Way back when, in January, Elizabeth shouted out to you, our lovely readers, asking brides and grooms to share their proposal stories.
And boy, did you guys deliver.
Photo by Mandy Fierens Photography via Bridal Musings
From scavenger hunt proposals in the countryside, to popping the big question on a skyscraper, from clever rouses to sweet gestures, it's clear to see that, among our lovely readers, real-life romance is alive and well.
It's not all about big gestures, but it is about making it special for the both of you, (just check out Elizabeth's romantic (and funny) proposal story here!).
So whether you're hoping to get ideas for your own proposal, or reminiscing on how your other-half popped the all important question, prepare to squeal, sigh, and maybe even (just a tad!) tear up with delight, with these gorgeous descriptions of how he asked…
Photo by Taken By Tate via How He Asked
On the Big Screen
It was 2005 and Dan & I were living in New York at the time. He works in advertising and said that he'd been asked to go into Times Square one evening to make sure that their clients advertisement would debut smoothly on one of the jumbotrons.
He asked if I would like to come along and as a thank you, work would pay for a meal afterwards. I jumped at the chance of a free dinner so I was more than happy to!
So there we were standing around waiting for this advertisement to come on. I was getting a bit bored, so said I would pop into Sephora while he waited. He said he would come in with me afterwards if I would just wait a minute.
Something wasn't right, he hates Sephora!
Then there it was!
My big face on a jumbotron! Accompanied by the words “Louisa…….. You are the love of my life……Will you marry me…..Please?”.
He got down on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring.
And of course I said yes. I was in total shock.
We didn't end up going into Sephora in the end. Instead we jumped into a taxi and headed downtown to the Meatpacking District, to celebrate at Pastis.
The most amazing evening we will never forget. And something to tell the grandkids!
Lou, Denote Stationery
Photo by Tyler Branch Photography via Green Wedding Shoes
Romeo & Juliet
I love my proposal story. I'm an actress, and a huge lover of Shakespeare. So; my fiancé took me to Verona, Italy, home of Romeo and Juliet, on a surprise getaway.
In Verona, there is Juliet's balcony and statue in the city centre, which is always jam-packed with tourists, so, Scott booked us into the Casa de Guilietta hotel, where the court yard is home to the balcony and statue, meaning in the evenings, it's exclusive to guests.
On our first evening we went to visit the beautiful court yard and Scott told me to take a picture of the famous balcony. When I had, I turned around to find him down on one knee below the balcony (already in tears!!) and he popped the question after a lovely little love speech.
I also love that I have a picture of the balcony and in the moment of time he was also behind me ready to propose!
Photo by Michael Scicolone Media via How He Asked
In Sickness and In Health
My now fiancé and I have been together for three incredible years.
He is the most incredible man I've ever met. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease about a year into our relationship and went through A LOT as a result. He never left my side.
I'm still recovering but even at my darkest moments, he was there shining a light and constantly reminding me of our future together.
On December 14th, the week I finally finished college after having to take a medical leave of absence, and the day before his 26th birthday, we went out to dinner with both sets of our parents and his grandma.
His mom and I planned this surprise dinner for him. Little did I know that he set the whole thing up, and he asked his mom to plan it with me. The dinner, as it turns out, was not for his birthday or my graduation.
His mom gave me a corsage and he handed me a storybook scrapbook with an incredible letter he wrote me at the end.
Just when I finished reading it, he was down on one knee and proposed.
It was the most shocking and spectacular moment of my life. My dad recorded the whole thing.
Photo by Brittney Melton Photography via Style Me Pretty
A Group Effort
There is a beautiful hill, known as Steephill in Lincoln, UK.
My fiance got all of our close friends to stand all the way down the hill, and each held up a piece of paper with a word on which eventually said ‘will you marry me'. I ran down to the bottom of the hill where he got down on one knee.
Long Lost Lovers
Photo by Bamber Photography via How He Asked
The Mighty Jungle
This past October, I was coming home from work to what I thought would be an empty house.
I could hear music before I even unlocked the door.
I stepped inside and turned on the light to see that my living room had been transformed into a jungle!
The music I heard was the Indiana Jones theme song. (Yes, we're nerds).
