Decent Proposals

Though love and trust are obviously key to a strong relationship, every good marriage is built on the foundation of a great proposal. Much as we appreciate the value of a traditional diamond-ring-in-the-champagne, down-on-one-knee proposal, we can’t help favoring more offbeat and unexpected “marry me” tales.

For those of you about to propose to your significant other, we suggest finding the sweet spot between very little effort and too much effort.

For example, the two of you could visit your favorite place and ask someone to take your photo, but then instead of posing for the picture, you could drop down on one knee and have that moment captured instead.

We’re suckers for treasure hunts too, starting with a clue at home, leading your partner from one significant location to the next, concluding with your surprise proposal.

Or say, you could take out a full-page ad in a newspaper, then let your partner come across it during a lazy Sunday morning.

There’s really no end to what you could do, and no better time for a big, imaginative gesture than a proposal. For additional inspiration, we hit the Internet for proposal stories and unearthed some that really made us smile. Of course, not every proposal runs as smoothly as expected, but take encouragement from the fact that every one of these stories led to long and happy marriages.

“My parents love to act and they were playing opposite each other in a play at a local theater after they had dated for a while. My Dad’s character in the show falls in love with my Mom’s character and proposes during the show. During one performance, my Dad switched out the prop ring for a real one and proposed on stage during the show. No one knew he was really proposing except for them, even though they were in front of 300 people.”

“I actually proposed accidentally! I had a nice evening planned on New Year’s Eve, and hid the ring in an ottoman we never open. Stupid me buys her a futon for Christmas, and when we arrange the furniture, we tip the ottoman over, and the ring falls out, she sees it, and I’m all like ‘Uh… Will you merry me?’”

“My dad planned the entire night out ahead of time. Bought a fancy ring and took my mom to a fancy restaurant. He called them ahead of time to say his plans. The waiters treated them like royalty. After dessert, my dad proposed and my mom said yes. A minute later, my dad realized that he forgot his wallet at his apartment. They then spent the rest of the night washing dishes.”

“My father had a friend on the police force. He called ahead and asked him to wait at a certain spot in the road. When my father tried to impress my mother with some speeding in the car his cop friend pulled out behind them and pulled them over. My mother didn’t think anything of it, because after all they were speeding. So the cop asked my father to get out of the car and put his hands on the hood, then asked my mother to do the same. When they both got out there together in front of the car, my dad got down on one knee and proposed!”

“I hung the ring on a ribbon around my wife’s cats neck to let her find it. When she saw it she had to chase the cat, catch him, and get the ribbon off. He scratched the hell out of her! She put the ring on and we were engaged. I never asked the question.”

“I proposed by holding a piece of paper on a rollercoaster and unfolded it when it took a picture during the ride. I then took her to the screen and stood behind her while she looked at the picture and held out the ring.”

“My husband took me to the San Diego zoo – my favorite place – and we decided to get a caricature. When she turned our drawing around it was of him on one knee and me with hearts for eyes. I looked over at my husband and he was on one knee with a ring. It was really cute. He had arranged the whole thing with the artist days before.”