What Gilmore Girls can teach us about proposals

Guest post by PopFunk
This is what a Gilmore Girls proposal with a thousand yellow daisies looks like. (Photo courtesy of GilmoreMemories.com)
This is what a Gilmore Girls proposal with a thousand yellow daisies looks like. (Photo courtesy of GilmoreMemories.com)

I recently watched the Gilmore Girls episodes where Lorelai is proposed to by Max, twice. Once is half-jokingly, to which she responds that a proposal should be romantic with horses and daisies. The second is when Max has exactly 1,000 yellow daisies sent to her. For those who don't know, it never worked out for those two. She just didn't know him and they weren't right for each other.

It made me realize that, over the years, I've had quite a jaded understanding of proposals. First of all, too many movies and shows have proven that grand gestures are accepted, and proposals in pajamas (as ours was) really aren't done.

I was engaged at 21 to someone I met online and dated for six months. Our proposal story was something to tell. He chose eight special places to visit (all “milestones” of our relationship), concluding with a moonlit mountain-top proposal. It was an awesome story to tell people, but as our engagement commenced, it became blindingly obvious that he and I were just not meant to be. We were both more in love with the idea of each other than who we actually were.

Years later, when my now-husband proposed to me in the lounge room of my government-issued-teaching-housing home, of course I said yes.

Was it romantic? Of course it was. Okay, so he didn't go to huge lengths, make me some impressive piece of art, or ask me on top of a mountain. And recently someone told me that she would have said “no” if she was proposed to the same way I was.

But what was more romantic?

Months before he proposed, after a dinner with my family, I made some excuse to walk my fiance to his car and he said “I want to marry you.”

“Is this a proposal?” I asked.

“No, not yet. I just know I want to marry you.”

Before we were engaged we talked at length about marriage, living arrangements, and how we wanted our actual wedding day to look and be. I read books about marriage (and not just wedding magazines either) and surfed online for things to do before you were engaged. Then came the day he asked for my heirloom ring (which my mum gave to me after my first failed engagement), so it could be repaired. There were no surprises, and in my opinion, that's probably the way it should be.

But, of course, that is just me.

When I started reading Offbeat Bride, I was surprised at how many brides-to-be didn't have their “bling,” but they were actively planning their wedding. I was relieved. I knew I had found the place I wanted to be.

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Comments on What Gilmore Girls can teach us about proposals

  1. I hear ya, girl. My husband never really proposed. It was just something we understood pretty much from the get-go that this was “the one.” But I wouldn’t change it. It wasn’t dramatic, but neither are our lives.

  2. grand gestures are great if you’re that sort of person, but there are plenty of us who aren’t.

    the taller half proposed on Halloween, in our home, while wearing a rainbow clown wig and a pith helmet. no fancy gestures, no public proposal. it was memorable (seriously, PITH HELMET) and perfectly us.

  3. We have been together for 9 years. By the time he proposed, we had been living together for a bit more than a year. There were many perfect moments in bed, in the couch or during a hug in the kitchen when I thought that he could propose, but he chose a terrible weekend for him. 3 months ago he was mad at his boss for treating him terribly, thinking about all the economic implications of quitting his job and understanding that he had to stay there because of important plans that started a week before that sunday. He was between angry and depressed, in bed almost all weekend, when he asked me to go for a walk with him.

    We live by the forest so we walked to our “special talk spot” to what I thought would be a very depressing talk about how he hates his job and cant quit it (we both kinda hate it). And then he started rambling about the future. When we are at the forest he usually tells me he has a gift for me and then gives me some rotting mushroom or anything on the forest ground near to his hands starting a throwing battle, and we both laugh and play like kids… when he told me he had a gift, I was ready to pick the first bunch of pine needles to throw at him (playing, of course) but he showed me a sparkling acorn. I looked again and saw the ring embedded on a huge acorn (with no acorn trees near).

    He said nothing he just gave it to me… and after I put it on he said “lets pretend I asked you and you answered yes” with a huge smile on his face “no, you must ask!” and he said “you want a doughnut?”…. we hugged, cried and kissed…. and he still owes me that doughnut.

    His proposal was great, because it was very genuine, spontaneus and honest. Three things I love about him.

