Monthly Archives: May 2009

Share Our Strength – A Special Dinner to End Child Hunger

Join Chef Tyler Brown Sunday, May 31, 2009 at The Hermitage Hotel.
Newly Reduced Rate of $95 Now Available!

The Grand Ballroom
231 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee

6 p.m. – Reception hosted by Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe
7 p.m. – Exquisite multi-course, wine-paired dinner

Host Chef
Tyler Brown, The Capitol Grill at The Hermitage Hotel
Andrew Manchester, The Capitol Grill at The Hermitage Hotel

Guest Chefs
Hal Holden-Bache, Eastland Café, Nashville, TN
Jason McConnell, Red Pony Restaurant, Franklin, TN
Debra Paquette, Zola, Nashville, TN
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville, TN
Sean Brock, McCrady’s Restaurant, Charleston, SC

For more information, reservations or table host opportunities, please call 888.273.6141 or visit http://join.strength.org/atp_nashville.

Share Our Strength’s A Tasteful Pursuit is a unique national touring dinner series that features the nation’s top chefs taking their talents to the nation’s hottest culinary cities to raise the critical funds needed to end childhood hunger in America. For more information, visit http://www.strength.org.

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Best NASHVILLE Vacation Memory Contest – Win a FREE Two-night Stay

Bedroom - 2Whether you call Nashville home or visit to get away from your everyday life, the sights and sounds of Music City create the perfect backdrop for some unforgettable vacation memories. What is your best vacation memory that happened in Nashville? Tell us and you could win a FREE two-night stay at The Hermitage Hotel.

To enter the contest, visit our Facebook page discussion board under the “Boxes” tab and select the topic, “Best NASHVILLE Vacation Memory Contest.” (Here’s a direct link: http://tinyurl.com/oo8x79.) Post your proposal story and you are automatically entered.

The contestants that submit the five best Nashville vacation stories will each win a free two-night stay at The Hermitage Hotel. The winners will be announced on June 9, 2009. No purchase is necessary.

Warm Regards,
Janet Kurtz
Director of Sales & Marketing
The Hermitage Hotel
615-345-7120
jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com

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Filed under Janet Kurtz, Director of Sales and Marketing

Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories (Part 5)

After being divorced for some time I was asked out on a date by Charlie. Charlie and I had met earlier on a professional basis. I agreed to a Dutch treat ballgame. We decided to go out again but take things slow and casual we both had children we were busy taking care of. Things were going along fine when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Charlie said life was too short and asked me to marry him. I said no. I have seen what cancer can do and was not going to drag him and all our kids through that. I did not want to be the step mom throwing her guts up on the sofa. I thought Charlie might see how rough it was going to be and leave. Instead Charlie was with me for every treatment, in person or by phone. Charlie would leave me the most wonderful messages to hear after each treatment. On the day of my last treatment Charlie said,” you made it this far and things are going well. I am asking you again, will you marry me?” I said yes. Our kids and family said it was about time. We were married on June 9th, 2005. Charlie still leaves me beautiful messages to hear each day. - Lynne St Charles

This is Chris. My wife sent me the link to the contest and as such, I am using my wife’s facebook page to throw our hat in to the ring. The interesting sidebar is that I actually proposed to my wife at the Hermitage Hotel! My wife and I dated long distance for three years prior to our engagement and marriage. She was in Tennessee and I was in Alabama. I eventually moved back to the Nashville area with a ring in my pocket and the knowledge that I wanted to propose to my future bride. Living around Nashville I had always found the Hermitage Hotel (this is not a cheesy attempt to suck-up to the voters) to be a beautiful and romantic representation of old Nashville. My wife and I had talked about one day staying at the Hermitage so I thought it would be the perfect place. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, my wife and I met at their home under the guise of eating a nice dinner and staying with them in Nashville for the weekend (at the time my wife was living in Shelbyville, TN and I was in Dickson, TN). We arrived at my sister’s house, unpacked and sat down for drinks before our dinner reservation. My sister ran interference distracting my future wife, while my brother-in-law and I re-packed our bags, curling iron, shoes etc. and put them in the back of my car without my wife’s knowledge. That done, I took the love of my life to our favorite romantic dinner spot, The Midtown Cafe, and enjoyed a wonderful meal. After dinner I convinced my wife that we needed to go out on the town in Nashville. However, instead, I drove up to the Hermitage, pulled up to the valet and got out of the car. My wife was confused until she saw our bags being carted inside. With the help of the Hermitage staff I had flowers and champagne delivered to our room prior to check-in. We were whisked up the room and as I was dropping to one knee with the ring in hand, the bellhop knocked on the door with our luggage. I quickly feigned a shoe tying spell and my wife went to freshen up. With the room to ourselves, she came out of the powder room to see the flowers, champagne and me on one knee. That night she made me the happiest man alive. - Cristin Murray Roark

I am writing this for my son and daughter-in-law. Keith and Summer have known each other since they were 5 years old. They celebrated birthdays, graduated in the same class and of course “hung out” all through high school. Summer went to Alabama to college and Keith stayed here in Franklin but they never lost touch with each other. They both dated other people but always found their way back to each other. Everyone knew they were meant to be together. It just took Keith a little longer to figure that out. Ha! Keith bought the ring and planned to propose on an upcoming trip to Las Vegas in January of 2008 but he just couldn’t wait. He had another plan. Summer always kicks off her shoes (as most women do after wearing heels all day) when she gets home and puts on her horseshoes. He put the ring in the toe of those shoes. As luck would have it that particular day she didn’t put her horseshoes on. Keith had to practically “force” her to put them on. I could hear her screaming at my house, which just happens to be across the street. At first she thought it was a joke so Keith had to convince her that the ring was indeed a “real diamond.” Of course Summer started calling her family and all her girlfriends (of which there are many). One by one they stopped by to congratulate the happy couple. They were all surprised that Keith had FINALLY popped the question. The wedding date was set for October 11, 2008 and the preparations began. The church and reception location were booked and the invitations were “in the works.” But unfortunately fate intervened. Summer’s mom, Connie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just four months after Keith’s proposal. The wedding date was moved up to July 26th and everything was put in fast forward. Thankfully the church and reception location were both available for the July date. Connie was receiving chemotherapy and was tolerating it really well. She was so glad she didn’t lose her hair. Summer and Connie were so busy planning for the big day and believe me when I say that is what those two girls do best. What a wedding it was! The day was hot but beautiful. Keith and Summer said their vows before more than 400 friends and family. What a joyous day!!!! The next day Summer and Keith left for a wonderful honeymoon in Key West, Florida. We all knew there were going to be rough days ahead for this beautiful couple. We all prayed for them. The end of February this year Connie took a turn for the worse and she lost her battle with cancer on March 20. I think this wonderful weekend of romance would be just awesome for these two “kids.” I truly believe that they deserve it. Thank you for your consideration. - Pam Sheldon

The Island Proposal

As a girl, you always wonder what your proposal for marriage will be like. My husband Aaron blew any expectations I ever had out of the water. Our dating relationship was a cross-country long distance adventure. We started dating at MTSU where we fell madly in love. After college, we were apart for 2 1/2 years because my husband works for the military and had to do training in Hawaii and Washington.

In the summer of 2005, I planned a trip to visit Aaron in Seattle, Washington. However, he was planning much more than a visit. We ended up taking a weekend ferry trip to a group of islands called the San Juan Islands off the Seattle coast. I was thinking we were just celebrating getting to see each other again, but he had been planning this trip for months. Aaron took us out our first night to a beautiful and quaint cafe right on the water. The view from the restaurant was amazing; we were surrounded by mountains and a spectacular sunset. We ate a nice dinner and then Aaron was insistent on my ordering dessert. At first, I said, “I’m way too full, honey”, but he insisted. So, he tells me to order our favorite dessert, which is white chocolate cheesecake. The dessert arrives and it is a small white box garnished with berries and leaves. Suddenly, I realized it was a ring!!! I gasped and opened up a small self-lit box that had a beautiful diamond ring inside. Aaron was laughing and crying while he got down on one knee as the restaurant gave us a standing ovation. It turns out Aaron had very meticulously arranged this whole event days in advance with the restaurant staff! I was so blown away. We got to spend the rest of our time as a newly engaged couple on this beautiful and romantic island together!

We got married on June 17th, 2006 at the Scarritt Bennett Chapel. We ended up spending our first night at the Hermitage Hotel. The Hermitage holds a lot of special memories for us. We are getting ready to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary in June! - Jessica Goodman

Bob and I had dated two years. He had been the most romantic courtier a girl could ever ask for. Love notes, flowers, poems, sweet, thoughtful gifts AND my children loved him. What more could a girl ask for?

My birthday was coming up and I was anxiously awaiting the next surprise. Every occasion was one more opportunity to devise a zany or touching show of affection. I mean, this is the man who had water pistols in every pantry, drawer and closet just so he could fire at any kid who happened to walk by.

The week before my birthday I could tell that my daughters were conspiring about something. That happened often and usually someone would tattle. Before too long the youngest couldn’t contain herself and she came to me and whispered conspiratorially, “Mommy, Bob has a big birthday party planned for you!” I told her I thought she might need to keep the secret. “Oh, Mommy! You need to know so you can wear a pretty party dress. I am very worried about that.”

That did get my attention. So, with a little bit of coaxing, my youngest told me that Grandma was going to babysit and that Bob was planning to take me to the Hermitage to dinner and to a play.

Oh! That sounds NICE!!! Maybe I needed a new dress!

So, that Saturday there was a lot of action at my house and Bob arrived early. We did go to the Capitol Grille for dinner and when we walked out of there he called for the car. I couldn’t help but ask about the play and he said that he hadn’t gotten tickets for a play at the TPAC… sorry.

Boy, I was soooooo disappointed.

We got in the car and drove for a long silent ride… until I noticed that we WERE NOT headed home. We were headed towards the airport… where we got on a plane… and went to New York. Yes, New York.

The next night we went to the Majestic Theatre to see the Phantom of the Opera. And when Raoul sings to Christine “Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime…” My Bob put an engagement ring on my finger and whispered, “Will you marry me?”

Someday I will have to see the rest of that play. Because I have spent the last ten years with my one love! Our ten-year anniversary is this May 29! - Carolyn Cossey Pitchford

My husband is never really the romantic type, except for our proposal. It was a Sunday morning and he was going to pick me up for church, but he called and said he was sick and couldn’t go to church that morning but he wanted me to go without him. One of my friends, who was in on it, went with me. Our church is on an old dirt road. When I got to that old dirt road there was a big sign that said ” WILL” and it had a big bow on it, we drove a little down the road and there was another sign that said ” YOU” and another sign later that said ” Marry” and another said “ME” and another said ” LOVE” and another said “DAVID” and when I got to the church he was on bended knee with the whole church on their knee also. It was the best proposal I could have asked for. - Mindy Dickens

John and I used to go to a local park in Knoxville while attending UT all the time in the beginning stages of our relationship- between classes, after dates… whenever. John wanted to incorporate that sentimental location somehow into the proposal; so on the night he was going to ask (April 11, 2008), he took me to a cliff (about 200 feet straight up) overlooking the Tennessee River and the aforementioned park. John brought glow sticks with him to the cliff; under the pretense of just throwing them off the cliff and watching them float in the river. I thought it was just him being a silly guy, so I suspected nothing about it. I had no idea that at the park, John had 8 friends awaiting his signal to illuminate a HUGE 7’x25’ sign that read, “Marry me.”

Back at the cliff, we chatted for a bit about old times while taking in the beautiful vista of the city and the park. Nonchalantly, John pulled out the glow sticks and suggested we toss them over the cliff. I obliged, not knowing that the glow sticks were the predetermined visual cue for John’s friends to light up the banner. When the lights shone on the banner across the river in the park, I turned around, confused and crying happy tears. John was on his knee, saying a lot of nice things that concluded with the proposal. Through my tears I said “yes!”

The mission had been code-named “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” because John had planted two candles at the cliff site, and the great test of the successfulness of the mission would be how many candles John lit after the question was asked (a “one if by land, two if by sea” sort of thing). If his friends at the park saw one candle, they’d know the mission had failed, but if they saw two, they’d understand the mission to have succeeded, at which point they would touch off some grade-A fireworks. John and I are pleased to report that the proposal went exactly as planned, both candles were lit, and the fireworks display was phenomenal. – Molly Burns O’Connor

Our engagement story began about 7 months before we actually got engaged. Dan was giving a speech at the Association of Fraternity Advisors Annual Meeting in December 2003 and while at the podium announced that he would propose within the next year. There was not a dry eye in the 300+ person audience!

Fast forward to July 2004… we had a busy weekend planned with our realtor to go house hunting for the first time. There were about a million neighborhoods that I wanted to look at, so I was a little disappointed when she told me she had a family obligation Saturday afternoon and would have to cut our time short. Little did I know Dan had asked her to say this! Dan also had one of our friends in Illinois ask me to pick up some wine from Oliver Winery (http://www.oliverwinery.com) for an upcoming family gathering (which turned out to be fake). Oliver is special because the first time we went there was also the first day that we said, “I love you” to each other. We also just love to go there. Since the realtor cancelled our afternoon, we decided to head down to Oliver (about an hour away from Indianapolis).

I was completely unaware that Dan had plotted this entire day out – he had even met with the Oliver events staff to coordinate the whole proposal. Since I didn’t know we were supposed to be there at a certain time I was taking my time without even realizing how anxious and worried Dan was getting. I found out later he called the Oliver staff person from a gas station bathroom to tell her how slow I was being! When we finally got to Oliver, we did a wine tasting and bought some wine just like we normally do. Usually, however, we try to sit on the lawn by the lake to drink our wine and eat our picnic but this time Dan really wanted to sit on the patio. As soon as we sat down, some of our favorite romantic songs began playing. I thought this was strange, very different than their usual music, but I still didn’t catch on… I also didn’t notice the dozens of people inside pressed against the windows watching us. Apparently they had made an announcement inside so we had quite a large audience! Then Dan admitted everything he had done to coordinate the day and then he got on one knee and popped the question! The entire crowd cheered and toasted us. - Amanda Bureau

I burned a hole in the dining room carpet. Pacing…pacing…pacing…waiting for Katie to arrive.

You see, my soon-to-be fiancée did not know I was waiting for her at her parent’s house on Good Friday, 2005. The previous night, I told her I would be hanging out with a friend that day. But, instead, I made the four-hour trek up to Nashville, spent the night with her parents, and waited for her to arrive on Friday afternoon.

After I paced around the house for a couple of hours, listening to her complain on the phone to her mom that she had “no idea where Robert is,” she finally arrived. I eased into the courtyard behind her parent’s house and waited.

When she walked out the back door, I stood with a dozen roses in my hand and a ring in my pocket. Though I was confident, my hands sweated, my heart pounded, and my mouth lost all form of moisture.

At first glance, Katie thought my presence was simply a nice surprise. But when she walked closer and I began to speak, she realized that this was the moment.

The demeanor on her face changed from one of pleasant surprise to one of sheer elation and overwhelming emotion. She began crying. I simply got on one knee and told her about all my feelings for her, the feelings I wrote down on paper in her parent’s house the night before.

