The Proposal Podcast: Interview with Sherry Argov, bestselling author of the book “Why Men Marry Bitches

Podcast Interview with Sherry Argov Show Notes

In this episode we discuss:

  • What to do when your partner doesn’t seem ready to get engaged 
  • How to bring up the subject of marriage
  • How to deal with the fear of losing someone
  • The signs you’ve met your life partner
  • Equality in relationships
  • Sherry’s take on women proposing to men  

 

LISTEN HERE:

The Proposal Podcast interview with Sherry Argov

I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed speaking with Sherry!

Get your copy of “Why Men Marry Bitches” from Amazon here. Learn more about Sherry’s work at http://www.sherryargov.com

 

HAVE YOU READ “WHY MEN MARRY BITCHES”? 

Years ago, my friend Rachel recommended a book called ” Why Men Marry Bitches“. The title was striking! “BITCHES”??? All of the women my client’s propose to are incredibly sweet and kind. It’s never a surprise to me that their fiancé puts so much thought and care into their proposal. Rachel’s rave reviews and the title intrigued me.

Hopeful I’d learn something I could apply to my own relationships, I ordered my copy from Amazon.  The book delivered. It became a bible, a reference book on my shelf I often refer to. Now I understand what “B.I.T.C.H” means in Sherry Argov‘s definition. (HINT: a “BITCH” is NOT a rude or un-self aware woman). The book provides practical advice on how to hold your own in relationships.

Sherry is not only insightful, she’s hilarious. The dose of humor she brings to a loaded topic like “marriage” makes her advice easily digestible and fun to read. You’re going to be informed and entertained.  Her book is for all genders and anyone who wants to get engaged one day. I reference it a few times a year because I’m always learning something new.

“Why Men Marry Bitches” is for anyone who desires partnership while maintaining self worth and self respect.

“A secret I uncovered when I did my research was that men don’t just want a girl who’s just trying to be pretty and  kept. They want someone who challenges them mentally and contributes in various ways. They respect women who go against the grain and aren’t afraid to step out of the role models and brainwashing that they are taught. It’s very interesting how aware men are of the pressures  that women have to go through with regard to their roles as women. A woman who’s willing to be far more than a sex object garners respect from them. “- Sherry Argov

What’s a “BITCH” in Sherry’s definition?

“B.I.T.C.H” is used as an acronym for a “BABE IN TOTAL CONTROL OF HERSELF”.  The “B.I.T.C.H” in Argov’s definition is person who is dignified, self-respecting and makes responsible and loving decisions for themselves.

“I use the word playfully. If you write a book called “Why Men Like Confident Women who have dignity”, it doesn’t fit on the cover.  It refers to a woman who has a backbone, stands up for what she believes in, contributes, and is an equal player. Someone who’s not just a pretty arm piece or a trophy wife. “- Sherry Argov

 

By Ash Fox

 

drawing by Ambrosia Sullivan

 

As a marriage proposal specialist and planner, I’m getting asked “Can I propose during COVID 19 or should I wait?”. While a global pandemic ripping across the world doesn’t feel like an ideal scenario, you can still propose. These are my thoughts on how to propose marriage during COVID 19 (even in quarantine)!

From Proposal to Pandemic!

We spent hours coordinating and brainstorming the perfect plan and strategy. I instructed my clients how to cleverly lure their loved ones to private rooftops, waterfronts, parks and even the center of Times Square, where a fifty-foot billboard would be flashing the words “Will You Marry Me”. Violinists and acoustic guitarists learned the couple’s favorite songs. Floral arrangements, light up signs and champagne were ordered. The couples were coming from the UK, Australia, all around the US, even some from across town with dreams of Instagram worthy marriage proposals here in New York City. I had advised and arranged it all. Then came COVID 19.

The stakes are high when proposing marriage. It happens one time, so you want to get it right. My clients trust me, because I’ve consulted, orchestrated, and photographed over 1700 engagements for couples from around the world. They have different tastes and styles, but most want to make a statement and have beautiful pictures to show it off. I’ve dealt with bad weather, sickness, deaths in the family, and couples arguing right before getting engaged. I believe “bad” timing is sometimes the best timing, because when life gets tough, we get serious about our priorities. Plan A and B may have been scrapped, but we have Plan C, which could mean trading your destination proposal for your couch.

