Hard to believe that in a couple of days I will have the pleasure of saying happy anniversary to my wife, 13 years ago June 21 was the day we tied the knot. My proposal was not grand in any way shape or form. You see I had asked my bride Dar to marry me back when I was 17, back then she said no. But, at 33 years of age I caught up with her and told her that I would still marry her at the drop of a hat, that was the proposal. Short and sweet and to the point.
Many guys have a tough time coming up with marriage proposals. Even more want to do something to get the girl but, do not want to look like a fool especially in public. There are many ways to pop the question and just as many people offering tips and tricks on and offline on how to make a proposal that will get the girl and be memorable at the same time.
To that end a couple Carmelo and Andrea Di Salvo have published a book titled Creative Marriage Proposals: How to Pop the Question....with Panache. The book is geared towards men and offers tips on how to make the leap into a marriage proposal that will get attention. Andrea and Carmelo thanks for doing a Candid Conversation, welcome to the blog.
Di Salvo(s): Thanks for inviting us to do this interview, Cliff. We’re excited to cyber-be here.
Cliff T.: some might say there is nothing new under the sun here that this has been done before, yet you decided to jump in and write a book for potential grooms on how to make that jump from wanting to ask to asking that big question. What prompted you to do that?
Andrea Di Salvo: I’ll be honest; in the beginning it was an idea to make money. I’d been to a class with Internet marketer Tom Antion, and he was making money selling e-books about wedding toasts and eulogies, so we wondered how we could do something similar. People don’t spend money on things they don’t need or want, though, so we started looking for an unfilled niche and a way to fill it. The more we worked on it, the more it became about helping the men for whom we were writing rather than ourselves.
Carmelo Di Salvo: I agree. One of the best things you can do is to help others. And when it comes to romance and wedding proposals, guys really need help!
Cliff T.: in the book there are over 100 templates that readers can pick from, how did you choose them?
Andrea Di Salvo: Some were common sense or common practice, like our classic romantic proposal template for a “Nice Restaurant” proposal. We just added concrete steps and advice on how to make them go smoothly. Others were things we’d heard of or seen done. For the rest, we let our imaginations run wild. If we thought of it and thought it could actually be done by most guys, we put it in there.
Carmelo Di Salvo: Not only that, but because couples come from so many backgrounds and varying interests, we tried to cast a wide net of ideas for wedding proposals. If one idea does not appeal to someone, there are several other ideas that will definitely appeal to the guy.
Cliff T.: In your press release you mentioned that Creative Marriage Proposals touches on a variety of ideas and themes including hobby related proposals, I have to ask what kinds of hobbies are included?
Andrea Di Salvo: We tried to cover the gamut of activities women are involved in—because the hobby involved is either the woman’s or shared—so you’ll find topics as diverse as rock climbing and antiquing. There are also proposals for other outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and even some sports like bowling and hockey.
Carmelo Di Salvo: Our approach was to come up with the most creative ideas possible. We did the ‘heavy lifting’ so to speak. All the guy has to do is to pick from the selection of ideas and run with it. We’re confident that ideas and themes we offer will bring the groom-to-be good success.
Cliff T.: It is also noted in the release that you have several degrees and careers between you, did you draw on these to write the book?
Andrea Di Salvo: My degree is in journalism, so I definitely used it at all stages of researching and writing the book. I’ve worked in several marketing positions, among others, so that helped with post-production marketing…like the press release that caught your attention.
Carmelo Di Salvo: My background is in economics, business, and strategic leadership, so if a potential groom is looking for a wide selection of creative proposal ideas at a great price, then yes, it applies. Other than that, if he needs help with his taxes, give him my phone number!
Cliff T.: I have seen some wild proposals myself and often wonder if I had done that how much would I have to pay for it to be done, do you give readers an indication of costs associated with a proposal?
Carmelo Di Salvo: We mention that it is best to contact the necessary people first. For example, if a guy wants to propose at the botanical gardens, he will need to contact them directly to first get permission, and then find out any costs as well. The groom-to-be will need to make some phone calls ahead of time.
Andrea Di Salvo: That’s a great idea but, for the most part, no. Prices vary so much from place to place…even Internet prices depend on where the company is based, so we didn’t want to list prices that may be way off from what guys in other areas would experience. On some of the pricier proposals we mention that there is a cost involved, but an “up to” or “more than” price is usually the best we can do.
