There are usually two questions we ask after we find out a friend has gotten engaged. One is, “so, when’s the big day?” and the other is, “so how did he propose?” We simply want to know the date, and we love to hear the proposal story! It’s romantic!
That said, how special should the marriage proposal be?
I’m happy to introduce Marvin and Michele Velazquez–owners of The Heart Bandits–a planning company that specializes in marriage proposals. The Heart Bandits have been featured on Fox and NBC news, New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Orange County Register, and Brides Magazine. Marvin and Michele know a thing or two about what makes for a memorable wedding proposal, and that’s why we’ve invited them to tell us about their unique niche in the wonderful world of weddings. Here’s their tagline … “We steal their hearts, you get all the credit.” Planning a proposal or momentous event? Read on…
Here is our interview with The Heart Bandits.
What is a marriage proposal & romantic event planner?
We are a full-service planning company, so we interview the client and come up with a customized marriage proposal, wedding anniversary, or romantic date ideas. Once the client picks their favorite idea, we coordinate the entire event from venue selection, negotiations, contract execution, etc.
Why is the marriage proposal so important?
The wedding is all about the girl, and the man will hardly have any say in planning it. The proposal is the one part of the wedding process that the man has total control of. It is his chance to express his love in a unique and memorable way. Most women dream of the day they will be proposed to their whole lives so it is very important to do it in a special way.
What makes for a great wedding proposal?
1). Personalization (the proposal should be relevant to the couple’s relationship) 2). Thoughtfulness ( a woman can tell if you just threw a proposal together without putting thought in to it, and she won’t be happy) and 3.) Documentation (always photo or video the proposal so she can show all her friends and family).
Women love romance—have you found that most men already know that?
I think most men know that women love romance, but the majority of them do not know how to be romantic in the way that women need them to be. That is what we help them do.
What should every man consider before he plans to propose?
The first thing he should consider if she is on the same page regarding marriage. We have all seen the horrific videos circulating the internet when a woman says no. Avoid that by making sure you both are on the same track.
When you don’t know the couple, how do you create a personalized proposal?
We interview the proposer with our 5 page questionnaire as our guide. We ask him so many questions that by the end of the interview, we feel like his girlfriend is our best friend! It is all about using that questionnaire as a talking point to get the guy to think back and remember the special details. It works like a charm. Every proposal we create is tailored to the couple we are working with. They all include private memories the couples have shared, inside jokes, and they all are part of their unique love story.
How long is the proposal planning process?
It really depends on how much time the proposer gives us. We like to have at least a month to come up with the concept and then execute the event; however, we have worked under extremely tight deadlines, even having to plan a proposal over night!
Do men usually share that they’ve hired you with their newly-pronounced fiancee?
Honestly, it is about 50/50. Some men don’t mind their women knowing that they got help to set up the romantic moment. Others just want to take the credit for themselves–which is fine by us.
How do women typically respond after their personalized proposal?
It is all over the map. Some cry, some jump up and down, some are in shock. I love being in the background watching. I always cry.
Are you always there to make sure the proposal goes off without a hitch?
Someone will always be there. If it is in a city or country far away then we sometimes have one of our trusted vendors out there for us. But for the Southern California proposals it is always Marvin or myself.
Has anything ever gone off with a hitch?
The only problem we have ever encountered is the proposer being late. We take care of everything else so that we can count on, but we can’t control the person arriving on time.
Michele, what inspires you to be creative and romantic for others?
I am a hopeless romantic and a huge fan of marriage. When you find the right person, it is the most magical thing in the world and helping people become married and stay romantic is something that brings job satisfaction like nothing else.
What has been the most heartwarming wedding proposal you have executed?
A deployed solider contacted us and told us he could not wait to return home to propose to his girlfriend. His girlfriend was sent out shopping with her sisters but they made a detour to a posh hotel in Houston. At the hotel she was greeted by the manager who asked “Are you Cindy?” When she affirmed that she was Cindy, a violinist began serenading her with romantic music. She was lead into a private room where there were candles and rose petals everywhere, and a presentation from her deployed boyfriend, Bill. The last slide showed Bill on bended knee proposing. It was so emotional.
How about the most extreme proposal?
Abe wanted to propose in a big way so we had a limo pick up his girlfriend and him and take them to a helipad. They were whisked away in a private helicopter and flown into a luxurious golf course. As they began to land, Lindsey saw a huge sign that said “Lindsey, Will You Marry Me?” The helicopter actually landed on the golf course where there was a table for two set-up with champagne. The couple celebrated and then got back in the helicopter for a private tour of the Las Vegas Strip.
If a man is on the fence of wanting to hire you, how would you help him make a decision?
Our work speaks for itself. We have a gallery which showcases our proposals and a testimonials page where he can read first hand from men and women about how they feel about our services.
Marvin—if you could offer advice to all the men out there considering making a proposal—what would it be?
Get some help and feedback from people you trust or experts. Proposals can be stressful and men are always going to be worried about what idea they should pursue and how it’s all going to come together. If you get help, you can focus on enjoying the moment.
How many “proposals” have you planned, and been invited to the actual wedding?
The answer is 3, one in the Bahamas. Not bad for a year and a half in business.
What professional wedding organizations do you belong to?
We are a member of the Event Planners Association.
How do clients find out about your proposal services?
Our clients find out about us through word of mouth, on the Internet, from media sources, or from jewelry stores.
Are your services guaranteed?
We stand behind the quality of our work and if a client was unsatisfied with our planning, we would certainly make it right. That has never happened though. However, if the girl says no, we are not responsible for that. We haven’t had that happen yet either.
What are your wedding proposal packages?
We have many different packages. If you just want us to help you come up with the proposal idea, that starts off at $99. If you want to hire us to coordinate your proposal, the investment starts off at $499 and the final cost depends on the idea.
What types of romantic events do you plan and execute?
We have planned wedding anniversaries, honeymoon dates, welcome home, and regular dates.
What is your favorite kind of date?
My favorite date would be going out of town to go wine tasting and just spending quality time with Marvin.
Who is more creative and who is more detail-oriented?
We are both creative and detail-oriented. That is a tough one. But Marvin is creative in a different way. He brings more manly ideas to the table and ideas that are focused around technology and gadgets. Then I bring the feminine, romantic side. We are both detailed but I am quick and he is slow and methodical.
What is the best thing about being proposal and romantic event planners?
Knowing that we’ve helped someone create one of the most important days of their lives. It is priceless. We love bringing people together.
Michele and Marvin, thanks for sharing your business of guiding proposers in asking one of the most important questions they will ever ask. From simple to elaborate, we love how you’re making proposal dreams come true and helping to create events that are memorable, unique, and personal. It must be very rewarding.
Do you have a question for Michele & Marvin? Leave yours in the comments …
Be sure to check out The Heart Bandits website where you’ll find all kinds of great info … you can check out their FAQ and packages, look through the proposal gallery and get creative ideas from their blog for your proposal or momentous event.