The Big ? |

The Big ?

Kara Williams

After successfully proposing marriage, 28-year-old professional golfer Tiger Woods said that popping the question to his fiancee was tougher than sinking a championship putt.

“You don’t want to blow a special moment like that, have it come off totally wrong,” he said at a press conference.

Since it remains traditionally a man’s job to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, the pressure is indeed on for guys to craft a thoughtful, personal wedding proposal. At least according to folks in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Planning, surprise and romance are the key ingredients to an ideal proposal,” said Rowan Fryer, 23. “You want to know he put some thought into it.”

Bonnie Hofto, 24, agreed: “I would expect some sort of surprise. Something special to catch me off guard.” Hofto also advised men to “know your partner.”

“Personally, I’d love being proposed to on TV or in some public way,” she said. “But I know a lot of women who would be embarrassed by that. Everyone is so different.”

Tyler Stableford, 28, took care to prepare a proposal that would fully surprise his unsuspecting then-girlfriend, Megan Currier.

He told her to pack an overnight bag with outdoor and dressy clothes and that he’d pick her up from her job at Aspen Elementary School on Friday afternoon, not sharing what his plan for the evening was. It turned out to be a proposal at the Maroon Bells, a nice dinner out and a stay at the Aspen’s luxurious hotel, The Little Nell.

“A marriage proposal is the one time in your life you can really knock someone’s socks off,” said Stableford of his pop-the-question theory. “If you’re very confident she’s going to say yes, then you should make it one hell of a romantic surprise,” he advised.

Then there’s the nonproposal.

Thirty-five-year-old Kristina Bingaman, who has two small children with Jim, her husband of eight years, said she was never officially proposed to or presented with a ring. “We were living together in Woody Creek, and we really wanted a vacation. We decided to just go to Hawaii and basically elope there. Our thinking was, why vacation now, then spend the money on a big wedding and honeymoon later?”

Bingaman, who picked out her own engagement ring, said she would have preferred a more traditional, romantic proposal, and jokes with her husband about his lack of effort to get her to the altar.

With her 10-year anniversary coming up, however, he now has every opportunity to make up for it, perhaps with an anniversary wedding band, she said. “It would be nice to have that element of surprise.”

For men seeking advice on how to execute that surprising

proposal that women seem to find ideal, there is no shortage of advice out there.

A quick online search turned up a book of creative proposal ideas called “The RoMANtic’s Guide to Popping the Question.” On, for $99 you get two expertly crafted proposal scenarios tailored just for you.

And if you want to actually watch a man put his heart out on the line, you can tune into The Learning Channel’s daytime reality show, “Perfect Proposal.”

The episode I watched”strictly for research purposes only, mind you ” involved a guy who proposed while he and his girlfriend attended a well-known “clown camp” in Minnesota. Weird, but it worked: She was totally unsuspecting and said yes.

As for my own proposal, my husband popped the question nearly six years ago on a hike while we were vacationing at Lake Powell.

We were sweaty; he was nervous; I almost dropped the ring in the water.

It was perfect.

Support Local Journalism