Web Culture

The Flash Mob Proposal: When Romance Goes Viral

Mihir Patkar 05-02-2015

On Valentine’s Day, over six million people will propose. One of the more grandiose kind of proposals — and one that gets a whole lot of YouTube views — is a flash mob proposal.

What Is A Flash Mob Proposal?

A flash mob is one of those Internet fads that took the world by storm 10 Internet Fads That Took The World By Storm...Briefly Poodle skirts could become a fad in the 60’s when there was no Internet. Today, the World Wide Web helps a fad go ballistic within a blink of an eye. We capture it on smartphones... Read More . Basically, it’s a pre-planned gathering of strangers, who have connected via the Internet and coordinated how to act, usually as a choreographed dance routine. We’ve talked in more detail about what a flash mob is and how you can participate in one What A Flash Mob Is & How You Can Participate Read More , if you’re curious.

While it’s not as popular as it once used to be, there are still plenty of people who want to use a flash mob to pop the big question. And there are always cameras ready to capture the big moment—some even hire pros. Here’s what the end result looks like:

Why A Flash Mob Proposal? It’s Not Just The Wow Factor

As if asking the question didn’t make your palms sweaty already, try doing it in a public space with a bunch of strangers helping you out.

“People are like supposedly walking around having a good time, and then all of a sudden they start dancing. I just like the overall idea because it’s really surprising,” says Florencia Hernandez in The New York Times. Hernandez organized a flash mob to propose to her girlfriend, and got a “yes” in return.

The appeal lies as much in the wow factor as it does in creating a special memory. Often, when you get engaged, the question asked by friends and family is, “How did he/she propose?” Flash mob proposals create a story to answer that question with.

Helen Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love, reckons this special moment will be a fond memory that can even get a couple through some bumps on the road in the future.

Salman Ali organized the above Bollywood-themed flash mob for his girlfriend because it was a combination of “want the world to know” and having their friends and family together at the big occasion.

“My fiance is the type of person who would prefer to have a quiet, intimate, proposal whereas I am the opposite,” he writes at How He Asked. “I wanted to propose with friends and family gathered around as we shared our special moment; the NY Post eventually described it as a ‘want the world to know’ kind of way. Being that we are both from Indian/Pakistani descent and grew up watching Bollywood movies, and knowing how much Shumaila loves the whole Indian song and dance concept, I decided to go with Bollywood themed flash mob.”

Putting Together A Flash Mob Proposal

Of course, getting your friends and family on board is easy, but organizing an event like this can be tricky. There are two ways people look to arrange flash mob proposals.

You can do the whole thing yourself, hitting up sites like Reddit to request people in your area to join in. One of them even got creative and turned it into a zombie flash mob proposal. There are also dedicated websites like Meetup.com to find friends on the Internet Beat The Loneliness: Find Friends & Let The Internet Help You Feeling lonely? Virtual friends won't make that feeling go away. The best cure is to meet people and make friends in real life. This can be really tough, but the Internet can help you! Read More . And of course, there are dedicated websites to find and organize flash mobs 5 Websites To Tell You Where The Next ''Flash Mob'' Is Going To Take Place Or To Organize One Yourself When it comes to a social trend, most of don’t like to left out. Flash mobs are the latest hysterical rage. Though they appear to be unplanned, they are in fact orchestrated with the help... Read More .

Chances are this will be a little hectic and perhaps out of your comfort zone. If you’re willing to put down some cash, professional event organizers will do the heavy lifting for you – gathering dancers, choreographing the whole event, figuring out the sound system, and more.

Book A Flash Mob and Go See Do are among the more popular destinations for those looking to pull off a flash mob proposal. As for the cost, The Heart Bandits has a rate of $1847 for a 3-5 minute flash mob with eight or more dancers, and they take care of all the logistics.

When professionals are in charge, there is room to do more than just a flash mob. For example, Carl recounts how got his organizers to make two envelopes with instructions for his boyfriend Drew, arranged a car to take him to the spot, and then watched professional dancers enact the routine. It let him concentrate on the actual proposal, marrying words before he married his partner.

And then there’s Mark Fury, who hired a singing choir to make this:

That said, such professional help is rare, as is documenting the proposal. According to Forbes, a survey said 99% of men didn’t seek a professional consultant and 72% said they didn’t document the moment through photo or video.

The Other Side: What Does The Intended Think?

Imagine being asked the most important question of your life and having a hundred eyeballs on you as you answer. The flash mob proposer knows what he’s getting into and is prepared for the moment, but for the partner, it’s a surprise. And sometimes, it can go really bad, like with the dude who bought 99 iPhones and got rejected.

Most of the time, though, it’s a happy ending. Stephanie Rojas, who Hernandez proposed to, says, “I was shaking. I couldn’t believe that somebody would do that for me.”

That said, when a Redditor asked women their thoughts on public proposals, the response was overwhelmingly negative. Most respondents said they wouldn’t want it, that they prefer a private moment, but with the caveat that it’s up to the couple’s personalities – public proposals work for some people.

While it wasn’t a flash mob, Personal Excellence blogger Celestine Chua documented how she was proposed to in public. “I found it cute how bystanders were taking photos, recording videos, and applauding/cheering us during the proposal; I guess as much as we are strangers, happiness and joy can always be celebrated by and shared with anyone,” she says.

Would you want a flash mob proposal, or orchestrate one for your significant other?

Related topics: Web of Romance, YouTube.

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