I will also share some of the research processes I have done herein.
THE TRADITIONAL PROPOSAL
Well, everyone knows enough about the conventional proposal - the guy pops the BIG question out of the blue, and the surprised girl gives her "yes" or "no" within a matter of seconds, sometimes with tears in her eyes. Then the couple announces this piece of "I am engaged" good news to their families and friends, thus beginning the planning process for wedding ceremonies, housing, etc.
THE SINGAPOREANS' PROPOSAL
Right... there was an evolution that turned proposal into a very different context here in Singapore itself. The couple usually undergoes a rather redundant process of proposal, or to put it across nicely, maybe 2 rounds of proposals?
It would all begin with the "Shall we apply for a flat?" question, and may be initiated by either the male or the female. This means to say, the person popping the question is thinking of living together with you and spending their lives with you - except what? They did not mention a legal marital status - they were probably asking you about co-habitation, right?
The couple would then proceed to source for the perfect apartment (may come in the form of HDB resale flat, DBSS flat, BTO flat, or the currently trending Executive Condo "EC"). Thereafter, they would check out wedding packages, maybe even sign up for something already, open a joint savings account together, call up hotels to inquire about wedding banquet packages, and shop for wedding bands together.
Now this is where it gets absolutely interesting. So, after the couple agreed to co-habit (apply for a living space together), and plan out almost everything leading to marriage, there is an expectation for a proper proposal to then take place.
So yes, the girl will act surprised all over again, so that the couple can now officially register for marriage and use the Certificate to secure living space they have jointly-applied for. If not, then how? Forfeit everything that down payment has been made for?
Don't laugh - this is really the way most Singaporean couples propose these days, all right!
I'll say it is being rather kind to the males - most of them know that with all these commitments in place, they would be more apt to get a positive answer, and this in turn saves their ego from being bruised too (c'mon, even if the girl had rejected his "apply for flat" proposal, he won't be hurt because it was not really a proposal right?)
It takes the surprised element out of the proposal for the female too - or she could still pretend to be surprised by the question, wondering when it would come, with all other arrangements already in place.
Like, really, what's wrong with a proper proposal first, then slowly planning for other things, even if your BTO flat is gonna take another 3 years to take form?!
Mercifully, The Beau and I share common consensus that a proper proposal should retain its original purpose, meaning and value, so he did not do the above to me.
Funnily, it happened in the midst of an argument during an overseas trip last year - an argument that sparked from something small to greater issues such as broken promises and lack of commitment (my one-sided story, haha!).
Whilst resolving the issue and placating me, out came the ring and the BIG question. It turned out that he has been carrying the ring on him for sometime, just waiting for the right occasion and place to let it see light. Well, apparently a luxurious hotel in Malacca was not his ideal choice, but he guessed it would have to suffice for now.
Nonetheless, I was surprised, and only had to nod in agreement.
I put on the rock for a few shots, and returned it back to him so that on his upcoming birthday celebration at the gorgeous and elegant Equinox (Singapore), he could put it on for me in a more formal and well-prepared setting.
So, for photography and announcement's sake, the diamond was donned on my ring finger officially at Equinox in mid-December 2014, a proposal done complete with 99 dark roses and touching promises.
Well, that was it, baby - something simple, sincere and sophisticated would do - unlike the younger days when one hoped for huge billboard proposals, attention-grabbing and crowd-watching proposals that probably required enlistment of friends' help.
That done, now we are all set to plan the rest of the nuptial journey.
Look out for the next entry in The Nuptial Series - I will be sharing on ROM procedure, planning and places to consider.