Do I need a ring to Propose?

If you don’t have a ring (because you didn’t get one before the shutdown or the ring is stuck with the jeweler), you can still propose! Around 30% of my clients proposed without a ring. I’ve had clients propose with Ring Pops, a Hello Kitty ring, and designer bags. I even had someone propose with a pack of M & Ms! His speech was “Will You Marry Me? I don’t have a ring, but I have snacks!” He had told his girlfriend he was taking her to dinner as his proposal ruse, so she was hangry up until the moment he popped the question. She lost her appetite from excitement and next day she picked out the ring of her choice at the jeweler. She was so happy to get the exact ring of her dreams.

“Home is where the heart is”

A quarantined proposal is a chance to be yourself. You’re going to spend the rest of your lives living in close quarters, so this is a preview of life at home. Your partner is most likely not expecting you to propose at home especially under these circumstances. This is an opportunity to create an extraordinary moment in an ordinary place. You’re making the cliché “Home is where the heart is”, literal. Scheming up a quarantined proposal with your partner a few feet away might seem daunting, but there are sneaky ways to transform your home while they’re with you. You can get to work while they’re asleep or can you plot and prepare in another room on a “work call”.

drawing by Ambrosia Sullivan

How to Propose in Quarantine

You go the classic romantic route and transform your space, with flowers and candles and spell out Marry Me. If that’s not your style, think about how you met, your first date, or an inside joke you share. A proposal can be romantic, sentimental, even irreverent.

I’ve had guys who met their girlfriends on a dating apps print out their first conversation on the app and frame it. Another couple, Tova and Joey played Scrabble on their first date, so the Joey bought a Scrabble board and glued down the pieces to spell out “Will you Marry Me”.

I like the idea of suggesting a spa night and role-playing masseuse. “I’m going to write a word on your back and you have to guess what it is”, you then spell out “will you marry me”. You can bathe, or shower together ask your partner to shampoo your hair and as they turn to grab the shampoo bottle drop to your knee.

Take advantage of your food stockpile with a sexy game. Blindfold your partner and hand them different foods to taste like in the film, 9 ½ weeks. When they reach out their hand after a few passes of whipped cream, honey and olives, you slide the ring on their finger!

Less sexy, but surely to be surprising: change their desktop image or screensaver of their computer to say “Will You Marry Me”! You can also add a slideshow of memories. With constant deliveries these days, you can re-package the ring inside a large Amazon box and then ask your partner to open it. They may be thinking it’s a delivery of Lysol wipes, but the ring box is inside!

You can try to woo them by making their favorite meal, setting down table cloth and lighting candle. Or you can leave the table a mess and make something they don’t particularly like for dinner! Then say… “I have something good for desert”! They may think you’re bringing out brownies, but you present a tray with the ring!

A few things…

Avoid choking hazards like the ring in a drink or having your pet carrying the ring! Now is not the time you want to visit a hospital for yourself or your pet! Don’t forget to get your ring insured. You can do it remotely!

Please don’t propose during sex! I know it seems spontaneous. However, I here from “proposees” (those who are dreaming of being proposed to), that they want their proposal to feel thoughtful. Sex is thoughtless by design. Get it on after!

Don’t forget to get down on your knee!

Proposing Outdoors

If you live in an area where you have plenty of space to social distance then there are lots of opportunities for proposing on a hike, bike ride, a picnic, or on a path where you share your weekend walks with your dog. I’ve had lots of couples propose on their Sunday coffee stroll.  I even had a client propose at 7am on his daily walk to work with his future fiancé! We often take the places that make up the background of our lives for granted. These proposal locations are unexpected precisely because they seem ordinary. Before COVID, I barely acknowledged the benches over by the ferry landing near my apartment. I cherish those benches now! If you live near a bike path or a body of water I’m sure you’re appreciating it more than ever. Lucky for you, you may have a great proposal spot right in your backyard. If you have a real backyard then you’ve won the the socially-distanced proposal-setting lottery! These ordinary places in your neighborhood may not be Bali or Paris, but they’re home.

