You dream about the moment, perhaps fantasize about how you will respond when your boyfriend (finally?) pops the question. Yet the shock and excitement of this life changing instant can lead to very unexpected reactions. Here, a few real brides reveal their response to that very important question: "Will you marry me?"
Angela Farrell's husband of nine years made absolutely sure the couple would have visual documentation of his proposal. Angela explains, "He caught my expression of genuine surprise by asking me to marry him in a photo booth at the vacation spot of my childhood." Angela was so shocked it took her a full five minutes to answer the poor guy. She laughs, "He was in such a frantic stage he actually dropped his jaw, waiting for me to say the magic word." The couple added the photo of 'the moment' to their custom wedding invitations.
In your fantasies, when you are proposed to, most likely you are wearing your favorite outfit, in full makeup, and looking gorgeous. It was a different scenario for Rachel Laber. She confesses, "Right after my fiancé proposed my immediate reaction was, 'I can't believe I just got proposed to and I'm wearing pajamas covered in polar bears!'" She adds, "In all fairness he'd been trying — with no luck — to get me off the couch out to meet friends all day. His plan was to propose as we were leaving, when I'd already gotten pretty for the day." After the question, in absolute shock Rachel hurried to shower and paint her nails but found picking out what to wear moments after getting engaged more difficult than she could ever imagine. "My fiancé likes to remind me he loves me no matter what I am wearing or how I look, and my polar bear pajamas are his new favorite outfit to see me in!"
No, It's Not Candid Camera
If Julie Loven had said no to her then boyfriend Tripp's proposal, he would have been embarrassed in front of millions of people. Julie laughs, "I thought we were on Bethenny Frankel's talk show Bethenny to discuss my lifestyle blog, Effortless Girl. Bethenny had a segment where she featured new women in business, and I was told to think of a question to ask her. The show's producers brought us to New York and kept telling me to practice a short intro for my blog and a question to ask Bethenny."
At show time Julie was sitting at a designated spot in the audience. She had practiced her speech for five days and was shaking. However, as the filming started, Tripp was speaking in a video shown on the large screen in the studio. Julie says, "I was so confused. Bethenny was standing right beside us and everyone was cheering and screaming. I was so prepared for the question segment I didn't understand what was happening. I never actually heard exactly what Tripp said, but he slipped a ring on my finger!"
Julie was in shock and until they were led back to the dressing room she didn't totally realize she was engaged. "It was the best surprise I could ever have gotten. I was clueless!" So clueless that she and her now-husband had a fight the night before the taping because she felt he wasn't taking her 'question practicing' seriously enough."
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.