Brides Tell All: The Night He Proposed


Proposal stories can be super romantic, crazy creative, full of mishaps, even "accidental." No matter the specifics, the way he popped the question is something you will remember so long as you both shall live. Here, five brides look back on that epic evening.

E-N-G-A-G-E-M-E-N-T as Triple Word Score
Amanda Guy Duff and her boyfriend are Scrabble nuts. So when it came to dreaming up the perfect proposal he went to the tiles. The NYC-based PR executive recalls, laughing, "One night Charles asked if I wanted to play. I excitedly agreed and he told me to set up the board." True, it seemed a bit odd that he stood a few feet away and waited for her to open the box. Charles got on one knee as Amanda unfolded the board and she saw the letter tiles he had glued onto the surface: AMANDA WILL YOU MARRY ME? She says, "It was the perfect proposal. He incorporated something we loved. My parents had the board framed and gave it to us as a wedding gift."

The Best Laid Plans
No matter how carefully you plan something there is never a guarantee things will work out as you wish. But those unexpected wrinkles can lead to a lifetime of extraordinary memories. Annie Passanisi says, "My fiancé planned his proposal for a year and I ruined it all (almost) by falling off my bicycle at the exact worst moment." The pair was at Burning Man this April — "one of the biggest, wildest festivals on earth." The bicycle mishap dealt with, the ring proffered, and eagerly accepted, it was time for the photo. Which was ruined by a piece of construction equipment right over their heads. Snafus aside, Annie, who lives in Chicago says, "The proposal was simple and heartfelt — what more could a girl want?"

See more: 8 Things to Do Right After You Get Engaged

Love Takes Flight
Kelly Mayes's head was literally in the clouds when her boyfriend popped the question six years ago. The Tennessee marketing consultant shares, "He tricked me into thinking our friends had won a helicopter flight over Napa and asked us to join them on the trip." Her sneaky other half had other plans. Kelly says, "The pilot landed the plane by the winery where we had met. Bryan got down on one knee and popped the question." Her Romeo had also arranged for the pair to spend the night in Napa. She finishes, "Outside of my wedding a year later that was the most romantic night of my life."

A Family Affair
Circle back to December 6, 2013. The only person more dear to Karen Marshall than boyfriend Roger was her 17-year-old-son. The North Carolina Business Development exec recalls, "Roger had my ring made and he and Preston picked it up together at the jeweler. They also picked together the time when Roger would propose." That December evening, Karen came out of the bedroom to find her boyfriend on his knee with his Wingman, Preston, standing in the background, grinning broadly. She concludes, "It was very precious that Roger included my child in the process and that Preston wanted to be included." The wedding was this past June. Guess who was Best Man?

Last Minute Snit Fit Nearly Derails Proposal
A laughing Jeanine Boiko recalls that her then boyfriend Scott "actually got mad" at her the night he planned to propose. She explains, "We were in Atlantic City for the weekend, walking around, looking for a place to dinner. I guess I was being too picky and he got so frustrated he started walking away from me on the pier!" He didn't walk far. In Jeanine's defense — "How could I know he was about to propose?" The couple wound up in a restaurant called Camelot. The kicker? "I was carrying around the ring all night. He had slipped it in my bag so I wouldn't see the box bulge in any of his pockets!" Happily married for 13 years the couple still laughs about the night of the proposal that almost wasn't.

Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.

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