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From flashmobs to superyachts – marriage proposal planner Caroline Ralston has seen it all

Get some wedding proposal tips for when you’re ready to go down on one knee.

Proposal Boutique Dubai - Wedding Proposal Planner Interview

Are you thinking about proposing to your life-long partner and need some advice on where to start? We interview Caroline Ralston, owner of Proposal Boutique in Dubai on what inspired her to become a proposal planner, and what venues she sees popping up for proposals in 2023!

What interested you in becoming a marriage proposal planner?

I received my own dream proposal in 2014. It was so romantic and my now husband incorporated lots of special elements that he knew I would just love. It was so unique and memorable and personal to only us.

People always ask about how I got engaged so I always loved sharing my story and people were always amazed at how special it was.

I then started thinking about it as a business, as I loved the idea of helping couples with their most romantic moment and love the idea of giving lots of other women their dream proposal that they will want to tell the whole world about.

I have always been creative and love the challenge of thinking up creative and unique proposal ideas and setups.

Who is the biggest influencer/celebrity you have planned a proposal for?

We have planned lots of celebrity and sport star proposals but operate on a top-secret level we can share that we have helped Lewis O’Brien, an English Footballer and Shaquan Roberts who is a big YouTube influencer with their proposals.

What is the craziest request you have had from an influencer when planning their proposal?

We had a request from a gentleman who wanted us to kidnap his girlfriend and put her in the trunk of a car and take her to the desert where he would be there to propose. We advised our client against this idea as it would terrify his poor partner, so we opted for the couple to enjoy a camel ride to a secluded desert spot which we filled with her favourite flowers and an Arabian-tented setup.  

Of all of the venues and locations in Dubai, what is your favourite?

I love working on rooftops with views of Burj Khalifa so Address Downtown and Palace Downtown are my absolute favourites. The venues offer complete privacy and spectacular views so they are perfect for that big WOW and the ultimate ‘Dubai’ view.

Rooftops and beaches are still the most popular options so we are continually meeting with new hotels to secure rooftop and beach proposal options for our clients. 95% of our couples are visiting Dubai on holiday so they are looking for that famous Dubai view of the Burj Khalifa or the Burj Al Arab.

Red is still a favourite with our clients but we are actually seeing an increase in black and red thanks to Travis Barker’s proposal to Kourtney Kardashian. We are also incorporating ombre flower designs into our florals as this is a big trend.

Neon signs are also really popular and our clients can customise the text with their names or favourite lyrics we can incorporate this into their proposal setup and then they can keep it as a memento and hang it up at home.

What do you think adds an extra special touch for partners who are planning their proposals?

I always say that the proposal MUST be unique to the couple and their relationship. A proposal is the most romantic time in your relationship, and you are asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you so we work with all clients to ensure they are adding elements that show how well he knows her. This could be having a musician serenade you both with the first song that you listen to together or incorporating her favourite poem into your proposal speech or having a gift bag of all her favourite things that she has told you over the years. This is what takes the proposal to the next level and makes her realise how much you care and know about her.

Give some helpful advice to men who are just about to plan their marriage proposal. Where do they start?

First things first are to make a list of her favourite things.

If she loves to go hiking think about a picnic proposal at the top of Hajar Mountains in Hatta or if she prefers the glitz and glamour of Michelin star dinners, book a private dining room or rooftop with spectacular views of Burj Khalifa and have a private chef create a gourmet proposal menu.

Next, you think about all the things that she loves so her favourite colour, song, memories and incorporate those things into your proposal with all her favourite flowers everywhere.

Then you want to celebrate your relationship so make a note of all your milestones and create a memory lane walkway outlining all these special memories or have them carved onto a plaque that you can keep forever.

What is the smallest budget you can plan a beautiful proposal with in Dubai?

We are a boutique proposal planning company so we offer something that is above and beyond what a man can plan by himself. We take care of all the planning and arrangements so that he doesn’t need to worry about a thing. We believe that a proposal should have lots of incredible elements including flowers, videographers, photographers, be fully exclusive and private and include lots of special unique elements, so because of this, our costs are mid to high range with the average proposal costing around 40,000AED.

What is the biggest budget you have had to work with?

We have planned proposals for up to 600,000AED and these big proposals usually involve many spectacular elements with multiple components on the day or some can go into 2 days. These big proposals have included a proposal flash mob, followed by a superyacht gourmet lunch and then a private underwater dinner with a musician.

Our latest big proposal was 300,000AED and involved a private helipad, fireworks, and a new Range Rover car followed by a candle-filled private beachside dinner.

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