Men Off the Hook When It Comes to Popping the Question
Survey Reveals Women Are Turning the Tables on Tradition

GUERNEVILLE, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- From Monica Gellar on "Friends" to Trista Rehn on "The Bachelorette" -- the days of "ladies in waiting" are over when it comes to marriage proposals. Women orchestrating proposals doesn't only happen on TV -- in fact, a 2003 proposal survey conducted by Korbel Champagne found that almost one in three (31 percent) Americans know a woman who has proposed marriage to a man.

Will You Be My ... Husband?" Today, women are twisting traditional gender roles more than ever, whether they're running for the presidential nomination, competing in a male-dominated professional golf tournament, hitting the open-wheel racing circuit, or heading a Fortune 500(TM) company. As women take on larger leadership roles in the workplace and in society, it's only natural that they've begun to assume these roles in the realm of romance, as well. This "role reversal" trend is not only evident in the number of women proposing, but in society's willingness to accept this shift, as six out of ten Americans (59 percent) do not think that men should always be the ones to propose.

Neither does 30-year-old Christin Glodek, whose husband, Andrew Papachristos, acknowledges she is the type of person who is comfortable straying from the norms o traditional gender roles. Despite this, Papachristos was "totally surprised" by Glodek's October 2001 proposal (on the night before they were set to move in together). "Christin's proposal was symbolic of our relationship and definitely had her personal stamp on it," says Papachristos. Of Glodek's unique idea to pop the question by carving "Will You Marry Me?" in a line of Halloween pumpkins, Papachristos adds "I was completely overwhelmed ... it was perfect and I don't think I could have done it any
better."

The Chicago-based couple is not alone: six out of ten Americans (63 percent) agree women proposing marriage to men is becoming more common. The survey also revealed that almost half (48 percent) of women would propose to their significant other, and eight out of ten men (80 percent) would accept a proposal from their significant other.

Planning a Perfect Proposal

From determining the time and place of the proposal to figuring out how to say those four little words, asking for someone's hand in marriage can be an overwhelming process for any man or woman.

Jason R. Rich, author of "Will You Marry Me? Popping the Question with Romance and Style" (The Career Press, 2003) says that regardless of who proposes, "understanding the expectations and dreams of the person you're proposing to -- and taking them into consideration during the planning process -- is the first step in bringing a perfect proposal to life." The Korbel Perfect Proposal Contest This year, Korbel has tied the knot with Blue Nile to help men and women make their ultimate "Marry Me?" moment a reality.

For the second year in a row, the Korbel Perfect Proposal Contest invited Americans who are ready to propose to enter to win their dream proposal, complete with an exclusive round Blue Nile Signature Diamond Engagement Ring (created from among the top one percent of all diamonds in the world). Judges will select three first prize winners based on creativity, originality and romantic theme, and Korbel brought the three winning proposals to life just before Valentine's Day, 2003. One of these winners will also be selected to receive the grand prize of $10,000 for a honeymoon or reception.

Last year's grand prize winner, Ashley Yablon, of Dallas, Texas, proposed to girlfriend Donna Yarborough on Broadway, after a performance of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. During a special encore onstage with the show's leads, Yablon serenaded the unsuspecting Yarborough in front of the audience and cast, all of whom couldn't help but sing along. The couple has planned a fall 2003 wedding.

"The response we received last year was overwhelming," says Gary Heck, Chairman and President, Korbel Champagne Cellars. "Proposals are special, emotional moments for people, and as an integral part of these moments, it makes sense for Korbel to help bring dream proposals to life through the Perfect Proposal Contest." Visit www.korbel.com for more information on the annual Korbel Perfect Proposal Contest.

Established in 1882, Korbel Champagne Cellars has been a part of America's greatest celebrations for more than 120 years. Korbel has been a supplier and licensee of the 1996 Olympic Games, the exclusive champagne of the past five Presidential Inaugurations, a supporter of Team Dennis Conner for the 1995 America's Cup and the first global sponsor of Times Square 2000 -- a sponsorship that lasts through 2007. Korbel is an Official Supporter of the 2000, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams and the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Korbel is the number one selling premium methode champenoise- produced champagne in America.

Blue Nile, the online leader in the diamond and fine jewelry category, located on the Web at www.bluenile.com, offers consumers a better way to buy diamonds and fine jewelry. Blue Nile consistently receives honors from such distinguished publications as TIME and Forbes, among many others. Blue Nile provides an exceptional collection of classically styled jewelry selected according to high standards of quality, beauty and value. Cleanly designed and easy to navigate, the site offers the in-depth education necessary to make informed purchases with confidence. All Blue Nile jewelry is delivered free of charge, and guaranteed and returnable within 30 days. Based in Seattle, Blue Nile is privately held with investments from Bessemer Venture Partners; Trinity Ventures; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Lightspeed Venture Partners; Integral Capital Partners; and Vulcan Ventures Inc.

Celebrate Responsibly.
(1) Source: Korbel study conducted by StrategyOne from May 2 - May 4, 2003. The telephone survey was completed nationwide among 1,000 Americans. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.


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