Don’t propose over Valentine’s Day dinner
There are too many variables. That’s the conclusion Gourmet Magazine reaches in this great article about restaurant marriage proposals. Every restaurant promises it’ll go great, not only to get a couple’s business that special night but also because it “usually means the couple will come back every year to celebrate.”
The article is full of embarrassing story after embarrassing story, from the man who has to give his girlfriend the Heimlich when she accidentally swallows the rings to the woman who proposed to a man, When he didn’t accept the offer, the woman stood up, started cursing and began throwing plates onto the floor. “Clearly, he made the right choice,” says the captain on duty.
If your heart is truly set on proposing at a restaurant, there are some general guidelines. The first one, which seems like a no-brainer, is make sure your mistress is not at the same restaurant (one hostess says February 13 is much more interesting than February 14 because the 13th is when all the men bring their mistresses.)
Secondly, scope out the restaurant in advance and for heaven’s sakes — tell the staff what you’re doing. Hosts will always give prominent tables for proposals. If you plan on divorcing (which people have planned to do at restaurants) you might want a discreet table.
Third, don’t hide the ring in food. That seems to be where the proposal always goes wrong. Either the date doesn’t finish her meal or she breaks a tooth or the waiter has to forcefully make her get dessert.
Finally, hotel manager Carlos Lopes has the best advice of all: Men should propose at home, where the future wife will celebrate and call her parents. “If you tip off your future mother-in-law, chances are she’ll buy you dinner.”