  4. My now husband proposed to me on New Years Eve in front of our Christmas Tree, I was 8 months pregnant. No fan fare just I want you to be my forever. And it was absoulutely perfect. I honestly thought he was giving me a small box of chocolates and was stunned when it was a ring. Lol

  5. Thank you for this post! When my dude proposed it wasn’t grand & fancy either, it was simple yet still very romantic and held meaning to us & our relationship. Though I loved it and obviously would’ve had said yes whatever he did, it was tough when people ask you how it happened and they’re expecting some awesome romantic movie-like epic story, so they just kindof have a look like, “that’s it?” Not to mention all the viral YouTube vids popping up lately with flash mobs and whatnot. Some of us are perfectly happy with sweet & simple 🙂

    • Oh yeah, gotta love the “That’s it?” looks. And by “love” I mean “want to slap it off their face.”

  6. This is an awesome post. And it’s part of why I keep coming back to OBB again and again. OBB is stripped of the pretense and about being true to yourself, whatever that may be. If it encompasses grand romantic gestures and engagements, so be it. If it means a pj proposal, so be it. I just love it.

    My husband proposed to me while we were cuddled in bed. It started as a rehash of a conversation we’d had at the start of that week, which was all about how well our integration into moving in together was going. And then he asked me to marry him, genuinely and at the exact moment that he knew beyond a doubt that he wanted to marry me. It was so us and I wouldn’t trade that moment for all the grand gestures in the world.

  7. I told my husband “GET UP!” the 1st time he got on one knee. We were in Italy, totally drunk on gin and wine. He got down and knelt in the stairs leading into the canal in Venice. I knew he was drunk and didnt have a ring, so I told him to get up! LOL. It’s funny now. BUt I didnt want a drunk proposal that he hadn’t thought through, because I wanted him to be sure he wanted to do it! He bought me a ring on the Ponte Vechio in Florence 2 days later and did it for real!

  8. I think a lot of it has to do with the person. Keep in mind though that there are movies and such that show the more casual proposal. I just re-watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and Ian proposed post coitus while they are in PJs. My own proposal was by some standards a mixed bag. My fiancé isn’t the super public displays of affection but knows that I really appreciate the grand gesture on occasion. But he was all sneaky about taking us to our favorite restaurant that we had a fond memory of and even while we had discussed the idea of marriage previously, decided to have the mariachi band play “Amazed” as he slipped out of his seat and got down on one knee in front of a large crowd of people. Was it some grand thing. For him it was, and for me, it was because he was willing to do that for me because it meant that I was more important than his comfort. It was simple. And perfect.

  9. I think it is how you define “meaningful” for you. My first marriage was at 24. He proposed to me on a couch. I can tell you that I was disappointed. I wanted the 1000 daisies or something “memorable”. As I look back, I realize it is not the “memorable” proposal that was lacking. It was a healthy relationship that was missing. Our marriage ended in divorce after 5 years and countless marriage counseling sessions. A decade later, I find that I am in a relationship with my partner for life. I do not worry about if I will have 1000 daisies or be on a couch when we take the step towards marriage. What I do know is that it will be emotionally beautiful.

  10. Over the weekend, my fiancee and I saw a young man propose to his girlfriend via karaoke with all his friends as back up singers. There was lots of screaming from the bar as everyone realized what was going on, but my fiancee sat quietly (as usual). Then she said, “Do you wish I did something like that? I didn’t even get on one knee.” I reminded her that we were already sitting on a blanket and that she had tried to get up to get on one knee, but saw my face and thought better of it. And that she’s too shy to be silly in front of all those people.

    We had already bought the ring together, already told everyone we knew, and already booked our venue by the time she’d asked me to marry her. And I think she felt worried that, despite being offbeat, we weren’t doing it “right” even for us. But honestly, my fiancee would NEVER do karaoke — she leaves that to me. And if she shocked me in public (no less) like that young man did to his girlfriend (seriously, she seemed stunned), I wouldn’t have been happy at all.

    We are the people who ask each other the entire plots of movies (with endings) before we’ll agree to watch them. We are not people who like to be surprised or do spontanous things. Call us boring, but it’s just not really us. We are planners. And we planned. And even though she somehow thought I didn’t know her plan, I did and I even sort of helped her to switch to a more amenable day.

    I feel like we did our proposal together and I really like that. So I told her that there was no way in hell I’d prefer that and we went back to waiting for my song to be called and eating spinach-artichoke dip.

    • Totally with you on the movie thing. I want to know the story before I start watching.

      • I thought I was the only one who did this. My husband and all our friends think I’m so strange for looking up the endings of movies before watching them.