She said yes.

That was over four years ago, and I know it was the absolute best decision I’ve ever made–not only marrying Katie, but also the manner in which I proposed. No fireworks. No over-the-top grandeur. Just a simple surprise and an honest talk.

Best of all, though, I finally stopped pacing. - Robert Bruce

Her Story:

I decided to go home to Honolulu, from Seattle and visit my grandpa. I told Kraig I was going and he dutifully took me to the airport the morning of Saturday April 12. I got on a flight to Honolulu at 8:00 am and was off. I arrived in Honolulu at about 11:30 am and my dad picked me up. I was hungry for Hawaiian Plate lunch but my dad said that he had to stop in at work and then that we had to go to the Waikiki Yacht Club because he had to check on his stepfather’s boat (who had recently passed). So I was relegated to eating some surprisingly good ahi for lunch at the Club. I was sitting in a chair in the sun reading up on Portugal and drinking a Bud Light when the club bartender came up to me with a plastic bag that had a lei and a card in it. I asked whom it was from and he just shrugged and walked back to the bar. I looked around suspiciously and looked at the card, which read, “1. Stand Up; 2. Put this on; 3. Close your eyes.”
I did the first two but no way was I going to close my eyes, I thought it was kind of weird so I looked around again. I turned away for a moment and when I turned back there was Kraig running up to me and getting on his knee. He had the most beautiful ring. I couldn’t piece together what was happening quickly enough so I slinked away into the corner and sat on my butt. I was just shocked. I rose to my knees to meet him on his and hugged him and then came the waterworks. Of course I said yes.

HIS Story

I tried a few times to get the opportune moment. I wanted it to be some kind of weekend event. Somewhere we’d not be distracted by our daily events. I tired a few weeks earlier to surprise her with a flight to Arizona for a preseason Mariners games sitting in the outfield and soaking up much needed sun. But that went awry when no plane tickets were available on account of spring break. So, when she said she decided to go see her grandpa, I jumped at the chance right then and booked a flight 30 minutes after hers. I spent the night before the flight, undoing everything she had lined up for herself, that was getting pushed on to my shoulders: Showing her old car to a prospective buyer, rescheduling Porter’s first day at Doggy daycare, and a bunch of other week end tasks, that I was glad to get out of. So the morning came, I dressed in multi layers of clothes so I could change on the fly, hide a bag in the trunk of her car, and drove her to the airport. She commented on my fashion but left it alone thinking I was just going to the airport and back. After we said our goodbyes, I drove over to the parking lot and sat for 30 min hoping she had enough time to get through security. I then left the car at the parking lot and went to the terminal. I tip toed around trying to look inconspicuous just incase she was still in security. Once I felt safe, I got in line. Then she called saying she was at the gate and getting ready to board. Meanwhile obnoxious announcements were blaring in the background telling people how to take off their shoes and place computers in separate trays keep playing over and over again. I tried to muffle my phone and got worried she could hear the background commotion and ask what’s going on. I made it through, got on the plane, and landed in Hawaii. Before I left, I asked Kiera to call me when she landed safely. She did and left a message that her dad picked her up and was on the way to the yacht club. Perfect, I could now roam the HI airport with out being seen. I didn’t know where she’d be after the airport. I called her Dad the night before and asked that he be sure and take her to the club, but Kiera told me if it’s cloudy she was going across the street to visit her brother at his job. If it was sunny, she was going to stay put and sit in the sun. The weather was partly sunny… or partly cloudy depending on how you view life. So I had to guess. At this point I still wasn’t sure what to do because my plan was in flux based on her location. But I decided to go to the club. On the way I stopped and bought her a lei… (Tuberoses, her favorite) I then bought a postcard and convinced the girl who sold it to me to write down 3 things, Stand up, Put this on, and Close your eyes. I then caught a cab to the club. When I got there, I called Cliff the bartender and told him I was coming in for a proposal. (We met a couple months prior over New Years and he remembered me. First thing out of his mouth was… “Does Wayne (Kiera’s dad) know about this? I convinced him he knew. But Wayne didn’t quite make the connection when I called him the night before.) Cliff said the place was really busy and she in the smoking lounge! Where the heck is that??? She said she want to lie out at the pool. I sneaked my head over fence and…. It’s a Kiddy B-day party. Balloons, cake, screaming kids, the whole nine yards. Great I thought, I’m not doing it there! So I kept sneaking around the place and found her at the only deserted place in the whole club. Luckily she was facing the other way when my head popped over the fence. Otherwise I’d been busted. So I called Cliff again, ushered my self in and hid around the corner. It’s a very open place, so if she moved a foot or two…. Busted. I gave Cliff the package and he took it to her. Just like I thought, she didn’t close her eyes. Cliff waived me in, she was turned away looking for owner of the card and lei, and so I ran up and got on a knee just as she turned back around. ‘What are you doing here!” she says, looked at what I was doing, put 2 and 2 together and ran away, while falling down and crying. I could have taken this response a couple different ways, but decided this was a good thing and walked over to giver her hug. I told her how much she meant to me and how much I wanted her in my life. She never stopped crying. I finally said. “I assume your crying means yes.” She said “YES” - Kiera Silva

My fiancé Chris & I met at Cumberland University almost 3 years ago when I was a cheerleader and he was a football player. We’ve been together since our first date! For months before our engagement I hoped every time we went out that he would propose. I assumed our engagement would happen at night. Little did I know my fiancé Chris had different plans! He wanted to surprise me, so he set up the cutest scavenger hunt/ breakfast proposal.
It was absolutely perfect!

When I woke up on Saturday morning on August 2, 2008, Chris had arranged for my Mom to hand me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers complete with a card. The card told me how much he loves me in a beautiful poem & at the end of the card he told me to go to Clayborns Bakery (Lebanon, TN) at half past 7am for some sweet treats.

When I got to Clayborns there was a box of doughnuts, a carnation & another card waiting for me! In the next card was another beautiful poem & a set of directions telling me to go to Cracker Barrel. It also said, “Do not see the host. Instead, go to the counter & pick up our French toast.”

My third clue came with our French toast & another carnation. This card had another beautiful poem and a message saying, “Now you’re probably wondering what’s going on. Alas, my love, I’m not leading you on. Our love began one glorious night in the fall. You shall find me waiting on the lawn in front of Memorial Hall.” So I knew to go to Cumberland University, where we met!

I arrived at Cumberland University in front of Memorial Hall to find Chris with a picnic setup & a beautiful rose. He asked me to open the cooler he had with him. Inside the cooler was some orange juice and champagne (for mimosas!) & another card!

Chris then handed me a final card that said “Thank you for loving me. I have but one question to ask…” and then he got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him! Of course I said yes & we then enjoyed our lovely picnic breakfast complete with doughnuts, French toast & mimosas :)

We are now getting married July 25 at the Cathedral of Incarnation in downtown Nashville. I am so incredibly lucky to be able to spend the rest of my life with the most thoughtful, kind and romantic man I’ve ever met! - Erin Neal

In May of 2008 I left Birmingham, Al and moved back to Tennessee. With a long distance relationship came many phone conversations. The recent engagement of Chris’ sister Erin meant marriage was the new topic. He had mentioned several times he wanted a change of pace and would perhaps move to Tennessee. I knew once he moved to Tennessee we would be engaged.

One week in August, Chris came to Tennessee with the intention of job searching. He went to Nashville a few days and stayed with some of his friends to look for a job. That Friday, August 15th, Chris returned to McMinnville. I had planned for us to eat dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Fog Light in Rock Island. Before we left my mom was extremely quiet. I kept insisting that she eat dinner with us. She kept refusing, so we went without her.

Chris had never been to Rock Island and I wanted to show him everything. I took him to the park, I showed him the mini castle, and he saw the river. I was the perfect tour guide, but my tourist was not pleased. He finally asked if we could eat right away.

When we arrived I warned Chris about the time we would spend at the restaurant. The staff at The Fog Light is in no rush and neither should their guests be. As I predicted, we were there a long time. He was getting impatient. Finally we had our wonderful dinner and left.

Chris had mentioned he wanted to look around the castle again. I thought this was odd since it was dark outside, but I drove us there. When we arrived, the park rangers had closed the gate to the parking lot. Chris then insisted on going for a walk at the sand bar, which was down by the river. I was a bit disappointed that he wanted to look around when it was dark, instead of earlier when I was playing tour guide. We headed towards the water but did not get far because the sand was wet. I finally asked if we could sit on the steps because I was cold. We sat down for a minute, and talked. All of a sudden Chris stood up, pulled me up, then got down on his knee and proposed! I was so shocked I covered my face! I could not believe he was proposing. I always thought I would know when I was getting engaged because my mom would let it slip. I suddenly understood why she was quite and refused to eat dinner with us. I also realized why Chris was in a hurry to eat…he was ready to propose!!! was so ecstatic I started screaming! The whole thing was perfect! - Brooke Taylor

This story is one not to be reckoned with.

Eight months into our relationship we went to Gatlinburg with a few friends. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the trip- we went to a concert the first night there, shopping the next day, then went back to our hotel to rest that afternoon after lunch, but when we arrived back at the room, he turned and said “Hey, let’s go see if we can’t find a place to bungee jump!” This wasn’t as big of a deal as you might think, considering we’d already been skydiving together, so I happily obliged- I mean, I’d always wanted to try it at least once.

He told me he had these tickets he’d bought a few years before- supposedly once you buy them at this park they never expire. “Cool,” I thought, “Free park tickets.” But when we got there he insisted he check with the manager to make sure they were still good. I understood- after all, he seemed to know what he was talking about- so I stood and watched some kids race go- karts while he chatted it up with the park manager.

About ten minutes later he came out, his face was un-hinting of anything out of the ordinary. “Let’s gear up,” he told me, and so we did. He’d brought a camcorder, which I didn’t find suspicious because I knew he liked to film things like this. “You go first,” I insisted, and he just laughed and went ahead of me. He got to the top, got harnessed in, and jumped. “And he’s alive!” I cheered as he got off the mat and unharnessed, “Your turn!” He said, taking the camcorder away from me.

I began climbing the enormous flight of stairs alone. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant as I went, and saw the ground getting further and further away, but as I reached the top the park employee met me with a smile and said “You ready to do this?” “I was born ready!” I replied smoothly, stepping forward to let her harness me in.

“Now,” She started as she fixed my harness, “We have a policy here that you have to read before you jump.” “Oh,” I replied, “Kind of like a last-minute ‘try to scare me out of it’ sort of thing?” She laughed, “Something like that, we just need to make sure you’re ready to jump.” “Sure.” She finished strapping me in and led me to the railing before the ledge, “Now here, stand here and read this.”

She handed me a well-laminated, very official looking sign. I knew something was odd about it the moment I saw a picture of a diamond ring on it. It read “WARNING: Bungee jumping is dangerous and may result in serious injury and/or death. Even worse…In some rare cases thrill-seekers have received offers of expensive jewelry from over-imaginative boyfriends waiting below. Proceed at your own risk- in other words: Catelyn Marie Fultz, will you marry me? …Jump!”

I stared at the sign. I read it again. Then I had the biggest blonde moment in the history of my life.

“…How did you guys know my name?”

The worker started laughing, and I just stared. If you watch the video now, you can see when the light bulb goes off. My eyebrows shot up, I read the sign again, and looked down over the railing at him. “Are you freaking KIDDING me?!” Everyone was laughing…at least, it looked like it. I was too far up to hear anyone besides myself and the two employees on the walkway. “You have to jump!” The worker said. “Wow,” I replied, “This is REALLY going to suck if this cable breaks.” They laughed again, and I stood at the edge, looked down at the man I married almost six months later, and jumped. – Catey ‘Fultz’ Henderson

My husband and I met online in Aug. of 06. In Aug. of 07, the two of us, our mothers and two friends went on a cruise to Alaska. I knew that I would be getting my ring on the trip because we had picked it out on Friday during our trip but I wasn’t sure how he would go about proposing. Later that evening we went to dinner and had “formal pictures” made. We then went outside to take pictures of the sun setting. It was getting too cool to stay out so we went in to listen to music. He excused himself to go to the restroom and I took a few more pictures. As I walked in I saw him at the main desk talking to one of the courtesy people. I walked over and he walked up and said there was some “problems” and he was telling them about it so I went on to listen to the music. After what seemed way too long to be gone to the restroom I felt this “presence” next to me. The next thing I knew someone in a “bear costume” had walked up to me and started to talk but kept laughing instead. Meanwhile, the ship photographer was snapping pictures. The next thing I knew, the bear was proposing to me and I realized it was my Chris inside the bear suit. He asked me to marry him and between laughing and crying I said yes. I learned later, after he took the suit back, that he had wanted to do something unique and different and he did. He was going to ask one of the cruise employees who dresses up in the various costumes at each port to do it but they said why don’t you do it! He said okay and the rest was history. We married in March of 08 and only got to stay for two nights nearby in Tulsa, OK because we both teach and we had to be back to work, me in Nashville and him in Wichita, KS area where he lived at the time. We married at that time to marry when his parents renewed their vows for their 50th anniversary. His dad is sick and cannot travel so we wanted to marry there so he could be a part of it. We both live in Nashville now! Not many can say they were proposed to by a bear just outside of Ketchikan, Alaska on a cruise ship!!! - Joyce Bedingfield Cosby

My name is Holly Blackwell and I live in Hendersonville, TN. I was born July 1, 1984. I am 24 years old, and I am engaged to the love of my life, Justin Smith. Justin was born on October 30, 1983, now 25.

Prior to our engagement, we worked through all of the difficulties, that all couple’s go through and dated six years. We had discussed several times; we wanted to get married when the time was right.