Documenting the Proposal

Photography and videography are possible with the right precautions. If you were hoping to have amazing engagement portraits taken after the proposal, that’s trickier. Even when photographing the most adept posers, there are physical adjustments I make to get the positioning just right. I often position my clients hands to get the perfect angle of the engagement ring. With COVID that’s not possible. It may be safer to wait for engagement portraits. In the meantime you can absolutely have the moment of your proposal photographed outdoors with proper social distancing.

Professional photography or videography isn’t possible in quarantine, but you can set up a Nest camera before the proposal and discreetly film the entire thing.

The Speech

Put time into crafting your speech. Words are invisible, so you won’t make a suspicious mess while writing it! I’ve noticed some people want the proposal or the ring to speak for them. Use your words. In this time of COVID, everyone is feeling some level of anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Your speech showcases the certainty of your love. You can use this line or some variation of it while you are down on your knee …

“In this time of uncertainty, I know I’m certain about you. I’m happy stuck in quarantine with you forever. “Will You Marry Me”?

Celebrate your Engagement!

If you’re unable to see family and friends, calling or Facetiming with the news of your engagement is sure to uplift their spirits. Now they have events to look forward to in the future! You can celebrate with an online engagement party.  If you’re anxious, you can get married over Zoom in some states!

The time to Propose is NOW!

Your quarantined proposal may not be the most elaborate, but it can sentimental, spontaneous, heartfelt and even sexy. If you are in a great relationship and know your partner wants to marry you, they will say “yes”. The pandemic forced you make the most of an unpleasant situation and be resourceful. Those character traits anyone would say “YES” to for a lifetime commitment. If for some reason they say “no” maybe this wasn’t the person for you and you’re lucky to know and now get on with your precious life.

We know so little about what the future holds, with information changing from day to day. Take this opportunity to propose your lifelong commitment to the person you love, and take comfort in knowing whatever catastrophe comes your way you’ll be in it together.

The Proposal Podcast by Ash Fox, is the first Podcast all about getting engaged. This is the place to get insider tips tricks and insight into proposing. This is free advice from proposal expert, Ash Fox who has helped plan over 1500 marriage proposals for men and women from all over the world.

On the Proposal Podcast Ash will be guiding you through everything you need to know for planning your perfect proposal, from where to start, timing the proposal, buying a ring, how to write the perfect speech, how to know if you should propose, locations, what you should do after you propose, and how to integrate family into your proposal among many other topics. Ash will also be speaking with experts on relationships, the ring industry, and real couples with unique proposal stories. 

If you have questions you would like to submit to the podcast, you can DM Ash on Instagram @ashfoxproposals or email Ash with the subject title “Proposal Podcast Question”

Where to listen:

iTunes Apple Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-proposal-podcast/id1439357836?mt=2

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ellen-karis/the-proposal-podcast/e/59164042

Spotify 

7 Ways to Get Your Partner to Dress Up for Your Proposal (without them knowing you’re going to propose)!

If you’re having your proposal photographed, you’ll want to look your best. Even if you’re not having the moment photographed, you’ll want to feel your best. Wear whatever you feel most confident in; that outfit that makes you want to wink at yourself in the mirror. If you do plan on a having a photographer, you’ll want to look at the images without cringing over your outfit twenty years from now. Stick to the classics and opt for neutral or primary colors. For men, a blazer and subtly printed shirt with nice pants or jeans works great. For women, a white, black, or red dress makes a statement. Some of the most flattering outfit choices for women in photographs are solid colors versus prints.

Whether you love dressing up or you prefer rocking athleticwear or jeans, choosing what to wear to your proposal can be a challenge. It’s an even trickier challenge if you plan on having the moment photographed and you want your future fiancé to be pleased with what they’re wearing in photographs that will last a lifetime.

So how do you get your partner to dress for a proposal? Take them to brunch, dinner, a work event, or even a wedding if you think they would want to be at their most elegant. Hopefully, you have a sense of what your partner feels best in, so create your proposal plan based on how dressy you think he or she would like to feel. Think about what matters most to them. Is she crazy about her hair looking good? Does she love formal attire?

Many guys tell me their girlfriends would kill them if they had their proposal photographed and they weren’t dressed up. But how do you get your partner to dress up without ruining the surprise? Here are my top seven tips:

  1. Tell your her you’re going to a formal work event and they have to meet you there.

2. Say you made a reservation for a restaurant or bar with a strict dress code!

3. Propose on a day you know she’ll already be dressed up—like after a graduation party, work event or friend’s birthday!

