Leap year proposals: why I would, but I won’t be…

Everyone did a survey about women proposing. Honestly – I’ve had dozens of emails asking me to publish the results on behalf of various banks, insurance companies, random chocolate shops and national florists. The thing is, everyone asked the same questions, and got the same answers, and came to the same conclusions. So for starters, I won’t be publishing survey results on behalf of any major financial business I don’t like!

Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (25)

Photo credit Jo Bradbury Photography from a styled shoot on the English Wedding Blog

But these things do make you think. Is it really such a big deal if women ‘pop the question’?! Does the date matter? (The 29th of February is traditionally THE day for women to propose. This from Wikipedia:

“Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation was deemed to be a pair of leather gloves, a single rose, £1 and a kiss. In some places the tradition was tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval leap day, February 24.”)

Leap year proposals – the news story of the month!

The rush of thrilling surveys on the topic of leap year proposals makes me wonder if it’s all become too much of a big deal now. Because trust me – come the 29th of February this will be the major news of the day.

Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (24)

When women dare to pop the question…

I don’t think it matters who proposes. I’m not sure it has for decades! Feminism and equality were making waves in the 50s and 60s – so why be surprised now? Aren’t relationships partnerships in 2016? Equality exists in pretty much everything: finances, housework, decisions – and surely a proposal is the same? It only comes down to who asks first – or for me it will!

Yet the surveys imply men agree with me more than women. In every one, something like 60% of men said it was ok for women to propose, but 30% of women agreed. That’s an insanely low number, isn’t it? Maybe proposals have become such a big deal (flashmobs, youtube, anyone?!) that we’re all too scared to do it?

Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (30)

What’s in a date?

The 29th of February is kind of a nice excuse if you look at it that way: even a boost to pop the question if you’re nervous about doing it. I wonder how many men are aware of the tradition compared to the women who know what the 29th of February signifies? And if he’s expecting it, is he more likely to say yes?

There are two things about the date – which I really don’t think is important. It doesn’t matter, because if you’re in love and both want to get married, he should say yes any day of the year, right? And if you’re a gay couple can you only propose once every 4 years? I mean, come on… perhaps the tradition has had its day!

Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (21)

The media LOVE a bit of controversy… or a storm in a teacup!

As for the media, this kind of story has never sold newspapers… but these days it’s certainly being used to sell loans and insurance, which is just weird and wrong! They’ll publish anything to capture our interest and slot in a subtle link to their financial products. It’s creepy how a one word hyperlink is so valuable to major institutions! My guess is the social media giants want to get us all talking. They love Valentines, Mothers Day, anything to get us active online.

And the media frenzy makes me sad. There’s too much pressure and hype around leap year proposals – and with it comes a danger of turning a quaint little tradition into something a bit too…. cliché.

If it wasn’t going to be all over the internet and newspapers, a story accompanied by tacky graphics and cheesy stories, I think I’d be tempted. But even if the stories are true and I’m one of only 30% of women who even think it’s ok for a girl to propose, the fact that it’s going to be trending online totally puts me off.

I might do it the day before… or the day after… I do like to be different.Claire

Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (31) Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (36)
Lake District wedding photography Jo Bradbury blog (11)

All images from today’s feature are by Jo Bradbury Photography:
ead the full feature here: Intimate country wedding styling ideas

Venue:- Cote How, Rydal
Dresses:- Daisy Daisy Bridal, Ulverston
Flowers:- Teresa at Wild Orchid Flowers
Cake:- Sugar Ruffles,
Hair:- Zara Rigg
Shoes:- Irregular Choice
Car:- Windermere Wedding
Stationery:- Pingle Pie
Photography:- Jo Bradbury Wedding Photographer,
Models:- Gina and Nick

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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Venue - @theholfordestate 
Styled shoot managed by the fabulous @jessicastottphotography Flowers by @flowersbycarys Dress by @wildernessbride Stationery @vanillaretro cheese wedding cake by @the_cheese_yard_
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