Justin paid his way through college and graduated from UT Knoxville in December of 2008. We realized, it would be at least 6 months before we could be engaged. It was Sunday night, the week of Dec 21, 2008, that our engagement story started to become a reality. We were on our annual family K-Mart Christmas shopping adventure. We all went our separate ways to shop for one another. Justin, found my Dad in the CD section and asked him for my hand in marriage. My dad, being thrilled to death, said yes. The next day, December 22, Justin called to see if I would go to Opryland Hotel and see the Christmas lights. He picked me up around 6:00 and we arrived at the Hotel around 6:30. Once inside the Hotel, we walked around holding hands, observing all the beautiful Christmas decorations. We walked into the Garden Conservatory, sit down beside the waterfall, and started talking about how romantic it was. All of a sudden, he pulled me underneath the waterfall, got down on one knee, and asked me if I would marry him. Of course, crying and covering my mouth, I said yes as he put the ring on my finger. There was also a couple making pictures in the conservatory. The woman caught our moment out of the corner of her eye, and took our picture. Not only, do we have the memories of our special day, but also a picture to show our perfect engagement. We will be married on October 17, 2009. - Gina Blackwell

My name is Lindsay Gebhart and I live in Hendersonville. My fiancé proposed to me around Christmas on December 23rd. Luke owns his own business and usually hosts a Christmas Party with his brother Andrew. Due to the economy Luke had told me weeks before that it was not going to be as big as it usually was. However, everyone had been talking about how fun this particular party was going to be. Suspecting nothing, I decided to bake some brownies and bring a hostess gift. As we pulled up to his brother’s house (the usual location) I looked around and saw a great deal of cars. Stupidly, I say “wow! Look how many people are coming to support the business.” We walk up to the house and I see this large black sign suspended from the roof of the house. I could not figure out what it was until the sign lit up! It said “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” Luke got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. He had made the sign, which took him 2 weeks to make. He drilled individual holes in some wood and wired LED lights through each hole. The best part was that all of my family, his family and our friends were at the party and got to witness our engagement. I also found out it was not a Christmas party at all it was a surprise engagement party. He had been planning this for months which is why everyone was so excited about the party. We got to celebrate the best day of our lives with all the people that mattered most to us! It was really sweet! - Lindsay Gebhart

My name is Leslie Gove. My husband and I just got married on April 26, 2009, and we live in Thompsons Station, TN. We became engaged on July 4, 2008. Becoming engaged was quite interesting. Mike, my husband, had asked me in February to become his wife. However, he wanted to ask my father for my hand, and he also wanted to pick out just the right ring. After my father gave his permission, we went ring shopping together. I had a few rings chosen shortly thereafter, and had no idea when he would “pop the question.” My birthday came, complete with a romantic dinner at the Melting Pot, with roses on the table and a photographer, but no proposal. Next was Mike’s birthday. We rented a beautiful cabin in Gatlinburg, and some friends stayed there with us for the weekend. Surely, I thought, he will propose. We had a wonderful weekend, but no proposal. I was completely thrown off course now.

July 4th wasn’t a special occasion for either of us for any particular reason. We didn’t have any plans, really, or anything special to do. However, on July 4th, I was awakened by Mike pulling on my left hand. I sleepily tried to pull it away, when I felt him slip something on my finger. My tired brain registered what was happening, and I opened my eyes. Mike kissed me, and asked me to be his wife. I quickly said yes, and hugged him. Then, when I became more awake, I had him ask again, so I could be more awake as I accepted. - Leslie Mayhall Anderson Gove

How lucky and true it is to wait for your soul mate! Keith and I met in 1986 (I was a performer in community theater and he was lights)

We did shows through 1992 and yet never met. He could see me (in the lights) but I never could see him!

Finally a year and a bit ago, he emailed me to say he “thinks he knows me” Jan. 23, 2008. We met for lunch and that was it!

In Nov., 2008 on a trip to Disney World with my parents, sister, 2 nieces and a nephew – Keith and I had a blast. My family showed their true colors, melt downs of 6 yr olds and all! I had a lot of time that I was unable to be with Keith and the family as I was training for my new job. The very last night we were in Orlando, the kids were tired and Keith let me know just he and I were going to Epcot. The moon was full, the sky was clear and the stars were enormous. We had dinner in “Germany” and then went to find a great place to see the fireworks. I was leaning over the water, when Keith asked me to step back a bit…when I turned around he was there, holding the ring and said “what do you think” Will you marry me! I didn’t even see the ring, I just dropped my soda that I was holding and cried yes! Yes! When the excitement lulled for a moment, Keith said, “Don’t you want to see the ring?” He had designed it – my favorite color is purple.the diamond is set in the middle of a line of purple sapphires – the “Lavendar” light that I was standing in on stage back in 1986!

It took us over 20 years to find our way to each other but it was well worth the wait! - Elizabeth A Pippin Carey

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Filed under Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories

Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories (Part 4)

Me and my fiancée were next-door neighbors. We were married to different people that both ended in divorce. We started dating about seven years ago and had decided that we were never going to get married again and were content to live our lives just living together.

We went to St Georges Island last year with some family members for a vacation and we were all out enjoying the sun when his daughter brought me the most beautiful shell as I was looking at it I turn it over and she had wrote on it ronna will you… then his son handed me another shell just like the first one and when I turned it over he had wrote. Marry our Daddy.

I thought they were kidding me but then I turned around and there he was on one knee with a ring asking me to be his wife. I was in total shock and I all can remember is my brother hollering get the camera it’s going down.

We are getting married in June with his children at our sides and those beautiful seashells will be apart of the ceremony. - Ronna Price

I met my best friend and fiance Matt Tolios while online on myspace. Matt was serving his first tour in Iraq in January of 2007. Neither of us remembers who contacted who first – we like to tell people that Jesus gave us to each other. We met face to face for the first time in April of 2007 while Matt was home in New Hampshire on R&R and have been together ever since. Matt was stationed in Germany on his return from Iraq and I had visited him there a couple of times when he asked me to come for a visit last May. Unknown to me, Matt had bought a ring and had spent two weeks planning the perfect proposal. Everyone we knew was in on the secret but me! The day after I arrived in Germany, Matt asked a friend and his girlfriend to accompany us on a trip to the castle near their base. His friend, who was in on the secret, had his camera ready. After strolling through the town and the gardens, Matt pulled me to an outlook in the castle that overlooked the town. The church bells in town chimed promptly at 5 each night and Matt wanted to be sure to have the bells ringing while he proposed. He dropped to his knee, pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him! I was so shocked that instead of saying YES right away I said, “Are you kidding me?” Both of us were so caught up in the moment that we did not hear the church bells tolling out their joy at our perfect moment! Luckily for us, Matt’s friend Justin got great pictures of the entire proposal. We are getting married December 19th of this year when Matt returns from his second tour in Iraq. I am so lucky to have had a fairy tale proposal from the love of my life, and we are looking forward to our next 100 years together. Matt will always be my prince! - Chelsie Rosdhal

I meet my husband thru some coworker who went to church with him. He asked me to come to church; I was late for our first meeting because I didn’t know that it would take as long as it did to drive to the church (45 minutes from my house). We clicked from the beginning. In April 2008, one Sunday morning, before the preacher got up to preach, he announced that he had something to say. He asked me to come up front and said that as everyone at church had been a part of our courtship he thought it only right that they should be apart of this. As I came up to the front and turned around, I could not believe the cameras. I knew something was up and I was the only one that had no clue. After I came up, he held my hand, bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him in church where we had first met. - Chassity Burks

My husband, Jay, and I met our first day of medical school in Texas, and started dating during the first year. The winter of our fourth year of medical school we were busy interviewing all over the country at hospitals to do our residency programs. I had interviews in New York City and unfortunately we were not able to interview there at the same time. Jay was going to be in classes that week back in Dallas. In fact, because of our different interview schedules, we had hardly seen each other much of December!
I was staying with relatives of Jay’s during my interview trip, and we had planned to get together to look at the shop windows decorated for Christmas and do some sightseeing after one of my interviews. On December 13th, the morning of my interview, his aunt and uncle told me when and where they would meet up with me, at Rockefeller Center, by the big Christmas tree.

After my interview, I walked to Rockefeller Center. I remember rounding the corner and seeing the beautiful tree- I called Jay and left him a message about how much I wished he could be there with me. I made my way over to the spot by the tree that his family had told me to meet them. I was looking around at all the people, when I saw someone coming towards me that looked very much like Jay! In fact- it was Jay! I apparently stood there with my mouth gaping open, completely surprised! Jay came up to me, gave me a huge hug, and when I finally let go, he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring and told me how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me… I said yes!

Of course his aunt and uncle had helped set everything up, and my parents were in on it as well, as Jay had visited them the night before to get their blessing.

We were thrilled to go to Vanderbilt for residency, and we love Nashville. For our 5-year anniversary we stayed at the Hermitage and ate at the Capitol Grille. I love him more every day and he is a wonderful husband! - Rebecca Isbell

How we got engaged (in Jay’s words)
A little background…

Ashley and I met in Destin, FL on June 27th, 2008. She was on vacation and I was there for a wedding. Our paths crossed and my life was forever changed. We started talking seriously about getting married around the 2008 holidays. We discussed how getting married on the beach in Destin would fit our story perfectly. However, we realized that the location was not ideal for the type of wedding we wanted as some very dear guests might not be able to attend. So we opted for a more traditional wedding setting and decided it would be best to have the ceremony near Ashley’s home in Tennessee. I remembered the disappointment in her voice when we came to the realization that a Destin wedding just was not a viable option. That was when I set out to give her the next best thing.

Fast forward a couple of months…

By the middle of February 2009, I had the ring and the strongest of hopes that Ashley would give me her hand in marriage. My goal was to completely surprise her with a proposal. So with the help of her parents, Beverly and Gaylon, (whom I can’t thank enough for all they did to ensure that she received the proposal she so deserved), I flew to Murfreesboro on a Thursday night with the intent of surprising her at work on Friday. On Friday morning Beverly and I went to Ashley’s house and packed a weekend bag for her. From there, we went to Cason Lane where Ashley teaches first grade. We surprised her at lunch with the help of her principal, Chad Fletcher. Chad’s angry ruse made her a little nervous as she walked into his office, only to find us, and to discover that he was not, in fact, angry. Chad was kind enough to find a substitute teacher to cover her class for the rest of the afternoon and Ashley and I were off to Florida. I still did not want her to know the real reason we were going so I needed a good story. For plausibility, I told her that the trip to Destin was a belated Valentine’s gift because she had been in Wilmington on Valentine’s Day so we couldn’t have gone then. She was so excited. On Friday night we got settled in and went to the spot where we had originally met. We laughed all night. It was wonderful.

At dawn on Saturday February 21st I took Ashley to the beach to watch the sun rise. I had the ring and a feeling of nervousness that I have never known before. We talked and watched the sun break the horizon and spill pink, purple, and orange across the morning Florida sky. Ashley, as she always is, was cold. I remember holding her and talking about how beautiful the whole scene was. I told her that it paled in comparison to her. We talked for a few more minutes and walked a little further down the beach. At some point I stopped her and took her hands in mine. As I looked into her eyes and got down on one knee she began to shake and cry. I asked her if she would marry me. She just held me while continuing to cry. I looked up and saw her nodding her head and asked if that meant yes. She said, “Yes, it does.” As I stood up and put the ring on her finger I saw that smile that I have fallen in love with so many times now. We just stood there, in the cold air, hugging each other and fighting back the tears of joy. Those early morning moments on the beach are permanently etched in my memory. It was only fitting that the start of our life together begin at dawn… - Ashley Davis

Ashley and I looked out across the most beautiful lobby in the world, at all the smiling family and friends gathered for our event. I slid my hand down to support her back and she leaned back gingerly. She looked up with the most loving blue eyes and I leaned in for a gentle kiss. And so we kicked off our wedding celebration from the grand balcony at the Hermitage Hotel. I couldn’t help but feel how lucky we were, and how we had gotten to this day…

I had the ring, the father’s permission, and a plan. A few months back, at a charity auction for Big Brother’s and Big Sisters, I had bought a weekend’s stay at a hotel in Traverse City, Michigan. Michigan, some may know, is shaped like a left hand – and Traverse City is located at the top of the ring finger. We had begun dating on Labor Day two years prior, and I was ready to have another eventful Labor Day weekend. The time and place were perfect. I don’t think she suspected anything.

We began the weekend at sleeping bear dunes, where the clear blue skies blend into the clearest water. On the soft summer sand, we laid out a quilt crafted by grandma and enjoyed a picnic from Cherry Republic. After the tangy sandwiches, salty chips, and iced tea, Ashley curled up next to me and we shared a fantastic nap with that sublime feeling that all was right with the world.

You know how they say that having the ring burns a hole in your pocket? The whole week I had it, I couldn’t stop looking at it sparkle and being eager to give it to Ashley. That Saturday afternoon, I tucked it into my pocket and we began with a tour of Mission Peninsula Wineries. We spent the afternoon enjoying white wines, red wines, and it wouldn’t be Northern Michigan without fine cherry wines. We dined that evening at this quaint restaurant downtown. After dinner, we strolled out to the beach. The sun had set a little more than I had wanted, and we looked out at the moon glistening on the water and the stars aligning. Ashley was still gazing out at the tall ships, and I dropped down to one knee. I looked up at my love and I asked Ashley to be my bride. Luckily for me, she said yes. And then on account of the darkness, she asked if she could see the ring.

The wedding at the Hermitage was more than I can have imagined. I suspect many little girls dream of such a spectacular day. I loved seeing my princess for the first time that day in the promenade, and the private moment we shared before being announced on the balcony. We are so happy that the Hermitage is part of our story. We plan to spend every anniversary there. Though we have been married less than a year, we haven’t missed one yet! - Todd Witte

When I was a kid my older brothers used to tease me about a three-toed sloth living in my closet that would come out at night to get me. He, of course, was too slow and never made it to me before having to turn back mid-night to his ever elusive hiding spot. After years of fear for the monster turned to laughter around the family table, I grew to have had an odd love for the strange slow moving creatures. Which makes it very appropriate that I would fall for a guy just as cuddly and nap prone as my favored animal.

Being the two big kids that we are, my boyfriend Courtney and I set out to go to the Nashville Zoo as a fun date while the weather was beautiful and while we were both off of work. I was naturally bummed that my favorite animal isn’t found in many zoo’s and of course as fate would have it, not anywhere near Nashville either. After a few minutes of grumbling, actually it was more like days of sad statements over the non-presence of sloths; I chippered up for the day of fun for just the two of us.

