Kelly Anderson still treasures the wrapper left over from the Ring Pop that changed her life. Last December her partner Marty Weith proposed with a bright blue diamond-shaped lump of caramelized sugar in a park near their home in Bloomingdale, Illinois. “It was just so funny,” says Anderson, a 29-year-old photographer.
The candy had been an inside joke since early on in their relationship, when the pair went to a wedding shower that featured a display of Ring Pops. They’d barely been dating for two months at the time, but Anderson joked that Weith should eventually use one to propose to her. The 31-year-old mechanical engineer pocketed that exact blue raspberry Ring Pop, and though he eventually offered a traditional ring too, the Ring Pop proposal is what felt special. “We love food and we love those little dorky details,” says Weith.
Weith and Anderson aren’t alone: It turns out lots of millennial couples are using Ring Pops these days to add a playful detail to their proposals. After the pandemic put in-person gatherings on hold, about 2.5 million weddings are expected to take place this year, and couples seeking a lighthearted vibe are including nostalgic elements in their celebrations, says therapist Landis Bejar, LMHC, who runs the wedding planning counseling service, Aisle Talk. For millennials Ring Pops evoke positive childhood memories and ease the stress around popping the question and shopping for expensive rings—and they buck tradition, another wedding trend for this generation.
When William Jean Paul Harry proposed to his fiancée, Marcella Clarissa, with a strawberry-flavored Ring Pop last August, he’d hoped to forge a “fun memory” that the Jakarta, Indonesia–based couple could always look back on.
Harry, a 28-year-old doctor, loved the red and purple ones that his grandparents always kept in the fridge. And throughout the five years they’d spent dating, Clarissa says both made jokes about how their proposal might involve a Ring Pop one day. “I was surprised and super happy,” the 27-year-old online baking store owner says, remembering the moment. “We both cried and shared a long hug.”