Celebrity proposals these days are enough to make any would-be proposer nervous. Some of the most high profile in recent years include Tom Cruises showy display when he rented the whole of the Eiffel Tower for the night to propose to Katie Holmes, Seals chilly proposal in a private igloo, and of course, our very own Prince Williams romantic getaway to an African Lodge with his now wife, Kate Middleton.
Its not just the proposal ideas that can inspire anxiety either. Celebrity diamond engagement rings, such as the £500,000 rock given to Angelina Jolie by long-term beau Brad Pitt, can make any man feel under pressure. Keira Knightleys £40,000 sparkler seems almost paltry in comparison to the Pitt-Jolie display, but for most of us this is certainly far beyond reach.
Before you start worrying too much about engagement and wedding rings, however, the latest trend is to go all out on the proposal instead. While for many women, having a beautiful princess cut engagement ring is still important, the romantic nature of the proposal should certainly not be overlooked.
Websites and agencies that help people to plan the perfect proposal have been popular in the US for many years now, and have now just started to gain popularity across the pond too. Unfortunately, employing the services of one of these agencies isnt always about the romantic gesture. Director of UK firm The Proposers, Daisy Amodio, suggests another reason for their recent increase in business:
Men are getting competitive, they want their mates to be impressed as well as the girl. They are trying to outdo each other. A lot of it is people looking for an idea, theyll pay for one that suits them and go away happy to carry it out. At the other end we organise the whole thing, plan it, research and find a venue.
We launched in May and have been overrun by demand. A lot of it is following celebrity trends, and the movies of course. In days gone by you might have gone for a walk in the park to propose, but thats not enough now.
Ms Amodio says that many of the ideas do come from the future groom himself but that he simply needs some help to carry out something on that scale. Ideas they have helped bring to life include transforming a man into a knight in shining armour for a castle proposal and organising a flashmob proposal, another of the latest trends.
Before you panic and start flipping through your copy of the Yellow Pages looking for proposal agencies, however, remember that an over-the-top display isnt necessarily everyones cup of tea. Your girlfriend may well not appreciate being proposed to in public with everyone watching her, such as the YouTube sensation of last year which saw a US baseball fan get turned down on the big screen by his girlfriend in front of 10,000 other fans. Whatever you decide to do, the proposal, and the ring, must be right for your bride-to-be, not simply to make a grand gesture.