The wedding proposal marks the start of a roller coaster ride down the aisle, so your proposal idea has to set the right tone. Couples get married for a myriad of reasons, from shared interests and backgrounds to pure old-fashioned chemistry, yet for all the unique and personal experiences leading up to them, traditional proposals of marriage tend to be remarkably cliché: The hopeful groom-to-be down on one knee, ring box in hand.
While an old-fashioned wedding proposal is precisely what many women want, some romantics simply won't settle for a run-of-the-mill popping of the question. Holidash found five wacky and wonderful stories of couples whose wedding proposal ideas broke the rules -- but who wouldn't have done "I do" any other way.
Joe Maiellano spent months planning the perfect spot to propose, but he wanted to keep the final destination a secret from his girlfriend Sarah Kapenstein. He first told her they would be traveling to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a getaway; two days before the departure, he told her that he had switched the plan and that they were really going to New York City. At the airport, however, the secret was out. "The curbside check-in staffer scanned our tickets," Sarah told Holidash, "and said, 'D.C. to New York to Venice?'"
When Joe and Sarah arrived at their romantic destination, they hopped into a private boat and headed to lunch at the Hotel Cipriani. "We walked along a crushed-stone path among the grapes and olives, under an arbor covered in pink flowers," Joe remembers. "The path and arbor came to a T at an old stone wall, with a marble statue tucked into an alcove. To the left, across the water, was Venice. I took her hand and dropped to one knee. When our eyes met, she said 'Yes.'"
Lobster of Love
"I am deathly afraid of lobsters -- they remind me too much of spiders, which scare me to death," Eva Kerschbaumer told Holidash. But a live lobster turned out to be a key player in husband Scott's wedding proposal idea. Scott took Eva to dinner at Morton's Steakhouse, where their waiter brought a live lobster to the table. Eva begged the waiter to take the lobster away, but he "kept shoving the lobster in my face asking me if I am sure I don't want the lobster, that this particular lobster is really special and that I would really like it," Eva recalls.
After ten minutes of terror, "I finally noticed a small velvet bag wrapped up in the lobster's right claw." The bag held an engagement ring; once Eva had freed it from the lobster, Scott proposed, in front of the other diners -- all of whom were already watching Eva's horrified reaction to the lobster. Eva said yes, and she and Scott have been married for ten years.
Scott Reynolds wanted his wedding proposal to be "more original than simply dropping to one knee." So Reynolds decided to doctor a fortune cookie, replacing the message inside with the ring he had purchased for his girlfriend Nicole. "It took a few tries to accomplish this without breaking the cookie," Reynolds admits. But he didn't think about what might happen to the cookie once it was opened.
"At the end of the meal," says Reynolds, "Nicole took her cookie, opened the wrapper and proceeded to try to crack [it] open." It was stale, so she tossed it back -- without finding the ring. "Were I a more patient man," he says, "I would have pocketed the cookie, taken her home," and proposed another night. But he was persistent. "I cajoled her into opening the cookie. Fortunately, she was thrilled with the contents and forgave my behavior."
Elizabeth and her boyfriend Peter, a couple from Long Island, N.Y., had been together for nearly ten years; they had adopted a baby and bought a house, but hadn't taken the wedding plunge. In 2009, the couple was working on their house, says Elizabeth, and "living in a small rental with the baby -- it was a stressful time."
On Valentine's Day, Elizabeth found a surprise at their house. "I walked in, and at the bottom of the stairs, in red spray-paint, Peter had written 'Elizabeth,' with an arrow heading up the stairway. I followed it, and the words "will" "you" "marry" "me?" were painted in huge letters across the walls. At the end, there was another arrow pointing down to a black velvet box that contained a gorgeous engagement ring, and I immediately said 'Yes!' It was so dramatic for Peter to propose in this way, and it was especially cool that he did it in what was to be our new home. I loved it!"
Justice Is Served
Jonathan Darche and girlfriend Samantha Rosenberg were both associates in the Queens, New York, district attorney's office when Darche decided to pop the question. So of course, a courtroom was the perfect place to propose. Darche planned to ask Rosenberg to marry him on a day when there was nothing scheduled in this particular courtroom, but at the last minute, a trial ran long -- and Rosenberg ran late.
By the time she arrived, the courtroom was filled with people. "I got down on one knee, and I [said], 'Samantha, I am guilty of being in love with you, will you spend your life with me?' At first, she was taken aback because she thought the proposal was cheesy, but she was so taken by the ring that she said yes!"
If you really want to know whether your other half is ever going to commit, you might need to make a few changes. Check out the gallery below, and then be sure to leave a comment to tell us if any of our tips worked for you!
Why Hasn't He Proposed?
After being in a ring-less relationship for awhile, you may start feeling like an investor in a business with an unclear future. Half of you wants to pull your money and run while the other half wants to believe you will receive your dividends. If you'd like to give your guy a marriage nudge, consider these proposal-encouraging strategies from Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal, authors of Why Hasn't He Proposed?: Go from the First Date to Setting the Date.