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Russian Men Turn to Service of Romance Consultant

Published: February 13, 2013 (Issue # 1746)



  • One of the services offered to men wishing to sweep their beloved off their feet is a Cinderella-style horse and carriage.
    Photo: APOTEO SURPISE

Russian men are among those eagerly making use of the services of a French entrepreneur offering a helping hand in making unforgettable romantic gestures.

Proposing marriage from outer space or declaring your love with a shower of 1,000 red roses falling onto the deck of a yacht during a romantic cruise in Paris are just a couple of the ways that French company ApateoSurprise can help men to surprise their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day, and Russians are among the most active users of these services.

“Russians can really do amazing things when they are in love!” said Nicolas Garreau, the founder of ApoteoSurprise.

“They usually choose a private dinner cruise on the Seine, with 1,000 red roses suddenly falling from the sky when the yacht stops at the Pont des Arts, the most romantic bridge in Paris,” he said.

“Russians are also fond of a scenario that includes hundreds of candles spelling out a special message of love in the air as they arrive at a magical French abbey by chauffer-driven car. Another popular scenario is a candlelit dinner at a castle with a private fireworks display that includes a giant red heart suddenly blazing forth,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, such bold demonstrations of emotion come at a price. A dove delivering a declaration of love to a hotel costs 390 euros ($521), while for about 16,000 euros ($21,395), lovelorn romantics can splash out on a giant white heart written in the sky above Paris by small aircraft.

Although less inventive — or less prosperous — men may consider their more traditional proposals unforgettable, 80 percent of women say that they are disappointed with the way their lovers choose to propose, according to information from ApateoSurprise, whose mission is to ensure that their methods will be anything but disappointing.

“Since 2006, when I launched my agency, I’ve planned about 1,000 romantic surprises and marriage proposals, and I would say that the most popular package among clients is a one-hour limousine tour with champagne and chocolate,” said Garreau.

“The limo stops at the Eiffel Tower, the tower sparkles, and all of a sudden, a personalized message appears on a giant ultra-bright LED screen. Women cry almost every time. And of course the message can be displayed in Russian,” he added.

Women rarely know beforehand that their other half has called on the services of a Parisian expert in romance. But Garreau does not usually interfere in the process, or even help the client in choosing a fitting scenario. He believes that the client knows which form of expression suits their particular situation best.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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