Jessie and Mike

Mike and I had been living in the house we bought together for just over a year when our proposal happened. He was working outside on the yard, when a hose burst into his face, causing a plastic piece to make contact with his left eye. His eye was completely red; no iris, no pupil, just red. I rushed him to the emergency room. As a pilot, he thought his life flying planes was over. Two hours of waiting later, I was allowed back into his room. We sat, trying to make jokes, as we waited for the eye surgeon to arrive. When the doctor arrived, he asked who I was to Mike, and I joked that I was just his roommate. We went back and forth after the doctor left joking about it until Mike decided that was the time to propose. As we were joking, I did not believe his proposal was genuine. It took about 20 mins for me to realize that he was actually asking me to marry him, and that he really had been talking to a guy about having a ring made for me already. We called my parents and our friends from the ER right then and there. Mike had to wear an eye patch for a few days and made a full recovery.

Leah and Tripp

Tripp has always teased Leah for being “crazy about Christmas”. So when the opportunity came to visit New York City during December, Leah could not pass it up. They spent a week in NYC, doing everything on Leah’s “must experience” list (everything from seeing the Statue of Liberty, watching the Rockettes perform, and visiting the Empire State Building).

At the top of Leah’s list was to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. She has grown up watching the lighting of the tree on TV and has always wanted to see it in person. So halfway through their trip, the two decided to go see the tree in person.

Leah was just happy to get pictures in front of the tree, so she didn’t mind when their friends made the couple take two. Then Tripp turned to Leah and got down on one knee. Leah was so surprised and said yes as soon as Tripp finished his sappy speech!

After she put the ring on and stopped gawking at it, she realized their friends were still taking pictures! Now they have pictures to treasure for the rest of their lives!

Leah and Tripp are getting married in May 2014, after a long engagement of three and a half years. Both are currently graduate students and have chosen to have a long engagement in order to earn Master’s degrees at separate universities. The long engagement hasn’t deterred their excitement, and they cannot wait to start a life together!

Jenny and Scott

Seeing as how Jenny and I have been together for so long, it had become a comical subject of conversation as to when I would finally propose. Because of this, Jenny always had the idea in the back of her mind which made it quite difficult to devise a plan that would surprise her.

Since we both have obvious ties to Auburn, I thought it would be a nice gesture to propose in the town where we started our relationship, and seeing as how we always go to the first football game, that gave me an opportunity to disguise my proposal. Next I needed to figure out the details in a way that wouldn’t tip her off to my plan. Since my birthday falls a couple of weeks shy of the first game, I thought it would be a good excuse to get Jenny downtown near Toomer’s corner so that I could propose at one of the most iconic places in Auburn.

When she asked me where I wanted to go eat for my birthday, I told her that I would rather have my birthday dinner in Auburn at a restaurant that I had never been (which happens to be a block from Toomer’s corner.) Assuming that Auburn won the game, I knew that the trees at Toomer’s would be nicely “decorated” and thought this would be a wonderful place to pop the question. Well as most of you know, it’s not good to assume because Auburn almost lost that game. As we were sitting in the stadium late in the game, I started to sweat because it looked as though the trees would not be rolled that night. I had a backup plan to propose in front of Samford Hall if Auburn were to lose, but I really hoped that wouldn’t happen.

So after some late-game heroics and an Auburn win, I exhaled in relief. Jenny and I went back to my sister’s house, happy with the win, and then, we got ready to go out for dinner. Using my birthday as the excuse allowed me to not only get Jenny near Toomer’s but also ensure that we would both be “dressed up.” So we proceeded to dinner at Hamilton’s with Jenny still in the dark about my plans.

We had a couple of friends that came to Auburn with us, and I had recruited them to “participate” in the proposal. Our dear friend Brian and his girlfriend Alyssa were going to wait for a phone call from me (when Jenny and I were getting ready to leave the restaurant) and hide in the bushes around Toomer’s so that they could take some pictures to capture the moment.

During dinner, we talked about how since the trees had been poisoned and we didn’t know how much longer they would be there, we should probably go see them. As Jenny and I prepared to get the check, I excused myself to the bathroom so that I could let Brian know we were wrapping up so he could get in position. Jenny and I had ordered dessert but took most of it to go, so that gave me an excuse to stop back by my car. We dropped off our left-overs, and I grabbed a roll of toilet paper out of my trunk.