4. Tell your partner you booked a special couple’s photo shoot for the two of you so she or he will wear what they feel best in.

5. Tell her an old friend from college is having a black-tie wedding if you want your partner to be dressed super formal.

6. Buy a nice outfit for your partner as a gift in advance, tell them how great they look in it and then ask them to wear it for a special night out!

7. Mention an outfit of theirs that you know they love and tell her you’d love them to wear it that day. A good way to ensure they don’t expect anything is to start priming them by saying “you look so great in that blue top” every time they wear this outfit and asking them to wear it on dates out. Everyone responds positively to compliments, so when the day of the proposal finally comes, if you ask them to wear the blue top they’ll never suspect this means their proposal is about to happen! This one takes a bit of advance work but in the end she will be dressed up!

Thanks for checking out this post! I’m Ash Fox a proposal photographer, planner and advisor based in New York City. I help people from all over the world propose here in NYC and would love to help you too! Whether you need proposal ideas, help choosing a location, photography, videography, live music,  a private rooftop, decorations or anything else, I’m here to help. Feel free to reach out! :)

Discovering restaurants is a huge part of New York life. I’ve lived in this fine city for 13 years and I’m constantly learning about new places, from my friends, family and many of my clients .  In NYC some of the best places are the ones that have been here the longest, but there are also fantastic new places that pop up every day.

Whether you are looking to go to dinner before your proposal, propose over dinner, or have a celebratory meal following your engagement, I’ve got you covered.

Here are my favorite ideas from fine dining to old school classic romantic NYC options.

Higher End Dining

  1. Park Avenue Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring (the name, menu and decor change seasonally. I love the way the decor and menu shifts for each season. It is the Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant. https://www.parkavenyc.com
  2. One if by Land Two if By Sea This place is known as “The Most Romantic Restaurant in NYC” and so it is perfect for a post proposal dinner. There’s a fire place and a piano player and it’s located in the West Village on a quaint cobble stone street https://oneifbyland.com
  3. Daniel  Many of my clients rave about this Michelin Starred restaurant. It is the epitome of Fine Dining in NYC and will definitely make a  impression on your fiancé. Daniel Boulud is the chef https://www.danielnyc.com 

Midrange and Old School Dining

  1. El Parador – This is one of my favorite place to go to celebrate. The food is delicious, the drinks are excellent. The waiters are dressed up and every table is dressed with a table cloth and candles. Insider tip: Get the peanut butter jalepenos! https://www.elparadorcafe.com

2. John’s of 12th street – This place feels like you’re in a Woody Allen movie. This is an old school Italian restaurant with excellent food that gives you the vibe of being in Lady in the Tramp with your parter. I highly recommend the shrimp parmesan and the Tirimisu. I never had a thing for Tiramisu until I tried it there. https://www.johnsof12thstreet.com

3. The Mermaid Inn- This is a wonderful cozy spot if you love seafood! Everything is fresh and delicious http://themermaidnyc.com

4. Gaonurri – If you want to be surrounded by gorgeous views this is the place to go! The cuisine is high end Korean. https://www.gaonnurinyc.com

5. Minetta Tavern – One of the best burgers in NYC in an old school elegant setting. Get the Minetta burger and the Black Label and share! http://minettatavernny.com

The best bars to celebrate your proposal!

  1. Angel Share- Angel Share is one of the best hidden speakeasy bars in NYC and is my absolute favorite. It is hidden inside a bustling Japanese casual restaurant. When you walk to the backroom there is an elegant bar dimly lit with velvet seats, jazz playing and angel mural on the top of the bar. The drinks are insane. The place is super sexy and romantic and a great place to relax and celebrate being engaged https://www.yelp.com/biz/angels-share-new-york

2. Rains Law Room at the William Hotel (reserve a private booth) – This place is super quiet and a romantic place to let loose and make-out after your proposal. There are private booths where you can drink and have privacy  https://www.raineslawroom.com

3. The Polo Bar – This bar is owned and designed by fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Imagine mahogany wood, leather tufted seats and candles galore in an ultra luxury Americana setting. https://www.ralphlauren.com/global-polo-bar