  11. My FH and I knew we wanted to marry each other for quite some time, which says a lot since neither of us pictured ourselves married, ever. We had been cohabitating for about a year and a half and have a child together when we mutually decided to be engaged and plan a wedding – while in our PJs on the couch. All of the discussions about money, family, values, politics, division of labor and the like had taken place countless times and we agree on most of those things. It seemed like the next logical step. I am happy with how the proposal turned out, but HE thinks he needed to be on bended knee with ring in hand while the local wildlife surrounded us with their loving embraces. The warped messages of love and romance reach men too, even ones who’d rather watch superman cartoons than Gilmore Girls.

  12. I love this post! My husband proposed to me while we were just sitting on a bed in a hotel in Las Vegas, totally out of nowhere and in a perfect-for-us kind of way. No ring, no bended knee, no production — just a really sweet series of questions and answers and two happy people afterward.

  13. I’m glad for this post, maybe I will casually leave it up on the computer screen at home… My fella is painfully shy and I know he is worried about putting together some dramatic gesture of a proposal simply because I tend to have a flair for theatrics.
    We talk about marriage a lot and basically consider ourselves “unofficially engaged” anyway. I keep reminding him when it (the proposal) comes up to just make it meaningful to US because it shouldn’t be just about me…marriage a big deal for him too.
    So if that means he decides to ask while we are getting Thai food together for the billionth time (instead of some cliched proposal out of a Robbins Brothers commercial) it will be perfect.
    I hope it helps his nerves a little. I know he’s getting a lot of pressure from his Mom and Sister to “Do it Soon!” and “Make it Huge!” And I keep pulling him aside when they say that to tell him to “Do it when he’s ready and however he feels happy with.”

  14. So many reasons to love this post. One, Gilmore Girls because I ship Luke and Lorelei so hard. Second because of it’s perfect clarity about the fact that engagement does not have to be grand, romantic, movie/tv level story-worthy moment. It can be simple and beautiful in it’s own way. Which is so my life. People constantly asked us after we came out as engaged “How’d he do it?! What’s the story?!” to which I had to explain there was no “story” no “surprise moment,” and thus deal with a lot of disappointed and confused. There was no down on one, no big gesture, not even a ring. We were hanging out in a graveyard on Halloween and just said to each other that we knew we wanted to be together forever. That was it. No proposal, a conversation. Personally, I’d argue that more people need to have the conversation, then if they feel a grand gesture is wanted/needed go ahead. Just look at Gilmore Girls: it’s clear Lorelei liked the idea of Max, liked the idea of having a proposal, a wedding, all that, but in the end they fell apart because they weren’t really right for each other, which if they weren’t so busy fantasizing they probably would have figured out sooner. I feel like so many people today are that way not just about marriage, but about relationships. They love the idea of having that movie/tv idealized relationship/proposal/marriage and forget there IS HARD WORK involved with being in a relationship. It’s not always daisy’s, sunshine, and snuggles. There’s fights, compromises, and just hard shit but damn it if it isn’t all worth it.

    • Plus, the true SHIP of the show, Luke and Lorelai, when they got engaged it was simple and it was Lor asking Luke, alone in the diner. A proposal fit for all of us Offbeat ladies.

  15. My bearded half proposed on our 3 year anniversary last month, during the day he made me breakfast in bed then we exchanged little token anniversary gifts, we drove up Arthurs Seat with hot cinnamon apple juice to drink at the top then we had dinner at our favourite restaurant (Mongolian Buffet.. yum!) and he proposed at home on the sofa while we were cuddled up. A lot of people would see a lot of missed opportunities and an anticlimactic proposal but to me it was perfect! We called both sets of parents and had some champagne to celebrate, then bought a ring together a few days later 🙂
    I’ve always known he’d be the man I married, it was just a matter of when he’d ask and we could actually start planning!

  16. My other half and I had talked about getting married enough that when he hinted at doing a grand proposal, I completely pooped on it (oops!). He thought all girls wanted a grand proposal and I liked the idea of something more personal and just between us. By the time the actual proposal came around, he actually had scrapped a couple of other ideas because the ring was ready right before we took a trip to the beach, so he ended up just packing it in his suitcase and asking me on the beach in the moonlight. I loved it and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 🙂

  17. Love this. My Fiance didn’t have a ring because I don’t wear a lot of jewlery, the only thing I want is a locket, which he could not afford at the time But he wanted to propose then knowing that the moment I started the school quarter, getting me anywhere to propose just wasn’t going to happen.

