Photo: Dana Fernandez Photography
First comes love, then comes marriage. But before the joy of wedding planning begins comes the biggest, happiest question of all: Will you marry me? Thanks to HowHeAsked, we found some real, romantic, and ridiculously creative proposal stories that will get you inspired, tearing up, or both!
Sure, you've heard of people finding love in a bar, but what about at the door of the bar? Julianne and Sean first locked eyes as she handed him her ID at a bar in Dallas. His smile, his eyes, and his adorable dimples immediately caught her attention. "As we walked up the stairs, I caught myself looking back over my shoulder to catch one last glimpse of this mystery man," she remembers.
See more: Design Your Dream Engagement Ring
By the end of the night, Julianne was chatting up the cute bouncer, and the conversation was easy. "He was not only handsome, but he was intelligent and driven," she says. But she was wary of dating a guy she met at a bar, so instead of her phone number, she just gave Sean her first name.
"He later told me he ran out to my car to try one last time to win me over, but we had already vanished," she says.
During the next week, Julianne couldn't stop thinking about Sean, and told all of her friends about her missed chance. But as luck would have it, a tagged photo of her that went up on Facebook popped up in Sean's news feed. He'd been searching for her, too, and he didn't miss his opportunity to email her.
Still, "I had to have one more reassurance, so I asked him, 'What makes you worth it?'" Julianne says. "He responded with, 'I am educated, cultured, and a charismatic guy. I know how a rare, genuinely beautiful girl needs to be treated. I'm not the normal guy, and I wouldn't treat you like you are normally treated...I would treat you better.'" She accepted his date request, and they've been inseparable ever since.
See more: Over-the-Top Places to Get Engaged
On the day of Sean's proposal, the couple planned to go to church and lunch with friend. After the services, though, a very hungry Julianne obliged her friend by agreeing to stop by a nearby art exhibit in a park before eating.
She and Sean got to the park first, but the exhibit was curiously missing. Even so, Sean insisted that they walk toward a bridge in the middle of the park.
Frustrated and hungry, Julianne turned toward Sean as they stopped on the middle of the bridge; he responded by holding her hands. He told her that there was no exhibit, and that's when she realized: He was about to propose!
"He said all the right things, which brought tears to my eyes," Julianne says. "This was the man I had always dreamed about marrying." Sean got down on one knee, took out the engagement ring and proposed while Julianne's best friend (a photographer) snapped pictures from the bushes.
"He had done everything I had always dreamed of. The location was perfect; the ring was unbelievable, and he got it all captured, so we could remember this day for the rest of our lives," Julianne gushes. Naturally, she said yes.
They then left for lunch, where a relieved Julianne could finally eat. A final surprise was in store at the restaurant: All of their family and friends were there to greet them and celebrate!
"It was the perfect day, the perfect engagement, and the perfect man proposing," Julianne says. "I am looking forward to a future filled with lots of love."
1. The hidden ring: Sean took precautions when it came to his plan. As he proposed, he grabbed the ring from his sock—a measure he took in case Julianne put her hand on his leg during church.
2. Grace under pressure: Julianne was admittedly starving before Sean proposed, and she didn't make a secret of her desire to leave the park. Luckily, Sean stuck with his plan, knowing she'd understand at the end.
3. Nailing the details: Sean followed two of our favorite proposal customs: a family surprise at the end and a hired photographer. These elements obviously thrilled Julianne, and made the proposal extra-special.