There was a sign explaining the rules of a treasure hunt on top of a hat and jacket. I suited up and began my search. Following the leaves to the kitchen table where the ring sat.
I teared up instantly. He came out from his hiding spot and got down on one knee. He's never been very emotional, but I could hear the quiver in his voice and see the tear forming at the corner of his eye.
I love him more and more every day.
Photo by Shea Christine via How He Asked
Love on Film
Our proposal was wonderful. A fairy tale!
He does filming for a living, so the proposal was on video. We are so happy!
To set up the story here is the description he wrote under the video: “I love Kimberly with all my heart and knew I was going to marry her for about a year before I actually proposed. I knew it had to be special, so I tried to plan the perfect way she would like it.
We both love to have memories of what we do on video and I figured there was only two ways to capture the proposal, was either have someone hide out an capture it in secret, or have cameras so out in the open that she wouldn't even suspect it.
I chose the latter and brought her on a fake film set that was all set up for her.
She said yes and I am the luckiest guy in the world. Also, the song that plays at the end is “our” song. It is called “Boat Song” by JJ Heller.”
Kimberly & Rob
High School Sweethearts
My fiance and I met in high school, and have been together since 2002.
He proposed to me on November 25, 2012 at Morton Arboretum under a specific Burr Oak tree. When we walked up to the tree, he asked me whether or not I remembered this location. I knew it looked familiar, but didn't know why.
That's when he told me a story – When I was 16 and he was 18, we went to the Morton Arboretum on a date. We walked around and came across this Burr Oak tree, and we started talking about wanting this type of tree in our backyard when we grew up.
Sitting against this tree, we talked about our goals, dreams, and future together.
He then got down on one knee, and said, “Even back then, we both knew that we would always be together – get married, have a family, and grow old together. Will you marry me?”
Photo by This Sweet Love Photography via Style Me Pretty
Five Months Early
I thought I had our relationship completely figured out!
My boyfriend and I had been discussing marriage and I thought I knew exactly when we would be getting engaged (on my birthday in May) and when we would be getting married (the following Christmas), but he completely surprised me when he proposed.
He came to visit me and my parents on December 21st. We had decided to go take Christmas pictures that we could later use as engagement pictures, so we got all dressed up and went to a historical mansion in my home town that was all decked out for Christmas.
After a while he told me that he wanted to take a picture facing each other and when I turned to him he dropped to his knee and pulled out a ring.
At first I thought it was a joke, then I realized that he was holding a REAL ring! (The one I had picked out!)
I was so stunned that he actually had to ask me twice! (Though that gave my mom the perfect opportunity to take the picture) I finally reclaimed my wits and said yes!
We had our perfect Christmas wedding this December.
Photo by Sarah Becker Photography via Wedding Party
Happy New Year
My fiancé proposed to me on the 31st of December on New Year's Eve 2013.
It was a complete surprise!.. I went on holidays with my family and was celebrating New Year's Eve with a nice dinner on the harbour jetty.
My then boyfriend shows up with my favourite colour suit on, a big bouquet of red roses (my favourite also) and the tie I recently bought him for Christmas.
And he got down on one knee beside me in front of the whole restaurant and asked me to marry him with the most amazing emerald cut diamond engagement ring.
It was the biggest shock, such a beautiful surprise and it was so romantic.
Take My Heart
At the coastal Peruvian restaurant that he took her on their first date, Greg brought Lilja to celebrate their love over some delicious, Peruvian food.
With desserts by the fire pits, followed by ghost hunting in the bluffs behind Moss Beach Distillery, Greg and Lilja made their way back through the foggy night to a place called Seal Cove Inn.
In this rustic manor, a rosey, candle-lit surprise awaited Lilja.
She opened the door and found a path made of rose petals leading to a heart on the ground. Upon reaching the heart, we became engaged.
Greg and Lilja
Photo by Jonathan Connolly Photography via Floridian Weddings
Top of the Rock
A few months before my birthday, Errol informed me that he wanted to take me on a week-long trip for my birthday, but the destination would be a surprise. The suspense was killing me!
Errol is an amazing writer and poet. A week before my birthday, he planted parts of a love poem he had written for me in different parts of my house. He sent me on a scavenger hunt to find and connect the missing parts of the poem. However, the final part of the poem had yet to be found.
