Less ordinary wedding proposals
Whilst we’ve been on the hunt for unique and inspiring real-life couples, we’ve come across some amazing, heartwarming proposal stories. If you’re looking to pop the question; take some inspiration from some of these creative geniuses.
Got an amazing proposal story of your own? Tell us all about it in the comments below, or by using #LoveYourStory.
JON & LAURA
“Jon and I have been together for 5 ½ years and our relationship started in the most unromantic of places; a nightclub in Grantham, our hometown. Jon was still studying dentistry when we met but, despite being ridiculously broke, he definitely showed a romantic streak from time to time even with the most simplest of things. By way of example, he once went travelling around Europe for two weeks and arranged for a present to be sent to me whilst he was away. When it arrived, it was a series of boxes within boxes and the tiniest box was a ring box with a love heart (the sweet) in it. I kept it for a while but unfortunately it became mouldy so I had to throw it out! I must point out that Jon is not one to buy flowers or shower me with gifts on a regular basis…he prefers to bring out the romance for a special occasion or as a complete surprise (apparently so I don’t take it for granted – ha!)
After living separately for two years, after which Jon had completed his dentistry training and I had been living at home working various jobs and embarking on a travelling trip for 4 months, we decided to go to New Zealand for a year to live and work. It was a big adventure but we loved it and ended up staying for two years! It definitely made us stronger due to us not knowing a soul in New Zealand and having to subsequently rely only on each other for support. Despite building up a life and making amazing friends, we decided to come back home. We both are very close to our families and important events were taking place such as weddings, babies etc. that we did not want to miss out on anymore.
We then relocated to Birmingham, found new jobs and settled back in good old Blighty. We both had talked about marriage many times so we knew it was something we both wanted and that it was only a matter of time before it happened…but the question was when! One day at work, I came out of a meeting and found a scroll on my desk…(yes, an actual scroll which had been made to look old with teabags etc…it even had a wax seal with ‘J&L’ on it!) I opened it and, as well as a lot of soppy stuff which I won’t bore you with, it told me that Jon was currently on an aeroplane to another country and asked whether I would join him. Instructions were to go home and look under the sofa for the next clue. After an excruciating afternoon of trying to get on with work and waiting for 5.30pm to come round (during which my manager had to take me out for a glass of wine to settle my nerves!) I went home to look under the said sofa. Another scroll later, I found out that a taxi was coming to pick me up from out flat to take me to Heathrow airport at 7.30am the next morning. I was still no wiser as to where I was going but I knew I was going away for 6 days and also what to pack (Jon had thoughtfully enclosed a checklist and weather report for the secret location). I rang my manager in a panic and she confirmed that Jon had already booked the time off for me and that she was in on the whole thing!
After a night of no sleep whatsoever, the taxi arrived and I began my journey to Jon. My instructions were to open a third scroll when I arrived at the airport which stated that I was flying to Venice! I was so excited! My nerves and excitement were reaching a dangerous level, so again, I drank a couple of glasses of wine on the flight and distracted myself by talking at, rather than to, a lovely couple next to me. It was amazing to see Jon waiting for me in the arrivals at Venice airport, he was standing there with a sign with my name on it which made me laugh. Jon then led me to a private taxi speedboat and we jetted our way towards the Grand Canal. After a few minutes of general chit chat, which seemed like a lifetime, Jon said that there was a reason why he had brought me to Venice and presented a beautiful pear-shaped diamond ring to me! Hilariously, he said that after 6 months of meticulous planning, he hadn’t actually thought of what he was going to say when he asked me to marry him and simply said, ‘will you be my wife?’. I, of course, said yes.
An amazing few days followed in Venice with a few more surprises along the way. We woke one morning and Jon said that he had hired a car and we were driving to Milan to spend two nights there. We went to see Lana del Ray in concert who is an artist that we spent many long car journeys in New Zealand listening to. It literally was the most amazing and romantic experience I have ever had and it felt like I was on cloud 9. We marry this year and I honestly cannot wait to be the wife of this thoughtful, romantic, gorgeous man who just happens to be my best friend.”
HEATHER AND TOM
“My fiancé Tom and I met at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert through work. We knew each other from about August 2011 but lost touch, and the concert reunited us in June 2012. We spent the whole evening talking and then every day together after the concert. Four months later we were engaged, much to everyone’s surprise! We spent the day in London together and went on a tour around the Globe theatre, as I love Shakespeare. We then went up to the restaurant attached to the Globe called The Swan. Tom had booked out the whole top floor and there were candles and flowers waiting for me. The balcony was overlooking the Thames and St Paul’s cathedral, and as I was looking at the view I turned round to see where he’d got to – he was on one knee with the most beautiful engagement ring, that he’d chosen himself. My family came in to add to the surprise, and we all went downstairs for dinner. The day was utterly perfect – romance is definitely not dead. We’re getting married 18th October 2014!”
SARAH AND CHRIS
Sarah and her boyfriend Chris left the house like any normal day to go to work. As they walked down Brixton hill to the station, various shops and road signs had been specially-placed to drum up a bit of intrigue. Newspaper headlines read things like ‘”Wow, Sarah Johnson! Looking good today”. Sarah knew something strange was happening, but couldn’t work out what. They carried on their walk down into the centre of Brixton, a place familiar to both of them. As they turned the corner into Windrush Square, Sarah saw that the film listings on the Ritzy Cinema had been replaced with the message ‘Sarah Johnson and Christopher Neilson star in The Proposal (hopefully)’. Chris then got down on one knee and proposed. Sarah gleefully accepted, and shortly afterwards a car arrived with bags fully packed, to whisk them away for a romantic weekend in Paris.
