Lauren and Trey

We decided instead of gifts for each other for Christmas that we would take a trip to Las Vegas.  As soon as we got to Vegas, we rented a car to drive to the Grand Canyon for sunset.  One hour after waiting in line for the rental car, we were on our way to make the four-hour drive to the Grand Canyon…..until we ran into Hoover Dam traffic 30  minutes down the road.  As I was taking in the beautiful scenery and trying to come up with car games, Trey was slowly panicking.  It seemed as though we would not make it to the Grand Canyon by sunset after all.

This ended up being up a blessing in disguise!  As we rolled into Tusayan, the little town by the Grand Canyon, around 6:30 (just after sunset) we decided to go into the park anyways to scope out a spot for sunrise the next morning.  Seeing the Grand Canyon with an almost full moon and clear skies was an unforgettable event, especially with a foot and a half of snow on the ground.  The next morning we woke up early to see the gorgeous sunrise even though it was 15 degrees with a wind chill of 2 degrees.

We watched the sunrise at Mather Point and then we drove around to several spots until we came to Hopi Point.  Just as I was explaining that this was my favorite spot by far, Trey turned me around, told me I was “the love of his life”, got down on one knee and proposed!

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Ryan and Chelsea

I am a diehard romantic and self-admitted cheeseball, so I spent as much of my youth envisioning my proposal as most young girls spend envisioning their dream wedding.  I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to pull it off, but I knew I wanted it to be over the top: something that involved a fountain in Italy, or a private orchestra I hired, or at least a couple of trained seals.

I met the girl who would be my wife when we were toddlers; we were more like family acquaintances than family friends, so I saw very little of her growing up.  I did get a series of Christmas cards every year though, reminding me that she was there all along. ; )

Later in life, while we were both going through a “where do I go from here” sort of phase, we started exploring that old friendship, and that friendship quickly ignited into love.  We fell for each other quite fast and we knew within the first month or so that we were destined for each other.  I retrieved my heirloom ring from my parents house and stashed it behind some clothes in my closet.

I spent weeks straining my brain, trying to think up the most romantic, over-the-top proposal anyone had ever attempted.  But one night, after about two months of dating, we were driving home from dinner and we were talking about an ex of mine who suffered from bi-polar disorder and how I lived with her and took care of her while things in my own life weren’t going too well.  All of the sudden, my soon-to-be fiance burst into tears.

“That’s why I love you so much,” she said, “because you are the sort of person who would take care of someone else when you really need someone to take care of you.”

I suddenly realized that all of my dreams of a melodramatic proposal were my way of proving to myself just how loveable I could be… but this person loved me just for who I was.  I drove us straight home, walked to my closet without saying a word, and pulled out the ring.  We’ve been together for almost a year now, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.  It the end, it was my dream proposal just because it had her in it.

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Lauren and Matt

I’ve had many nicknames: Dewey, Dew, Dewdrop, Dewfuhr to name a few. Matt calls me HoneyDew and swears that he knew he would marry me from the first time he saw me. At a bar. After I didn’t give him my number.

He is unabashedly persistent.

After about four years of knowing each other, Matt planned a weekend trip for us to visit some friends in North Carolina. About half way through the car ride, I realized that we weren’t actually heading in the right direction. When I questioned Matt, he pulled out a blindfold and told me that I wasn’t allowed to ask any more questions. My interest was piqued!

When I opened my eyes, we were at a mountain cabin in north Georgia, aptly named Mountain Sunset. This was the same cabin we had come to on our very first weekend trip together. At this point, I knew something was up. I was on pins and needles to see how he was going to do it. Matt was calmly sitting on the couch and asked if I wanted something to eat. How could anyone be hungry at a time like this?

He pulled out a honeydew melon (remember the nickname?) and asked me to cut some for a snack. I put the knife into the melon and it fell into two pieces, and inside there was a ring box. To this day, I still have no idea how he got that to happen so absolutely perfectly. I turned around and he was on one knee. The rest of the story is fuzzy – crying, phone calls, champagne. But five years later, I still remember spending the entire weekend snuggling by the fireplace and eating a lot of melon!

