If you, like so many others around the world, are planning to pop the question to your significant other this festive season, take note. When it comes to planning that perfect moment, it isn't all Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks-levels of ease and romance. It takes real work sometimes.
Daisy Amodio, the founder of The Proposers, an agency that deals in planning perfect proposals, spoke to The Ray D'Arcy Show yesterday about the lengths people have gone to propose in the most memorable and grandiose ways. With a 100% yes-rate, she certainly knows her stuff.
She started her business shortly after her brother asked her to help him plan his proposal. Afterwards, she Googled for similar services and there were no results from anywhere in the world.
"A lot of people said to me and say 'Why would you want to do that, what's wrong with getting down on one knee?' But I knew in my heart of hearts that people wanted a bit more creativity these days. So I set it up and I haven't looked back since."
Six years and roughly 1,200 later, her business is still going strong. The most expensive proposal the company has planned so far was £800,000.
As you might assume, it's mostly men who pay for this service, and assumptions that doing so suggests a lack of imagination on their part isn't wholly inaccurate, either.
"Let's be honest, some guys and girls don't have any creativity in their body, so those people just want to do something really, really special for their partner but they just don't know what."
She says her first port of call is to find out as much about the "proposee" as they can. There are also the people who have oodles of creativity but lack the planning know-how.
"It's stressful saying 'Will you marry me?' sometimes! You've seen it in the movies and everyone, no matter who it is, gets nervous. Women have wedding planners and they have done for years, so it's pretty much the same thing."
And if rom-coms have made you think Valentine's Day would be the busiest time of the year for the agency, you'd be mistaken. It's actually Christmas when diamond rings can be hidden in trees or revealed amid flurries of soft snow - or so the plan would go.
"What I've found is that people want to propose a few days before Christmas so they can celebrate with their friends and families", Amodio says.
So what are the most extravagant proposals she and her team have planned? Some have included truly bewildering scenarios, such as a mock arrest on drug charges. "Some people want romantic, petals, candles, flowers but this guy wanted to prank her, that's what they do in their relationship.
"They were from America and they were going to Barcelona ... there they are, all dressed up for a night out on the town, and as they come out of their hotel, these police just come up to them, arrest them. They have the handcuffs on, they search him and they find drugs in his pocket. Really, it was oregano. She's freaking out, she's like, what are you doing with drugs on you?' She was crying."
In the midst of this hysteria, the police officer tells them that they're never going back to America and that they are headed straight for jail, but first, they must ID the drug dealers. A drive through Barcelona brings them to a mountaintop where candles, fairy lights and a breathtaking view provides the backdrop to what must be one of the most perplexing and hilarious proposals ever seen.
To hear more zany and heartwarming proposal stories, and to find out where the most popular places to propose are, click on the video above!