When we got to the airport the Sunday before my birthday, Errol revealed that he would be taking me to New York City – the destination I had been dying to visit since my obsession with the Sex and the City movie.
I was overjoyed!
One evening, Errol insisted we catch a great view of the sunset on the rooftop of the Rockefeller Center.
After taking in the gorgeous view of the city, Errol took my hand and pulled me towards the middle of the rooftop. He looked me in the eyes and recited the final verses of the beautiful poem he had written for me.
Once again, Errol wooed me with his magical words. Then he began to profess his love for me, took a step back, took the ring box out of his coat, then got down on one knee and PROPOSED!
…Errol then announced that he also hired the photographer to take engagement pictures of us all over the City the next day.That day I felt as if all of my dreams had come true.
I had never had a birthday so amazing.
Rayne (Read Rayne & Errol's full story in the comments, here)
Photo Claudia Kay via How He Asked
The Life Aquatic
My fiancé is a lover of all things aquatic and loves to do fish and kayak.
He told me that I absolutely had to dive on Catalina Island, which is one of his favorite places. I agreed, and when we arrived we found out that Catalina’s main city Avalon was celebrating their 100-year anniversary. The lady at the ticket booth totally made our day by announcing that we were the winners of the day in honor of the celebrations!
We’d receive an upgrade from a ferry to a helicopter ride to the island, free bike rentals, and a zipline experience .
Needless to say I was so excited – I’ve never won anything in my life! Somehow, we talked them into exchanging our zipline into a scuba rental, and off we went to enjoy the day.
At the end of a perfect sunny SoCal day, he took me to this “locals-only” secret spot atop a hill with an amazing vantage point of the island.
There lay a wooden briefcase-type box at the cliff’s edge, and despite my protests he opened it.
Inside were Polaroids of pictures he’d taken of us throughout our relationship, a ring box, and a little wooden plaque sign he’d created with a picture of a helicopter, scuba diver, bike, and a cartoon of someone proposing. Which he did right then!
Somehow, he had talked to each and every person whom we had met the entire day, asking them to play along with this “upgrade” idea – the front desk people, Catalina’s PR team, dropping off his own Go-Pro at the helicopter office. I was blown away.
Afterwards, we celebrated with our closest friends at a surprise engagement dinner he had planned!
The best day of my life thus far!
Photo by Danielle Poff via Ruffled
A Palace Proposal
We met our junior year in high school and have been dating for six years now.
This past summer, we traveled to Europe for a three week, five city tour together. I had hoped he might take advantage of the amazing trip to propose, but honestly did not suspect a thing, since we hadn't discussed it and he showed no signs of secret-keeping.
Venturing out to Chateaux Versailles from Paris, we decided to rent bicycles and ride around the canal.
When we got to the end, we both stopped to take self-timer photos with the perfect view of the palace in the background. I was so excited there was nobody around as opposed to the throngs of tourists closer to the palace.
We stood there looking at each other and looking out at the view, holding hands and hugging while the shutter clicked away. Todd kept telling me how much he loves me, as I laughed and assured him that I feel the same. As he held both of my hands in his, I could feel how nervous he was. He then confessed, “I'm nervous. I have something to ask you.”
He knelt down onto one knee and asked me to marry him. I honestly have no idea exactly how I responded. I know it included a huge giddy smile, an incredulous question of “seriously?” and of course, yes!
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was also wondering if he had a ring for me. Todd quickly stood up to retrieve the ring from his pocket, attempting to place it on the ring finger of my right hand. I corrected him, still laughing out of excitement, not able to believe what had just happened was real life.
He kissed me, hugged me tightly, lifted me off the ground. The setting was perfect, and the ring was so so beautiful.
Photo by Limelife Photo via Green Wedding Shoes
The Perfect Place
My dream had always been to go to Machu Picchu, so in April my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Peru!
I was very excited, and when we finally got to Machu Picchu, I cried a little because it had always been a dream of mine and I was finally there and I couldn't believe it. That's when he popped the question, my dad was traveling with us, so he recorded everything.
It was the happiest day of my life!
