In today’s age of social media, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that something as big as a marriage proposal use to be a simple, quaint, and private affair. But no longer, and let’s be clear: if you’re a fan of great love stories and rom-coms, this is truly excellent news.
That’s why we’ve compiled here the 20 recent marriage proposal stories so clever and heartwarming that they reinvigorated our belief in true love—from one man who purchased hundreds of balloons to recreate an iconic film scene to the couple that accidentally proposed to each other at the exact same time. So read on, and feel your heart aflutter—and for more romance, don’t miss these 20 Adorable “How We Met” Stories That Will Warm Your Heart.
Two travel photographers, Austin and Esther, had a well-established and totally cute ritual of leaving notes for each other in airport Starbucks locations from Los Angeles to Cambodia. But in July 2017, after six years of dating and note-leaving, Austin upped the ante in a Starbucks tucked away in the Amsterdam airport.
His note for Esther told her to ask at the counter for a drink he had supposedly pre-ordered for her. After reading the note, she turned toward the counter and saw a sweet surprise—Austin himself, down on one knee, with a ring.
The Family Heirloom
It took two years for Sonja to pull together her long-awaited surprise for Stefan: commissioning an exact replica of his long-lost family heirloom, the Dumas family signet ring. (Think “Dumas” as in Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.) Finally, in 2016, in front of Prague’s picturesque Charles Bridge, Sonja revealed the ring and then, as if that wasn’t surprising enough, she got down on one knee—and Stefan said yes! And for some amazing relationship tips, don’t miss these 17 Things Men Wish Women Knew.
Soaring to New Heights
Just this month, professional pilot Nate Rigos took his long-term girlfriend, Nayia Leventis, for a romantic private flight. Once they were at cruising altitude, Nate pulled a ring from his pocket and asked Nayia to take a look out the window at the message he’d painstakingly drawn in block letters in the sand of the beach below: “Marry me, Nayia?”
How’s this for amazing: Tori Monaco and Berkley Cade both unknowingly planned their respective proposals to each other for months. Then, during a game of Pictionary this February, they accidentally proposed to each other at the same time, thanks to a little coordination by Cade’s mom.
In 2014, a man named David Slater planned an elaborate Pride and Prejudice-themed proposal for his girlfriend, Bethany Albert, a former English major. Slater enlisted friends and family to act out scenes from Albert’s favorite Jane Austen novel leading up to his actual proposal. The mother of the soon-to-be bride even went so far as to hand-make five Regency-style dresses in the span of two weeks, just for the occasion! To keep the good vibes coming, don’t miss these coming out stories that will melt your heart.
Two years after Bonnie was shot in the knee during the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting, Max, her filmmaker boyfriend, was ready to propose. After nestling into their seats at a Baton Rouge theater, hidden cameras recorded Bonnie’s reaction as she watched a special film trailer (produced by Max) about a man planning an epic proposal for his girlfriend—and then Max turned to her and revealed a ring.
On Top of the World
Richard and Danelle had always loved snowboarding together, but after he was injured while serving with the Canadian Forces, Richard thought his dream proposal at the top of a mountain was no longer realistic. Luckily, he found a way to improvise this March with a romantic helicopter ride to the peak of Mount Hope, surprising Danelle with a golden rose and champagne, no less! For the scoop on another mountain peak engagement, read about Why This Mountain-Top Marriage Proposal Is Going Viral.
Levy had been saving up to propose to the woman of his dreams since he was 12, and all those pennies in the piggy bank paid off when he proposed to Tiffany in 2014. The epic proposal involved sending Tiffany on a scavenger hunt in order to purchase a lavish dress for the occasion—all before Levy actually popped the question at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, where the couple first met. And speaking of sweet sports proposals…
A Break in Routine
In 2014, Air Force Captain Erick Straub, who had reportedly just returned from duty in the Middle East, marched onto the middle of the Arizona Cardinals’ field and knelt down to propose to his cheerleader girlfriend, Claire, surprising her right in the middle of her halftime performance.
