Lets hear it for the boy: Before “I do” comes the “Will you?”

No, this isn’t a tribute post to Deniece Williams, although I do think she is pretty fantastic. Rather, this is a nod of sincere acknowledgement, respect, and most importantly, an offer of assistance, for those of you men preparing to make one of the biggest and best decisions in your life: asking the love of your life for her hand in marriage. We all know the familiar story: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl plan the wedding of their dreams, say, “I do,” and then together, begin their “happily ever after.” However, before there can be a wedding, there must first be a proposal – or so the story goes for most couples. And before there can be a proposal, there must be a man, crazy in love, eager enough to sell his car, motorcycle, guitar, or extra kidney if need be (okay, don’t sell your kidney, you may actually need that someday) to purchase the perfect ring and proclaim his undying love and devotion -- in a spectacular setting -- to the one whom he hopes will say “yes!” and become his future bride. (Whew, deep breath.) While much ado is made over the bride-to-be as she prepares for her wedding day, often little attention or recognition is given to the valiant effort and fortitude shown by the hopeful, future groom-to-be, during the months and weeks leading up to the proposal. Lets face it ladies, when it comes to the big day before the big wedding day, we have high expectations, and many of us have dreamed about what the moment should be like for years. We may say that “love is all that matters,” and while we know it does, deep down, we want (and hope) to be taken to the moon and back; to have a romantic moment of Jane Austin proportions; an off-the-charts, unique, and perfect engagement we simply cannot wait to share with our girlfriends and family members. Given this knowledge, to say there is a little bit of pressure placed on you men to perform is an understatement. As wedding planners, we realize a lot of blood, sweat, and yes, sometimes even tears, go into this process. We understand how nerve-wracking the days leading up to the big moment can be, let alone how overwhelming it can be to choose the perfect setting for the day, fill it with a day or evening of romantic gestures, and then pour your heart out while on one knee. Here’s some good news: you don’t have to go it alone. On the contrary, giving your future bride the proposal of her dreams is within reach, and you don’t need to have the budget of The Bachelor – or be a creative genius – to pull it off. Like RS Exclusive, several wedding planners now offer a “perfect proposal” packages to love-struck men of all ages who need – or just want – advice, direction, and the experienced know-how to add a polished touch to their plans and take the stress out of the planning. Whether you’re looking for full-service, conception-through-execution assistance, or simply help fine-tuning and laying the final touches, event planners have the expertise and personal and professional connections to stretch your hard-earned money and give you the most sparkle for your buck. The big day is yours, and should reflect everything that is special about your love and what makes you unique as a couple. A wedding planner can help you take the stress out of planning and allow you to focus on what really matters: sweeping the woman of your dreams off of her feet, and together enjoying a perfect moment that you will cherish for the rest of your lives. Here’s to you, our knights in shining armor. Without you we wouldn’t get to spend hours browsing through bridal magazines and trying on wedding gowns. You are our heroes, and we think you deserve a helping hand in making our dreams come true. ******************************************************** Featured photos are from the proposal of Brian and Lauren, and took place on June 21 at Oakwood Country Club in Lynchburg, Virginia. Planning and event décor was by RS Exclusive. Photography is courtesy of Sally Hahn. ******************************************************** Rachel McLean is the co-owner of RS Exclusive, LLC, a mother/daughter-run, full service wedding and event boutique, with offices in both Virginia and North Carolina. Along with their fantastic team of assistant designers and banquet staff, RSE specializes in offering a full-range of modern wedding and event services, including: consultation, planning, custom decoration and floral design, and custom invitation and paper goods. With dedication to excellence, and a passion for quality and creativity, the RS Exclusive team takes pride in providing incredible service for every client and every event. Located out of town? RS Exclusive does over-the-phone consultation, making it convenient for you to get the assistance you need, whether near or far. Let RS Exclusive take your event to the next level. Website: RS Exclusive LLC Resources: Oakwood Country Club

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