Trinity Episcopal Day School freshman Joseph Harris, left, asked Madalyn Falkenheiner to the school’s prom by making a puzzle for her that said “Prom?”
Trinity Episcopal Day School freshman Joseph Harris, left, asked Madalyn Falkenheiner to the school’s prom by making a puzzle for her that said “Prom?”

Today’s prom proposal is exercise in creativity

Published 12:06am Sunday, April 13, 2014

It’s not your mother’s prom. And your father’s proposal just wouldn’t do.

In an era in which social media spreads one clever young man’s creativity across the globe in a matter of minutes, the expectations for boys — and girls — who must fight nerves to land a date to prom are at their peak.

Natchez is no different.

At Trinity Episcopal Day School, freshman Joseph Harris said Trinity students have certainly stepped up their game this year for prom proposals.

“The majority of us did it in a creative way, rather than just texting or calling,” he said.

Harris asked fellow freshman Madalyn Falkenheiner to prom by making a puzzle out of poster board with “Prom?” written on it for her to assemble.

Cathedral High School senior Chase Brakenridge, right, asked Caroline Downer to the school’s prom by encasing the question in a rectangle of ice and having Downer break it open with a hammer.
Cathedral High School senior Chase Brakenridge, right, asked Caroline Downer to the school’s prom by encasing the question in a rectangle of ice and having Downer break it open with a hammer.

Falkenheiner found the puzzle pieces in her locker a couple of weeks ago and put them together as students gathered around to see.

“I said ‘yes,’ of course,” she said.

Trinity’s prom was Saturday, and Falkenheiner said Harris’ proposal has made the whole experience more special.

“I think our grade this year has been asking in more creative ways, and I think it makes everyone more excited and makes prom more fun,” she said.

Cathedral School senior Chase Brakenridge said every year around prom, social media websites explode with prom proposal pictures.

“You see it everywhere now on social networks,” Brakenridge said. “Whenever prom comes around, all you see is prom proposals on Facebook and Twitter.”

Brakenridge “broke the ice” with his date Caroline Downer by having her literally break a block of ice containing a note that said, “Now that we’ve broken the ice, will you go to prom with me?”

“I thought it was pretty special,” Downer said. “It’s my senior year, and just the fact that he did it for my senior prom just made it that much more special.”

Downer said she believes the creative prom proposals feed off the ideas of others.

“I think they see ideas on social media, and then it’s a competition between them,” she said.

Brakenridge said his sister, Lansing, gave him the idea and he froze the ice with the note and candy inside a plastic bag and had a friend give it to Downer at Soiree practice for the Historic Natchez Tableaux.

“Whenever she broke it, I walked in with flowers,” he said.

Prom proposals should be special and creative, Brakenridge said.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be called over the phone and asked,” he said. “And to do it through a text, I don’t think anyone wants that either.”

Cathedral junior Will Sandel said Cathedral students try to do over-the-top, attention-getting prom proposals.

Sandel certainly got fellow junior McKenzie Milligan’s attention when he asked her to prom in front of a crowd of spectators at a Cathedral basketball game.

Sandel said a friend helped him come up with the idea and he asked the school’s drill team for help.

During halftime of a basketball game, the drill team held up signs that read “Kenny, prom,” and Sandel walked onto the court holding a poster with a question mark on it.

“I wasn’t really nervous about it until right before I went out there,” he said. “All of the sudden my heart dropped because I was going to be out there in front of everyone.”

Milligan said “yes.”

“I knew something was up when everyone kept following me around the gym to keep me from leaving,” she said. “But I was still shocked because I wasn’t expecting it.”

Cathedral’s prom was in February, and Milligan said Sandel’s prom proposal added a special memory to the experience.

“I was really looking forward to it, and it definitely made prom more memorable,” she said.

The challenge to make the prom invitation creative makes the whole experience more fun, Sandel said.

“It’s all you see on social media sites, and it’s whoever can ask in the most clever and brilliant way,” he said. “You look at them, and every year they get bigger and better.”