Ah, spring. Love is in the air and young romantics are sweating bullets as they secretly plot their wedding proposals.

Engagement ring

If you’re planning to pop the question in Vancouver, never fear. There’s a professional here to help. Kristie Kent is the Proposal Planner at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. That’s right: her job is to help men plan & execute surprise wedding proposals at her luxury 5-star hotel. It’s an utterly genius idea. Like a modern version of Cyrano de Bergerac (or Steve Martin’s character in the film Roxanne) to help you sweep your sweetheart off her feet.

Kristie started her romantic position a year ago, one year after the hotel opened its sophisticated, cosmopolitan doors. But can she guarantee your proposal will be a success?

 “I’m happy to say that I have a 100% “yes” rate to-date!” she replied. And no wonder, given the range of creative proposals to choose from. Men (or women, why not?) can choose from an a la carte list of proposal packages like…

Lights, Camera, Action 

According to the hotel’s PR rep, Sam Geer, the ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ proposal takes place in the hotel’s “state-of-the-art theatre reserved exclusively for the couple to watch their favourite flick on the big screen.” After you pop the question (assuming your lover says Yes), a private butler pops champagne for you and your new  fiancée [Backup plan: if she turns you down and flees the premises, get the butler to bring you tequila and a wig].

Recommended movies for the Lights, Camera, Action package no doubt include mushy fare like The Notebook .

Films I’d avoid include: the anti-marriage black comedy, The War of the Roses or the horrendous The Wedding Planner, even though it co-stars my personal bare-chested hero, Matthew McConaughey. I’d also steer clear of Shoah, the French documentary on the Holocaust. Not only is it a huge downer, but it’s 9 & 1/2 hours long.

Man proposes

This man is proposing to a woman at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Seems the photographer hid behind a bush.

Rock Star package    

For this proposal, the couple gets to stay in the hotel’s opulent Owner’s Suite. No word if the owner will be there with you or if you have to share his bed. The happy couple also get whisked around town in the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s private BMW.

When you’re back in your suite, and right before you pop the question, Sam says “a private musician serenades you on the suite’s rooftop terrace.” Pretty slick, especially since the Fairmont Pacific Rim has sweeping, unobstructed views of Stanley Park, Coal Harbour, and the snow-capped North Shore Mountains. The only down side, I suppose, is that there’s a private musician hiding in your suite. And what if he doesn’t leave? What if he JUST. KEEPS. PLAYING.

Still, it’s definitely a classy alternative to your buddy holding up a boombox like in Say Anything. Or your hairy uncle blowing “L’il Brown Jug” on an empty whisky bottle.

Sweets Design

For chocolate lovers, this package gives you private access to the pastry shop’s chocolate room. The hotel’s Pastry Chef then gives you a private lesson to help “guide the way to life’s sweetest treats.”

I’m not sure what that means, exactly. Is the chef talking about his moustache? Hopefully he’s referring to his chocolates, and not his secret stash of zoo-quality tranquilizers and aphrodisiacs. Either way, I’m sure it’s quite romantic.

Pool Cabana   

Pool view
For this proposal, Kristie sets you up in a Poolview Suite with a private patio and fireplace. You’ll be served a private dinner in your suite. And then, when the magic moment arrives, an airplane flies by trailing a banner with a special message for your lover.

Recommended messages include “Will you marry me, Alissa?”, especially if her name is, indeed, Alissa. Not recommended: “Marry me cuz your hot years are all behind you.”

Die Hard Hero package

Die Hard

In this fun and elaborate option, Kristie hires actors to play masked terrorists who ‘take over’ the hotel. While your girlfriend watches in stunned amazement, you knock out the terrorists and save the day. After your display of derring-do, she won’t be able to resist your proposal! And even if she somehow miraculously turns you down, surely another guest will slip you a lil Thank You-Sex.

[Okay, okay, there’s no Die Hard Hero package. But wouldn’t it be great if there was?]


Now I know you’re wondering if Kristie is married herself. Turns out she’s not (yet).

“I do have a boyfriend who constantly talks about proposing,” says Kristie, “but he’s very intimidated. Since I plan so many proposals and weddings, he has a very high bar to reach!”

If you’re wondering what all this costs, packages range from $240 to $10,300 CDN for the Rock Star package. Yep, you read that correctly: over 10 thousand clams before any actual wedding planning has begun. Then again, if she’s The One, who cares?

And what do you get if you can only afford $50? Will they tackle your lover if she tries to flee? Does Kristie spellcheck your ‘Will u marry me’ text message? Or maybe they drug your lover with morphine to put her/him in a highly suggestible Happy Place. If I owned a sweet hotel, I’d probably do this every morning just for fun.

Whatever proposal you pick, I’m sure it’s all worth it. Because that look of joy & surprise in her eyes when she kisses you and says Yes?


— Ken Hegan

BING: how to propose to your boyfriend


Here are Kristie’s three pieces of Zen-like advice for anyone planning to propose:

1) “Be calm.”

2) “Enjoy the moment because the best is yet to come.”

3) “Smile and remember why you are proposing.”

Read more of Ken’s MSN travel posts here and follow Ken to victory on Twitter

For further info on the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s proposal service, click here

Additional writing by Samantha Stanway

Photos supplied by Fairmont Pacific Rim / CP Images (Die Hard)