Cliff T.: What is the weirdest one you have in the book or shall I say the most whimsical?
Andrea Di Salvo: We prefer “whimsical.” Really, what a person thinks is strange depends on the person. For me, the Knight in Shining Armor proposal is pretty strange…but a friend of ours actually used it! Carmelo?
Carmelo Di Salvo: Actually I thought the Knight in Shining Armor was pretty tame. For me, it’s the one where the guy dresses up like a cowboy in an old John Wayne western…oh wait, that idea is in book two!
Cliff T.: Ok I have to ask this one of Carmelo, is the one you made to Andrea in the book?
Carmelo Di Salvo: The proposal I did for Andrea is actually a combination of the romantic dinner followed by the proposal at the beach. I might add though that the night I proposed was absolutely perfect. The night sky was clear with a full moon over the ocean. So yes, the idea is in the book, but no, I can’t help with the full moon!
Cliff T.: In Creative Marriage Proposals is practicing the proposal encouraged?
Andrea Di Salvo: Preparation of every kind is encouraged! Actually, we would discourage men from going over and over the words they want to say, even though we recommend having some idea of what “speech” they want to use, because a man doesn’t want his proposal to sound canned. Some of the proposals are pretty complicated, though, and we do encourage doing a dry run of whatever scenario is chosen.
Carmelo Di Salvo: Asking your girlfriend for her hand in marriage is a big step. It’s not like going to the store to buy milk and eggs. So it’s important to practice where you feel comfortable, but like Andrea said, it should not sound canned either.
Cliff T.: What about a second marriage, or a retaking of the vows could any of the proposals in the book be used to repop the question?
Andrea Di Salvo: Not specifically. We’ve actually thought about writing a second edition that includes those aspects, or even a whole new book. For now, though, almost all of the proposals in the book could be used in those situations.
Carmelo Di Salvo: I agree. All of the scenarios we stated would be an excellent way to propose the second time around. Just because someone may not be new to the altar does not mean the proposal from the first marriage has to be used. Choosing a new and exciting proposal could pave the way to a successful second marriage.
Cliff T.: Have you heard back from any of the men who have used any of the proposals in the book? And if so what kind of reaction did they get?
Carmelo Di Salvo: The book hasn’t been out very long, so we haven’t received any specific feedback from it.
Andrea Di Salvo: But we’d love to!
Carmelo Di Salvo: Yes, we’d love to. Some of the ideas were used before we put the book together. It’s kind of like a good recipe; you try it out first before you have friends and family over for that special dinner. For example, I suggested to a friend the idea of the Knight in Shining Armor. He went all out and rented a horse and made his armor out of cardboard covered with tin foil. The proposal was caught on videotape and caused excitement in the neighborhood as family and neighbors looked on. Naturally we used this proposal idea in the book because it does work.
Cliff T.: This sounds like it was a fun book to do, was it?
Carmelo Di Salvo: I had a great time using my imagination to come up with exciting proposals for guys who need some assistance.
Andrea Di Salvo: It was a blast! We tried to keep the proposals within the realm of the practical, but these are “creative” marriage proposals, so we let our imaginations run a bit. It was a lot of fun thinking of different ways a motivated man could pop the question.
Cliff T.: If anyone wants to get a copy of Creative Marriage Proposals, how can they go about doing that?
Carmelo Di Salvo: It’s available from Lulu.com in paperback, download and ePub formats, for $15.39 and $7.95 respectively. We’re also making it available on Amazon.com’s Kindle; it may even be in the Kindle store by the time this is posted.
Cliff T.: Excellent, I am sure that you will have great success with the book and I want to thank you again for taking the time out to tell Candid Conversations readers about it.
Di Salvo(s): Thank you so much for giving us the chance to share about our book with your readers. We hope some of them have the chance to read it and use it to their success!
Cliff T.: Carmelo and Andrea Di Salvo have three graduate degrees and several careers between them, but agree that their most important life’s work is their two-year-old daughter. Creative Marriage Proposals is available from Lulu.com in download, eBook and traditional paperback formats. The Di Salvos wrote to us from Heppner OR which is about 200 miles East of Portland.
For more information about what the Di Salvos do visit http://creativewithwriting.blogspot.com/