In 2016, Kornelius Bascombe spent months planning what Rachel Jordan assumed was just a fun couples’ photoshoot, but actually turned out to be an incredibly romantic Los Angeles rooftop proposal. Jordan had no idea what was in store when she spun around in a shower of rose petals for a photo, only to find that Bascombe had knelt down and produced a ring—a gorgeous moment that, thanks to Bascombe’s preparation, was caught on video.
Samuel Nalbandian enlisted the help of girlfriend Jennifer Lai’s first-grade students to create 2016’s cutest grade-school marriage proposal ever, complete with a collective squeal from the students when the couple kissed. After the event, an especially endearing note from one of Lai’s students read, “Congratulations. I’m happy you will not be alone anymore. God bless you and your husband.”
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes
Proposals at Disney World are bound to be magical, but this groom-to-be went above and beyond. Merrick and Crystal actually won the 2015 Ultimate Disney Proposal Contest (yes, that is a thing), with a proposal modeled after Crystal’s favorite Disney princess movie, Cinderella. Crystal dressed in a stunning gown and arrived in a horse-drawn carriage for the occasion, and Merrick even presented the ring to her in a miniature glass slipper. Oh, and speaking of Disney: check out which of Walt’s films made our list of the 30 Most Iconic Kisses of All Time.
Australian MP Tim Wilson interrupted his own speech on same-sex marriage during a parliamentary debate last December to propose to his stunned partner of seven years, Ryan Bolger. Bolger, who was listening from the public gallery, responded with a “yes!”
Hospital Room Happiness
First, Lucas D’Onofrio and Tamara Bruzzo were high school sweethearts. The couple grew even closer when Bruzzo was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at just 21 years-old, and D’Onofrio was by her side through every stage of her treatment. Then, in June 2015, right before her sixth and final chemotherapy session, D’Onofrio surprised her with the best celebration possible: a wedding proposal.
Adam Huffman convinced his girlfriend, Merritt Wilkinson, that there would be some extra scenes played after the showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at their local North Carolinian theater this March. To Wilkinson’s surprise, a video of Huffman appeared on the screen after the movie credits, showing photos of all the stages of their relationship and asking a series of questions that culminated in: “What if right now in this movie theater, I got down on one knee and I asked?” (He did, and she said yes.)
During London’s 2016 Pride Parade, on-duty police officer Phil Adlem made a strategic stop by a street barrier to get down on one knee and propose to his surprised boyfriend, Jonathan Sammons, as a crowd of onlookers cheered.
Last January, Darick Mead proposed to his soon-to-be-wife, Susan Medina, with the aid of their 1-day-old son. Ryder was clad in an adorable specially-crafted onesie with the message: “Mommy, will you marry my daddy?” How could she refuse?
A Year in the Making
Dean spent 365 days piecing together the ultimate proposal. Then, while vacationing in Aruba on Jennifer’s 26th birthday, he finally handed her a tablet and pressed “Play.” Astonished, Jennifer watched a video of him popping the question every day for the past year. She then turned around to find Dean on one knee, proposing in person!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
In the midst of a chilly Chicago winter, Rodney insisted Alexa remove her gloves to pore over her Christmas present: a hand-drawn flipbook documenting their relationship. Alexa flipped through to find a ring hidden in a compartment in the back cover—ready to slip onto her bare ring finger!
Head in the Clouds
After weeks of scouring flea markets and antique shops, Joe was able to put together a proposal perfectly reminiscent of Laura’s favorite Pixar movie: Up. The groom-to-be painstakingly recreated the “living room scene” where the loving couple grow old together at the beginning of the animated film—and Joe even threw in 100 multi-colored balloons to really seal the deal! For more on unique proposals, Meet the New Millennial Engagement Craze: The Avocado Proposal.
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