What Gilmore Girls can teach us about proposals

Guest post by PopFunk
This is what a Gilmore Girls proposal with a thousand yellow daisies looks like. (Photo courtesy of GilmoreMemories.com)
This is what a Gilmore Girls proposal with a thousand yellow daisies looks like. (Photo courtesy of GilmoreMemories.com)

I recently watched the Gilmore Girls episodes where Lorelai is proposed to by Max, twice. Once is half-jokingly, to which she responds that a proposal should be romantic with horses and daisies. The second is when Max has exactly 1,000 yellow daisies sent to her. For those who don't know, it never worked out for those two. She just didn't know him and they weren't right for each other.

It made me realize that, over the years, I've had quite a jaded understanding of proposals. First of all, too many movies and shows have proven that grand gestures are accepted, and proposals in pajamas (as ours was) really aren't done.

I was engaged at 21 to someone I met online and dated for six months. Our proposal story was something to tell. He chose eight special places to visit (all “milestones” of our relationship), concluding with a moonlit mountain-top proposal. It was an awesome story to tell people, but as our engagement commenced, it became blindingly obvious that he and I were just not meant to be. We were both more in love with the idea of each other than who we actually were.

Years later, when my now-husband proposed to me in the lounge room of my government-issued-teaching-housing home, of course I said yes.

Was it romantic? Of course it was. Okay, so he didn't go to huge lengths, make me some impressive piece of art, or ask me on top of a mountain. And recently someone told me that she would have said “no” if she was proposed to the same way I was.

But what was more romantic?

Months before he proposed, after a dinner with my family, I made some excuse to walk my fiance to his car and he said “I want to marry you.”

“Is this a proposal?” I asked.

“No, not yet. I just know I want to marry you.”

Before we were engaged we talked at length about marriage, living arrangements, and how we wanted our actual wedding day to look and be. I read books about marriage (and not just wedding magazines either) and surfed online for things to do before you were engaged. Then came the day he asked for my heirloom ring (which my mum gave to me after my first failed engagement), so it could be repaired. There were no surprises, and in my opinion, that's probably the way it should be.

But, of course, that is just me.

When I started reading Offbeat Bride, I was surprised at how many brides-to-be didn't have their “bling,” but they were actively planning their wedding. I was relieved. I knew I had found the place I wanted to be.

Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

Trending with our readers

Comments on What Gilmore Girls can teach us about proposals

  1. My FH and I knew we wanted to marry each other for quite some time, which says a lot since neither of us pictured ourselves married, ever. We had been cohabitating for about a year and a half and have a child together when we mutually decided to be engaged and plan a wedding – while in our PJs on the couch. All of the discussions about money, family, values, politics, division of labor and the like had taken place countless times and we agree on most of those things. It seemed like the next logical step. I am happy with how the proposal turned out, but HE thinks he needed to be on bended knee with ring in hand while the local wildlife surrounded us with their loving embraces. The warped messages of love and romance reach men too, even ones who’d rather watch superman cartoons than Gilmore Girls.

  2. I love this post! My husband proposed to me while we were just sitting on a bed in a hotel in Las Vegas, totally out of nowhere and in a perfect-for-us kind of way. No ring, no bended knee, no production — just a really sweet series of questions and answers and two happy people afterward.

  3. I’m glad for this post, maybe I will casually leave it up on the computer screen at home… My fella is painfully shy and I know he is worried about putting together some dramatic gesture of a proposal simply because I tend to have a flair for theatrics.
    We talk about marriage a lot and basically consider ourselves “unofficially engaged” anyway. I keep reminding him when it (the proposal) comes up to just make it meaningful to US because it shouldn’t be just about me…marriage a big deal for him too.
    So if that means he decides to ask while we are getting Thai food together for the billionth time (instead of some cliched proposal out of a Robbins Brothers commercial) it will be perfect.
    I hope it helps his nerves a little. I know he’s getting a lot of pressure from his Mom and Sister to “Do it Soon!” and “Make it Huge!” And I keep pulling him aside when they say that to tell him to “Do it when he’s ready and however he feels happy with.”