Now as Jenny was getting ready to go out that night, I had taken that roll of toilet paper, unrolled it a bit and rigged it so that the ring was buried inside and then rolled it back up. So after we picked it up from the car, we walked over to Toomer’s corner. We walked around the trees and took in the beauty and walked a bit past them. I mentioned to Jenny that since she had never rolled the trees that she should do the honor. I unrolled the paper and tried to hand it to her, but she was looking up at the trees explaining that I should probably throw it because she didn’t think she could do it. I unrolled it again to reveal the diamond and with a slight elbow, told her that I thought she should do it. She looked down and saw the ring, probably a bit confused, but then I think it hit her. I dropped to my knee and mumbled something about how much I loved her (I was really nervous and stumbling over my words) and asked her to marry me.

After some tears, a yes and a hug, I told her I had another surprise. I motioned to Brian, and he and Alyssa came out of hiding with the camera and cooler that Brian has graciously stocked with champagne. My sister Chelsea and her boyfriend Chad were also near, so they came over and we all celebrated together with champagne and hugs. Afterward, we took a few more pictures around Samford Hall and the university sign just to capture the moment.

Ashley and Nate

It was a Tuesday, so Nate and Ashley decided to head up right after work to play poker.  They were too late to make the first game, so they decided to sit outside and have a drink and then headed over to Lansdowne to take their friend out for a birthday dinner.  Then they headed back to make the late game of poker.  They both played (briefly!) and then decided it was time to go home.

Once they arrived at home, Ashley said Olie needed to go out for a potty break before bed.  Nate asked her to wait a few minutes and he would go with her.  Ashley thought that was a little weird, but figured Nate just wanted to make sure Olie behaved (since he hadn’t earlier that day).  Nate apparently (and very sneakily) grabbed the ring and then they headed outside.  Nate had Olie on the leash and was they were leading the way.  Ashley asked where they were going since Olie just needed a potty break and she was really tired.  Nate answered with “Olie’s leading the way” so Ashley just shrugged and kept walking along.

They got to the end of the row of buildings, where there is a little bridge that crosses over to where Ashley and Nate’s new apartment is.  Ashley thought maybe Nate was walking her over there to see exactly where it is.  They crossed over the bridge and then Ashley said she was really tired and really needed to go to bed. Nate said okay and they started back over the bridge…..

Then, Nate stopped and said “I just can’t wait any longer.”  Ashley had no idea what he was talking about, and told him so.  Nate explained that he had tried several times to get a hold of John (Ashley’s dad), and had not been able to talk to him.  ”But I just can’t wait any longer,’ he said.  He got down on one knee (and Olie sat down), pulled out the ring, and asked Ashley to marry him.

Flabbergasted, Ashley said yes (after asking “Are you cereal?”)!  She asked him to pinch her, because she was so excited and thought she must be dreaming!  He put the ring on her finger (perfect fit!) and they stood on the bridge and held each other and absorbed the moment.

They then walked (well, Nate and Olie walked…..Ashley more skipped/floated) back home!  When they got back inside, and Ashley went to look at the ring and immediately had to sit down (it is gorgeous!).  Then, they decided they couldn’t wait to share their exciting news, and headed back out to tell their friends and called Ashley’s parents on the way!

Katie and John

John’s grandmother, “Moo Moo,” has a rule about her gorgeous beachfront condo on Marathon Key in Florida: If you are planning on bringing your significant other, you had better be married!

When John took his girlfriend on a trip down to the Florida Keys in late summer of 2011, Katie thought nothing of the rule, and was just excited to be enjoying this beautiful place that John had talked about for so many years.

On their first evening at the beach, John told Katie that his favorite part about being at the Keys was watching the sun set. The sun didn’t look like it was going to be setting any time soon, so Katie suggested that they go to dinner and see the sunset from there. She had no idea that she was choosing lobster tacos over an engagement ring.

So John tried for a sunset date again the next night. Katie agreed to a later dinner, and the two headed next door to a small park on the water. There were a few people behind them, so he took her to the end of the dock to get “a better view of the sunset” (this was just his way to get away from the people at the park!) It was there, just as the sun was setting into the Atlantic, that John tapped Katie on the shoulder. She turned around to see him on one knee, as he asked her to marry him.

After a few minutes of giggling and hugging… and an excited YES!… a woman came over to congratulate the happy couple. She said, “I saw him get down on one knee, and just started snapping away with my camera!” The two will forever be grateful to the kind stranger that took the photos of the moment they got engaged.

