1 of 12
Sometimes all it takes to make a dream come true is a little creativity, as revealed in these unique stories behind how these couples got engaged.
2 of 12
She Said "Yes"
I have to go back to the time and the place where our relationship first started: Under the street light on Spencer Street, 1986. My parents and his sister had bought houses across the street from each other. I was 5; he was 15.
Over the years, Alex and I saw each other at holidays and as we grew up, we became friends. We started dating in 2006, when we realized, under that same streetlight, that we had found true love with each other, and we have been inseparable ever since.
We celebrate our anniversary every month, and for our 31st month anniversary Alex took me out to dinner, then afterwards suggested a walk. I was just happy to be with him, relishing our time together after his long year of deployment to Iraq. I certainly wasn't thinking he was going to propose that night. As we walked down the street to "our streetlight," I saw that he had written on the street in chalk all our favorite memories and in the center, vows to me. I looked up to find him on one knee, proposing.
Oh my! I was speechless.
Then, realizing he was waiting for an answer, I said, "Yes!"
All the neighbors came out to celebrate with us. And Alex had arranged for both of our families to be there as well.
We are getting married on the 4th of July, in honor of service to our country, and we could not be happier.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Lyndsey Breard will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon watch set.
3 of 12
We Are Family
Our engagement was a huge surprise to me. Mike had insisted that we get out of the city to celebrate my birthday that weekend. Of course, I am always willing to venture out of the city, but it's not like Mike to encourage me in these adventures. I was suspicious, but I thought it was a sweet gesture.
On Saturday, after an early morning kayak trip, followed by a pretty long hike, I was in a bit of a mood. I was tired and thought we should skip the birthday dinner and do something more low key, but Mike was not having it. So I was being kind of a brat; poor Mike. Before we left for dinner, he gave me my birthday presents, just as if it were any other birthday. The last gift was a set of nesting dolls he had painted himself. The first doll was a likeness of Mike, the second was me, the third showed both our cats on either side, Baxter and Puma (whom I love -- maybe a bit obsessively) and the last was our two fish Peter and Poof (whom Mike may love just a bit obsessively). It was our little family! Inside the Peter and Poof doll was the ring.
I'm not sure if I ever actually said yes, if I even had to say yes. We had both been sure for a pretty long time that we'd met our perfect match.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Ericka Shoup will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon watch set.
4 of 12
My Magic Pumpkins
Cinderella wasn't the only girl who had a pumpkin help make her dreams come true.
My fiance carved these pumpkins in our basement one evening in secret, sneaked them out to the yard, and lit them. Then he rang the door bell.
When I opened the door and saw him on his knee with the pumpkins glowing over his shoulder I felt my knees go weak.
I said "yes" to my prince charming!
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Jen Carr will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon tote.
5 of 12
A Family Tradition
In 2008 my birthday fell on Easter Sunday. Chad surprised me by flying in to my small Alabama town to help me celebrate the holiday with my entire family. Little did I know that he had also planned the perfect proposal -- not only asking for my father's blessing but also doing his homework.
Chad proposed on a small wooden covered bridge in the exact spot where my father had proposed to my mother 30 years earlier.
Afterward we celebrated with my entire family over Easter lunch. It was wonderful not only to be engaged but also to know that Chad cared so much about my family that he would put so much effort into planning the proposal.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Amy Yancy will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon tote.
6 of 12
Home from Afghanistan
I was coming home on leave from Afghanistan over Christmas. My fiance, Shane, also a Captain in the Army, had sent me a box a month before I came home. Inside the box were 20 red envelopes, each with a date marked on it: December 1 through 20. I was to open one a day. As I opened them, every card mentioned something for me to look forward to over leave, ranging from "Meeting Mackenna" (my niece, who was born while I was gone) to "eating Java Chip ice cream" (my favorite dessert).
When I got off the plane December 23, Shane met me at the gate. I cried for a few minutes, hugging him. He said he had one more card for me. He handed me a red envelope that said "December 23, one more thing to look forward to". Inside it read: "100 more Christmases together". I looked up from reading it to find him down on one knee, holding up a beautiful ring, and asking me to marry him.
I cried for another few minutes before I finally got out the word "Yes!". Then we headed to baggage claim to find my whole family waiting for us. It was the best day of my life!
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Caitlin Dempsey will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon tote.