As we entered into the zoo parking lot and began walking with the crowd Courtney gently tugged my hand off to the left, taking a path to an adjacent building. Now, there are very few times I question my location due to my terrible sense of direction, however, I did question why we were going so far from everyone else. His response was that we were getting season passes to the zoo and that everyone else wanted general admission. Satisfied with his response, I began taking in more of the scenery and as we walked in I was again tugged by Courtney’s hand into a smaller room where my jaws dropped and my eyes couldn’t believe what I saw. In our own little room was a handler and a real live sloth named Brooke! We spent an hour with Brooke and her handler, petting and feeding her everything from kiwi to her favorite snack, Cheez Itz. She would stretch out her arm to hold onto both of us and even gave me a lick or a “kiss” on the chin. Brooke was actually an educational sloth and would frequently be taken to auditoriums to entertain and educate children about different animals. Courtney had her brought all the way from Kentucky just for me! Incredibly happy and still amazed, I helped Brooke into her crate and as she was being taken out I turned to see Courtney holding a ring box as he got on one knee. Tears began to well up and I don’t remember a word of what he said when he got on his knee but I of course, remember nodding my head and being barely able to say yes through the emotion. For the next few weeks I could not stop smiling at the great experience I had just had and am continually imagining the even more exciting ones to come after our marriage on August 15th. - Mindy McReynolds

My boyfriend and I had been dating almost 5 years when he proposed May 2, 2009. He had told me earlier in the week that he wanted to take me to the park on Saturday. I was excited but as the week went on the weather for Saturday was calling for rain. Tyler decided that it would not be best to go to the park so he suggested we go to Starbucks and talk because he said that was my favorite thing to do. How thoughtful? :) Saturday Ty picked me up and we headed to Starbucks. We went in and talked for a while but the music was too loud, we decided to leave. We both work at our church so he said he needed to stop by and finish some things up at the church before we went to eat dinner. I also had some last minute things to finish up. When I was done we went into the production room at the church. The production room looks into the sanctuary. He told me he needed me to watch the screens and make sure that words on the screen were centered. He proceeded to go through a lot of words. I asked him do I still need to watch the screen. He said yes please. Then the words “Find the white box” pop up on the screen. I said “What?” He told me to go into the sanctuary and find the white box. (Now let me tell you that the sanctuary is not small!) I went into the sanctuary and I began to walk around. I walked down every isle and I could not find this white box. After some guidance I found a big white box under one of the pews. I picked up the box and I opened it. I pulled out a teddy bear and it had a tux on. On its tux, its said Will you marry me?? I looked down at Ty and he was down on one knee holding the ring. He said, “Will you marry me?” I said yes. :) He was shaking when I hugged him! It was the most perfect proposal. I loved that it was just he and I in this huge sanctuary. It was so romantic! He had also planned a party for us at his house! It was so thoughtful of him to plan a party for us so we could celebrate with all our friends! - Ashly Eaglen

Kenneth and I meet on July 4th 1974 and it was fireworks from the very minute I looked into those baby blue eyes. After we dated for a few weeks he started saying when we buy our house, our kids will never or on our anniversaries lets do. The first time he said our kids will never do that I about fainted. I thought our kids? Kenneth and I meet in the summer between our junior and senior year of high school and no one thought it would ever last. On Christmas Morning of 1974 he came over and picked me up to go to his parents and we had breakfast and went to the living room to open presents and they were all smiling and everyone kept looking at me with this big grin on their face. Kenneth’s Mother handed me a present and I thought it was from her. It didn’t have a tag on it so I just assumed. I opened it an it was full of wash clothes. I thought what the hell is this and she said keep looking and when I did at the bottom of the box was a ring box with my engagement ring in it. Of course I started to cry and Kenneth an I hugged but he never asked me to marry him. It was a very odd moment. So we finished our time there and went back to my parents house and I showed everyone my ring and My Mama started tell the story of when he came over to show her and my Daddy the ring and to ask my Daddy for my hand in marriage. She said he was so cute and nervous and he got the ring stuck on his pinky when I came out to the living room and we had to drive to his house so he could go to the bathroom and get it off with soap. He did all this without me ever knowing what was going on. So after being with his family when I got the ring and than going to my family we finally got on the road to go to my Grannie’s and when we were on the road for about 30 mins. He looked over at me and said, “WELL DO YOU WANT IT”? Now is that romantic or what.

Just to let you know this little couple that no one every thought would make it have been together 35 years this fourth of July and Married 34 years this August 1st….. - Toni Pugh Eaton

My fiancé’ & I meet 3 years ago volunteering for a local youth ministry in Knoxville. However, a little over a year after we started dating I took a job in Murfreesboro making us a little over 3 hours from each other. We visited each other often & my now fiancé’ Bethany (I call her Beffers as a made up pet name) would always like to do little things for me to show how much she really cared. When I would visit her we would do everything together. We would go on road trips, take hikes in the Smokey’s, visit waterfalls off the beaten path, & even drive up to the mountain tops in the wee hours of the morning to watch the sunrise and on every destination we would photograph our journey. Many of these visits she would sometimes make a small treat for me or treat me to a meal but what really had the most meaning to her was making personalized slide shows that would show us together doing random things or of our road trips that show us just being in love. When I decided to pop the question, I had it all planned out. It was the weekend of the anniversary of our first kiss, it was definitely something that she was very special to her, and I was coming in for a visit. Since I knew that she absolutely loved making picture movies & slideshows for me on her computer, I knew that had to be the way to go. I stayed up late for 3 nights gathering the perfect music & pictures of us together showing all the places we’ve went, all of the things we’ve done, & all of the experiences that we’ve shared together as a couple. When I came in that Friday night I really wanted to make it a surprise & get her to think that nothing was out of the ordinary. To really go the extra mile to throw her off, I pretended that something was bothering me & that I started to act a little distant; you know, avoiding eye contact, shying away from an affectionate kiss, you get the picture. I knew that it being the anniversary weekend of our first kiss she was really wanting the weekend to be special but the whole fact of me intentionally putting on a show of being distant wasn’t starting the weekend off on the right foot in her mind for sure. Before we parted for the night, I threw out the idea that we should go watch the sunrise in the morning, telling her that might cheer me up. She begrudgingly agreed so we woke up early the next morning, she still being irritated at me for not showing a lot of interest already & for having to get up very early in the morning, to watch the sunrise over the North Carolina mountain tops at the site of our first date. We hiked to very top of Max Patch, she still irritated and me still playing along. She was determined that no matter what she was going to enjoy herself, all until I pull my laptop out of my backpack which she disliked even more. When I got the laptop up & running, it was finally time to show off the perfect slideshow. With the sun rising in front of us, she was fixed to the computer screen when I started the slideshow, watching the pictures of us & our travels scroll by up until my last slide, which was a picture of a closed ring box asking her to say yes. She was so taken back; she had to ask me to ask her again there on the mountaintop. From her surprise & response, I knew it was the perfect way to ask if she would marry me. We stayed there half of the morning, taking pictures & holding each other, taking in all the creation around us. It truly was a perfect day. - Keith Carpenter

I am writing in for my daughter and future son in law. My Daughter laChanda is a nursing, EMT and fire fighter with a very stressful life. She loves getting lost in a good movie to forget the daily stresses. My future son in law Robbie is also a fire fighter and a soldier soon to be deployed. Because they are so close and have such a great relationship it is hard to keep anything from the other so this proposal was not only creative but pulled off to my surprise without a glitch. So here goes the events leading to the proposal.
Robbie gathered pictures of him and LaChanda from the beginning of their relationship until now put them on the computer and made a 4 minute movie set to the music of “Will You Marry Me”. He then contacted all the local theaters to see if he could get them to play this movie on Easter Sunday before the movie we were going to see. He had one theater to agree so he had me take the movie on a Thursday before and make sure everything was going according to plan. Since my daughter is so suspicious of Robbie making a suggestion in advance (he is a spur of a moment kind of guy) He had me declare Easter Sunday as my family day (which I do occasionally when I need my family for a day). I announced that on Sunday I wanted a family day and we were going to Jackson to see I Love You Man!…. No Exceptions!

Easter Sunday after going out to eat we head to the theaters. This is Easter, so there are very few people at the movies. We get there a little early get the drinks and popcorn. Head up to the perfect seats and the advertisements begin. Suddenly in the middle of all the advertisements you see Robbie & LaChanda on the big screen and the music begins. It was a breath taking video and left no one with a dry eye. Needless to say the video ended with a picture of the ring that said LaChanda Will You Marry Me? And Robbie on bended knee with the ring. LaChanda said yes and we are set for August 28, 2009.
I have heard of many types of proposals but have never heard of playing a movie at the movies and I think this was the first time anything was pulled on LaChanda without her knowledge. I can send the video if you would like to see it. I really feel these two deserve this package. - Paula Cordle

I met my future husband, Phillip, when he was a student at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt. I was visiting my mom, who worked for the dean of Vanderbilt’s Medical School. Waiting for her lunch hour to start, I walked across campus looking for a particular building. I was lost. Phillip walked up the steps in front of the Divinity School’s Chapel, I told him I was lost, and he graciously walked me to the building I was looking for. We talked for a while, and we agreed to go out later that week.

I went back to my mom’s office and told her how I was standing outside of the Divinity School and met this wonderful person.

She said, “The Divinity School?!? Why weren’t you standing outside of the Medical School? Or at least the Law Library!”

Ha! My mom was “looking out” for her daughter’s best interests. She didn’t want me to “end up” with a poor pastor.

After my mom and Phillip met, she forgot which school he was attending and approved. About a year later, Phillip and I were at his brother’s house listening to a thunderstorm. When the storm passed, we went outside on the front porch, looking at the clouds and listening to the far-off rumble. Phillip lovingly asked me to marry him, and I readily agreed. He later said knew the lightning storm was the best time to ask because if we were not struck down right then and there by a lightning strike from heaven, he knew God approved of the two of us being together.

We got married at the Chapel of the Divinity School, where we had met. Our honeymoon night was spent at the Hermitage Hotel, May 25, 1985–24 years ago this year. - Cathy Cole Wright

One Saturday my now fiancé left to go metal detecting as I was leaving to go shopping. He told me to he would find me something while metal detecting if I were to get him something while I was out shopping. Later that evening when we met back up. I forgot about our conversation from earlier about him getting me something. We went to go eat supper and he was quieter than usual. I just thought he was tired. We got back home and watched TV. During a commercial, he took my Maltese out to use the bathroom. When he came back in, he said, “Look what Percy got into”. As my dog ran back inside to me, I was looking for mud or something. He had a gold ribbon around his neck and my ring was tied around his neck. I was speechless at first, and then he asked me to marry him. It was so sweet!! - Tara Jacobs

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Filed under Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories

Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories (Part 3)

We both had been married before me for 19 years, Dennis for 14 and both of us were afraid to think of marriage. We had committed once before and gave totally of our self but now for ever reason we had not to get married we had 100 reasons why we should. After several years one night was we were taking our usual evening walk he presented me with a beautiful emerald and diamond engagement ring. He said it was not the tradition style engagement ring, but our relationship was not traditional, it was unique and one of a kind. So there in the cool evening air with the sky full of sparkling diamonds I gave my heart to my love and accepted to become his bride. God was our witness and he has watched over us ever since (19 years). - Stephanie Pots

Almost 6 years ago, Greg and I met up for our “first date” in Nashville. I was living in San Francisco, and he was living in Cleveland, Ohio. We had met several months prior, at a swing dancing weekender in Cleveland that I had flown all the way out from California to attend on a whim. After a whirlwind of a weekend, dancing all day and all night to amazing live swing bands, in front of historic sites such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Greg says now he knew I was the gal for him.

We kept in touch over email and phone, until we decided to meet up again. We chose to meet up in Nashville, somewhere we both always wanted to visit because of our mutual love of traditional country music and dancing. After an amazing weekend in Nashville, we continued to date long-distance, meeting up in various cities across the U.S. – mainly in cities where Southwest Airlines had a specials :)

After 1.5 years of late-night phone calls and trips to random Southwest Airlines destinations, I made another trip to Cleveland to visit Greg. Greg made sure that I was plenty tipsy over the course of the evening, as we hopped from dinner to one of the local bars where a friend’s band was playing. As it got later, Greg told me that he wanted to take me out to Lake Erie and show me how pretty it is at night.

We pulled up and parked in front of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Greg had with him a brown lunch sack, which he told me was full of snacks, after I curiously inquired. He led me to the concrete plaza outside the doors of the museum where we had danced the weekend away the previous year. Out of the lunch sack, he pulled out peanut butter& jelly sandwiches and cookies – what we had eaten together there that weekend we met. I was still feeling a bit tipsy, and thus enjoyed my late night eats. And I was clueless. Greg then pulled out a small, long box that I opened up. It contained a beautiful silver chain with a solitary pearl. I loved it and was wondering what the occasion was for such a nice gift. All of sudden, I looked up and he was on his knee with a ring box open, and I see a beautiful vintage engagement ring. He announces, “I already got your father’s permission!” The pearl on the necklace was originally in the center of my ring, but he had that replaced for a diamond. “Will you marry me?” he asked. And of course, I said, “Yes.”

In October 2006, we returned to Nashville (for the 4th time since our first date in Nashville). Only this time, we brought 125 of our friends & family (all from out of state) with us to the Court of Three Stars in Bicentennial Park where we celebrated our marriage ceremony. We could think of no better place to exchange our vows than the city of Nashville, which has always been so special to us. We decided that it would be mutually inconvenient for Greg’s Ohio family and my California family to meet there. We chose the Court of Three Stars for our ceremony to represent the integral role that music has played in our lives and our relationship. We spent our first night as husband and wife at The Hermitage and, boy, morning sure came quick!

Greg and I are now living in San Francisco and continue to watch the Southwest Specials to give us an excuse to get out of town. Needless to say, we’d love a good excuse to come back to Nashville and re-live these memories. - Anne Arnhym-Yanito

July 7, 2007 was our first date. Didn’t know from then on out what kind of turn my life would take…for the better and for worse. Our second Date was on July 14, 2007…. The very next day…. Sunday, while my fiancé’ was playing basketball at church…He collapsed on the court and his heart stopped, 20 years old! Although I wasn’t there, we had been talking on the phone all day that day and he was supposed to call me when he was finished around 11pm or midnight. Obviously he never called. His heart had stopped for minutes. A girl who was there revived him until the squad got there…pumping him 3 times and taking him to the hospital. And this is where the Journey began…. 2 dates and now he’s in the hospital. What do I do?
We had some mutual friends so I had called a guy named Luke and talked to him and we decided to visit him in the hospital. I had NO idea what to expect! Doctors said he would never wake up again…he woke up ten mins later. It was awful…. he had no idea what happened or where he was. Although he did recognize everyone! Needless to say, he would have brain damage and would never continue to do the things he was doing before…work, school, basketball, NOTHING!…. SO THEY SAID! It was over a 6-week journey with God right in the middle of everything. Rehab was everyday all day. People were amazed as to how well he was doing. I was there 5 days a week on average…driving over an hour one-way just to get there. I kept him a journal at the first sound of hearing them say he would have brain damage. I figured if I wrote everything down for him, he would have some recollection of the events taking place. He could read and re-read as often as he wanted.
6 weeks and a few days later, he is released. Although it took some time…he is completely back to normal, no sign of brain damage, heart damage, NOTHING. AMEN!!
Together we attend a college-aged ministry every Saturday night at our church. For 3 or 4 weeks we have been doing a love series leading up to Valentine’s Day. . At the end of service that night he asked for volunteers to read 1 Corinthians 13 to wrap up the love series. Some people raised their hands, and he came to Michael. He told him He wouldn’t do it unless I walked up there with him. So we went up there and instead of reading 1 Corinthians, He told everyone what love she has shown me. I started crying after the first word. He had trouble getting through it himself, but he did, and thankfully I said yes. I was definitely surprised! There were candles all over the stage, a huge backdrop with “LOVE” written on it, a guy from the band playing his guitar…. most romantic thing ever. We’ve been through so much together, and his mother just passed away this passed October from pancreatic cancer. We can’t wait to tie the knot June 20, 2009! This trip would be an answered prayer for us! =) Thanks everyone for letting me share my story, I hope it touches someone’s life just as it has mine!! God Bless! - Kami Munro

In December of 2006, Neil and I first “met” on Myspace (through a mutual friend) and began writing to each other. We never planned to meet in person, but on his 30th birthday- January 6th, 2007, we saw each other from across the room at Cabana, here in Nashville. He made his way through the crowd and asked if I was “JenRo” (my nickname). I said, “Yes,” and asked him if it was his birthday. By the end of our short conversation, he was holding my hand and said he wanted to see me again “as soon as possible”. :) Our first date was 3 days later at The Trace restaurant (which was right next door to Cabana). Our relationship bloomed and in May, he told me I was “the one”.
In June my mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (cancer). Neil was a rock for me during that scary time. When I needed to cry, he would just hold me and then pray for my mom and our family. In October, I decided to join Team In Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and run the Country Music Half Marathon in support of my mother’s battle with cancer.