  18. I love all of these posts! My fiancé had planned to ask me while we were away in scotland visiting family in some quiet prettty place…but the timing wasn’t right. We had just got home after a looooong train journey and were sat on the sofa having a snuggle, when he told me he had something for me. At which point he got on one knee, with the ring we had looked at a few months before, and asked me. It was a perfect moment of just us two in our little house with the cat running around! Neither of us our showy people, and you can see the slight disappointed look on peoples face when they ask for the story, but our family and friends knew it was perfect for us and thats the main thing!

  19. Thank you so much! You’ve made me feel so much better. I continually feeling like I’m the only person who is (semi) planning a wedding without a ring on my finger. We’ve had all the big conversations and mapped out our life together. When he does propose, it’s just for the rest of the world to be able to look at my hand.

  20. Love this! I completely agree that the “should we get married?” conversation should happen before the actual proposal! The day my fiance said, “maybe that trip we’re planning next summer should actually be our honeymoon” started the whole conversation, and a few months later we had a venue, a rough guest list, and I had picked out (well, narrowed down to two) the ring I wanted. We both knew the proposal was coming, and my only rule was DON’T DO IT IN A RESTAURANT! because I can’t stand the idea of a bunch of strangers stopping their dinner to watch our moment. He ordered the ring online, and when he casually asked one night if I wanted to take a limo ride to Fedex, I responded with, “Let me go shave my legs.” So there we were, in a limo, quick stop at Fedex to grab a suspicious package, and two bottles of wine later he somehow managed to get to one knee in a moving limo. I thought since I was expecting it, I wouldn’t cry. I was soooo wrong! He was scared I’d be disappointed if he didn’t somehow manage to surprise me. I thought it was perfect.

  21. I enjoy all the grand gestures on TV and you tube, they are sweet and romantic but it’s not for everyone. I’ve been proposed to before in the past and when my partner found out she decided that if I ever wanted to get married I would have to ask her myself. It turned out to be a comedy of errors:
    I asked her on a trip out of town. We checked in to our hotel and got situated, went down to the restaurant to eat where we found an acoustic musician playing on the patio…romantic right? Well it was at first, then we ordered our appetizer which was so spicy it burned our mouths up, but that was alright…we moved on to the main course which for my partner meant steak. So, her steak arrived well done instead of medium rare. But it’s all good right? We’re on vacation after all. So I went up to the bar to let the waiter know that we were going to need a new steak and ran into a very drunk man who slurred his name at me and just about fell over me. So I headed into the bathroom to escape and while I was gone the drunk at the bar apparently took quite a fall. He took a couple bar stools with him and almost took a waiter down trying to get back up. Okay, back at the table now waiting for my partners new steak and she is telling me about the drunk. At this point it is getting late and the musician is getting a little silly…the result is Kermit the frog and Fraggle Rock, seriously. Somewhere in all of this the exhaust fan in the kitchen broke and the smoke alarms went of. About five minutes later the fire trucks showed up. By the time the alarms where shut off and the musician had left for the night I finally popped the question with a wooden ring for my wood worker and she said yes.
    There is one more twist though, somehow I found the one wood that she is allergic to and the ring started to turn her into an umpa lumpa…I have since gotten her a new ring 😉
    As far as any “perfect proposal” plan I might have ever had it was pretty disastrous. But it was also perfect and full of laughter, just the way that I hope that the rest of our lives together continue to be.

  22. I do tease my husband about it, but I loved his proposal. We were snuggling on the couch during one of my visits (when we were still living 3,711 miles apart) and he said, “can I run a thing by you?” He already had my grandmother’s engagement ring, so it was not really a surprise, but it was exactly right for us. The stone from my grandmother’s ring had to be reset too, so I didn’t have my engagement ring for another 3 months after that.

    I have to say, I kinda loved telling people my engagement story and seeing their reactions. And then their eyes darting to my naked ring finger and being further disappointed. Oh, people. Life is not a Disney movie. 😉

  23. I had a crystal-clear vision how my proposal to the Hairy Irish Manbeast would work out; February 29th, one of the pubs we used to frequent while I was at University, romantic dinner then BAM, break out the custom rings I’d ordered and surprise him.

