The rise of the proposal planner: ‘It’s not enough to get down on one knee any more’

When 36-year-old Justus Parmar decided to propose to his girlfriend, Elisia, he knew it had to be two things – “unforgettable and big”. Less than a week later, he flew Elisia from their home in Vancouver, Canada, to the UK, where he proposed in a capsule of the London Eye. Their fellow passengers were an incognito musician, who performed their favourite song, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, and extras who lined up to reveal T-shirts that read: “Will you marry me?” She said yes.

The number of marriages in the UK may have been in decline since the 70s, with barely 240,000 couples tying the knot in 2016, but weddings are still big business, worth more than £10bn a year. With everything from e-commerce platforms such as Zola – which allows couples to plan their special day online and is valued at $650m (£520m) – to startups such as Bloomerent, which helps couples getting married in the same city reuse each others’ flowers, it is a rapidly expanding, tech-driven sector. And the latest innovation doesn’t even concern the wedding itself, but the proposal.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 17/09/19]