In November 2007, we were still not engaged and the transmission in his truck had to be replaced. I thought, “Now we are never going to get engaged!” But I had a glimmer of hope that he might propose on my 29th birthday, December 1st. Nope. Didn’t happen.
So, the holidays were upon us & he knew I was hoping for a ring. He told me he would never propose on Christmas because that was just too cheese-y. We went to his parents’ house in Huntsville, AL to exchange Christmas gifts with them, and he gave me… an i-pod armband (to keep me entertained while training for the half marathon). Then we headed back to Nashville to spend Christmas day with my family. After breakfast we all exchanged presents, but Neil said my gift from him would be delivered later. We all went to a movie together & then we had Christmas dinner. After dinner, he told us that there was one more gift for me and handed me a card. He had written some very sweet things in the card, detailing how wonderful our relationship was. The last line said, “The only thing that could make it better would be if… (Turn card over)”, but there was nothing written on the back of the card. That’s when he got down on one knee & asked me to marry him in front of my whole family!!! He put the most beautiful ring I have ever seen on my finger and tears began streaming down my face as I squeaked out: “Yes!”.
A few months later, I met my fundraising goal for LLS and in April I completed the Country Music Half Marathon in my mother’s honor. She is now in remission from cancer.

Neil & I were married on June 14, 2008 and spent our wedding night at The Hermitage Hotel!!! - Jennifer Romine McGlothlin

I met my wife Maureen the first time as my yoga instructor at a studio in Cummins Station. After a time, we started to see each other frequently at different art events here in Nashville. We started dating and before long, I realized that this was the perfect person for me.

I made a decision to ask her to marry me and wanted the occasion to be both special and memorable. During our courtship, I discovered quite a few things about her including her love of poetry, music, visual art and travel as well as the fact that yoga was not her primary job. (She’s an attorney and this comes into play a bit later.)

I knew that I wanted the place to propose to be important (the beach at Seaside) and the token given at the time to be special and in keeping with the location. I figured with the beach theme, pearls would be appropriate. Although I am a traditionalist, I couldn’t make an heirloom stone that I had work without blowing my cover (ring sizing, custom setting, etc.) so I purchased three pearls from Margaret Ellis and I started to hunt for the perfect container. I initially sought a small iron box like a treasure chest. I searched high and low and was feeling dejected after not finding what I saw in my minds eye. At the last antique shop near closing time, I was feeling a bit desperate and looked in a case that held a small, antique clamshell box with gilded edges and a little hinge at the back of the two shells. Perfect!

I got home and placed the pearls inside and to my disappointment, they rattled around and the presentation wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. I needed help! We were leaving the next day and I was short on ideas. Maureen had a friend, Suzanne Meyers who designs jewelry and I thought to call her and ask for suggestions. She came to my rescue during a time of great personal crises (a family death). We spoke covertly via cell phone and met rather clandestinely that evening under a streetlamp and I handed her the items like state secrets. John Grisham would have been impressed! She called the next morning and delivered to me a suede lined clamshell box & the pearls stranded together on three silver rings that she told me represented past, present & future. I now had the tools for the job ahead!

(Jump to beach, Tupelo Pavilion, Seaside)

We found our spot on the beach our first morning and got set up with the cabana man and started to settle in. I started to observe Maureen’s habits. One of them was, as she read, she would wiggle her feet into the sand on either side of her chair. This was repeated after coming out from a dip in the ocean a few times so I thought I had a pretty safe location in which to secret my item.

I went back to our cottage and made a lunch of fresh grouper & shrimp ceviche and guacamole with chips, retrieved the shell box, grabbed a bottle of chilled white and came back to the pavilion where we ate and chatted. Afterward I suggested a swim and we both trotted down to the shoreline where I stopped having (purposefully) left my sunglasses on. I told her I would be right back, ran up to our chairs, concealed the shell next to her footprint and raced back into the water.

We finished swimming and resumed our positions, applied sunscreen and dove back into our reading (well, she did). My eyes were concealed so she couldn’t see me constantly looking over to see if she was moving her feet (she was) and wondering whether or not my little plan was going to work (it did).

She wiggled her toes one last time and uncovered the shell! With a little more help from me I said “Hey! What’s that?” “Huh?” she said; reaching for the small container. “I’ll bet someone lost this,” she said frowning, feeling the disappointment of their loss. As she picked it up and began to examine it, I knelt beside her chair and said, “Why don’t you open it.”

As she looked inside she seemed struck by the beauty of the pearls and then started to realize that she recognized the work of her friend Suzanne. At that point, I popped the question! After a moment’s hesitation, she responded as any responsible contract attorney would when the pressure is on with “Do I have to answer now?”

Alright…I have just asked this woman for her hand in marriage and am, more than any time in my life, at my most emotionally vulnerable. This is NOT the answer I’m looking for. A few moments pass, the sand is making little marks on the flesh of my knee, the seagulls caw and whirl overhead and she finally says “Yes!”

We were married at the chapel in Seaside ten months later. We just celebrated our fourth anniversary at Jazzfest in New Orleans and are the proud parents of a lovely two-year-old daughter, Erin who was christened by the same Reverend that married us, in the same chapel.

I feel very fortunate that she said, “Yes!” My life is now complete! - Cortland D Joyce

My Wife was a second grade school teacher at the time. So I called one of her teaching friends and asked her to help me. I asked her to somehow get my Wife’s class away for a few minutes, but somehow keep my wife in her classroom. So after PE, she told my Wife that they should get both classes together in her room to watch a movie. My Wife was someone suspicious, but agreed to go along with the plan. To make sure that my Wife stayed in her room, her friend enlisted the help of the principal, who went to her room for a quick chat. I arrived at the school at 1:00 p.m. and went to her friend’s room. We had her class line up single file and I gave each of them (25 or so) a long stem red rose. They filed back into my Wife’s classroom and one by one they handed her the roses. She had no idea what was going. I was the last one in line and I was carrying a vase for the roses. Her Mother & Sister, as well as my Mother and a host of other nearby teachers followed me into the room as well. I got down on one knee in the middle of the classroom and asked her to marry me, much to the delight of all the onlookers. Thankfully she said yes. Shortly thereafter, the assistant principal came over the intercom and announced it to the entire school, and the substitute teacher I had pre-arranged came in to take over her class while we snuck out for a late lunch and a few celebratory drinks. It was an incredible day! We celebrated our 6th anniversary at The Hermitage this past December! - Michael Parks

In April 1984, I was a first year law student at the University of Tennessee Law School in Knoxville. My boyfriend and I had started dating the spring of my undergrad junior year (1982), and when he hadn’t proposed to me by the fall of my senior year, I started to look for ways to stay in Knoxville until I could seal the deal. Law school seemed like a good idea, but the same month I was accepted, he broke it off because he thought things were too serious. I started law school in the fall of 1983 without a boyfriend, but still thinking that he was the one. The minute I started going out with other people that fall, he came back into the picture, and by Thanksgiving 1983, we were dating again. I was very happy, but still not completely confident that it would stick.

I had gone home that April for Easter break to visit my family. While home, Bo called to see what time I would be back in Knoxville that Easter Sunday. He explained that his entire family, including his 85 year old grandmother, were in town and that they wanted me to come for Easter dinner. I thought this was sort of an odd request, as he had always been very conservative about taking me to his family’s get-togethers.

By the time I got back to town, he had already called my house several times. He seemed a little nervous and odd to me when he picked me up. Instead of taking me directly to his parents’ house, he took me to Talahi Park in Sequoyah Hills, which was not too far from his parents’ house. It was during the Dogwood Arts Festival in Knoxville, and the traffic was terrible. During those 2 weeks each April, the City of Knoxville decides which streets in Sequoyah Hills are to be on the Dogwood Trail, and then someone comes out and spray paints the trail in pink on the road. The road circling Talahi Park just happened to be part of the Dogwood Trail that year, so the “Dreaded Dogwooders” were out in force that day.

We parked the car and got out. Bo had his jacket slung over his arm which I thought was quite strange. We walked around the park, and he was just chattering away, which is also quite uncharacteristic of him.

After we had circled the park, we sat down on a little bench inside the park’s fence. As cars of Dreaded Dogwooders drove by staring, my boyfriend reached in the pocket of his jacket. Out came a gold Leggs pantyhose egg, which he asked that I open. Inside the egg was a beautiful old mine cut diamond that he had inherited from his grandmother. Since it was unset, I was afraid to assume that this was for an engagement, so I said to him, “What’s this for?” He looked at me incredulously and said, “It’s for your engagement ring, silly.” Man, was I surprised and incredibly happy! When I asked why he had taken me to Talahi Park to propose to me, he told me that when he was a little boy growing up in the neighborhood he always thought that the park looked like a place where men would propose to their girlfriends. Awwwwww….. Anyway, of course I said yes, and 6 months later we were married. We will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this October, I am happy to say. - Beth Adair Townsend

Breck and I met in the lobby of The Hermitage Hotel while attending a wedding on April 24, 2004. I was friends with the bride, he with the groom. We spent hours talking and dancing at the reception and at the after-party.

We had been dating for 2.5 years when we went to Sunday night Mass that, unbeknownst to me, was full of foreshadowing! The entire service-the 2 Bible readings, the Homily/sermon-was on marriage!

After Mass Breck got a voicemail from our friends who were going to have drinks at the Oaks Bar and asked us to join them. When we got to the hotel we went downstairs to the bar and they weren’t there. Breck called them from his cell phone and told them we would wait for them in the lobby. While standing there, he noticed the balcony and suggested that we wait there and people watch. We got up to the Mezzanine and looked down on the lobby where we talked for the first time at the wedding. I pointed out the exact spot where we were standing when we met. He turned to me and said, “This is where it all started. I want for the rest of our lives to start right now.” He was down on one knee holding an open ring box towards me. Of course, I start crying immediately! He asked me to marry him and I, obviously, said yes! Time just stood still. It was so wonderful to look into his blue eyes and seeing the same happiness that was in mine, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He placed the ring on my shaking hand. We had to sit down for a moment to let it all absorb! I was shaking, crying, and laughing. I couldn’t believe this was the moment I was waiting for, the moment I had been praying for.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at Sole Mio, where we had dinner the night we first expressed our love for one another. We also celebrated our 1-year anniversary there. I had never known Breck to be so sentimental! From The Hermitage to Sole Mio… what a perfect evening!

After dinner, Breck asked if I wanted to go for a carriage ride. It was such a beautiful night! It was such a wonderful idea to be in the city that we love taking in all that the night had presented. Of course, this is the one night that the carriages weren’t running! But the thought was wonderful and just walking down Broadway holding hands was incredible!

While on our walk I realized that I had my camera in my purse. I was so frustrated that I didn’t think about it earlier. I wanted a picture of us at The Hermitage! I asked if we could go back, but was concerned it was getting too late. We had to work the next morning. Breck agreed that we needed a picture so we went back to have one taken. While we were still standing on the Mezzanine floor, he slipped a key card in my hand. He had booked a room for us! I was in complete shock! He had spoken to my boss and had arranged for me to have the day off! We laughed that I played into his hand. He had no idea how he was going to get me back to The Hermitage for the surprise and was relieved that I gave him a great excuse by needing a picture! We got off the elevator where I found rose petals leading the way to the room, 2 dozen roses in the room, as well as chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and Norah Jones playing on the CD player! He even had my friend go to my house and pack an overnight bag for me! He thought of everything!

I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic or meaningful proposal. We got married 3 days shy of our 3-year anniversary of our meeting at The Hermitage Hotel. We celebrated our 1-year anniversary at The Hermitage and hope to do the same for anniversaries to come! - Shannon Largen

Ok well the night I ask Jessica to marry me I took her to the movie Theatre were we had are first date ok well she said yea so we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate so we went over to the store and Jessica thought we should not by anything that would be to much money I wanted to by something nice her thinking we are going to need to save money for the wedding starting now ok she found boons farm nice she like it because it was under $5. So we went over to her mom and dads to celebrate well we could not fine any wine glasses so we had to use some every day glasses ok we toasted and took a drink and we all spit it out at about the same time turns out none of us like boons farm wine! - Ryan Buehler

During Christmas time at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel they have professional ice sculptors to come and carve tons of ice in the way of a certain theme they provide them with. This year the theme was, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ I love the Grinch!! It was one of my fondest memories of Jason, my fiancé, and I together when we had gone together the year before. This year was a special treat because my brother, Demian was in town from San Francisco. I was so excited about going to the ICE! show with both of our families this year. Little did I know it was a set-up! In the middle of the ICE! show there was an ice slide. I was so excited! She remembered the ice slide from last year. Jason, Keelan, future brother-in-law, and I headed up the ice made steps to the top of the slide. Keelan slid down the slide, then me. Before Jason slid down, he yelled out, “DEIDRE PATTERSON!!” I was thinking to myself, “why is he screaming! Shut-up Jason!” When he slid down the slide and got to the bottom of the slide where I was standing and got down on one knee and popped the question, “Will you marry me?” I couldn’t believe it! I was astonished! I of course said yes, but I could barely get it out of my mouth. After that, I was in a state of shock and euphoric happiness! - Deidre Patterson

My husband and I had been dating for almost two years when a friend and I decided to take a girls trip to Destin, FL. We stayed at my parent’s condo right off the beach. My husband, Ben, was still in school at the time and had classes and work obligations. During the four days I was gone, I talked to him several times a day and he would tell me he was working or doing school work. Little did I know, he and my friend, Jennifer, had an engagement planned. Ben flew to New Orleans where Jennifer’s husband, Steven (they lived in Baton Rouge), would pick him up at the airport and drive him to Destin. They had been planning this ever since we decided to take our girls trip.

One afternoon, Jennifer asked me if we could go down to the beach before dinner and take some pretty pictures on the beach with the sun setting. I really did not want to go. I was hungry and tired and wanted to go straight to dinner. After A LOT of persistence on her part, I agreed to go to the beach. She told me to wear something pretty so the pictures would be nice. We walked across the street to the beach and I pointed out several people who looked competent enough to take our picture. She kept saying no, and we needed to walk a little farther down the beach. I was getting frustrated but let her win. As we continued to walk a few minutes more, I looked up and noticed a familiar guy walking toward me. It was Ben walking down the beach, and at that moment I knew we would be getting engaged. He walked to me with a huge smile on his face and asked if I was surprised? He proceeded to pull a ring from his pocket, tell me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and then asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! Jennifer and Steven watched from down the beach and took pictures. It was a moment I will never forget.

I’m a very hard person to surprise and he pulled it off. He had asked my dad for permission and even my mom kept the secret. Destin will always be our special place. The next day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Had he waited one more day, the surprise would have never taken place. - Beth Robinson Miller
Our story isn’t exactly “Clark Gable,” but it is extra special and has connection to the Hermitage Hotel.

My husband had been dating for about 3 years, when he planned a special weekend at the Hermitage hotel. The hotel had recently reopened and I had been reading great reviews and stories about it. I had been dying to stay there and possibly have a future wedding there. (But felt it may be beyond our budget.)

