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Paris-based company takes marriage proposals to new heights

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

For what is touted as the first time ever, a lovestruck man will propose to his girlfriend in space on Valentine's Day.

That candy and roses you have planned seem kind of lame now, don't they, fellas?

If you're a guy who considers himself a bumbling fool when it comes to romance (if you've ever bought your significant other a mop for Valentine's Day or an anniversary, this means you), you might consider consulting Nicolas Garreau, whose Paris-based marriage proposal company, ApoteoSurprise, made this space mission possible.

Here's how it works: The written proposal and a photo of the couple are attached to a helium balloon released into flight as a camera captures the two- to three-hour flight to space. The balloon explodes in space, and the camera, attached to a parachute, returns to Earth. ApoteoSurprise uses a tracking device to retrieve it. The man then shows the footage to his girlfriend. Hopefully, she says yes, since this costs about $6,700.

Garreau said his research has determined that 80 percent of women are unhappy with the way their men proposed to them. That's why Garreau is really busy on Valentine's Day.

“Usually, I plan about three or four proposals a week,” he told me. But on Valentine's Day, he has “about 10 proposals planned.”

Garreau offers 30 romantic proposal deals, ranging from $390 for a delivery guy to set an envelope on fire so it magically becomes a rose to $21,300 for an airplane's skywritten proposal. So, a bit more than a Hallmark card.

It turns out Garreau once spent time in the Pittsburgh area. He filmed a documentary here 10 years ago highlighting the locales seen in George Romero films — the most famous being “Night of the Living Dead.”

And yet, Garreau still thinks Paris is the best spot for marriage proposals for “1,001 reasons.”

Why? So Paris has the Eiffel Tower. We have PPG Place, and we're “Gotham City.” (No observation deck at PPG Place, though.) Paris has the Champs-Elysees, but we have the Strip District with French food — fries on a Primanti's sandwich.

Garreau has a “Say ‘I love you' in a restaurant” proposal. That'd be perfect for one of the Mt. Washington eateries, and you get the view, too. After a fancy dinner, a special flower delivery brings a bouquet of roses and a proposal. The only problem, of course, would be parking on Grandview Street. She'd have to say yes quickly so the delivery guy could avoid a ticket or tow.

Better still would be the “Say ‘I love you' at Heinz Field.” (In Paris, it is the Stade de France proposal.) You lead your loved one out onto the middle of the field as a few Steelers look on. Your proposal comes across the scoreboard. When she says yes, the field begins to explode from the opposite end zone.

Beat that, Paris.

Nafari Vanaski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8669 or and on Twitter @NafariTrib.

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