Are you looking for inspiration for ways to pop the question to your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Or maybe, like us, you just love hearing how people get betrothed. If so, then here are some beautiful (and very romantic) proposal stories from real brides that might offer some tips for how to sweep your intended off their feet (or just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside).
Say it with chocolates
It was summer time and I was a bit sweaty after doing a Davina workout DVD. I was seeing my boyfriend that evening but as I thought he was going to dump me I didn’t even bother to have a shower. He had been a bit quieter than usual and more distant. He even went to London and didn’t invite me. (However I later found out that this was because he had been sorting out my engagement ring!) We went for a picnic by a local river. At the end of the meal he asked me if I would like dessert and he presented me with a Kinda Egg. Oh yes, I love a Kinda Egg! As I opened the yellow plastic yolk, I noticed that instead of a tiny toy there were rose petals and in the centre of the rose head was a beautiful diamond ring. (Apparently it had taken my boyfriend quite a few attempts to open the chocolate and reseal it after putting the ring inside to make it look untouched!) My boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so happy that my smile went from ear to ear. Then quick as a flash, a bit like a James Bond movie, he dived into the river. Powerful strokes took him to the other side where he picked up a waterproof bag and then brought it back to the bank. Opening it he revealed champagne, flutes and rose petals which he showered around. Well that’s how I remember it – he says he waded into a muddy, weedy river and sort of scuttled to get the bag. If all those surprises were not enough then two swans swam over to us and looked at us both before gliding off – I believed them to be a beautiful symbol from God of how long and happy our marriage was to be. He’d also left flowers with some people on a barge that he collected as we walked back home so I got yet another surprise.
Joni – Engaged July 2006 / Married July 2007
Get your timing right
My boyfriend proposed down on one knee, at the stroke of midnight, outside a pub where we were watching a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. I had hoped he would ask me for a while but I was very surprised when he did!
Becky – Engaged New Year’s Eve 2009 / Married March 2011
Use your favourite song lyrics
I was preparing for Christmas Eve. I had just dropped my daughter off at her cousin’s for supper and had returned to finish off ours – roast beef slowly cooking in the oven! I got back to find my other half dressed up smartly for our quiet dinner for two. Candles were lit, drinks poured and a medium sized square box and card sat on the table…it looked too big to be a ring! I placed my small gift on his side of the table and we agreed to open our presents after our supper. It was a lovely evening and just before pudding he suggested we open our gifts. I opened his card first as my mother had always told me that was polite. I was also excited to see what he had written this year as he is always lovely with words and very romantic. He had written the words to a song that reminded him of meeting me and he had made a few changes. It was lovely and I was so touched. He then said ‘Well…you haven’t answered’. I read it again and the second verse spoke of hoping someone like me would one day marry some one like him (good old Kings of Leon!) I hadn’t really taken it in on the first read and of course I said YES! ‘You better open the box then’ was his reply. That paper came of the box so quickly! But it was a candle box!! So I opened the candle box and there was a smaller box. Inside that was my beautiful engagement ring AND wedding band – what a surprise, totally unexpected. He explained he was looking for the right moment since my birthday on 19th December. He also explained that is why he told me to go away one afternoon a few weeks before when he’d said he was busy doing HIS Christmas ‘stuff’
Geraldine – Engaged Christmas Eve 2012 / Married May 2014
Make a toast
We got engaged in Rome while sharing a plate of miniature cakes while I drank, my favourite, thick and indulgent Italian hot chocolate. Then we drank Prosecco and went to a sensational performance by the Three Tenors. Fantastico. I had a feeling that he might ask me but, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it while we were away. He didn’t go down on one knee, but that’s good because I probably would have run away if that happened in a public place.
