Rules of Engagement: How to propose in Cambridge

BETH SWORDS gives advice on the most romantic ways to propose in Cambridge.

andy assassin's guild Cambridge Union dean lepen marriage May Ball May Week wedding

After the recent marriage proposal on Queens Road, we thought it only decent, proper and fair that we help you out with your own.

Freshers, you’ve been here a term. You’re just about able to sort the wheat from the chaff. Your finger’s feeling a little cold, a little naked.Your friends tells you that the boy who cries in the corner of hall is planning to pop the question. You’re anxious to only get hitched to the best.

There’s been a proposal made of tin foil tied to trees…where do you go from here?

Point of Information at The Union

Marine LePen [or insert generic controversial, extreme right-wing speaker] has just finished speaking. Questions are opened to the floor. The place is silent. You stand. You make a damning POI. And then you propose to that charming figure clad in the fluorescent jacket who you clocked on Day One when he handed you the microphone in a what can only be construed as an overtly sexual move. This puts on show your intellect and your romanticism. By God, you’re Lily Cole.

One success story

One success story

Assassins’ Guild

There’s nothing that will point to a stronger marriage than a proposal based on violence, passion and death. Stabbings on Sidgewick and deaths by newspapers are not uncommon in the Assassins’ Guild. One killer details how the newsletters with which he would assassinate his target “glowed with occult energy as the power of a vengeful Jesus rushed inside”. Literally, don’t even know what this means but it does show how this whole ‘wooing’ process can be incredibly lyrical and literary, as a proposal should be.

The ring is your weapon. You’ve laid down the groundwork for weeks. You put on your running shoes. You chase down your ‘victim’  and then you propose in the manner of a killer but sexily and with feeling . You have the victim as putty in your hands – death or marriage is the ultimatum.

President Of Ball Committee

What are most proposals centred around? Perhaps a nice restaurant, or going to a romantic spot covered in fairy lights and candles. What are most May Balls centred around? A frivolous amount of decadent food, mood-lighting galore and shadowy corners. It makes mathematical sense to couple the two.

Become the President of your Ball Committee and gear all ball preparations towards the marriage proposal of a lifetime. Make the theme into something love-oriented, even something as explicit as ‘Nuptials’ could work. Don’t beat about the bush. You make everyone come dressed as your proposee (without them knowing.) You offer out masks of their face for convenience sake. You secure David Gray as the headline act. And then you propose as soon as he starts playing Now And Always, thus deftly securing a partner in love, for now and always.

If you’re not successful, then at least you have thousands of guests dressed like the love of your life who you have now lost forever.

Engagement party extraordinaire

Engagement party extraordinaire

Send Them To The Dean

For centuries, the misbehaving student and authoritative teacher paradigm has been appreciated in the halls of lust. Create an elaborate ploy to convince your target that their misdemeanours the previous Sunday have reached the Dean. Lure them in with an accusatory email or ominous note in their pidge. If you’re particularly in with the Dean, maybe share your plans with him and request the use of his room for an hour or so (probably shouldn’t need that long). All in the name of love, you know.

Your target is summoned. They arrive, a demoralised, quivering wreck. They are at their lowest and most vulnerable. You sit them down. You compliment them on their trousers. And then you propose to them in that moment when they think they’re going to be expelled from university and are going to have to sign on. The excitement of not having to repent will ensure a ‘yes’, and you’ve laid the foundations for a healthy and vibrant relationship.

Sad, vulnerable and perfect to propose to

Sad, vulnerable and perfect to propose to

Good luck, Cantabs! Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And also that everyone dies alone.