ralston. “We set up venue meetings and get costs from suppliers, generate some amazing proposal ideas and personalization options and then we get to work on the planning. We then put together the proposal itinerary for the proposer, so he knows exactly what to do on the day. We outline everything he needs to do on the day minute by minute. This can even include what to say and how to act on the day, where to arrive and what time, how to propose, what to wear and so much more.”
Read on to discover the three most romantic re-proposals planned by Ralston at Proposal Boutique.
“When Paul proposed to Meriem in the UK the first time around, he hired a private rooftop terrace in London for their proposal and filled the terrace with her favorite white roses. He planned to propose in a private and romantic setting, but on the way there Meriem became unwell. Since Paul had already put so much time and thought into the proposal he went ahead with it anyway, but they left the terrace after only 30 minutes as Meriem was so unwell. Although they were now engaged, it really had not gone as planned, and neither of them really had the proposal of their dreams.
On their recent holiday to Dubai, Paul decided he wanted to propose again, to make up for it all not going to plan the first time. He contacted Proposal Boutique a couple of months before their trip and told us what happened in London. We loved that Paul had put so much thought and attention into his first proposal so we wanted to incorporate elements of this again (just without the stomach bug)! We rented out a private rooftop with spectacular views of the Dubai skyline, filled the area with white roses, white petals, a stunning heart flower arch that was filled with hundreds of roses. A professional photographer and videographer were there to capture the moment for them. This was the proposal that they both dreamed of and one that they would truly remember forever.”
“Lee and Susan got married in a rush when he was relocating to the UAE for work. Lee asked Susan to marry him while they were having dinner one evening at home. There were no flowers, or candles, just the question: ‘Will you marry me?’ Lee wanted to make up for this and he contacted us when he moved to Dubai to arrange his re-proposal. Realizing that the first proposal wasn’t what his wife would have expected, he wanted to do it again but in a big way. As the couple were fairly new to Dubai, we wanted to truly showcase the city so suggested that he rent out an entire restaurant for the big moment. The restaurant’s stunning rooftop terrace overlooked the Burj Khalifa and the fountains. We filled the whole restaurant with candles, roses and petals. Giant light up MARRY ME letters illuminated the terrace and provided the perfect backdrop to the setting. She couldn’t believe it when she realized this entire setup had been done just for her.”
“Pablo had planned his proposal with us prior to the pandemic, but because travel plans had to be put on hold he also had to postpone his proposal. However, he couldn’t wait any longer and proposed to Adriana at home during lockdown. Although it was a romantic proposal, with candles and her favorite home cooked meal, it was not the elaborate proposal he was originally planning. When travel restrictions were lifted, the couple’s trip to Dubai was back on. Although the couple were already now engaged, Pablo went ahead with his big Dubai proposal anyway, which as you can imagine was a complete surprise for his partner. The setting was a private beach with a backdrop of Atlantis the Palm. Our team decorated the beach area with flowers, hundreds of candles, a red carpet and a giant balloon wall over our supersized MARRY ME letters. A private musician serenaded the couple as they enjoyed a beautiful candlelit meal together in this truly exclusive location.”