CRAIG AND EMMA
“I had been meaning to get a ring for Emma for a while so I could pop the big question, but being me, I never quite got round to it. Friends, family and Emma herself were beginning to put the pressure on. Over Christmas 2012 I realised that Emma was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so what was I waiting for? I made the decision that New Year’s Eve would be the moment to ask, so I had to get a ring in three days! We were having a family lunch in London just after Christmas and I planned to sneak off. I made up that I had to buy some shoes but Emma decided to come with me as I can’t be trusted to shop alone. That was my one opportunity to buy THE ring. Panic hit a little as I had let the cat out the bag to some friends that we were spending New Year with, so I had to get creative. On the 30th December I pretended that we needed some milk and ran out to Hayes Lane Market in Crystal Palace – it is a weird place near our flat that has lots of stalls selling bric-a-brac. They had a dish of costume jewellery with engagement shaped rings for £1 each so I bought three, just in case the vendor thought I was buying a real engagement ring!
On NYE itself we had a really fun evening with games, food, and drinks flowing. Emma was the wrong side of tipsy by 10pm so I had to try and sober her up. One detail I haven’t mentioned yet is that this was a 90s themed party at which I was dressed as Where’s Wally and Emma as Dolly the Sheep. So at 11:45pm I pulled Emma aside, got down on one knee, fished the £1 ring out of my sock, said something suitably mushy and somehow, despite all of these factors she said yes, and we were to be known as Wally and Dolly for ever more! The final rather embarrassing part of the story is that Emma woke up with a green finger as it turned out the ring was made of the highly valued metal, copper! Don’t worry, we took a trip to Hatton Gardens the next day.”
“My poor boyfriend endured a year of friends, relatives, and me questioning when he would “finally” propose. He was under a lot of pressure to muster up a romantic proposal and still keep the element of surprise. He certainly took me by surprise! Craig decided the moment to get down on one knee was in the midst of a New Year’s 90s themed fancy dress party, dressed as where’s Wally (my costume was far more appropriate; Dolly the sheep). The £1 market ring he produced from his sock did turn my finger green, but the trip to Hatton garden made up for that! However silly the story sounds, it was somehow perfect. He managed to surprise me, get down on one knee, and all our closest friends were right there to celebrate with us. It was certainly a New Year’s Eve to remember.”
LEONA & CHRIS
“In 2001, I had the most exhilarating, heart pumping holiday romance ever experienced throughout mankind. Cupid’s arrow came from nowhere and pierced my un-expectant heart. I just wish it didn’t happen on bar street in Faliraki. This is how it all came about… The sun beat down on my beat up old Peugeot 106 as I charged around the M25 (extremely late) to pick up my girlfriend Leona from Heathrow. I was hot, I was late and those two combinations never work well together. Leona had been in Canada visiting friends and family, and I was desperately looking forward to seeing her again. She’s addictive, infectious, and without any doubt the most gorgeous female specimen to walk this earth. A hot Peugeot 106 suddenly seemed an ill-fitting chariot for such a lady. One hour later, I’m back on the M25, aforementioned lady positioned gorgeously in passenger seat of aforementioned chariot as we charge the other way around the motorway.
Leona’s talking, I’m listening. Leona’s still talking, I’m still listening and also trying to hear the football scores on the radio, which is multitasking at its best. I’m averaging five words to her hundred, and they are usually ones of affirmation. I forgot how much she likes the verbals. “I did this, she said that, then this happened and then you’ll never guess…..Oh and one final thing – we have to get married next June as that’s when Catherine is going to be in Greece”. Eyes widen, the steering wheel is gripped within an inch of its life. Temperature of car goes off the scale. I started listening more intently. I’m pretty sure the next five words in my quota were what, when, how, why and who?
What’s wrong with how we are? I’m too young to be a husband – I don’t even drive a proper grown-up car. We can’t afford it, I can’t afford a ring. I feel fat, I couldn’t possibly go topless in Greece. We’ve already been together for seven years. And yet, although we’ve been together seven years, I could sell the car, and without a car I’d have to walk and lose the fat. I’d look good with my top off. After all, she is most addictive, infectious and without a doubt the most gorgeous female specimen to walk this earth. I drove home in mute mode, the only sound coming from the cogs in my brain working overtime.
Later that afternoon, we journeyed to the local park to play baseball and eat picnic food. Something we’d never done before or in fact since, but somehow had arranged to do so following Leona’s seven hour flight. (This shambolic organisation and foresight is quite common in the lives we share together). News spread fast on the baseball and picnic field of our pending marriage, despite the pending groom not actually agreeing to anything yet. We ate, we drank, we ran around and laughed. Venturing on to a local boozer, I, deep in thought became angry – not with Leona, not with the decision she had made on my behalf, but with myself. Why hadn’t I stepped up to the plate earlier?
I’ve never envisaged a future without Leona in it, we are perfect together – best friends, soul mates. What took me so long to realise that I definitely wanted it, and I should definitely have already put a ring on it? Uh uh oh, oh, oh oh. As the cogs stopped turning, I jumped up out of my seat, raised my pint of lager and announced town crier-style to a packed beer garden I was getting married! A rapturous applause proceeded from the strangers surrounding our table, followed by a succession of handshakes and a heart-warming kiss from the the most addictive, infectious, and without a doubt the most gorgeous female specimen to walk this earth.
The next day. I awoke like a fiancé possessed. A real man doesn’t get proposed to. I slotted my spine back into place and secretly went online to plan the greatest wedding proposal ever carried out, packed full of nostaligia, suprise, love, diamonds and tears. We went back to Rhodes where I organised a night picnic on the secluded beach where we first fell in love eight years previously. Surrounded by blankets, candles and champagne, on bended knee I asked Leona whether she would do me the honour of being my wife.”