Needless to say, I was thrilled and surprised when he told me we were going to stay there over the weekend. I just knew it he was planning a proposal. The whole week I had a permanent smile and talked about how I knew he was going to propose. Boy was I surprised when he showed up VERY early the morning we were set to leave to pop the question. He caught me in my PJs and glasses! I’ll never forget it.

Later that day we headed to the hotel. After checking in, I learned he had arranged some time for me to meet with the Wedding Planner (Victoria Dysilvio). She gave me the tour and talked about possibilities. I felt like a princess in a dream. I couldn’t believe he had helped arrange this.

We talked with both parents and decided we could make it work at the hotel and moved forward with plans. Unfortunately, not too long after we learned my fiancée was being deployed to Iraq and would not be here for our planned date. Furthermore, we had no idea when he would be back.

We thought about postponing the date, but at the last minute decided to go ahead and get married. In two weeks, with the help of family, close friends and hotel staff we had (a much much smaller version) of our dream wedding! We spent our honeymoon at the hotel because he couldn’t leave with his deployment so close. The whole thing was absolutely magical! Wonderfully Romantic!

He has since returned and we have a beautiful two year old. I feel so blessed. He is a police officer and I work for a non-profit. While we have very little free time these days, I look forward to a chance to return to the place that holds so many wonderful memories for us! - Casey Wall LaMarr

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Filed under Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories

Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories (Part 2)

It all began on a normal Wednesday afternoon. Preston had called and said he was invited to go deep-sea fishing with some of his friends to the Bahamas. Of course I told him to have fun and go. It would be a good weekend for him to get away with the guys.

Thursday evening my friend Heidi Allen calls and says that she just won top sales rep of the month. She also said that her company was giving her an all-inclusive trip to NYC for her and a friend. She called me!! WOO HOO was I excited. Of course I wanted to go. Fly to NYC, staying free in a nice hotel in Times Square and best yet, get to go see a Broadway Show. All I needed to do was book a flight for Saturday. Preston “helped” me find a flight and I was all set to fly out on Saturday.

Friday afternoon Preston calls and says he is on his way to the Bahamas. He even calls me Friday night and pretends he just got done fishing and then he was going to go grill out for dinner. Heidi was supposed to text or call me with the address of the hotel Friday night, but Saturday morning I had nothing from her. I just figured she would text me while I was on the flight (my flight was at 6:45 a.m. so I figured she was just sleeping) I land in NYC and I still have no text from Heidi. I call her and text her but no answer. Wow, I thought she was playing a mean joke on me and she really wasn’t there. Normally I would have got annoyed, but I actually was having fun just hanging out at the airport watching the planes come in and out. I was stuck in the airport for 3 hours and finally Heidi calls. She apologizes profusely and said that her phone died and she left her charger in L.A. (for everyone that knows Heidi, this is something she would totally do. By the way. Heidi is my friend from college. She just moved to L.A. back in the fall) I jump in a cab and head to the hotel. Once I get to the hotel (Millennium Broadway on 44th and Broadway) I unpack and relax for a while. Wow, I was really in NYC, for FREE with one of my friend for the weekend. I was so excited!

Finally at 5:30 p.m. Heidi texts me and says that her company was meeting to hang out before dinner and the show and to meet her at a hotel called Dream Hotel on 55th and Broadway. She told me once I get there to go all the way up to the top floor because her company booked the top of the hotel. When I first get to the hotel I see that there are blue lights all around. The first things that come to my mind were wow Preston would really love this.

I get in the elevator to go up to the top floor. Once to the top there was a bouncer at the foot of one more flight of stairs. I go up to him and tell him I am with Heidi. He tells me to go on up and Heidi is waiting for me. I walk up the stairs and I am ready to see my friend and have fun.

Let me pause here and try to describe what I saw when I reached the top. Normally during the summer, the hotel top is wide open and you can see Time Square, but this night since it was colder there was a white tent that fit the whole thing. The tent was draped with white curtains all around. There were black chandeliers with blue lights and candles everywhere. Michael Buble was playing over the sound system.
Okay now you have somewhat of a picture of what I saw. I was frozen in awe. I was expecting Heidi but there was no one up there. I look to my left and I saw this guy sitting on a couch in front of a fireplace. Wow, he looked like Preston. Again, I stood there not moving. Oh my goodness, it was Preston. What was he doing here? I thought he was in the Bahamas. He slowing got up and walked over to me. He said the sweetest things I have ever heard, got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.

He proposed to me! I was in complete shock he had to ask me twice because I kept repeating myself “Are you for real?” Yes! It was for real. My best friend. My one true love. We are engaged and it was a dream come true. Everyone has that special moment when the one you love with all your heart asks to be with you forever. I was lucky enough to find such a guy. He is the best partner a girl could ever ask for. I cannot wait until our wedding day when I can look into this eyes and become his wife!
Check out our website: http://www.prestonandjenn.com - Jenn Pitoscia

Check out our wedding website at http://jeasleyandrboughtonjr.weddings.com you can also check out everything to do with our wedding at http://picasaweb.google.com/JILL.EASLEY07/PICSOFEVERYTHINGTODOWITHOURWEDDING?feat=directlink Richard and I have been together for 10 years now. We are finally going to get married on Friday July 3, 2009(our original anniversary date we got together on), the wedding will be during the day. We will be getting married at Clovercroft Chapel in Franklin TN. We will hold our ceremony there and our reception will follow there. One of our friends Brad Anderson will be playing the piano and singing live, the chapel has a state of the art sound system and we will also have a dance floor, finger foods, activity books for the kids, and many other things.

How We Met:
We met in middle school through a friend

How We Got Engaged:
We went to Nashville Shores and watched the fireworks that night, during the finally of the fireworks Richard got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes. Everyone around us was clapping for us, both of our hearts were beating fast just like they were 10 years ago when we were teenagers and Richard had asked me to date him at the same place and fireworks show on Percy Priest Lake. - Jill Nicole Easley

Well, my husband always bought paper towels. When I asked why he did, he said they were on sale, and he couldn’t resist. Well after a while we had over 30 rolls of paper towel. Fast forward a few months, and we were down to one roll. I told him about it and his reply was ” see I knew it. Well a couple of weeks later was Christmas and on Christmas morning I had a very big box under the tree. I thought it was a TV, When I opened it, it was 12 Rolls of Paper Towel, there was a card on top that said ” Free gift with the purchase of 12 rolls” and on a string attached to that was my engagement ring, and he got down on one knee and said ” Will you marry me and let me buy paper towels for you” I had to laugh and cry at the same time. We have been married for almost 18 years…. and we never run out of paper towel! - Renee Zoltowski

Brian told Frances he had a trip “planned” to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend with their friends Kamadi (one of the groomsmen) and Elise to visit friends and family. A few days before they were supposed to leave Frances’s best friend Khai (the matron of honor) called and asked them to stop in Columbus for the preschool graduation of her son Jaylen, Frances’s nephew (the ring bearer). Brian and Frances agreed but Frances thought it was weird that Khai told Frances so last minute. So the plan changed and Brian said they would leave Nashville Friday and stop in Columbus, Indiana for the graduation, then continue on to Chicago on Saturday afternoon. When Friday came Brian said he was sick and could not leave. Frances was worried about him but was slightly irritated at the fact he was making her late for the graduation. When everyone arrived in Columbus at Khai’s house Frances found out she missed the graduation. Khai said it wasn’t a big deal and asked Frances to go shopping for Jaylen with her and then take him to Mill Race Park to play for a little while.

After some brief shopping they headed to the park. As soon as Khai pulled into the park she drove to the Observation Tower that overlooks the whole city. This park/tower is also significant to Frances because her Dad built it several years ago. When they pulled up to the tower Khai stopped the car and turned on Brian and Frances’s favorite song at the time “Love is you” by Chrisette Michele. Khai then handed her a beautiful photo album with Brian and Frances’s picture on the front. Frances started crying at that moment because she finally knew what was going on. As she looked through the album Brian had placed all types of pictures from their whole relationship with captions for each. When she turned to the last page there was no picture but a caption that said “The Day I Asked You to Marry Me”.

Khai then led Frances to the tower and they started walking up the stairs on the way to the top. On the first landing there were Roses everywhere with a note that told the significance of the color of rose and a message from Brian. Frances was crying too much to read it, so Khai had to read to her. This continued for 8 flights of stairs, each landing having more different colored roses and a new note. When Frances reached the last landing the stairs leading to the top were covered with Raspberry satin and rose petals. After climbing the stairs Frances saw Brian standing at the top with a Rose his hand and roses all around him. Brian professed his love to Frances and then got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. Through all the tears she managed to say, “Yes”. Right after she said, “Yes” she heard cheering down below. Brian had arranged to have their families share in the joyous moment.

Proposal occurred on 5/24/08 we will be married on 5/24/09 exactly one year from the day he proposed!

Thanks for letting us share our story! - Frances B Lunsford

After spending almost an entire week in Greece visiting my sister (Kelli), my parents, Kelli, Amy (my other sister) and I were picked up in a limo and whisked away to the beautiful ruins of Cape So union. Kelli and her classmates declared the Greek ruins to be one of the most beautiful places in all of Greece. Tourists flock to the site not necessarily for the temple to the god of the sea, but rather for the sun setting on the Aegean Sea. After a scenic drive along the coast of the Sarconic Gulf, we arrived at our destination.

At first site, the place wasn’t all that impressive, but as we rounded the pathway leading to the summit of the peninsula, the beauty of the place became obvious. Josh, to my knowledge still in Nashville, had sent me on a photo hunt the entire week – including video footage. Kelli had confiscated the camera during the 45 minute ride to Sounion, so as we reached the top, she suggested I stand in front of the Temple of Poseidon and blow a kiss to Josh. Without much hesitation, I began my routine. After I finished, Kelli didn’t turn off the camera. Suddenly, I felt someone behind me. I turned to find Josh (in Greece and not in Nashville!) standing there in a tux with a breathtaking red rose. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. He tried to hug me, but I was so shocked I quickly pulled away to look at him to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. He suggested we walk closer to the cliff overlooking the sea. I followed his lead and little did I know what he had planned for the moments to come.

Still battling confusion and total shock, I listened to him. And as quickly as he appeared in front of me he dropped to one knee asking for my hand in marriage. After I said yes, the strangers around us applauded his proposal. My family, standing several yards away, reported the only words they could hear from me where a gleeful “yeah right!” So as the sun set over the sea and temple, Josh and I celebrated the unofficial beginning to the rest of our lives. - Erin Estepp Link

Well, first let me apologize but for some crazy reason my husband and I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel while we were there on our anniversary and my profile pic is of another hotel in Louisville… after much bourbon… we must come back…
Here’s our story…My husband and I had been dating for 7 years. We loved to travel and decided to take a two-week trip to Europe with just our backpacks. No travel plans once we arrived… We started in Paris, at a hostel, with only bunk beds and no towels… how romantic… then off to Amsterdam where you couldn’t find a hostel available, I got pick pocketed, and almost hit by a tram, OK off to Copenhagen, at this point we were both a little punchy and the weather took a turn for the worse… plus I’m 5’5″ and brunette, why in the world he would take me to a place full of 6′ beautiful blondes is beside me… The weather started to clear up and we decided to go to Tivoli Gardens… beautiful rose gardens, roller coasters, but I was hungry and thirsty… he couldn’t make up his mind where to go… I mean it took him nearly an hour and then we sat down on a bench and he turned to me and said, I left the ring at home because I thought I would either lose it or I would set off alarms at the airport but would you marry me… we both began to cry and I kid you not, there were fireworks, up in the sky, Tivoli Gardens has fireworks and they just happened to be at that very moment, not planned honest…. the entire rest of the trip was awesome. When we got home my whole family had already known he was going to ask me on the trip… that little stinker. Just celebrated our 6th anniversary! - Tobi Silgman
My husband and I were best friends in High School and although we NEVER thought of dating one another back then we definitely had a great friendship.

Fast forward 10 years after HS, I ran into him at the gym. We were both dating other people, broke up with other people, and commiserated with one another about the “other person”. One night after a bottle of wine he kissed me. It dawned on me he may actually be date-able! 4 years later we talked marriage. He is the first to admit he isn’t the “romantic planner”, much more spur of the moment guy. So he gets a beautiful ring with his friend and decides to propose to me on Christmas Eve and here’s what my mate does. I am cooking for our family Christmas Eve dinner; he comes home and gives me a kiss hello. I turn back to crack an egg and crack the egg right on the engagement ring he deposited into the bowl. I then pick the ring up, rinse it off, look at him (he is kind of shy and silent) and say “so…do you have something you want to ask me”? He then says, “Oh, will you marry me?”

It is ironic and actually not planned but today we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary and with 3 kids under our belt we couldn’t be happier! - Jamie Parsons Lescher

I’d already found the ring in his sock drawer. I was over at his home, and I got a little tired of seeing a pile of laundry needing to be done. So I did it. Ok, maybe I was poking around a little, but I really had no idea he’d already bought a ring. It made me wonder why he’d not asked me to marry him yet. Several weeks went by. And still, nothing. No date, no dinner out at a fancy restaurant. No special trip somewhere.

This was shortly after 9-11-2001. It turns out he’d bought the ring a few days before that event. I had no idea at the time, but looking back, it all makes sense now. My then fiancé, now husband, was a pilot. Not the kind that flies people around in big airplanes, but
The kind that likes to fly upside down in a little tiny tin can with wings and a propeller on it. Now honestly, I’m not a big fan of flying, but I feel safe when he’s flying. He’s super safety conscious when he pilots. As it turns out, his plans to propose to me were
“Grounded,” so to speak. His plan involved taking me on a little trip in an airplane.

As soon as they started allowing private flights to resume after 9-11, he told me he’d set aside Saturday to take me shopping. We were going to make a short flight from Fort Lauderdale Executive airport to Vero Beach, FL. There were some outlet shops up there I liked to visit.

Once we were up there, we’d either rent or borrow a car from the airport to do a little shopping and lunch, and then return. Well, I later found out his plans were not quite working out on his end. What he’d intended to do wouldn’t quite work out? So the day
Before (I later learned), he and a friend had loaded up in the same airplane with a field paint sprayer, and a box of field spray paint bottles! They’d flown out to a little airfield in Pahokee, FL. A tiny little farming community (with no shops or nice restaurants, I might add). They’d spent several hours painting a sign in the field next to the airport.

So we arrive at the airport on Saturday, load up, and he informs me that he’s received recent instructions, based upon the current rules for flying, that we couldn’t fly directly up to Vero Beach. He said this was due to restrictions concerning flying over and around
nuclear power plants (there’s one on the way up there, or something like that). I didn’t know that he was making this all up, but I knew that if we’d not been flying along the coast, we’d have not been heading to Vero Beach, so he had to make something up.

He told me we’d be going to Pahokee, and that he had something fun planned anyway, and then we could go on up to Vero Beach via an inland route. I believed him. As we began to approach Pahokee, he lowered the airplane to (as he said) 1000 feet above the ground. He’d taped the ring to the inside of the yolk (the steering wheel on an airplane), to where I couldn’t see it, but he could get to it easily without distracting his focus on flying the airplane.