    But we didn’t get the little corner table I wanted, and I felt way too exposed to make the gesture then and there. Okay, says I, let’s improvise. There’s a Roman ampitheatre maybe 5 mins from the pub, let’s go there “for old time’s sake”. We’re both Pagan, and he’s a bit of an Ancient History nut, it’ll be perfect. He wants an ice-cream first, so we spend maybe an hour wandering around town trying to find somewhere selling Cornettos in February, and eventually end up buying ridiculous dinky tubs from the tourist information centre.

    We finally reach the amphitheatre… closed for filming. Arse. Okay, not to worry. We can do this. There’s a Roman Barracks opposite, let’s go take a look at that.

    The Barracks is basically a series of about-knee-high ruined walls, so I’m trailing around after him hoping he’ll stop on one of them so I can get down on one knee already, but he’s insisting on reading every sign and keeps spotting things over the other end of the complex he hasn’t seen yet, and I’m getting more and more anxious. Eventually we stop outside an Ancient Roman Toilet, and the manbeast can’t control himself any longer, bursts into giggles and asks if I’ll just get the proposal over and done with already because of course he’s guessed what I’m up to.

    I feel entirely justified in dropping the Big Romantic Nerdy Speech I had planned and going with “You’re a cock. Marry me anyway?”

  24. These stories are brilliant!!!

    Ultimately what matters is that the romance meets the love story of the couple.

    I just want to throw another thought into the ring in the nature of balance.

    All the above stories are full of romance in their own way. Everyone is different. My friends sister was proposed to as she bent to open an oven, fully depressed to find her cookies had burnt again but turned to find her man on one knee. I think it’s a beautiful story, full of spontenaety and charm and love.

    I apprecitae the romance of making the dinner when you’re tired, or putting on the electric blanket before you climb into bed on a cold night, but I felt a moment that was life changing like an engagement should be full of whimsy and wonder, and I was thrilled with being asked in a way that was right for me which makes it no more or less lovely than anyone elses. For me HOW he asked was much more important than the ring, and hey – not many other massive moments in life are necessarily pretty and enjoyable, like say, childbirth- so I wanted my magical moment of loveliness.

    He took me to Budapest for my birthday as I love all things medieval, and after a day of horse and carriage rides, eating chocolates at the christmas markets and getting blessed at holy sites we got onto a medieval bridge in the middle of the night to look at the stars and gothic buildings and christmas lights reflected on the water. As I told him I’d had the most pefect day of my life he had got down on one knee in the snow behind me, piano playing in the background from an open window, so that when I turned I got the surprise of my life when he began his speech. It was perfect for both of us and was full of charm, romance and love.

    I don’t feel my story, or anyone with fireworks and a flashmob should make anyone else feel bad or less valid about their proposal. But also, if it was planned and full of details that does not make it less romantic or special than a spontaneous or humourous one. A couple is not more or less likely to stay together based on the grand gesture/ low key proposal – that’s no relationship thermonmeter except to those inside the relationship. The main thing is that the proposal reflects what the couple want it to be and their love story; that’s what makes a proposal truly wonderful.

  25. Firstly, I love Gilmore Girls. I was the same age as Rori so I sort of grew up with it. And I thought that proposal was amazing.

    I think that when the couple is right for each other, the engagement is always right no matter where it takes place.

    My own proposal was much simple, but still romantic. We were in the park after a nice day at the museum waiting for it to be time to catch the train home. His birthday was the next weekend and I asked him what he wanted to do. He said “I want you to agree to marry me”. It wasn’t a big surprise (we’d picked out the ring together a few weeks before) but it was very sweet and perfect to me because he was the perfect person for me.

  26. I so relate to this post! Even since high school I’ve always said my dream proposal would be at night while we were brushing our teeth. You’re the essence of “you” right before bed in your pjs with your hair down and your face washed. If someone wants to marry you at that moment, that to me is more special. Plus, you’re about to get into bed anyway with minty fresh breath, so the timing is perfect for some we’re engaged sex!

    Now that I’m actually in a long-term relationship in which we have discussed our future wedding at length, another plus of a quiet-engagement or no official proposal is you can plan your wedding in peace. My boyf suggested this as a way to dodge too much input from family. Like: by the way, we’re getting married, we’ve already booked the venue!

  27. Your sentiment really rings true for my experiences. I had a few serious relationships before dating the man I’m engaged to. Two of them in particular were big on the big gestures (expensive gifts, expensive dinners, etc), but it always felt like they were doing it because they felt like they were supposed to. There was something lacking. I wasn’t their #1 important person in their life and we didn’t have the kind of bond I wanted, but maybe if they felt they checked off that box I’d be happy. My fiancé doesn’t do the big giant romantic gestures all the time, but the dedication he has to me and the time he commits to me mean so much more.