Katie & John are so excited to be starting their lives together, and will be married in October of this year. They could not be happier!

The engagement was the perfect surprise. And now Katie knows why Moo Moo allowed them to take a trip down to the Keys… She knew all along!

Ashley and Justin

Justin first asked Ashley’s parents’ permission a good while ahead of time, and they consented, quite excited for the future of the couple. He then talked to their closest friends who resided in Columbia and had planned for everyone to meet at the Botanical Gardens for a fun day. He wanted to do it then, in front of everyone. However, he had trouble keeping this a secret from Ashley out of excitement (and because they normally tell each other everything) and told her about the plan one evening. She didn’t mind, however, because she thought the idea was incredibly sweet.

The night before his originally planned proposal, the two were having a movie/date night. It was a great night of laughter, conversation, and a good movie (she had never
before seen What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – he had taken on the challenge of introducing her to movies she should have seen forever ago). In short, they were both quite content and happy, enjoying each other’s company.

Later that evening, he took her aside, obviously nervous, and got down on one knee. He told her that although he had planned this big thing for the next day, he didn’t want
to wait any longer before he could call her his fiancé. He also wanted it to still be a surprise, and since he felt he ruined the original one, he decided to do it then, after they
had an already great night. He told her how much he loved her, how much she meant to him, and that he would love to be able to call her his wife. He explained how happy she made him, and how he wanted to spend his life doing the same for her. He then asked if she would marry him.

She said yes.

Julianne and Ronnie

Ronnie (my husband) had told me that we were meeting my brother for dinner at a nearby lakefront restaurant.  We arrived to the restaurant very early, and Ronnie suggested we take a walk along the beach before my brother arrived.  When we got to the beach, we walked along a rocky area, and Ronnie said he found a bottle with a note on it.  I knew right then what was happening and got very nervous.  Ronnie had designed a label for the bottle and put a very romantic note inside.  As I read the note, he got down on one knee and proposed.

Here are the less romantic parts of the story that I typically omit:  Ronnie had never told my brother about his plan, so when we got to the lake and my brother wasn’t there I called him and yelled at him for being late.  Luckily, my brother thought that he had just forgotten that he had agreed to meet us and didn’t blow Ronnie’s cover (I later apologized to my brother and he met us at the restaurant to celebrate). When Ronnie suggested we walk along the beach I suggested we have a margarita at a nearby restaurant instead.  We debated the issue, but Ronnie was so insistent I gave in.  I was so nervous when I realized that Ronnie was proposing that I wouldn’t even walk to the beach and he technically had to propose on the sidewalk by the beach.

Bridget and Matt

Matt and I had been together a little over two years when he proposed. Although I pretty much knew he was it for me after about 6 months, it apparently took him a little longer. I suppose all in all that it was fair considering it took him about a year of hitting on me before I agreed to date.

I got the first inkling Matt was going to propose when he met my extended family at my sister’s wedding in May 2009. I’m from an extremely large Irish Catholic family and I don’t know if it was the plethora of booze or him having to answer the dreaded “when are you two going to get married” question a hundred times but by the end of the night Matt was telling everyone that they’d probably be back next year for our wedding. And so the waiting began…

I thought maybe in June when my birthday came up, but that day came and passed. Then the fourth of July came and I thought maybe with the fireworks…but nothing happened. Then Rachel came to visit in late July and while she was there Matt told us I should talk over rings since he was going to go shopping some time soon. Yet the month came and passed without a ring. At this point, I was starting to think he was doing this as some sort of cruel and unusual punishment for me nagging about dirty dishes and beard hair in the sink. I finally decided to let him do when he did it and to stop stressing the when, where, and how.

On Friday August 21st I came home from work exhausted and ready to settle on the couch for a long night of mindless tv & maybe some delivery pizza. When I got home though Matt had already started to make dinner and to my delight it appeared to be a Mexican fiesta. I was so excited that he was making my favorite food and I didn’t have to cook that I was only mildly annoyed when he told me I had to run to Publix to get cheese. Matt, being as astute as he is, knew my love of cheese was a sure fire way to get me out of the house.