Along the way, he kept pointing things out on the ground. Lots of stuff, so I didn’t initially pay much attention when he dipped the wing to the right and said, “HEY! Look what’s in that field!” I looked at it for a minute, and then I thought, “Wow, that’s weird, someone named Vanessa is getting proposed to!”

Then it hit me, the sign said, “VANESSA WILL YOU MARRY ME?” in giant white letters painted on the grass of this huge field! I looked over at Pete, and he had a ring in his hand. THE RING! The one I’d seen in his sock drawer a few weeks earlier.

I grabbed the ring out of his hand and put it on my ring finger! I don’t know who was in more shock!?! He didn’t even get a chance to slip it on my finger. I reached over and hugged him.

I think he’d not thought about how to at this point fly the airplane and deal with my in a crazy emotional state! So he swiftly landed the airplane at the field. We got out, hung out a bit, found someone to snap a photo (which is unfortunately long lost now), and then packed back up and headed home. No shopping. No fancy lunch out. Just a beautiful new ring on my finger!

When we got back to Fort Lauderdale, my family was waiting for us at the airport with flowers and greetings and joy! They knew the whole plan all along. They knew he had a ring. They knew about his lies to me! Heck, they even kept me guessing, and totally sold me on the idea that it would happen a few weeks from now. So it was all a complete surprise! A wonderful, memorable, loving and sweet surprise!

It was a flight I’ll never forget. - Vanessa Ferdinand Warren

The story of our engagement

(told by Colin)

So most of you know that Kalyn and I first met at the Vanderbilt Rites of Spring Concert on April 21st 2007 held on Alumni Lawn. I have heard numerous tales of engagements and I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting than to get engaged at the exact spot where we first met. It was December 23rd and I had just picked up the ring that afternoon. As the sun set I went to the alumni lawn armed with 250 candle luminaries and a dozen roses with shaking hands and the ring in my pocket. I arranged all the candles in a perfect circle at the fateful spot on alumni lawn, quite a beautiful scene with the Vanderbilt bell tower in the background. Kalyn was completely unaware; as I told her we were going to dinner with my mom, when a stretch limo pulled up to pick her up. Kalyn was 5 minutes away from alumni lawn when Mother Nature decided to torment the young romantic. A furious wind picked up and turned my candled creation into a lawn littered with extinguished luminaries, a scene out of a cheesy romantic comedy! I cursed Mother Nature and attempted to salvage the damage as my beautiful bride to be arrived. There were only two candles left burning as she walked towards me, perfectly symbolic.

She answered my prayers and dreams by saying yes and after the ring adorned her finger. We popped a bottle of champagne in the limo. I made dinner reservations at Cafe Margo, where we shared our first date. As we walked into the restaurant, Kalyn’s eyes filled with tears of surprise and excitement as we were greeted by our families and friends for a wonderful dinner.

(Addendum by Kalyn):

I had just worked a 13-hour shift and a proposal was the last thing I expected! Even with the cold and windy weather and scattered candles, it was absolutely perfect! However, Colin left out one of my favorite parts…Along with a beautiful ring, he had a dozen roses each tied with a note and pictures that represented a different aspect of our lives. There was a rose for adventure and fun with pictures from our ski trips and other vacations and adventures. There was a rose for family with pictures of our families and a note about the excitement of our own some day. There was a rose for our shared work in health care, he as a doctor and me as a nurse. There was a rose about faith and love. The thought he put into each was so amazing, and each rose brought me to tears…The tears only continued when I realized he surprised me again at the restaurant when I walked in and saw our family and friends from Kentucky and Georgia!

It was a night that I will never forget…and we are getting married 4 months from today! - Kalyn Bowra

Jake and I were best friends throughout college. We wouId sit and talk for hours at a time about every topic under the sun. I would even give him advice about his girlfriends, and he would advise me about my love life. Upon graduation, I married someone that I had been dating during college, and Jake was an usher in the wedding.

Several years passed, and Jake took a job that required him to travel all over the world. I would only hear from him sporadically, but our friendship endured nonetheless. After 8 years of marriage, my relationship fell apart, and I found myself jaded and ready to spend the rest of my life alone. Jake had returned to the states about a year before, and was dating a doctor that I really liked. For once, he seemed happy, and I was happy to see him so. However, she, ironically, moved out of the country to practice medicine in an area that sincerely needed doctors, and he decided to stay in Wisconsin to help his parents, whose health was failing. We cried on each other’s shoulders and lamented our losses.

I will never forget my best friend broaching the possibility of dating Jake to me, after all of the years of friendship that we had had. After all, he had never married, and was now available. Plus, I already knew him well. I had already sworn that I would never marry again, but she wouldn’t listen. She insisted that I had had the perfect man right in front of me all of these years, and that it was time someone pushed us together.

I was terrified, but allowed her to persuade me into telling him that I might be interested in “going out” if he were ever in Tennessee. He soon flew in to Tennessee, and I found myself more nervous than I had ever been in my life! But after that first date, I knew that he was the one I had been looking for. However, how would we overcome the fact that he lived in Wisconsin and I lived in Tennessee?!

After dating long distance and earning lots of frequent flier miles, he took me to London for a week long vacation. It was an incredible experience! He took me shopping and to enjoy all of the wonderful sites in that beautiful city. After taking me to the theater on the 4th night to see Shakespeare, we walked hand in hand down the London streets to Trafalgar Square. There, with the London streets all aglow, he walked me to the statue of Eros. As he told me the story of the statue of Eros, the god of love, and how lovers would proclaim their love for each other there, he got down on one knee, and asked me if I would be willing to be his best friend for eternity, as his wife. And there, with many tears, I accepted his offer, and we have been side by side ever since.

He moved to Tennessee to be with me, and his parents decided to move here to retire. We have lived here happily ever since, and I still cherish the memory of being proposed to at the statue of Eros! As Shakespeare said, “all’s well that ends well!” - Kristy Graves Mall

My fiancée Lee and I met on a social networking site called myspace.com on June 27th 2005. While on the site, I received a friend request from Lee and accepted it because he seemed nice (and was cute). Me and Lee talked for weeks and decided to meet for drinks at a local bar. I, being nervous, as I had never met someone on the Internet, decided to bring a friend along for a buffer.

Lee arrived at the bar and was instantly overwhelmed by me and the 5 guy friends that decided to show up and quiz him. He survived and I thought that, since he handled himself so well, he would definitely be able to deal with anything else I was going to throw his way.

The night was going great and they decided to go to another bar to play bumper pool. While playing; my little pink purse kept falling off my shoulder. Being the gentleman that Lee is, he offered to hold my purse. This was the moment that I knew that this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with….

The Proposal

I had been out of town for work for a week and when I came home Lee surprised me with tickets to the General Jackson Steam Boat. I had always wanted to go on the boat since I moved here 3 years ago but I never had the chance. Know this Lee went out and got tickets, little did I know he was setting the stage for me best day of my life.

After we had dinner on the boat, we went outside to watch the boat pull into downtown Nashville. Well, there I was with my back turned, looking down the river at the beautiful downtown skyline. Lee cleared his throat behind me…. I turned around to see him on one knee with the ring and he said, “Will you marry me?”!

At that point, I was so surprised and speechless, I just start shaking and crying and smiling at the same time. Lee, not knowing what to do with the flood of emotion that poured out of me asked me “does that mean yes?” I shook my head and yelled… YES!!!!

So after Lee got my answer and I picked my jaw up off the floor (The ring is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen) the cruise director of the boat came by and asked them if everything was ok?

There I was crying and smiling, I was sure I looked a mess; I just shook my head and showed him my hand. He smiled and congratulated us and asked us our names. Later that evening, he made an announcement over the loudspeaker to the whole boat letting everyone know that, “Lee just asked Rachel to marry him and we think she said yes!” Everyone on the boat cheered and people kept coming by to congratulate us and the cruise director even sent over a bottle of champagne to our table.

Little did I know that a few months back, on a trip home to New York, Lee had sat down with my dad and asked him if he could marry me. I had no idea about the ring or that he asked my dad. Needless to say he completely surprised me; which is hard to do because I am nosy.

I would love to win this prize so I can surprise him with a romantic little getaway from our everyday lives. - Rachel Stein

My husband Derby and I had been dating for about 2 years. Every time my lease on my apartment came up it began to be an issue because I was hardly ever there and it was beginning to get hard to justify the cost. Derby was a little gun-shy about getting engaged because he had been engaged once and ended it like a week before the wedding. Lots of drama and I respected the fact that he didn’t want a repeat of the first episode. On the flip side, I knew we both wanted to marry each other and my stance was that I didn’t want to drag the relationship on if it wasn’t going to happen in an appropriate time frame. No hard feelings- just not the type to drag it out. One random day he called and said “what are you doing?” and I said “Getting ready to go sign a lease on a new apartment.” He was like, “do what?” I said, “yeah, it’s in green hills and it’s a 2 year lease.” He was freaking out and discouraged me from signing the lease and encouraged me to go month to month on my old place for a few more months…Next thing I know we are going to a hockey game one night. It was spring break for his little sister Lauren, who lives in Johnson City TN. He also invited his sister, Courtney from Memphis; Kat from Johnson City and Erin, from Greenville, SC. I thought this was a little weird but he said it was a big game for the Preds and that he had wanted to have everyone in for a hockey game. It is a large and very close knit fam, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Next, we got to the game and found that SEVERAL of our close friends were there. Again, I found this odd but never said anything. On the way to the game Derby began to act very nervous. He was checking his hair in the reflection of the elevator on the way to the game. We sat in our seats and he was looking for all our friends and family in the crowd. We got a beer and he immediately kicked his over. Things were going well and we were having a good time but with a few seconds left in the 2nd period I said I had to “pee”. He said, “Oh, no, you can’t”. And I said, “What do you mean I can’t?” He said puck is in play..he was totally panicked. All the sudden, I found out why. They flashed a spotlight on us and put “Cassie, will you marry me?” on the jumbotron. He stood up got on one knee and asked me to marry him. After I said yes he was all “macho guy” hands in the air, fist pumping and getting the crowd into it. I was not the last to be proposed to at a Predators game but I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST. To that point, I think only one other couple had done it before us. What I loved the most is that he involved all our friends and family and that he put so much thought and work into planning it and making it a surprise. Big and grandiose…that is Derby. And I will always love that he stood up in front of 17,000 people (including our friends and family) and asked me to marry him. Oh, and the apartment thing…He asked me on April 3rd and he had had the ring since Christmas…oh, the fights he could’ve saved! Ha!) This November 20th it will be 10 wonderful years and 2 beautiful kids later! Life is great and I’m a lucky girl! :-) - Cassie Jones

My husband brought me lunch one day at work and asked if I would marry him if he proposed with a watermelon ring pop. I thought he was weird, but we were young and broke so I said “sure.” Well, he didn’t have a watermelon ring pop with him. I thought he was being even weirder. That evening when I got home, he met me at the door with this cute little hot pink animatronic monster that played the “Mana mana” song from The Muppet Show. I love that song. The monster had a little heart that read, “Hug me.” So…I still thought he was being really weird, but I gave him a hug anyway. He laughed at me and said, “Would you take a closer look?” when I looked again, there was a diamond ring on the little monster’s arm. Of course I said yes and was relieved that my husband to be hadn’t gone crazy. We got married 6 months later at The Hermitage Hotel! - Leigh Rast

What our proposal lacks in romantic gestures, super planning and coordination (compared to all of the stories posted here) is made up for by location! Sam and I had been dating almost a year and a half and had discussed getting married a couple of times. On a Saturday morning in December he asked me if I wanted to have dinner at the Capitol Grille (at the Hermitage Hotel) that night. I thought it was a little oddly timed since we had at least two Christmas parties to attend that night, but I agreed none-the-less. Who can pass up dinner at the Capitol Grille? So, he picked me up and we walked to the Hermitage (we both lived downtown – and still do). We sat down for dinner and he was very nervous the whole time. I got suspicious, so both of our appetites weren’t the best that night. Sometime between dessert and getting our bill he finally got the words out: “Will you marry me?” He hadn’t alerted anyone when he made the reservation that he was proposing – so thanks to the very attentive service staff, he was interrupted no less than 10 times when trying to ask me! The most romantic thing he said was that he never thought he would find someone who he loved more than his dog (that sounds very odd, but if any one of you know Sam and his dog you understand). It was a high compliment! Later, he said that he got so nervous that he doesn’t remember saying that and had forgotten his planned speech. Long story short, I accepted. We went upstairs into the Hermitage’s gorgeous lobby and asked someone to take our picture in front of one of the beautiful Christmas trees. Then we departed for a Christmas party and got to share the news in person with many of our Nashville friends. It was a wonderful night at the best hotel in Nashville! - Andrea Hutchinson Champion

I married my high school sweetheart, that didn’t work so well! However, I left that relationship with the most awesome daughter ever! My daughter Shannon decided she needed to choose my mate – she didn’t have much faith after my first choice! Shannon arranged a “date” with my very best friend! Come to find out he is my soul mate, turns out she does choose better! Anyway, Shannon and Rob partnered up to make the most wonderful proposal ever! Now, I have the best family ever! Happiness abounds for all three of us! - Susan Beets Cook

We’ve been married for thirty years, and I’m not certain there was a proposal. Ever.
- Barbara Young

My fiancé Jeremy and I met our junior year of college at the University of Pennsylvania. We were both attending a friend’s party when during the course of our discussion we realized that we were both born on February 21st! We started dating shortly after and have been together almost five years. Jeremy proposed on May 2, 2008. He had just finished his second year law school exams at U Penn and was not supposed to come visit me in NYC – where I live – for several days. I remember May 2nd well. I had an unusually stressful day at work and was sad that I had not seen Jeremy for an extended period of time as he had been studying for finals. As I left work that night, I called my parents to vent about my difficult day at work. My father asked me a strange question. He said, “Kim, how far away are you from your apartment?” I pondered his question and said that I was about 15 minutes away. He said he wanted to make sure that I got home all right and to call him when I arrived. As I opened the door to my apartment, I jumped back. Who was inside? I walked slowly down my front hallway only to realize it was strewn with ivory and red rose petals that led me to Jeremy standing nervously in a full suit amidst hundreds of tea candles lit throughout the apartment. As I approached him, he got down on one knee and said, “Kim, I lied to you. I was coming in from Philadelphia today.” He proceeded to tell me how he loved me from the first time we discovered we shared the same birthday and would love me forever. He opened a small white box to display a beautiful princess cut diamond ring that he helped a jeweler design and asked for my hand in marriage. I screamed YES at the top of my lungs, gave him the biggest kiss ever, and then proceeded to call my parents. Jeremy had asked them for my hand in marriage and even asked my younger sister Brittany if he could marry me. After numerous calls to my friends, family, and future bridesmaids, Jeremy poured a bottle of champagne in two new glasses he bought just for the occasion. He then took me to a five-course dinner at Aureole where the maitre de was expecting our arrival and immediately asked to see my ring upon my entrance into the restaurant. When we sat down at a remote corner table, a bottle of champagne and a hand written congratulatory note mailed by his parents from California was sitting at the table. It was the best night of my life, and I cannot wait for our wedding this coming August. - Kimberly Siegal