    (Also our engagement was pretty romantic. my flight came in late and he took me to a snow covered park during a winter festival and he proposed in a tunnel made of Korean kites past midnight and it was awesome <3 )

  28. I looooove this post!
    My lovely asked me during a concert at a local venue. It was one of the first bands we listened to together in our relationship. Thing was – the day he was supposed to pick up my ring his work only deposited his bonus and not his entire check. so no ring. He was devastated and thought I would say no for sure. Instead I yelled yes right in his face super excited and he was like “Yeah?”, just completely stunned. It was during the breakdown of one of our favorite songs. It was absolutely magnificent. Ring or no ring, I was on cloud nine. The next day we went together to go pick my ring up which is basically unheard of around here, he asked me again in a field as a surprise down on one knee with a few simple words about how he wants to give me everything in the world, but he’ll start with his heart and a promise and I was a big baby over it. He’s not a sweeping grand gesture kind of guy, so the wonderful sweet words went a long long way. Then we went to target for baby food and things we needed for the house. After 9 years of friendship, one baby, and a bunch of craziness, I think the way we did things was absolutely stellar and I love our proposal story – my ring and those memories more than anything. And on top of it, he tweeted to the band about asking me there, they retweeted it and congratulated us. Now whenever I hear the songs from that night I get goosebumps, and recently the misters band played in the same venue – he gave me a shout out and actually announced to a packed house that he asked me to marry him right in the front row. I was SO red. It was awesome. 🙂

  29. My fiance and I knew we wanted to get married after we’d been dating for about two months. At that point, though, we were both only eighteen and in school, so we agreed to wait until after I finished my degree. Last December, I graduated, and in January he proposed. Our proposal was hardly the stuff of romantic comedies. We had a special night out the night before, and that was when he had planned to propose, but the ring wasn’t delivered until the next morning. We got back from the hotel and he proposed in his kitchen. He didn’t get down on one knee, I honestly don’t even remember if he said the actual words, “Will you marry me?” But we were officially engaged and I couldn’t be happier.

  30. We just now announced to our friends and families and it’s my first time feeling weird about our proposal being wrong. Everyone keeps asking and when they hear I proposed to him and that it was over text and followed by several days of discussion until we decided to do it, they look let down. They say things like, “Oh. Well. That’s different.” and “I guess this is the 2000’s, huh?” It’s made me feel sort of embarrassed, even though I still don’t really see the point of the ring, when I’m just gonna trade it for a permanent one at the wedding. We’re still engaged and planning our marriage, why does it matter so much what kicked it off?

  31. I love this post, because I get some disappointed reactions when people ask for the proposal story. They want to hear about grand gestures, but that would be so out of character for the bearded one!
    We were in our kitchen and I half-seriously asked him when we were going to get married (we had already talked about it), and that started the conversation. It ended with him getting his grandmother’s ring which he was saving for the right moment. I never felt like it he was the proposer and I was the proposee, our engagement was something we both decided on together. I’m really grateful for that because I’m not the passive type and it was perfect for us and the narrative of our relationship so far.

    • I love that! It being a mutual thing you naturally came to together is so important and special.

  32. My husband never actually asked. One day, he just looked at me and said, “I think we should get married.” I was in shock, because i never thought we would get to that point. It just didn’t seem like something he would want to do for a very long time. I remembering saying, “Really? Like, get engaged?” He said of course, and that was that. He didn’t have a ring, we were both in the middle of playing video games, and it was perfect. He reproposed when we did have a ring, but that didn’t make it official for us. I would have said yes no matter now it happened, but this was exactly right.

  33. I love this article. My Skipper and I were having a huge fight, during which he realised that all of the big gesture plans in the world couldn’t make it anymore meaningful that it already was at the bones of the matter. He stopped in the middle of the fight, wrote on a glass vase “Will you marry me?” and told me that this was a promise that he would save up enough money to buy the ring that he knew I wanted. He said the fight realised how lucky he was to have a partner in life who challenged him and fought so fiercely The proposal was perfect. For us. It was raw and bare and honest, and once I recovered enough to write yes on the vase, I loved it!