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Yvonne and Artie

I am not paying one bit of attention to Kurt Vonnegut yammering away on a CD playing over the car speakers about some man who lost his country or something like that. And I wonder how in the world Artie is.

His mother let it slip earlier in the day that Artie has something to ask me and if I say yes, he will have something to give me. That didn’t leave any room for guesswork. So, as we make our way on the road from Myrtle Beach to Charleston, I am sure Artie is going to pull into Brookgreen Gardens and ask me to marry him. I am already daydreaming about my dress and our honeymoon.

But he drives right past.

OK, I think. He doesn’t want to be obvious. We get back to our place in West Ashley. The day passes. And another. And another. And then he asks me to go to Sonic with him. Surely, I think, this is a ruse to get me in the car. It isn’t. We go to Sonic. He orders two chili dogs and then we drive back home.

The next day, Feb. 21, 2006, Artie is sick. Great, I tell my mother, he’s so worried about proposing he has made himself sick. Just ask him if he’s got a ring, my mom says, only after I’d called her no less than 30 times that week.

I make him chicken noodle soup, climb on the bed and say, “I know you have something for me, so why don’t you just go ahead and ask me, rather than make yourself get sick over it.”

“What do you think I have for you?” he asks.

“Something for me to wear on my ring finger.”

He wants to know who told me. “No one,” I say, telling him I used my super sleuth reporting skills (A white lie, sure. I didn’t want to sell out my soon-to-be mother-in-law). He showers, puts on a suit and tells me to
get in the car.

I blew his plans, Artie tells me as we drive to the peninsula. He hadn’t asked my parents yet and wanted to wait until March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, to make things memorable for this Irish girl. We drive around and see people in the gazebo on the Battery. The gate is locked on the small private garden off King Street. We drive past Harris Teeter. Artie runs in and grabs a bottle of champagne. He drives around some more.

Artie finally settles on St. Philip’s on Church Street. This way, he tells me, when I look at the iconic skyline here — the reason Charleston is called the Holy City — I can always remember this night. He kneels before me. Holds out the ring and tells me why he wants to be my husband and why he wants me to be his wife. He asks me to marry him. And I say yes.

I’m ready for the champagne. Artie says he needs to get back to bed. Turns out, he really was sick. And, so it began, the love story that is all our own and so uniquely us.

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Kat and J.D.

JD lived in South Carolina and I lived in Indiana while we were dating, and we took turns flying to see each other about every two weeks or so. It was a Saturday morning and he had been down to visit me the previous weekend, so I decided to do an early gym session and come back home to take a nice, long nap.

I was lounging in my pjs when I got a phone call from JD — he was on his way to lunch with his sister. There was a knock at my door, my dog went nuts and began barking, and I became really confused when I could hear a dog barking on JD’s side of the phone. Why was a dog barking in his car? I answered my door and it was JD on his knees with a ring in hand! So much for his lunch date with his sister! I said “Yes!” and began the most exciting journey of my life!

Married: 2 years
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Paul and Kim

The day after my boyfriend proposed, he took it back.

We’d been dating about nine months when Paul turned to me one night and said, “Will you marry me?”  I loved him, but I was only a junior in college.  My heart did a flip at the unexpected question.  I was scared, thinking it was too soon, but I opened my mouth and out came the word “yes.”

The day after the proposal, I opened my door to a white-faced fiance who came in and fidgeted until I asked him what was wrong.  He apologized and said he didn’t mean to ask me to marry him.  I said that was fine, mostly because I did feel like we hadn’t dated that long.  With his relief apparent, we resumed our former dating status as if he’d never asked.

Two weeks later, Paul showed up at my door about midnight and asked again.  This time I said no, but he was determined.  By 3 a.m., his insistence was wearing me down.  So I made him an offer — if he went out and bought me Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and brought it back before morning then I would marry him.  Knowing most of the stores in Chapel Hill were closed by this hour, and Breyers was difficult to find, I thought I was safe.  Off he went and two hours later, he returned with the ice cream.

We’ve been happily married 32 years and have two wonderful kids.

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