A wedding proposal in caricature

WORKING AS A SILHOUETTIST at events, I do get some odd requests. Such an occasion happened a few weeks ago, while I was cutting caricature silhouettes at a student ball. The event took place at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel near Heathrow in July 2010.

A caricature silhouette showing a man on bended knee in front of a young lady.
My silhouette, cut rather in haste, as he proposed to her at a student ball.

One of the students was planning to make a wedding proposal to his girlfriend that evening. He was getting his nerve up and looking for an original way to do it. Seeing me in action, he asked me to cut a silhouette of them both with him on his knees. This  is the result.

At first I thought he was joking, or perhaps that they were already engaged and just wanted a silhouette to commemorate the occasion. However, while I was cutting quite a crowd gathered to see what was going and he did actually pop the question.

Looking at it after the event, it may not be one of my best silhouettes, but I think it’s one of my favourites. Sometimes the story is more important than the finished image!

To everybody’s delight, she said ‘Yes’!

Interior view of the Radisson Edwardian function room.
The walkway at the Radisson Edwardian where the proposal took place.
Two full-length caricature silhouettes in green.
Silhouettes of two students rather worse for wear at their student ball. I played around with the colour for an Instagram post.

Caricatures are among my favourite kinds of silhouettes to cut at informal events like student balls. You can learn more about them here:

I hope they book me for the wedding. It made me think, not for the first time, that some of the things which happen to a silhouettist would make a good subject for a blog. So here it is, enjoy!


Edit / 21st August 2017 / Charles Burns

Since publishing this blog I received a number of requests to cut silhouettes of couples proposing. Mostly they send photos after the event, which isn’t nearly so interesting but does make for a more reliable silhouette.

Silhouette of a woman on her knees holding the hands of a man
A later proposal silhouette cut in 2017 (after she proposed to him).
This one was a commemorative silhouette.
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Katherine Main
Katherine Main
8 years ago

What a fantastic idea – a cut out of your wedding proposal – what a great memento – and if you put the date on it, that would mean your husband would never forget it…! Then it would be nice to follow it with a silhouette at the actual wedding and then of any pregnant pictures, and children after that… a family of silhouettes – what could you call that… a familhouette!

8 years ago

what a nice idea, in this age of instant selfies and photos… I would definitely ask you to cut any moment for our family!

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