    We saved for the ring and I loved putting our money in the jar, together. The ring came and he took the afternoon off work, unbeknownst to me, to pick it up. We were having a casual dinner (vege burgers in our new favourite vege butcher) with his grooms maid who down for a few days and the ring came out with my burger! Thank goodness there weren’t many people in the butcher at the time, and I know the staff were waiting for a one knee’d proposal. And GM turned around and told them, he’d already proposed! That this was the long awaited ring. I didn’t care. I loved the offhand way that he’d done it and that he’d managed to keep me in the dark!

    We don’t tell people about the fight before the proposal. We’re not ashamed of it, we just don’t want to share it. We are proud of ourselves, of how we fight (we’re a lot more constructive about it than we used to be!) and of how if we know we want to be married in the middle of a fight, then it must be real! I do love seeing the looks on peoples faces when I tell them about the glass vase and filling it with money! We are writing our own story and this is another exciting chapter that I cannot wait to continue 🙂

  34. My now husband proposed in the car before a road trip, with a rose and a gold telephone box on a chain. He even serenaded me a little whilst I tried to shut him up. But we’d talked about getting married and I’d shown him which ring I wanted and it really was just a case of when. People don’t necessarily understand proposing in the car, or why he was singing a song from Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Or that we had to go buy the ring that day and it didn’t arrive for another two months because it was a special order for my enormous hands. I mean, how do you go down on one knee in a car anyway? Obviously he didn’t. It was understated and totally us and that’s just how it happened. I can’t believe there are people who would say ‘no’ to a proposal to the person you want to marry just cause they don’t do it ‘right’. It blows my mind but each to their own I suppose.

  35. As much as I enjoy watching those grand, larger-than-life, epic proposals in movies, I cringe when I see them in reality. If you are both naturally comfortable in those kinds of situations, and it’s a reflection of your relationship, then I take my hat off to you and love that you had the self-assurance to avoid conforming. But more often than not, I see a woman who looks like she wants the world to swallow her up, and a bloke who’s blatantly thinking ‘don’t say no, everyone’s watching!’ 😛

    I was worried about what would happen when my fiance proposed. We had talked marriage and proposals, and he had always said he would make it a moment to remember. As a slightly extroverted character, who enjoys serenading me with what can only be described as a very memorable performance of ‘Can’t take my eyes off of you’ every time we go to karaoke, I was expecting something that would having me red-faced in front of an expectant crowd.

    What actually happened couldn’t have been further from my fears, nor more perfect. He had been planning to propose at Christmas (my favourite time of the year) when my life totally fell apart. I couldn’t think further than what to cook for dinner, yet when he asked me to marry him, in his understated and private way, the answer was so clear.

    The first time I got engaged (to someone else) I felt pressured, like I couldn’t say no. This time round, I was filled with a warmth and happiness, knowing it was completely the right thing for us. We’ve had it very rough the past two years, with family drama, financial hardship and exes who refuse to play nice, but every time I wish he was with me, I look down at that ring, and I know that I’m not alone, not really. Not once have I felt pressured to stay, nor my instinctive flight reaction to stress. And that means so much more than a thousand daisies.

  36. I have read a lot of sentiments on here similar to my story: it’s the relationship, not the proposal that matters. My first proposal and marriage were disastrous, he literally threw a ring across a table at Starbucks, said nothing, and we proceeded to be equally disengaged (no pun intended) throughout the rest of the relationship. It wasn’t that it happened that way, it was that he didn’t want to do it, and I didn’t really want to say yes.

    Fast forward to last month, my now fiancé, remembering the story of my first proposal, felt he had to go to great lengths by surprising me with a trip to Hawaii were he proposed by first taking me out to a fancy pants dinner, then setting up candles on the resort’s private beach and presenting me with a family heirloom diamond ring that is like, movie-star engagement ring style. But . . . he tempered all the romantical nonsense by handing me a packet of hot sauce from Taco Bell that said “Will You Marry Me?” (they actually print that on their hot sauce). It was amazing, but truly a pajama couch proposal sans ring would’ve been just fine too.

  37. Two years ago, my fiance proposed to me literally after waking up from one of those living-dead naps, while we were making lunch. It wasn’t a surprise per se, as we had been discussing getting married for some time, but I still wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m not one for big extravagance or being proposed to in front of others, so the manner in which my now-fiance went about it suits me just fine 🙂

  38. My fiance proposed to me with a ring made out of a paper clip at a local diner on New Year’s Eve day. He had wanted to take me to the art museum, but it was closed, so we drove back across town in my car without heat to go to this little diner by his house where he started muttering about the future and how much he loved me. I had no idea what was going on until he put the ring on my finger and looked at me with watery eyes. I wore that paper clip ring until it fell apart.