4. The Gramercy Park Hotel (Tuesday nights for jazz) http://www.gramercyparkhotel.com

     Post-proposal family and friends celebrations…

  1. The Robert – beautiful restaurant with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Columbus Circle https://www.yelp.com/biz/robert-new-york-25

2. Tommy Bahama Restaurant – lovely space for hosting a dinner or engagement party  https://www.tommybahama.com/content/dam/tommy/restaurants/new-york-city/dinner.pdf

3. Sarahbeth’s- a new york classic. There are multiple Sarabeth’s throughout the city and all of them are lovely for a celebratory family brunch https://sarabethsrestaurants.com

4. The Park Lane – Park Room Hotel Restaurant – this restaurant features floor to ceiling windows that overlook Central Park, the views are stunning! https://www.opentable.com/the-park-room

Romantic Day of Activities 

Aire Ancient Baths – go in the morning or during the day to avoid crowds

The Brian Newman Quartet Jazz show at the Gramercy Park Hotel (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

I’m Ash Fox, a marriage Proposal and Engagement Planner and Photographer based in New York City. I would love to assist you in making your special day a reality! Whether you need proposal ideas, help you choosing a spot to propose, devising a strategy for the surprise, I’m hear to help you. In addition I will capture your engagement in gorgeous photos! Additionally we can add special elements to make it extra special, such as private venues, live musicians playing your favorite songs, and custom decorations.  I can help you with every aspect of your proposal needs. To start planning your proposal please reach out to me at ashfoxstyle@gmail.com

Lincoln Square Christmas Tree

Lincoln Center Park:

This timeless tree is right in front of Lincoln Center and the Empire Hotel. A quiet alternative to the bustling Lincoln Center fountain, its stelar location allows for engagement photos at both locations.

Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree                  Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree Engagement

The Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree

Indoors and out of the freezing cold, this is the perfect spot to show off your elegant outfit in engagement photos. The Plaza has a fairly strict policy of who is let into the main lobby during the holidays. Your best bet to scoring this coveted classic? Make a reservation at the Palm Court or book a room for the night.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Kiss         engagement on ice photography

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree:

This list wouldn’t be complete without Rock Center’s legendary tree. Everyone loves this dazzler – making it one of the most crowded attractions in the city. Take my advice and propose here at an off-time, like in the morning around 10am. It’s still stunning during the daytime. The best spot in Rockefeller Center to propose is in front of the Christmas Tree on the Skating rink, but you must book early because this package books up fast!

Bryant Park Christmas Tree Engagement

Bryant Park Christmas Tree:

I love the Bryant Park Tree, situated right outside Bryant Park’s skating rink. Free, but crowded (albeit less than Rockefeller Center!), this spot is definitely worth checking out for a holiday proposal. This tree is gorgeous, well-lit, and features large ornaments. Spend your special night exploring Bryant Park, visiting the holiday shops, and going ice skating!

Rockefeller Skating Rink Proposal

The Rockefeller Skating Rink

It’s worth reiterating that the absolute best view of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is found on the skating rink. If you are able to secure the engagement on ice package with the rink, do it! This epic proposal feels like a movie. It is also very underpriced, given you have the entire skating rink to yourself. I have shot over 50 proposals at this rink, and it remains my top choice for NYC Christmastime proposals.

         

The Palace Hotel Christmas Tree

The Palace Hotel was featured on Gossip Girl, so you know it’s photogenic. Their tree is stunning and is backdropped by picturesque St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s a fairy tale come to life. It’s not crowded at all (though I’m aware that I’m letting the word out in this post!). I highly recommend this spot if you’d like to do a Christmas-themed NYC proposal this season.

Ash Fox - Wedding Proposal - New York City

The Southstreet Seaport Christmas Tree

Many New-Yorkers are surprised to find out that Southstreet Seaport is as equally delightful in the winter as it is in the summer. This original location avoids the crowds without sacrificing landmark scenery – perfect for your magical moment!

I’m Ash Fox, an engagement planner, expert and photographer located in New York, New York. It would be my honor to help you plan the perfect marriage proposal! I help with proposal ideas, locations and strategy. I photograph engagements in gorgeous photos and help add personalized elements like private venues, live musicians, and custom decorations.  To start planning your proposal, free to e-mail me at ashfoxstyle@gmail.com and we can get started.