By the time I made it back Matt had set up the food in the dining room, put some music on, and lit a couple candles. When I walked into the dining room and saw everything he done (including making me my very own cheese dip). I pretty much knew what was happening. Funny thing is, I don’t remember most of what he said when he finally proposed other than he loved me, loved being with me, and thought of spending the rest of our lives together was exciting to him. But really, after that does a girl need anymore? Besides, he had with the cheese dip.

Drew and Rory

Rory and I have been together for awhile (half decade in September–wow!). We’ve also known that we were “it” for each other for awhile, but settling down and having a wedding wasn’t in our agenda. They say opposites attract, so Rory and I must be some sort of anomaly of physics: we’re both extremely laid-back, terrible planners, and always 15 minutes late. Our marriage philosophy was: if we have forever with each other, what’s the rush?

We may have continued on the “Yes we plan on getting married…eventually” path for a few more years (the horror!)–but this past Spring Rory found out that he has to transfer to Oregon State University to finish his PhD in Microbiology. We knew we wanted to get married in Miami, where we’ve spent 99.9% of our relationship. And we needed to do it before we moved. Suddenly time became an issue for the Tortoise & the Tortoise.

“Engagement alert” began in April. But nothing happened. Then came May. And June. Rory was talking about getting married in February and he still hadn’t proposed. He would get upset when I would talk about the wedding with my friends and family because he “hadn’t done his part yet.” I was turning into the girl I never wanted to be: impatiently staring at my boyfriend screaming in my head “WHERE’S MY FREAKING RING!!” I was further exasperated during 4th of July weekend when in a conversation about weddings my mother said “Oh stop this nonsense. He hasn’t even asked permission yet!” I was ready to throw a BBQ spatula at my sweet darling’s head.

The following Wednesday we were having a typical weeknight. I was on the couch watching The Princess Bride (one of my all-time favorites). Rory wanted to take Lucy (my dog) for a walk earlier than normal so we could go to bed earlier. He was bugging me every 15 minutes, so I finally agreed that as soon as the movie was over we could run outside. Lucky for us our apartment building is right on the water so these walks are very pleasant and that night was exceptionally beautiful. Towards the end of the walk at a long stretch of open space, Rory stopped me. I was remarking how I wished I had my camera because the water was flat like a mirror and would make beautiful pictures. Rory paused and said “I’m going to remember this night forever.”

I thought That’s a really weird thing to say but I said  “Yeah…. I guess it’s a really nice night…”

Suddenly Rory starting getting really sentimental. I was confused. I thought He sounds like he is practicing for when he proposes. It was a Wednesday. We were walking Lucy. I had no makeup on and tattered clothes. Not looking cute at all. There was no way he was proposing. No way. And then he stepped away from me and started getting down on one knee. I don’t remember if I was saying it out-loud or it was all in my head but NO EFF-ING WAY was on a loop. He asked me to marry him, I jumped and spasmed around and said yes.

Then I asked him to repeat everything he had just said because I blacked out.

He told me about the ring (my grandmother’s diamond put into a custom setting he helped make with one of my brother’s best friends since elementary school), how long he had been planning on proposing (months–but the ring took awhile), and the reasoning for the dog-walking Wednesday proposal (he still wanted to surprise me even though we had been talking the wedding to death because of the move–a last-minute weekend trip or fancy dinner would have been a dead giveaway).

We went upstairs to our place, made a few phone calls and then went back to the spot where he proposed and drank a bottle of wine by the moonlight. It was simple, sweet, and intimate. Perfect for us.

A month and a half later we still haven’t set a date, but we’re getting there. Slowly. :)

Heather and John

After being psyched out plenty of times…nice restaurants, weekend getaways…I had given up hope that he was going to ask. I had gotten my hopes up so many times and was convinced, and was still ringless. I had been asking him when he was going to ask and he never gave direct answers. After 2 years of dating, I was ready! We were driving to my parents house to celebrate my 21st birthday. I knew something was up when he told me to wear a nice dress and he was dressed up a little. But he didn’t say anything in the car and we got through most of the party without anything happening, so I decided he just wanted to look extra special that day because it was my birthday. It had been a dramatic day, burnt hamburgers, rain, heat, and LOTS of family. It was time for the birthday cake and I was told to sit at the table like every other birthday. I looked up and saw him carrying a cake with chocolate hearts on it. When he put it down in front of me it said “Will You Marry Me?” I immediately started crying and shaking my head like crazy. I don’t even think I managed a yes, but I think he knew. It was perfect and I am so glad to spend the rest of my life with him.

Married for: 3 weeks

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