  4. So many reasons to love this post. One, Gilmore Girls because I ship Luke and Lorelei so hard. Second because of it’s perfect clarity about the fact that engagement does not have to be grand, romantic, movie/tv level story-worthy moment. It can be simple and beautiful in it’s own way. Which is so my life. People constantly asked us after we came out as engaged “How’d he do it?! What’s the story?!” to which I had to explain there was no “story” no “surprise moment,” and thus deal with a lot of disappointed and confused. There was no down on one, no big gesture, not even a ring. We were hanging out in a graveyard on Halloween and just said to each other that we knew we wanted to be together forever. That was it. No proposal, a conversation. Personally, I’d argue that more people need to have the conversation, then if they feel a grand gesture is wanted/needed go ahead. Just look at Gilmore Girls: it’s clear Lorelei liked the idea of Max, liked the idea of having a proposal, a wedding, all that, but in the end they fell apart because they weren’t really right for each other, which if they weren’t so busy fantasizing they probably would have figured out sooner. I feel like so many people today are that way not just about marriage, but about relationships. They love the idea of having that movie/tv idealized relationship/proposal/marriage and forget there IS HARD WORK involved with being in a relationship. It’s not always daisy’s, sunshine, and snuggles. There’s fights, compromises, and just hard shit but damn it if it isn’t all worth it.

    • Plus, the true SHIP of the show, Luke and Lorelai, when they got engaged it was simple and it was Lor asking Luke, alone in the diner. A proposal fit for all of us Offbeat ladies.

  5. My bearded half proposed on our 3 year anniversary last month, during the day he made me breakfast in bed then we exchanged little token anniversary gifts, we drove up Arthurs Seat with hot cinnamon apple juice to drink at the top then we had dinner at our favourite restaurant (Mongolian Buffet.. yum!) and he proposed at home on the sofa while we were cuddled up. A lot of people would see a lot of missed opportunities and an anticlimactic proposal but to me it was perfect! We called both sets of parents and had some champagne to celebrate, then bought a ring together a few days later 🙂
    I’ve always known he’d be the man I married, it was just a matter of when he’d ask and we could actually start planning!

  6. My other half and I had talked about getting married enough that when he hinted at doing a grand proposal, I completely pooped on it (oops!). He thought all girls wanted a grand proposal and I liked the idea of something more personal and just between us. By the time the actual proposal came around, he actually had scrapped a couple of other ideas because the ring was ready right before we took a trip to the beach, so he ended up just packing it in his suitcase and asking me on the beach in the moonlight. I loved it and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 🙂

  7. Love this. My Fiance didn’t have a ring because I don’t wear a lot of jewlery, the only thing I want is a locket, which he could not afford at the time But he wanted to propose then knowing that the moment I started the school quarter, getting me anywhere to propose just wasn’t going to happen.

  8. I love all of these posts! My fiancé had planned to ask me while we were away in scotland visiting family in some quiet prettty place…but the timing wasn’t right. We had just got home after a looooong train journey and were sat on the sofa having a snuggle, when he told me he had something for me. At which point he got on one knee, with the ring we had looked at a few months before, and asked me. It was a perfect moment of just us two in our little house with the cat running around! Neither of us our showy people, and you can see the slight disappointed look on peoples face when they ask for the story, but our family and friends knew it was perfect for us and thats the main thing!

  9. Thank you so much! You’ve made me feel so much better. I continually feeling like I’m the only person who is (semi) planning a wedding without a ring on my finger. We’ve had all the big conversations and mapped out our life together. When he does propose, it’s just for the rest of the world to be able to look at my hand.

  10. Love this! I completely agree that the “should we get married?” conversation should happen before the actual proposal! The day my fiance said, “maybe that trip we’re planning next summer should actually be our honeymoon” started the whole conversation, and a few months later we had a venue, a rough guest list, and I had picked out (well, narrowed down to two) the ring I wanted. We both knew the proposal was coming, and my only rule was DON’T DO IT IN A RESTAURANT! because I can’t stand the idea of a bunch of strangers stopping their dinner to watch our moment. He ordered the ring online, and when he casually asked one night if I wanted to take a limo ride to Fedex, I responded with, “Let me go shave my legs.” So there we were, in a limo, quick stop at Fedex to grab a suspicious package, and two bottles of wine later he somehow managed to get to one knee in a moving limo. I thought since I was expecting it, I wouldn’t cry. I was soooo wrong! He was scared I’d be disappointed if he didn’t somehow manage to surprise me. I thought it was perfect.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.