'Promposals': Students get creative with prom invitations

Krystle Wagner • Apr 23, 2016 at 10:00 AM

When Spring Lake High School lacrosse player Anna Denslow finished a recent game, Austin Detwiler was waiting for her with a surprise.

Despite the chilly April weather, 17-year-old Detwiler was wearing shorts, boxing gloves and a hooded towel as a friend held a sign over his head that read “Round 2?”

Detwiler, a Spring Lake High School senior, said he’s a “hopeless romantic who does extravagant things,” and he wanted to make the “promposal” memorable.

Some students asking their date to prom are turning to more elaborate ways. Detwiler said he thinks “promposals” make asking someone to prom fun and it helps break the ice if they’re nervous.

“It’s more fun for them and everyone gets a kick out of it,” he said.

Last year, Detwiler asked Denslow to prom with the help of his family’s Pomeranian. His four-legged companion arrived at Denslow’s house with a sign around her neck that read, “Prom with my big brother?”

When it came to this year’s “promposal,” Detwiler planned on giving Denslow a sash and asking her to be his prom queen. After talking it over with a friend, Detwiler said they thought it sounded like a Round 2.

Denslow, also 17 and a Spring Lake senior, said she didn’t know Detwiler would ask her to prom again. She said the “promposal” was “fun and cute.”

“I thought it was super-clever,” she said.

When Tanner Rose thought about asking his girlfriend, Megan Koetje, to prom, he “wanted to put her name up in lights.”

Rose, an Allendale High School junior, said the marquee for The Grand in downtown Grand Haven fit his idea. He arranged for the message to appear on the evening his family had dinner at the restaurant to celebrate his birthday, which also landed on the couple’s one-month anniversary.

Although Koetje kept asking when Rose would officially ask her to prom, Rose didn’t let on to the surprise he had in store for her. When she saw the sign, he also presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

“She loved it,” Rose said.

If other people are looking to ask their date to prom in a special way, Detwiler advised them to go ahead, even if it might be embarrassing.

“You can’t be afraid of judgment, because it will make the girl feel special, and it will be more fun that way,” he said.

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