Rose – Engaged October 2014 / Wedding date tbc
Keep her guessing
We had just got back from an amazing two week holiday in Mexico. We had been to some stunning places whilst away and I kept thinking that maybe they’d be good spots for a proposal but nothing materialised. The week after our return, my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend away. I thought it was a bit odd to be going away again so soon after getting back, so I wondered if now was the time! He gave me some clues as to where we were going but kept all the details a secret. We left on a Friday afternoon and I was really pleased that we ended up in beautiful Bruges. The next morning I was very excited that it could be the day I would get engaged but although we enjoyed each romantic hotspot there was no gesture of further commitment. Even at dinner that night, I kept thinking that it would happen but still nothing. On the Sunday, we went on a beautiful tandem bike ride but there was still no sign of a proposal. By this stage I thought that I had completely got the wrong end of the stick and this was just a lovely weekend away and I’d obviously read too much in to the situation. We had a delicious last dinner and walked back to our hotel and I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t getting engaged this weekend. It wasn’t until we were actually back in the hotel that he did pop the question. I was over the moon! Even though he’d left it until the last possible moment, I know that good things come to those who wait.
Nicola – Engaged August 2010 / Married August 2011
Spell it out
Unbeknown to me, my boyfriend asked for my dad’s permission when we were away on holiday in Madeira in February 2014. He then secretly started planting carrot seeds on his dad’s allotment in March. These were planted to spell out his big question. He wanted to ask me in April but we had so much rain that the carrots didn’t do very well so he had to replant them again! Finally, on a lovely sunny Sunday in June, he took me and our daughter to his dad’s allotment as we were meeting his dad and step mum for lunch nearby. As we approached, he took us down a different path to usual and began to tell me not to spend too much on his father’s day present, as he didn’t need anything and was happy with things as they were. In fact he wouldn’t want to change anything, apart from…my last name. As he knelt down, he pulled a ring from underneath a flower pot. Then I saw that he had planted carrots to form the words “Will you marry me”. Meanwhile his dad and step mum were hiding behind a shed taking photos, and at this point they appeared and pulled a bottle of fizz and glasses from a basket in the shed! We immediately toasted… I of course said yes through happy tears!
Vikki – Engaged June 2014 / Wedding set for August 2015
Say it with flowers
It was 13th February 1999 and I was presented with a huge bouquet of tulips before being whisked away to Amsterdam for the weekend. We were very late catching our flight and just as we were about to go through security, my boyfriend decided he needed to make a phone call and ran off, leaving me to go through on my own! I was getting really worried that he wouldn’t make it back in time and that I’d be going to Amsterdam without him! He made it through just before the gate closed. It was an icy cold weekend in Amsterdam, and on Valentine’s evening we took the tram to a cosy little restaurant. Towards the end of a lovely meal the conversation returned to our stressful airport experience, and after my boyfriend seemed reluctant to discuss it I started to get annoyed. We sat on the tram back to our hotel in silence, and it was snowing heavily. When we got back to the hotel, he pulled out a beautiful engagement ring and all became clear when he told me that he’d suddenly become worried that the ring, which had been hidden in his trouser pocket, would set off the alarm as we went through airport security and that the surprise would be ruined – he’d gone to the back of the queue and waited until I was out of sight! I said ‘Yes’ and we were married in 2000. Every Valentine’s Day my husband gives me a bunch of beautiful tulips as a wonderful reminder of our special day 15 years ago.
Melanie – Engaged February 1999 / Married June 2000
Whisk her away
I had no clue at all!! We were in Paris, on a weekend away with friends. My boyfriend managed to get the ring through security in his hand luggage without me having a clue. Then when we went out for lunch on our own he got down on one knee in the restaurant and proposed. I of course said yes, everyone around cheered and we had a wonderful rest of the weekend celebrating with our friends. I couldn’t stop grinning, and it still brings an instant smile to my face. One year after the proposal, we went back to Paris as a married couple… a really thoughtful wedding present given to us.
Helen – Engaged November 2007 / Married August 2008
Good luck if you’re going to pop the question soon and congratulations if you’ve already put a ring on it. Take a look at our romantic Pinterest board if you’re looking for more inspiration for your special day.