17 Holiday Proposal Stories That Will Melt Your Heart
Feeling frosty? These sweet stories will warm you up in no time.
Wedding trends come and go, but marriage proposals remain one of life’s sweetest joys. Combine that romantic notion with the magic of the winter holidays, and you have the makings for both tearjerker and laugh-out-loud stories.
Perhaps that’s why about 40 percent of wedding proposals in the U.S. are made between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, according to a report by Wedding Wire. From a proposal that took more than three years to execute, to more than one that was made on live TV, we’ve rounded up our favorite seasonal proposals.
The time a guy just happened to find a TV crew to broadcast his proposal.
Talk about timing. One couple was celebrating New Year’s Eve 2018 in New Orleans when they found themselves in the same bar as a camera crew from CNN. The young man quietly shared his New Year’s Eve proposal plan to the hosts, and in a stunning turn of events, the television crew agreed to film and broadcast the special moment. After introducing the couple to viewers, the hosts stepped aside as the man got down on one knee and proposed. “SHE SAID YES,” one of the hosts shouted. A risky, yet absolutely delightful, proposal.
The time he schemed a stocking-stuffer surprise.
When a bride-to-be knows a proposal is coming, every ring-sized box becomes suspicious. “It was Christmas, and we usually open the stockings first in my family,” wrote Reddit user AnxiousReader. “My now-husband insisted we do them last. We opened our gifts, they opened their stockings and then I got to open mine. One by one, I took a few things out and then got to a jewelry box. In my head, I told myself, ‘Well, this is it,’ and I took a deep breath and opened it—and it was a pair of earrings.
“I kept going through the stocking and the last thing was also a jewelry box. My husband got down on one knee as I opened it and asked me to marry him. I stared at it for a few seconds and then looked up at him, all teary-eyed and said ‘YES.'”
The time he got onstage and performed his proposal.
A high-school football coach spiced up his school’s holiday concert with a bit of romance. It happened at Seneca Valley High School, in Germantown, Maryland, when the choral music teacher kept with tradition and invited alumni onstage to sing “Hallelujah.” The concert was going as planned when a student started to sing “The Way You Look Tonight.”
Midway through the rendition, the choral teacher’s boyfriend, the football coach, made his way to the stage and took the place of the student singing the Frank Sinatra classic. The man then dropped to one knee, put a ring on her finger, and proposed. Students screamed as she said yes.
The time he got his friend to pretend to be a street performer.
What’s better than a romantic night in New York City with your sweetheart, complete with attending the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and gazing at the tree in Rockefeller Center? Perhaps it’s a walk in Bryant Park, where you discover a street performer playing two of your favorite songs, in this case, the Foo Fighters’ “Walking After You,” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
That’s just the night one woman had—and thought could never be topped—until her beau got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and proposed. Only then did she discover that the street performer was a friend of her newly minted fiancé.
The time he coordinated the Christmas lights and his proposal.
Christmas lights are frequently coordinated with music, but not often with proposals. “My fiancée and I have been together for seven-and-a-half years now,” wrote Reddit user Amyga269. “My favorite tradition is putting the fall stuff away and decorating the house for Christmas. We put on old Bing Crosby and Gene Autry Christmas records and spread Christmas all over the house.
“After we were done, my daughter snuck off to get the ring, and my son prepared to turn off the lights so we could admire the Christmas tree lights. My fiancé went behind the tree to plug the lights in and got the ring box ready. The room lights went off, the tree lit up, and there he was on his knee.
“He completely forgot the speech he prepared but I was probably too busy crying anyway. After I said a resounding ‘Yes!’ the kids rushed in for a group hug. This was six days ago and I’m still gushing!”
The time one man transformed a simple Christmas market into a romantic flashmob.
The twinkling lights of the 2017 Vancouver Christmas Market were the backdrop for a song-filled wedding proposal by one besotted boyfriend. While the lucky woman originally thought the pair was at the market to get in the Christmas spirit, the true event was a 40-person flash mob singing the couple’s favorite song, “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent. The groom-to-be, musician Bobo Zhao, played the guitar while the flash mob sang. He then got down on one knee to propose to his stunned and tearful fiancée.
The time one man presented a ring to his girlfriend, only to have her present one to him in return.
For one couple that started dating in the winter of 2014, the holiday season always held a special place. On their second date, Mansi Snehal Kothari took his girlfriend Sushil Raja Atmakuri to a bench in Central Park that had been donated in honor of his grandparents. When he felt ready to propose in December 2015, Mansi returned to the bench. In front of a small, festive crowd, Mansi dropped to one knee and popped the question—only to have Sushil pull out a gold band as well. The romantic holiday gesture went viral as a stunning “double proposal.”
The time he planned a low-key New Year’s Eve proposal.
Not every picture-perfect engagement takes place in public. “We got engaged New Year’s Eve. I had previously told him I didn’t like proposals on holidays (which he didn’t remember) so I was completely surprised,” wrote Reddit user UnwantedAppliance.“At about 10:45 p.m., I was getting tired and asked if we could pop the champagne, drink it, and go to bed. He kept insisting we stay up for the ball drop and I kept insisting we pop the champs.
“At about 11:30 p.m., he relented and opened the bottle and poured two glasses. He pointed out to me how they were perfectly the same amount, just by chance. I said something like ‘the perfect pour from a perfect man.’ He came over, gave me the glass and then got on one knee and proposed.”
