Photography via Instagram/@themarcjacobs

Are Public Proposals Actually Romantic?

If you like it, than you should put a ring on it in front of millions of people.

Marriage is a sacred contract of love, and nothing says “please hang out with me till the day you die” quite like jumbotrons, billboards and flash mobs. Of course, public proposals aren’t for everyone: personally, I’d rather grow old with a bunch of cats than be subjected to that kind of humiliation (and I’m really allergic to cats). But hey, I’m glad that OTT PDA is for some people! These grand gestures make me cringe—but they also often make me cry. Sit me down on YouTube on a Sunday afternoon, and I will binge watch a Kleenex box worth of cheesy proposal vids. Sure, they’re kind of manipulative and narcissistic, but there is something inexplicably romantic in boldly proclaiming your love to the world—especially when it involves organized groups of dancing people.

If you insist on “popping the question” in front of a crowd, please don’t do it over the radio or at a baseball game that you dragged her to. Instead, hire Bruno Mars to sing “Marry You” on a parade float and have 100 little girls dancing around in unison. (And please, make sure to film the whole thing and post it on the Internet. Do engagements even count if they don’t have over a million views?)

From Marc Jacob’s Chipotle flash mob to a man trying to sing John Legend, here are a few public proposals that warm our cold, stone hearts.

The laid-back, fast-food proposal

At Chipotle, guac is extra — and so was Marc Jacobs’ proposal. The tattooed luxury fashion legend popped the question to his partner, Char Defrancesco, after a flash mob performance to Prince’s “Kiss” inside the Mexican chain. Burrito bowls, sweat pants and mediocre dancers moving in unison to the sweet sound of Prince, does it get any more romantic than that? (It does when you share an edited clip of the evening to social media!)

The cold day, all-out proposal

This one has it all: flash mob, Bruno, jumbotron and, at the end, someone brings out a bunch of gifts. “It was the coldest day in Beijing for the last 46 years,” user @chrislwy029 captioned the video. “On that right day I proposed to my girlfriend with a hundred people dancing in front of her.”

The most-magical-place-on-earth proposal

TBH, the only way I would accept a flash mob marriage proposal is if it were at Disneyland. The double camera here is a nice touch: the dancing is subpar, but this woman’s reaction is everything.

The professionally staged proposal

Rose petals and a red carpet are a very nice touch. There’s actually a company in Japan that coordinates flash mobs like these. It’s called Emotion Rise and, according to their site, they “have been receiving inquiries from all over the world.”

The DIY John Legend proposal

WARNING: This one is extra cringey. This poor woman is so confused, and this man cannot sing. But hey, at least it’s original! The whole thing was filmed for BBC One’s Oxford Street Revealed, an observational documentary series that covers all the crazy things that go down on the iconic London street.

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