Apr 28

She Stole Your Heart, Let the City Steal Hers. Get Down(town) On One Knee

by Shannon Calhoun · 2 comments

With all the talk about the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, I’ve started thinking about weddings recently.  I’ve never really considered myself the marrying kind and didn’t grow up dreaming of being somebody’s wife, so the number of  thoughts about settling down that have infiltrated my brain lately came as a bit of a surprise.  “Never forever” has slowly dissolved into “probably one day.”  Tragic inevitability, I suppose.

I found an anonymous quote that pretty much sums up my feelings on love, “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”  But Emily Brontë may have captured it a little more eloquently in Wuthering Heights, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  However you want to put it, there is nothing quite like that feeling of finding the person who actually gets you, and loves you in spite of yourself.  That tingly, twitterpated feeling drives some to make it official and get hitched.

With these thoughts in mind, the brainstorming and pseudo planning began in my head – my poor boyfriend!  Since I’m downtown every day for work I thought it would be cool to explore what different businesses and services there are in the area for those who are planning their engagement and wedding.  Everything from the proposal to the honeymoon can be done in the heart of the city, with or without a royal budget.

Popping the Question

It’s safe to assume that you want the day that you get engaged to be one of those amazing moments that you will remember forever. Two key factors in achieving this goal are the ring, and the location.

Let’s start with the ring.  Most men that I know do not enjoy shopping, let alone shopping for something they know nothing about.  Chances are jewellery is one of those things.  One would imagine it makes an already nerve-wracking tradition even more daunting.  If you want to simplify the selection process with one-stop shopping, the CORE Shopping Centre is the perfect spot.  There are three reputable jewellers to choose from all under one roof:  Birks, Henry’s Jewellers, and Tiffany & Co, which is located in the Holt Renfrew.

The old adage “diamonds are a girls best friend” rings true with many women but if you’re looking for something jaw-dropping without the jaw-dropping price tag you could go the less traditional route with a ring from Swarovski Crystal, also in the CORE.  They have several gorgeous designs that are guaranteed to sparkle for a fraction of the price.  Just make sure your lady doesn’t have her heart set on a diamond first, as this could end in tears.

A few blocks away at Influx Jewellery Gallery in Art Central they specialize in Canadian contemporary art jewellery and represent over thirty jewellery artists from across the country.  Plus they offer services in custom design.  J. Vair Anderson Jewellers also has some stunning designs that would make any woman swoon (not that I’m recommending that).

Location, Location, Location

Finding the best location to ask her to marry you is obviously a very personal thing and the options are endless.   Maybe you head back to the place you met, or where you went on your first date?  Or perhaps you want to wine and dine her at a romantic restaurant.  Plying her with alcohol may even increase your odds of a favourable response.

If you decide to go the romantic lunch or dinner route, there are some great spots downtown.  A revolving view of the sun setting over the city at Sky 360, a cozy corner at Bistro Piq Niq, or a real-life picnic in Prince’s Island Park followed by a stroll along the Bow River would all be lovely choices.  Patio season is coming up on Stephen Avenue Walk where there are a number of fantastic restaurants. The old world charm of SAW’s historic buildings and cobblestone street, set with the colours of spring in hanging baskets would make a gorgeous backdrop.  If music’s your thing find a willing busker and request a serenade.

Die hard hockey fans?  Head on over to Flames Central to watch a game and maybe when you take off your jacket “Will You Marry Me” has replaced “Iginla” on the back of your jersey for the night.  I’m sure Jarome would understand just this once!

Want the moment to last a little longer?  If getting down on one knee in public is not your thing, a stay at the historic Fairmont Palliser might be a better fit.  They currently offer a “Celebration of Wine & Food” package that includes one night room accommodation and a credit at the Rimrock Restaurant.

Want accommodations with a sleeker, more modern feel?  Hotel Le Germain is a luxury boutique hotel just across the street from the Calgary Tower.  Their Chef Concierge, Jill Marven, was recently featured in Avenue Magazine’s February 2011 issue and quoted as saying, “Anything a guest desires, I’ll do my best to find it.”  With employees like that you know you’re in good hands.  A relaxing night all to yourselves with flowers, candles and room service might be the ticket. Perhaps the ring is brought up on a silver platter with dessert or submerged in a glass of champagne?  Just make sure she doesn’t ingest it because that would definitely put a damper on the evening, although spending your engagement in the hospital would definitely make it memorable!

In a world full of billions of people, if you have managed to find the one person you want love and annoy for the rest of your life you are extremely forunate.  No matter what you decide to do, don’t sweat it because at the end of the day all that really matters is that the Master of Snoring Bed Hogness is there sleeping next you each night.

If you enjoyed this post, please check back next week when Sophy and I talk about THE dress and where to find it!

If you have a cool downtown engagement or wedding story we’d love to hear it.

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