The List

9 crazy 'marry me' stunts — and the rise of the alarming public proposal

One man faked his death. Another dressed (unromantically) as broccoli. In the YouTube era, suitors will go to shameless lengths to score a viral-video proposal

Earlier this week, a Russian businessman decided he'd make sure his girlfriend knew exactly what "till death do us part" meant. Alexey Bykov enlisted the aid of a stuntman, a makeup artist, a screenwriter, and a director to fake his bloody death in a gruesome car wreck. When all the carnage was set, he laid down and played dead until his beloved arrived at the "accident" scene. When she saw his "corpse" and burst into tears, he miraculously rose from the dead and popped the question — incredibly, she said yes after threatening to kill him for real. According to Katie J.M. Baker at Jezebel, Bykov was trying to show his would-be bride "how empty her life would be without me and how life would have no meaning without me." How romantic and not at all manipulative!

The YouTube era has provoked a boom market for meticulously-scripted public wedding proposals, which have sometimes earned their starring fiances national media attention, talk-show appearances, and view counts in the tens of millions. Though Bykov didn't tape his proposal, plenty of his predecessors have. Here, 8 more strategically attention-getting public wedding proposals:

1. On-stage proposal at the Republican National Convention
Passion and politics collided at the RNC this year when production manager Bradley Thompson proposed to Laura Bowman, his girlfriend of three years, flanked by pictures of the couple and their dog. (via Huffington Post)

2. Proposal at minor league baseball game — with bonus broccoli costume
Broccoli may not be as romantic as flowers, but this minor league baseball fan went the healthy route when he proposed to his girlfriend in a large foam broccoli costume. (via Deadspin)

3. Live American Idol proposal
When former American Idol contenders Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo were invited onto the stage by host Ryan Seacrest at the show's 2012 finale, it wasn't to sing; it was to get engaged, complete with awkward product placement, making them the first Idol couple (sorry, From Justin to Kelly fans). (via Huffington Post)

4. South African flash-mob proposal
A South African man expediently decided to mash up two of YouTube's favorite trends — public proposals and flash mobs — for this video, which uses the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" to tell his girlfriend how he really feels. (via Minnesota Public Radio)

5. Michael Jackson flash-mob proposal... with twist ending
Not to be outdone by the Southern Hemisphere, this New York City proposal started with a dance routine to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" and ended with a full marching band. (via Duck Duck Gray Duck)

6. Proposal as movie trailer
An Atlanta man reached out to a local movie theater to air his proposal — in the form of an elaborate "movie trailer" — before his girlfriend's screening of Fast Five. At the stunt's conclusion, he ran into the theater with a ring. (via Mashable)

7. Live Lip-Dub Proposal
The gold standard of YouTube wedding proposals, this lip sync-and-dance routine to Bruno Mars' "Marry You" made viral stars out of its couple. (via Time)

8. Failed JumboTron proposal at UCLA basketball game
A cautionary tale (and a palate cleanser): This brutally awkward JumboTron proposal at a UCLA basketball game so alarmed the would-be bride that she fled in front of thousands. Ouch. (via CBS News)


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