    He doesn’t think we’re ‘really’ engaged because I don’t have a giant rock on my finger (he’s pretty traditional) and doesn’t want to get married until we can afford one, and wants to do a grand proposal with a fancy dinner or something. He gets pressure from the other women in his life to do something big and story-worthy, but I won’t mind a nice dinner or a flash mob if that’s what he wants to do.

    But I’ll always remember the time he REALLY proposed, the shaky seventeen year old in a cheap diner with frozen feet, paper clip ring in his pocket, certain about absolutely nothing in his future except that he wanted to share it all with me.

  39. My fiancé-to-be and I came to the conclusion that one day we’d be getting married before we were officially in a relationship. During an 8 month ‘casual’ thing where we seemed to actually spend every waking moment together we’d flirted with the idea a lot. Once we got together he’d think out loud about timescales and when we realised that we have very different tastes in rings he told me I could pick one.

    It’s currently hidden in an ottoman in our hallway with all his piano books, because he wants to propose. It’s great to read posts like this because its nice to know that for other people it wasn’t some shocking surprise either. To be honest, I don’t think I would want it to be, our relationship is equal and everything we do is an open discussion, so embarking on married life together should be too 🙂

  40. I had always dreamed of the romantic over the top proposal. We had lived together for 2 years and had talked long before this about getting married, and had the usual marriage talks (kids, finances, etc.). He had even “proposed three other times (once with a ring pop, once with a ring made of string, and once in a comic book store as a joke) My fiancé actually proposed as we were getting ready to leave to head out to a bar. He is kind of a goof, and when I turned off the dining room light to walk out he said to turn it on again, so I did, and he said to turn it off again. Slightly annoyed, I did. A few seconds later he said to turn it on again, and after mumbling for a moment I did. When I turned back around, he had a ring in his hand and asked if I wanted to get hitched. Not the romantic event I had imagined, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was perfect.

  41. My husband did in fact propose on the top of a mountain. It was a hike I actually planned, and nearly ruined by falling a bunch (one nearly catastrophic fall).
    When we got to our cave, I was sweaty and happy we’d made it. He was subtle and sweet. No fanfare, no huge crowds, no embarrassment or public pressure. We even forgot to update facebook until his mother threw a fit and woke us from a pist-hike nap to demand we change it!

  42. My better half isn´t really the planning type, so he asked me the other day whether I had special expectations for the proposal (we´d been talking about getting engaged and married for about a year now). So I said to him, all I wanted is for him to ask me proper and to be dressed while he asks me. As much as I love us to have a shower together, I wanted us to be serious, so that was my only demand. I don´t expect big parties or movie-like romantic gestures, cause that´s not who he is. Would I like a room full of flowers? Maybe in a moment of daydreaming. But for real? Just a waste of flowers. I want him to be genuine and the moment to be sweet and to say yes but other than that, I for once try not to overthink this, the surprise will be all the better.

  43. So, for backstory, we accidentally made our relationship official on the anniversary of 9/11 (He kissed me and said, “you want to make this official?” after 2 dates). We kept it because it was very easy to remember. Because of that, at some point I made a point of not wanting any more national tragedies as anniversaries, and didn’t want a proposal to happen on one either. I promptly forgot about it. Fast-forward 5 years, and I’m half-expecting a proposal on our 5th anniversary. I got flowers, made some comment about expecting it, and was reminded that I had told him very specifically not to. I move on. We’re going out for the anniversary dinner later than planned because of work and things, and I’m expecting a present (I also got him a pretty awesome one), but not a proposal. We go to dinner, we go home. I’m told my present is waiting.
    Well, I’m also a total Settlers of Catan geek. He MADE me a 3-D Setttlers board! (Be jealous) So I’m thinking that’s my gift and it’s awesome, when he grabs a development card and hands it to me while going down on one knee. It says: Proposal–Marry the one you love.
    He then proceeded to take me ring shopping and I got to pick it out myself.

    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to tell the internet how amazing my guy is. And how lucky I am.

    TL;DR I got a proposal story, and an awesome one at that, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the jumbotrons in the world.

  44. My now-fiance and I had discussed getting engaged for almost a year before he popped the question. We even went ring shopping together and set a deadline for getting engaged, so I knew it was coming but the time and place was all on him and ended up being spontaneous. It was short, sweet, and totally us. Nothing extravagant and it was perfect.

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