Sealed with a click

Natalia Kaplan wanted to sur­prise her boyfriend by propos­ing to him. But the sur­prise took on a life of its own when she ac­ci­den­tally sent him the email de­tail­ing her se­cret plan

Toronto Star - - FRONT PAGE - KA­T­RINA CLARKE STAFF REPORTER

Natalia Kaplan planned the per­fect pro­posal.

The sea­son would be sum­mer­time, and the set­ting would be the Ni­a­gara but­ter­fly con­ser­va­tory she and her Toronto-based boyfriend both loved. There, she’d of­fer him the cus­tom-made sil­ver ring with the fire­fly etched into it by a New Zealand de­signer and ask for his hand in mar­riage.

At least, that was the plan un­til one email de­railed it.

“I had this whole scheme planned out and I sent it to my best friend to be like ‘I think this is it. I’m go­ing to ask him,’ ” Kaplan said. “Be­cause I’m stupid, I cc’d him on it.”

De­spite the blun­der, her in­ten­tions were in line with a slowly emerg­ing trend — the rise of the fe­male pro­posal — say those in­volved in the wed­ding industry. Some women are do­ing it be­cause they’re ea­ger to es­chew the male­dom­i­nated tra­di­tion. Oth­ers are ro­man­tics, who while they may have grown up dream­ing of elab­o­rate male-ini­ti­ated pro­pos­als, just want to get hitched and aren’t hung up on who ini­ti­ates it.

“I think women are just kind of like, ‘Well, if I have equal rights in ev­ery other way, why do you get to de­cide when we get mar­ried?’ ” said Crys­tal Adair-Ben­ning, owner of Dis­tinct Oc­ca­sions, a wed­ding and en­gage­ment plan­ning busi­ness in Toronto. “Women are get­ting ballsy and get­ting em­pow­ered and they want to pro­pose.”

Adair-Ben­ning said she’s seen a sub­tle in­crease in women propos­ing to men dur­ing her four years of help­ing clients with their mar­riage pro­pos­als.

Nearly 10 per cent of her en­gage­ment clients are women, but she sus­pects num­bers are higher in real life.

“Women, when they do it, it can either be more spon­ta­neous — it just kind of comes out — or they put some thought into it and al­ready know how they want to pro­pose,” she said. Men typ­i­cally think women want ro­man­tic, grand pro­pos­als and women think men want low-key ones, she said.

For Kaplan, then a Ry­er­son stu­dent, the ac­ci­den­tal email ruled out any chance of a heart­felt, sur­prise pro­posal.

“I think I’m go­ing to pro­pose to Lex this sum­mer,” the mes­sage read. “Oh man it makes me feel giddy and dizzy just writ­ing it out . . . I mean I’ve al­ways felt like we will get mar­ried at some point but it just kind of hit me the other day why not now, and why can’t I ask?”

She didn’t re­al­ize her mis­take un­til her boyfriend asked about it that night.

She promptly screamed and ran out of the room.

“Af­ter I calmed down, we sat on the couch . . . and I’m like, ‘Yes, I want to marry you,’ ” the 25-year-old re­calls. The two were mar­ried in June 2014. Risk and re­ward But pro­pos­als don’t al­ways elicit happy tears, warns Toronto psy­chol­o­gist and re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Ni­cole McCance.

Pos­si­ble fe­male pro­posal-re­lated risks in­clude blind­sid­ing a man who doesn’t want to get mar­ried or spark­ing a cer­tain “fail­ure to launch” feel­ing in him for hav­ing de-facto lost his chance to pro­pose.

Women, too, have to be ready to for­ever give up the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing pro­posed to, brace for fam­ily and friends voic­ing an­ti­quated view­points and pre­pare for the in­evitable ques­tion: “Show me your ring!”

For 23-year-old Anya Dai, her pro­posal at Blue Moun­tain on Valen­tine’s Day 2015 went off with­out a hitch, but it was the fall­out that stung.

“(My boyfriend’s par­ents) were like, ‘No. That’s not OK. Why would you do that?’” she re­calls. “I was like, ‘Uh, I don’t know, I love him?’ ”

Dai also had to give up a life­long dream — she was ob­sessed with tales of ro­man­tic en­gage­ments grow­ing up — but she wanted to show her fu­ture hus­band just how se­ri­ous she was by sac­ri­fic­ing that.

“I wasn’t just say­ing yes to him,” said Dai, who first bonded with her boyfriend over their shared Chris­tian faith.

“I (was giv­ing) up what I’ve al­ways dreamed of . . . I wouldn’t do that for any­one else.”

Her boyfriend’s par­ents even­tu­ally came around — only af­ter he pro­posed to her a few weeks later, giv­ing her the cus­tom ring he’d had in the mak­ing for months — but it didn’t di­min­ish his pride in his now-wife’s bold­ness.

“One per­son asked me if I felt like less of a man in the re­la­tion­ship,” said Dai’s now-hus­band, Kassey Di­mac­u­lan­gan.

“I feel ac­tu­ally more spe­cial and if any­thing more of a man — that a woman loves me so much that she would go against the grain.”

CEN­TRE STAGE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

COUR­TESY ANYA DAI

Anya Dai and Kassey Di­mac­u­lan­gan on the day they got en­gaged. Dai pro­posed on the hill on Valen­tine’s Day 2015 at Blue Moun­tain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.