On the Road to Happily Ever After, by Linda Giuca

“Once upon a time, a really fancy proposal meant that the groom-to-be hid the ring in a glass of champagne or atop a dessert, but there’s more pressure for something more innovative these days, fueled by social media and YouTube. Now, with a click of a button, more than a million of your closest ‘friends’ can tune in and witness your big, unique, romantic gesture. For example, last year’s big asks included a Home Depot flash mob; an on-air news anchor proposal; a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt and rapper Kanye West’s proposing via Jumbotron and a 50-piece orchestra to reality star girlfriend and now fiancée Kim Kardashian.

Here in the Nutmeg State, we have our share, although none that have drawn big numbers on YouTube.

Union League Café owner and executive chef Jean Pierre Vuillermet, whose New Haven restaurant is the location for many marriage proposals, advises couples: Keep it simple.

‘Just be natural and don’t make a big fuss,’ Vuillermet said. ‘If you love each other, it should come naturally.’

Vuillermet married his wife, Robin, in 1990 with just five people in attendance. He bought an aquamarine ring, her birthstone, and proposed almost casually while Robin was visiting him in France.

‘Then I came back here and Robin’s mother (the late restauranteur Jo Mackenzie) asked me to stay here and work for here,’ Vuillermet recalled. ‘We got married quickly because of the visa situation, so I got married for the green card.’

As for the diamond ring, Vuillermet says he’ll give one to Robin for their 25th wedding anniversary. (Hurry, Jean Pierre, it’s next year.)”
-Excerpt courtesy of Newspapers.com, The Hartford Courant, “Destination Weddings: On the Road to Happily Ever After,” by Linda Giuca, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (top) Image courtesy of Newspapers.com, The Hartford Courant, “Best of 2014,” Thursday, May 1, 2014

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