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Wedding bells?

For some, it may be a cliché, but for others, few things beat the romanticism of proposing on Valentine’s Day. Actor and director Edward Mercieca certainly scored points with his wife Marika on a particular February 14. He tells Ramona Depares about the day Cupid struck.

When, where and... equally importantly, how? The proposal is quite possibly the second most important day in a couple’s life, the first being the wedding day of course.

Usually, just as the evening starts to look promising, the wine sends us soundly to sleep

The rituals and traditions associated with the proposal are many and, whether it’s the man or the woman who decides to pop the question, there are certain formalities to be observed... such as making sure you actually do pop the question, as opposed to casually dropping it into the conversation like it’s a given fact.

Edward Mercieca broke all the rules, except for one. He chose the most romantic day to propose to Marika, his girlfriend of just over three months. And just in case any of you are thinking of doing the deed anytime soon, he agreed to relive the memory for us.

How romantic are you?

Yes, I am a romantic person. Having said that, I was much more romantic when I was a young man and I actually used to try and think of romantic ways to woo the ladies!

How did you meet your wife?

I had just moved back to Malta from six years’ university in the UK. Most of my friends were married by then. I met an old school friend, younger than me, and he asked me to go to this birthday bash at what used to be Paul’s Punch Bowl in Paceville. The birthday girl was also a good friend of Marika, my wife, who typically arrived late to the do. The only place available was next to me and as they say, the rest is history...

So how did this super-romantic proposal come about?

Well, we met in early November and by Christmas I decided she was the one. The romantic in me decided that the proposal should take place on Valentine’s Day. Who am I to argue?

More details!

I took her out to dinner, and then afterwards, we were sitting in the car and I just proposed. I didn’t actually ask the question; I sort of slipped it into conversation. I believe it went something like this:

“...Well when we are married we can...”

And she suddenly stopped and said: “I’m sorry? What was that?”

And I said: “You know, when we are married... We’re going to get married, aren’t we?”

Cue huge grin on my part. I wasn’t nervous at all. What I didn’t expect was her reaction: she burst into tears! This threw me a bit and I remember telling her: “Oh crap, what have I done? Don’t you want to get married?”

Cue more sobbing, and her reply: “Yes, yes!”

And that was it. Last October we celebrated our 25th anniversary! I thought it was damn romantic, but for my 50th she took me to New York...

Do you still celebrate the day?

Yes, we try to. I always try to send her flowers and a card, and I always get a really nice card from her too. We do have our own little traditions. Normally, we cook a nice evening meal and crack open a great bottle of wine. However, I should add that, usually, just as the evening starts to look promising, the wine sends us soundly to sleep, especially if it is a working day.

Any hints for prospective Romeos out there?

Keep it special; keep it simple. Surprises work too, of course. And as we always say in Panto, be nice to each other.

If you really want to stand out

For the theatrical effect
Bribe the director of the next production to carry out your proposal on stage after curtain call. Only a good idea if you have oodles of self-confidence.

For those who like a challenge
Organise a treasure hunt that takes her to about three different spots around your home (or about town, depending on your circumstances). The prize? You, on bended knee, holding a solitaire.

For the party animals
What could be better than getting the DJ to work in a proposal between mixes? Only opt for this if you’re reasonably sure of the outcome, or else better be prepared for public humiliation.

For the cyber-heroes
Set up a You Tube video featuring your favourite photos, places, memories and so forth and close it off with the all-important question.

For the foodies
Put together a hamper full of her favourite things. Good bets are chocolates, biscuits, sandwiches, wine and champagne and so forth. Hide the engagement ring in the hamper, together with a written proposal.

For the brainiacs
Create your own crossword puzzle and leave it lying casually on the table at breakfast time.

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