Swipe here for next slide
7 of 12
SF Scavenger Hunt
While visiting SF for a weekend from NYC in August of 2008... "You have mail at my house!" Bre handed over a green envelope with my name written on the back.
Bewildered and confused, I recognized Nick's handwriting and opened the envelope quickly to find a note saying: "Scratch our previous plans. Come find me, and let's explore San Francisco!" This was followed by a small clue leading me to the Palace of Fine Arts. It was about 8:00 AM and Bre rushed me out of the house without a shower (since, apparently, showering is overrated) and waved down a cab.
Upon arriving at the Palace of Fine Arts, Nick was nowhere to be found. To my surprise I saw Ronnie and Kristin, friends from college, who were apparently just as surprised to see me. They handed me another green envelope. I quickly realized that this was a scavenger hunt! Inside was yet another clue -- this time a letter and three photos, reminiscing about the day we first met. The clues led me to the curviest street in San Francisco, and I wasted no time to be on my way there. As I ran off, I glanced down at my watch and saw that not only was the time a little after 8, there were other 8s on the dial, as well. It suddenly dawned on me -- 08.08.08. Not wanting to get ahead of myself, I concentrated on getting to the next destination as fast as possible.
Throughout the scavenger hunt I found myself following a total of eight clues, leading me to eight stops, receiving new envelopes from eight individuals. I traversed San Francisco on foot and via cab, car, and trolley. With each new envelope, Nick's clues, letters, and pictures took me through our time spent together at UVA, then DC, then San Francisco, then New York. And each person who handed me a clue was uniquely related to that period of time in our life.
Stop 1: Palace of Fine Arts -- reminiscent of the Rotunda at UVA.
Stop 2: Top of Lombard Street.
Stop 3: The Nook, Coffee Shop.
Stop 4: Ghirardelli Square.
Stop 5: Washington Square Park.
Stop 6: Filbert Steps.
Stop 7: Top of Coit Tower.
Nearing the end as friends began to hand over the clues with smiles and half-contained giggles, I was definitely growing suspicious. But what sealed it for me was seeing my friend Ally pop out unexpectedly at the Filbert Steps. I felt a rush of emotion as I realized that if my close friend from New York had come all the way to San Francisco, Nick was surely going to ask me to marry him.
Christina, another friend who had flown in the night before from New York, was waiting for me atop Coit Tower to hand over the last clue.
I couldn't believe it! Stop 8.
It was now about 11:45, and I had arrived at the base of the steps of Jack Early Park, a small overlook where Nick and I used to eat deli sandwiches while admiring San Francisco Bay. And there was Nick, waiting with arms spread wide open for a hug. The sun began to peek out from the clouds. Nick kneeled down, pulling a ring out of his back pocket. This was it!
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Karen Liu will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon tote.
8 of 12
Survivor Photo Booth
Even more important to me than how or where my fiance proposed, is when he proposed.
In September 2007, when I was 28 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ken and I had lived together since 2005, and he was there for me every step of the way as I went through fertility preservation procedures, a bilateral mastectomy, and chemotherapy.
This photo was taken from a photo booth in the Survivor Tent at the Northern New Jersey Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on May 4, 2008, two months before Ken proposed.
Knowing how much I love hiking, he surprised me by proposing while we were on a hike. It was only later that we learned we were walking on the Bridle Trail around Lake Surprise. We both found it to be quite fitting.
The fact that he proposed to me in July 2008, after our battle with breast cancer, means so much to me because I truly know he will be there for me through sickness and in health.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Jacqueline Huggins will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon tote.
9 of 12
The Elevation of Love
When we started our 130-mile trek throughout Nepal's magnificent Himalayas, neither of us knew that it would become literally one of the high points of our lives. On day twelve of our adventure, we set out for the summit of the Annapurna Trek, the Thorong La Pass. At nearly 18,000 feet in elevation, it is a sacred Nepalese location and was the most challenging day of our trek. An hour into the hike, the trail crossed an icy stream, where I noticed a snow-shaped heart floating in the middle. I pointed it out to Matthew. We exchanged smiles. Was it a foreshadowing of the day ahead?
Upon reaching the pass, we took photos of the majestic views. As Matthew crouched down to take photos, I recognized something that fell from his pocket -- a rolled up Tibetan prayer flag. He suggested we use it in our photo and handed it to me to unfurl. As I did, the prayer he had written on the flags revealed itself: "Beth, will you marry me?" I became immune to the cold, as immense joy warmed my heart and soul.