Photo by Laura Murray Photography via Bridal Musings
I love that my fiancee caught me totally off guard with the proposal. We had been talking about getting engaged but I never expected he would propose on his birthday!
He told me he wanted to go out to a nice dinner and then to the art museum for an event they were having.
I had no idea he really had planned a proposal with balloons and all my friends on the steps of the museum – it was so sweet!
The surprises kept coming – he had planned for us all to out for drinks to celebrate and then when we finally got home he had decorated our place with more balloons and pictures of us.
It was truly a magical day.
Photo by Scarlet O'Neill Photography via Style Me Pretty
Tea for Two
We spoke about marriage quite early on in our relationship, having had to have a fairly long distance relationship, as I was away at university for the first year and a half.
It was my birthday weekend and he was determined he wanted to go down to this little place where we liked to sit sometimes and talk, I didn't think much about it.
We were outside watching some people kayaking for a bit, and he was constantly wanting me to sit down, but he stayed stood up so me being stubborn also stayed on my feet.
As we were just about to go get a cup of tea from the kiosk as it was chilly, he suddenly stopped me and got down in one knee. I was completely in shock, and genuinely thought he was joking at first before I finally accepted the proposal with tears in my eyes.
I also got my cup of tea!
Photo by Paparazzi Proposals via How He Asked
Where We First Met
Meghan and I met in May of 2009 at a Bar/Restaurant, Mama’s on the Half Shell, in Canton Square, Baltimore, Maryland. After rescuing her from an awkward conversation with an awkward close-talker we sparked up a conversation, and the rest is history.
Fast-forward to December 2013, Meghan was set to graduate from her Master’s program and I told her that I wanted
to take her out for a celebratory dinner. I told her to dress nice, that the restaurant would be a surprise and to not ask any questions about the evening (where, when, what…).
With dinner plans set on our calendar, I began calling Meghan’s closest friends to check their availability for that evening and to my relief (and surprise, given the multitude of holiday parties going on) each of them was available. I explained to them that an invitation will be going out soon but that I was planning a Surprise Graduation party for Meghan, venue TBD.
I immediately called Mama’s on the Half Shell and the hostess answered; I asked to make a reservation; she said that they don’t take reservations; I asked to speak to the manager; she got the manager and I asked to make a special reservation; I explained that I want to throw a surprise graduation party; he said he can check with his boss, but that they don’t take reservations, especially given the busy holiday season;
I clarified my intentions, “Under the guise of a surprise graduation party, I plan to ask my girlfriend to marry me. You see, Mama’s is the first place that we ever met”; he said that he would ask his boss and get back to me; fifteen minutes later, he called and said we’re good to go for the “Special Reservation” at a table in the back.
It was on!
Meghan's (Anonymous) Fiance (Read the rest of this sweet story in the comments, here)
Photo by Q Avenue Photo via How He Asked
After 5 years of dating my best friend, I found myself getting anxious to move forward with our relationship and was hopeful that an engagement was in the near future.
However, 6 months ago my boyfriend bought a restaurant and money has been tight. Due to his new business, he was unable to travel back to my hometown and spend Christmas with my family and me .
While I was trying my best to be patient and understanding of our current situation, I couldn't help but feel disenchanted when my boyfriend dropped me off at the airport a few days before Christmas without any exchange of a gift or any acknowledgment that this year he would be unable to give me present due to finances.
For those of you who's love language is “gift giving” I am sure you can understand my slight disappointment.
Once I was back in my hometown, I found comfort in being with my family and focused on enjoying a break from all the chaos of everyday life.
Growing up with a father who is a photographer, my sister and I have gotten accustomed to being greeted Christmas morning with a video camera in our face.
Little did I know that my father's quest to capture “the Christmas moment” this year was for a very different reason.
While I ask that you ignore my bed-head hair and my casual attire, I am excited to share this incredible gift. My heart flutters every time I relive this moment, and I could not be more elated to be engaged to my best friend!
The Perfect Christmas Proposal from kacie long on Vimeo.
X Marks The Spot
He had always been very clear, from the beginning, that he wanted to live together first, so after we moved in together, I was settling in to my first cohabitation and assuring myself and everyone else that I wasn't in a rush to get married.