The time one groom-to-be made a heartfelt speech on morning television.
What made the surprise proposal of one Irish man to his girlfriend so endearing was that both seemed equally shaken by the proposal being broadcast on live television—on the Christmas episode of Ireland’s version of the Today show. Sarah Jane Gibson was taken aback when her boyfriend dropped to one knee on the popular morning show and began a romantic speech. The blushing man sweetly tripped over his words. When he realized his blunder, he looked chagrin—though his happily beaming fiancée didn’t seem to mind in the least.
The time a hockey player proposed to his girlfriend on ice.
Nothing says “Christmas” like ice-skating with your special someone. It’s even more romantic if your beau is a professional hockey player. That’s what happened to Courtney Garret. In 2016, Courtney and her hockey player boyfriend, Brandon Coburn, flew to Brandon’s home in Toronto just before Christmas. Little did Courtney know that their time in Toronto would be much more than a holiday getaway.
When the pair arrived, Brandon suggested they go ice skating. Courtney had no idea what was ahead as the pair skated around an indoor rink and the Righteous Brothers’ rendition of “Unchained Melody” played over the sound system. Suddenly, Brandon got down on one knee and presented Courtney with the question and the ring.
The time he said it with music.
School kids tittered, parents chatted, and everyone seemed filled with cheer at a holiday concert at Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School in Staten Island, New York. Little did they know the evening as about to become even more exciting.
As the music director wrapped up the concert, her boyfriend came onstage and praised the students’ performances. Then, he got down on one knee and proposed. The auditorium filled with shrieks as the clearly surprised music director accepted. The couple embraced as the auditorium shook with thunderous applause.
The time he proposed at the Christmas-tree shop.
What’s better than you and your beloved enjoy a winter day shopping for the perfect Christmas tree? One Orange County, California woman, has the answer: “When you go to get a Christmas tree and come back with a fiancé and a ring!” The happy couple, both sporting plaid shirts, beamed as the soon-to-be-bride showed off her hand, complete with a sparkling diamond.
The time he woke her up on New Year’s Day in the best way possible.
It took three years, but one woman’s suitor was finally able to pop the question. His earlier efforts weren’t hampered by cold feet, just a bit of bad luck.
Our protagonist’s first attempt came three years before he was finally successful, writes one Reddit user. He meant to propose after a concert, but the venue canceled the show at the last minute. Later, he made up his mind to propose during the couple’s first holiday abroad, but decided against it when he was laid off from his job the week before. Soon after that, he found another job, but it took him to a far-off city and away from his beloved, who was studying to be a nurse.
Finally, two years later he had the perfect plan. He would propose, he thought, as they watched the sunset on New Year’s Eve. In keeping with his string of bad luck, the weather turned nasty and he changed his mind yet again.
The next morning, as his soon-to-be fiancée wiped the sleep from her eyes, he spoke of their lives together—as he did every New Year’s Day—and how their love and support for each other made them better people. Suddenly, he told her “So I got you this,” and handed her a ring box. “Will you marry me?” he asked—and finally received the “yes” he’d waited for all those years.
The time he executed the perfect Disneyland proposal
When you combine the winter holidays with Disney, in all of it’s Christmas wonder, all kinds of magic can happen. That was certainly the case as one couple strolled through Disneyland in Anaheim, California, one November evening. Both were dressed in red-and-black, so it seems logical to assume the woman though the red-and-black Minnie Mouse ears she wore would be a highlight of the evening. That changed when her beau got on one knee and slipped a ring on her finger as the Disney castle gleamed in the background. Her wide-eyed expression tells the rest of the love story.
The time he stopped a Christmas parade to propose.
If you live in Dayton, Ohio, you know that the Dayton Holiday Festival, celebrated this year on November 23, is a cause for jubilation. So after foul weather had thwarted one would-be fiancé’s previous attempt at popping the question, he decided the Fest was the perfect backdrop for another try.
And why not? After all, he was walking in the parade. To lower the chance of a snafu, the man positioned his girlfriend near a barricade and cautioned her not to let anyone in front of her.
As he arrived at her location, he stopped, pulled her out of the crowd, got down on one knee and proposed to the sound of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You.” After the shocked woman accepted the proposal, the man scurried back to a parade vehicle and re-emerged with roses to present his beloved.
The time he paused his own concert to propose.
Sometimes, a proposal just needs to be made. That’s what happened on New Year’s Eve 2016 when a singer paused his hometown concert to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. The reason for the sudden proposal? The singer said he couldn’t move into 2017 wondering if she’d marry him or not. She said yes. The band began to play at the audience cheered.
The time he pretended to clean up a Christmas mess.
“She knew I was proposing soon, but not when,” writes LordRegal94. “Neither of us wanted a big public showing, as that’s not like us. So rather than do anything that would make her suspicious, I decided to go for it when we were opening our Christmas gifts to one another. When we were done, I got down on one knee under the pretext of grabbing wrapping paper and came up with the ring instead.
“Definitely caught her by surprise, even though she knew it was coming soon. Still vaguely proud of that one, she’s usually too quick for me to pull one over on her like that.” And if these stories inspire you to pop the question, here are The 20 Best Ways to Absolutely Nail Your Marriage Proposal.
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