On October 17, 2008, I said "Yes" to Matthew's 18,000-foot proposal.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Beth Haddad will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon lanyard.
10 of 12
It was the morning of January 30, 2009 and we were on Hawaii's big island. My birthday was the next day, so my girlfriend at the time, now my fiancee (I have to make sure I say fiance now instead of girlfriend or I get a good punch to the gut), had no idea I was going to propose. She thought we were just vacationing and seeing some of my old friends who live in Kona.
We'd had dinner the night before at the Kona Inn with my best friend Dave Unger and his wife. While the girls were chatting with each other, Dave and I quietly talked through the plans we'd been hatching over the past few weeks. Dave had been assessing the terrain below the cliff known as Top of the World, where three years before I had taken Amanda on our first trip together.
When I was younger I used to jump off that 60 foot cliff into the ocean below, so I had taken her there to show her and possibly to jump off. To my surprise she was up for the challenge, and quickly launched herself into the ocean before me. I was impressed to say the least!
Well back to the morning of January 30, 2009... We woke up and had a fresh cup of Joe at The Sheraton Keahou Bay (which means "place of new beginnings"), then headed out to check the waves down toward Kealakekua Bay. As we approached the turn off to Top of the World, Amanda said, "Hey should we go jump off again!"
"Hmmm, maybe," I replied, feigning disinterest. "I guess we could hike down and check it out, if we can remember how to get there."
We parked and hiked the mile or so up the ancient Hawaiian trail. All along, I pretended to doubt if we were in the right place (though, of course I knew we were heading to the right spot). When we got to the cliff Amanda was so excited she headed right to the edge and was about look down into the water. I had to work fast.
As she scurried up to the edge I was right beside her, waiting to see her reaction. Looking down about 30 feet she saw my message to her in the water, constructed out of white lava rocks: "MARRY ME".
"What!?" she said, turning to me.
I was down on one knee with the ring box open in my hand.
She screamed with excitement, "How did you do this?"
As she listened to my words she said "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
She cried and we hugged, then hugged some more.
And that's my story. I have to shout out a special thanks to my best friend Dave for collecting those white lava rocks, constructing the message, and lugging it all up the cliff. The two sections each weighed over 40 pounds!
Also, I can't forget my fiancee who made me the luckiest guy in the world by uttering that three-letter word. Y-E-S!
Perfect Proposal Contest grand prize winner Amanda Harris will receive a six-day trip to Walt Disney World Resort!
11 of 12
I'm a classical pianist and I was going to pursue it in college, but I ended up dealing with some major health issues my senior year of high school. I had told my fiance while dating that my biggest dream was to play in an empty concert hall. Little did I know how well he would remember that.
We had met right before my definite diagnosis. He held my hand through the entire ordeal and was there for me through all the treatments (almost three years).
When I flew into DFW to meet him last July, he took me out to dinner. After dessert we took a stroll and peeked in the windows of the Bass Concert Hall across the street. Not even suspecting the surprise he had in store for me, I said, "We should hit a concert there sometime."
He then led me around the corner, and before I knew it we were inside talking to the security guard and I was being waved through right to the stage, where I saw the piano.
I was overwhelmed with emotion. I got up on that stage and I played until I couldn't play anymore. Then my dearest friend and the love of my life joined me back onstage, got down on one knee, and popped the question.
We're getting married in June.
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Kirsten Wickstrom will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon lanyard.
12 of 12
I'm a huge sea glass collector. I often go down to the beach when I'm feeling stressed or just need to get away.
One day in March I was having a bad morning. It was really nice outside, so I said to my boyfriend, "I'm going to go down to look for some sea glass."
"I think I'll come and help you find some," he said.
So we headed down to the local beach. As we were walking and looking, I found one. Then he said, "Look over here. I found one, too!"
Now this surprised me, because to this day he had never found a single piece. But it was the dead of winter and the beach had been deserted many months, so I figured maybe there could be more than usual.
I walked over to where he stood and saw that there really was a piece jutting out of the ground -- a massive piece. It was so big! I had never seen such a thing. It was half-buried in the sand, so I flipped it over and saw that there were words etched on the glass. The words that every girl dreams of hearing from the time she's 10: "Marry me."
I turned to find him down on one knee, asking me again, "Will you marry me?"
Perfect Proposal Contest runner up Rebecca Brault will receive a Disney Fairy Tale Honeymoon lanyard.
Swipe here for next slide