I agree with tachetetreasures. Try to use the restroom at the restaurant. If you know your girlfriend well, you will know she will want to use the restroom. If you want to shock her, you have to anticipate her normal activites and work around them. You want to make it seem like everything is normal.
Now, you want to shock her and you said you guys occasionally dance in the liviing room so that wont be out of the ordinary. The candles and dvd will give it away though as you guys are walking into the home. She will know that would be out of the ordinary. So my suggestion would be,
1) have it a surprise from the getgo…as in, when she walks thru the door…she sees the candles and the slideshow and that will be the shock factor enough. Then you guys slow dance after you propose
2) slow dance as normal with nothing on, then have your friends hiding and start the movie in the background and turn on some candles/have them bring out candles, or have them decorate it with lots of christmas lights and have the lights and dvd come on at the same time.
When I did mine, I wanted to make it as least complicated (I came up with lots of complicated things but realized if they fail, the whole proposal would be a flop so i didnt want to rely too much on things coming together in order for it to be special) as possible and anticipated her saying “no” to ideas (like not being in the moood for dinner – i accomplished that by saying i had a LS deal for dinner and if we didnt go that night, i would lose $50. i was afraid i would suggest dinner and shed just want to cook at home or order in for example) Also, i tried not to make things so out of the ordinary. Obviously, your girlfriend will suspect if she knows you are proposing soon. mine suspected too thats why i did stuff leading up to it and made plans after the day too so she wouldnt know when or where it would happen. I laid out the whole month of events and things we had to do. The day I actually proposed, I cancelled our errands we had and told her i completely forgot about this expiring coupon. I made it seem like nothing was planned, it was just slipping my mind that i had this for the longest time and she cant say no if we would lose money!
She had an outfit picked out for the week after when we were going to go for our annual Skyline Drive trip. So she was almost certain i was going to do it there.
Knowing your girlfriend and anticipating her habits and reactiions is half the battle of trying to surprise and shock her.
This is how mine went down if you are interested
Good luck man, I can keep suggesting ideas if you gives us some more info on what she likes and how she is. is she simple, a little complicated, she likes it extrvagent, romantic, etc.
I think having all your friends pop out with flowers and candles would be a “shock” factor but you also dont want to startle her. I was going to do a ring popping out of a cake but then my friends said it would probably scare the crap out of her so i dropped that idea…