It never occurred to me that he didn't want to talk about it because he had been ring shopping for months and wanted to provide a truly surprising proposal.
Saturday morning of the trip, we went to brunch across the way at Ventana Inn before starting the hotel's treasure hunt. My normally serenely calm boyfriend seemed antsy. We arrived back at our hotel fifteen minutes late. I didn't expect the treasure hunt to start on time but I was wrong. Everyone had already begun without us.
We got our first clue and a map of the property and ran outside to begin. We bounced around from place to place finding rolled up pieces of parchment at each one. I couldn't help being slightly pleased with myself for knowing the answer to each clue before he could figure them out. (Although now, I'm slightly annoyed he was letting me win because he wrote all the clues himself.)
Photo by Libby McGowan Photography via How He Asked
We were hiking over acres of land for hours and I was sweaty and dirty as we searched for clues and dug through brush. I was sure this was something the hotel did often because everyone seemed to know about it. There certainly was no way he could have ran out the night before and hidden these clues himself.
At long last, our clues took us to the restaurant overlooking the ocean at our hotel as the sun had just begun its slow descent. The staff was quietly setting up for dinner service, but mostly we were alone as I followed my instructions to “prepare for carpentry by ordering a splash of the definitive”. We sat with our Absolut screwdrivers, or I sat with mine because he downed his in one big gulp, and we looked at what seemed like our final and most complicated clue.
Just as I was reading the last part of the clue, the bartender brought over a treasure box. “I think we won,” I said, delighted that getting so sweaty and dirty and working so hard had paid off.
Photo by Kylee Ann Photography via How He Asked
As I dove in and found a crackerjack box. I thought, this prize was going to be lame. But then I opened the crackerjack box and there was a jewelry pouch. And in the jewelry pouch was a ring.
And then he dropped to one knee. And he started to speak, but I could barely focus on what he was saying because I was so confused. He said my whole name slowly and deliberately. Did we not win the treasure hunt?
As I listened to him say all those magical words every girl wants to hear in that moment, I started to realize that this whole thing had just been for me. He had planned and executed this entire day to surprise me with the kind of thing I had always wanted but assumed I would never get.
I burst into tears.
He told me he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with me and would do anything to make me happy and I could barely stop crying long enough to get the word “yes” out. I mouthed it three times before I finally heard myself make the sound.
Tamara (Read more about Tamara's very special scavenger hunt on the blog, here)
Photo by Tamika Lee Photography via Style Me Pretty
The Italian Job
I'm living in Northern Italy, and I met my fiance on a dating site, we live 180 miles apart.
On a June evening I went to his place to spend the weekend, we had a lovely alfresco evening dinner in the garden, he cooked and prepared everything, then we got indoors and while I was chilling on the sofa eating the last few crisps, he popped the question getting on his knees and opening the little blue box he had hiding all evening long…
It was amazing, I was speechless, as all this was far above a typical Italian style….
Photo by Raquel Bianca Creative via How He Asked
A Central Park Scout
I kind of planned the place where I got engaged, without realising!
We were going to dinner with another couple as a double date in Manhattan. But I wanted to do something else while we were there.
So I said to my boyfriend Marvin, let's go for a walk in Central Park as I hadn't been there walking in years and I thought it would be romantic.
He saw it as the perfect place and opportunity.
The day before and of course, after speaking to my parents, he walked around the park to find the perfect spot.
He decided to do it on the Conservatory Garden.
On the day of our date, he took me there, and as we were walking around he stopped at the middle of the park, told me to close my eyes and started singing one of our songs (Close Your Eyes by Michael Buble).
Then he took a box from his pocket, and told me to open my eyes and asked me to be his wife.
It was one of the best moments of my live.
Of course I said yes!
Photo by Greg Finck via Style Me Pretty
Oh, don't they just fill you with the warm and fuzzies? So sweet.
Thanks so much to all the wonderful brides and grooms who shared their stories with us…
Don't forget to share your Pop the Question story in the comments below!
For more unique proposal ideas check out…
- Chic Engagement Shoots
- Past Reader Proposal Stories
- This squeal-inducing Proposal Shoot
- A gorgeous Surprise Proposal