Reticent Romeos and reserved romantics have a new ally in the dating and marriage scene, given a helping hand by the Illawarra's first proposal planner.
Claire Whelpton has spent this year establishing Buy The Cow, plotting and executing elaborate marriage proposals, date nights and wedding vow renewals.
With social media and viral YouTube videos bringing us news of over-the-top romantic gestures from around the world, Ms Whelpton said today's girlfriends, wives and partners expect something special.
"Buy The Cow is to help men have a better idea of what women want," she said.
"When you tell people you got engaged, the first thing they ask about is the proposal, so you want a nice story to tell."
Spurred into action after her partner proposed with a ring in a yellow envelope, Ms Whelpton said she wanted to help create special moments for couples.
"Lots of people do skywriting or the Harbour Bridge climb for a proposal, which is lovely, but you can do something more unique and thoughtful," she said.
A variety of packages from the basic to the extravagant are on offer through Buy The Cow, from simple themes and ideas right through to a customised package including action plans, event management, run sheets, engraved ring boxes and professional photography.
Each proposer fills out a questionnaire about the proposee, so a proposal can be planned - and any potential embarrassment avoided.
"We do decorations and ideas to reflect their personality," she said.
"Some women like a private thing, some might like a public gesture in front of the world. That's why we ask the questions, because I would hate to do a proposal where they are embarrassed."
Date nights, vow renewals and anniversaries are all part of Buy The Cow's business model, which Ms Whelpton said was all about helping men who might be daunted or nervous about the prospect of showing their sensitive, romantic side.
"We wanted to make it less threatening and more humorous," she said.
"Just stay away from cliches. A proposal has to be unique and sentimental."
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