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Filed under Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories

Best Wedding Proposal Contest Stories (Part 1)

I live here in Nashville with my husband. But far before we had ever met, I attended college at the quaint and historic College of William and Mary in Virginia. The college was full of tradition and lore. Just outside my junior and senior year dorm room was a small pond with an old bridge over it. Rumor had it that when a man and woman crossed the bridge together, they were destined to be married. To walk over it alone was to tempt spinsterhood. Needless to say, it was a rare event to see college students on the bridge. But even still, it’s a beautiful sight and I had always loved it. My mother gave me a painting of it and when I met my husband, he necessarily learned the story. Fast forward hundreds of miles and nearly a decade from graduation, my boyfriend (now husband) took me to my alma mater in Virginia for a vacation and to see college friends. One night on campus, it was pouring down rain. But even still, we set out to tour the campus. My husband expertly steered me to all the various points of interest – almost as if he’d studied a map… Last on the list was the beautiful bridge from my memory (and the painting he’d seen for the 9 months we’d been dating). He took me to the bridge and kneeled at the foot of it. He proposed with the ring he’d been carrying all over Virginia! And then, of course, we walked across the bridge together. Now the painting of the bridge on my college campus has many meanings and levels of importance and hangs happily in our house! - Shelby Pannell Longard

My fiancé is known to be funny and spontaneous. I had an idea that he was going to propose but knew that he wanted to ask my dads permission. I knew that the last time we would see my dad face to face would be the first weekend in May of 2008. Little did I know that while we were there, he ask for permission not only to marry me but to also tease me a little bit in the process…The first time he came out on the deck where I was reading and said that he needed to talk to me. He started to tell me how much I meant to him and got down on one knee and said…”There is something I need to ask you….will you go see Iron Man with me?” As you can imagine I was a little upset by this because he had me going. After a couple weeks, he told me that he was taking me out to dinner on a Wednesday night, he said to get really dressed up and that he would pick me up after work. I was really excited and was convinced that he was going to be asking me. He picked me up, took me to Morton’s and had a private table reserved in the corner. I was nervous all night. When it came time for dessert he again started telling me how much he loved me, how he couldn’t live with out me and even reached down under the table as if to pick something up and then just told me he loved me. That was it! I left without a proposal and a little upset that he was stringing me along. The end of May came along and I had a weekend of seeing the Sex and the City movie and shopping with on of my best girlfriends. I got over to his house on Saturday night and he told me that we had reservations at Amerigo’s at 8. At this point I was beat so I went and took a nap, got up and got ready to go. We were running late because he didn’t get dressed until 7:45. We got to Amerigo’s, sat at the bar for a little while, then went to our table. We ate dinner and right before dessert came he asked me if I had to go to the bathroom. I said no and he told me that I should go. Because I wasn’t in an arguing I got up and went to call my sister who was at home sick with the flu. I got back to our table and he asked me if I was staying the night with him. I said yes and then he asked me if I would spend the night with him for the rest of his life. He lifted up my napkin and underneath it was my ring. Then he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. It was perfect even after all the teasing…we are getting married on May 30th and will be spending our first night as a married couple at the Hermitage Hotel! - Shannon LeBlanc

I knew it was coming. We had talked about it before, but I didn’t know when. But it was obvious. The next day we were planning to pack a picnic, go to the “Blue Holes” on the Ocoee, (our favorite spot) and spend a romantic adventurous day together. We were getting ready for bed, both in our pajamas. I had carelessly thrown my hair up on top of my head and washed my face… I got in bed and flip on the TV. I looked over at him and he was grinning–ear to ear. He said, “I just can’t wait. Its been burning a hole in my pocket and I’m scared I’ll lose it if I wait till tomorrow. I love you, will you be my wife?” No make up and all…doesn’t’ get much more romantic than that! - Brandi Whitfield Bryant

We both had the EIT/FE exam on a Saturday in 2003 (for you non-engineers, that’s an 8 hour test us engineers have the pleasure of taking to try and get our professional license). Then we had tickets to Yanni, which I had bought for Brad for Christmas and reservations for dinner. Brad wouldn’t tell me where dinner was, but he does that all the time, so I wasn’t suspicious of that. After the test, we stopped at his brother’s to get changed and then headed into the city. Brad parked near where I used to work while he and I were both still attending Drexel for college. We walked by this garden that we used to meet at for lunch and he wanted to go in. When we walked in, in the center of the garden on top of a pillar, there was a glass slipper. (When we had first started talking about marriage, I told Brad all he needed to get me was a glass slipper, since I love Cinderella.) I believe my quote was “Oh my God, is that what I think it is?” He got down on one knee and presented a gorgeous ring and asked me, and I of course said yes. We even have pictures of the event…Brad had his friend come and put the glass slipper in the garden and then hide in the bushes to take pictures! He wasn’t able to work it out for the day, but originally, there was even a horse and carriage involved. - Joy Springer

My wife and I had been talking about getting engaged/married for some time, but when I decided to propose, I had secretly been hinting at time periods a little farther away. I was sure (and later confirmed) that she thought that I would be proposing at least a month or so down the road. We both love to cook, and after making and sharing a romantic dinner together, I sat her down at the table, got on one knee, and asked her to marry me. Earlier that day I had gotten one of her best friends to plan a small get together to celebrate, but timed it so that we could celebrate with a glass of champagne together, and then went out to celebrate with our friends!

13 months later, we had a lovely rehearsal dinner at the Hermitage, and then spent our wedding night there! - Trey Tally

I am a teacher (fourth grade), and the big day had finally arrived! I let all of my students in on the big secret, and I left 1/2 day early to prepare for the special night. My students were behind me 110% as I left to “set the stage” for a lovely evening. It was December 15, and I was outside in the freezing cold drizzle turning my backyard into a magical masterpiece. I have a path that winds between two flowerbeds. I wanted to line the path with white luminaries to mark the path. However, there was a chance of rain that night, so I had to buy white clear lights, cut holes in the bottoms of the white bags, and place those over the lights in order to make my own homemade luminaries that would work in case of rain! I had painted a sign that said, “But these three remain: FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13. It was placed on the tree beside the path with a spotlight on it. At the end of that path, I had made a cross on the ground out of white Christmas lights to represent FAITH. I then spelled out HOPE with white lights as well. Finally, I made a huge heart out of luminaries to represent LOVE and to mark the “spot” where the proposal would happen.

After numb fingers, everything was ready to go! I had told my girlfriend that it would be fun to dress up and go out to dinner, so we went to Ruth Chris’s steak house. (My friend paid for our dinner as our engagement gift!) Afterwards, she thought we were just going to come back to my house and watch a movie. It was then that I texted my sister-in-law to “turn the lights on!” She officially had the backyard all lit up as soon as we got there. She and another friend were hiding behind trees so that they could capture the moment with photographs as soon as it happened.

Upon our arrival to the house, I told her that since we were not going to buy each other Christmas gifts this year, I made her one. I took her outside to the backyard. (She still had no clue) I made her read the sign beside the path, and then we proceeded to the three different stations, where I talked about what Faith, Hope, and Love meant to us as a couple. (She still had no clue) Once we both stepped into the middle of the heart, I got down on one knee and proposed. Her mouth hung wide open–she was shocked! She said “OF COURSE!” and hugged me. (She didn’t even take the ring she was so excited!) :)

I then asked her if she wanted to go show my parents the ring, and she of course wanted to do that. Little did she know that I had about thirty of our friends/family waiting for a surprise engagement party to end the special night. It was definitely a “night to remember” as we celebrated FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE!

My fourth graders were pumped the next day as I shared stories and pictures with them about our special night. - Lance High

My husband Todd and I met at a Millsaps College alumni party at his house in Nashville, TN. We were both living in Nashville. Todd, my husband, is almost 10 years older than me, so we did not know each other at Millsaps in Jackson, MS.

I walked up to what is now “our house” and knew instantly that Todd was someone I wanted to get to know better. We dated for 10 months, and then for Valentine’s Day, he surprised me with a trip back to Jackson, MS to experience Millsaps together.

We finished the six-hour road trip and checked into our hotel, The Cabot Lodge Millsaps, right next to campus. The next day we set out to go explore our beloved college campus. We walked all around and we had fun sharing memories of different experiences at the same college. We got to an area of campus in front of the student center called “The Bowl”. There was an area in the middle where you could donate money to the school and you would receive an engraved brick with an inscription of your choice. My parents had bought a brick for me when I graduated so I immediately asked Todd to help me find “my brick” with the inscription Christina Paxton, class of 2000.

After I found my brick, Todd asked me to come over and look at a brick in front of him. I went over to him and read the brick out loud which said, “Crissy, Will You Marry Me? – Todd 4/8/2000”. I looked up and a guitar player was coming towards me playing our song, along with a cameraman getting the whole thing on video (Todd had found them on the internet and paid them to learn our song and to video the event!) I finally looked over at Todd after the reality of the situation set in and he was on one knee with tears in his eyes asking me to marry him. I immediately flew in his arms and said yes! Everyone in the bowl at that time started clapping and cheering.

After we celebrated, I looked up from the bowl and a stretch limo was waiting for us! We drove all over Jackson, sharing funny stories, taking pictures in front of our old houses, visiting old hangouts and drinking champagne. We even had the driver take us to our favorite burger joint, The Cherokee, where the driver joined us for burgers and fried pickles.

As the day came to a close, I noticed that the limo driver missed the exit to our hotel. I asked Todd where in the world we were going and he said innocently that he had no idea. We eventually pulled up to the nicest hotel in Jackson, MS. Todd had hired another person to pack up our things in our hotel room at the Cabot Lodge, and move them to this fancy hotel while we were out all day celebrating our engagement.

We ended the day by having a wonderful dinner at our favorite steakhouse in Jackson, Shapley’s, with two of Todd’s best college friends. It was the most romantic day of my life and I am excited to share this story. We were married December 30, 2006 and we just celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We would LOVE a night away at the wonderful Hermitage Hotel! - Crissy Cassetty

The fiancé’s family and I had plans to go to Gulf Shores over fall break. We were not able to go on fall break so we ended up just going for the weekend in October. The reason for this trip was so that my fiancé’s mom could have pictures made of the family for her Christmas card. On the way down there we ended up making a wrong turn and didn’t get to our condo until at least 3 a.m. The next morning my fiancé came and woke me up about 8:00. I am not a morning person, but I know that this was really the only day we had on the beach so I pulled myself out of bed. We were ready to hit the beach, but first we were sent across the street to buy beach towels while my fiancé’s mom and sister went to the beach to get chairs. Finally we made our way to the beach with the rest of his family. When we got to the beach his sister told us about a sea turtles nest that they saw down the beach. He insisted that we go and see the nest right then, so I agreed. As we walked down the beach I noticed something in the sand that was ahead of us. When we got closer I noticed that they were seashells and that they read, “Will You Marry Me?” To be honest the first thought that crossed through my mind was “Aww…someone is getting engaged today.” Just as I was thinking that I looked at him and noticed that he was reaching in his other pocket. I looked again at the seashells and confirmed to myself what they read, and then thought, “That person is me!!” By the time I turned back to him again he was then on his knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, as my knees almost buckled and tears were streaming down my face.

This whole time his mother was hiding and taking pictures of everything! My fiancé had this whole thing planned since the previous summer! While he and his family were on vacation at the beach he decided that he wanted to propose to me on the beach, so he started picking up seashells then. Come to find out this only reason for this trip was for this. There were never any plans for pictures on the beach for the Christmas card.

I was completely shocked and I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal! - Brooke Harris

I was always impressed by a couple of paintings in my sweetheart’s house. He had painted them himself, based on photos he had taken. I had asked him several times if he’d paint something as a gift for me.

During a visit to my parents’ hometown, my sweetheart took hundreds of pictures. One of his favorite photos was under a bridge, showing the blue metal archways.

A few weeks later, we had planned a weekend trip. That afternoon was full of separate errands for each of us. He asked if I would quickly run to the store for him. When I returned to my house, he was inside. He surprised me with a remarkable painting of the bridge on my mantel! I was amazed by his gift.

As I admired his work closely, my sweetheart told me there was a hidden message. He darkened the room and turned on lamps with black bulbs. Using special ink, hidden in the painting’s arches, he had written, “Will you marry me?”

It was the perfect combination of a thoughtful gift, using my family’s history and his talents. I said YES!

The painting still hangs in our living room as we live happily ever after.

http://www.timmorgan.com/weblog/2007/04/now-i-dont-usually-blog-about-my.html

– Amanda Morgan

Me and Ty dated for over 4 years before he finally proposed. We wanted to wait until I finished college before getting married. So, when graduation day began rapidly approaching, I was on pins and needles wondering if he might propose.

I was terrified he would try to do it during the graduation ceremony. That scenario never seemed romantic to me. Some crazed boyfriend screaming in a megaphone “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” in such a serious setting. Mortifying! I begged and pleaded with Ty to never, ever propose on Graduation Day.

He obviously could tell that I was anticipating it that spring. I was very suspicious of him during my entire last semester of college. After a date or a walk in the park, I would quiz every move he made. If we passed by any jewelry stores, I would drill him about potential purchases. My goal was to catch him slipping up, so I could prepare myself. Not in a demanding, hateful sort of way, but more of a more-than-anxious ready-to-be bride kind of way. Come on. Four years is a long time to wait!! I loved Ty, and I was so ready to finally say, “I do!” It was time.

Graduation day came and passed. We were originally from North Alabama (my alma mater) and we decided to celebrate my graduation with a mini-trip to the coolest city in the South and our future home, Nashville, for the Crawfish Boil. The weekend was all a blur. I remember the band Cake playing, and eating sushi at Ichiban’s for dinner, but the relief of finally being out of school had melted most or maybe all of my remaining brain cells.

His birthday was on the following Friday (May 18th). So we decided to celebrate his birthday at our favorite hangout in Florence, Alabama. Being out of school had added a lot of free time to my schedule. And I decided to make Ty cupcakes for his birthday that night– with Guinness and Yuengling (essentially Black & Tan Cupcakes-delicious!) Summer had finally arrived, and I began to stop worrying about the whole engagement thing. I assumed it would happen later, like at Christmas or New Year’s. Boy was I wrong.

I picked Ty up for his birthday to take him to Brinley’s, and he was acting so weird. He is the most charming guy in the world. Really. But he was giving off the weirdest, creepiest vibes. He was definitely up to something.

While I was backing out of the driveway, Ty kept reaching for my hand and I kept pushing it away. “I’m driving babe. Hold on a minute.” Again, he reached for my hand, and I pushed it away. At this point, he was starting to annoy me. After backing out and then driving towards the highway, I noticed something shiny in his hand, like a coin or some type of button.

And once more, he tried to grab my hand as if to give me something, and it really started to tick me off. I smacked his hand as if he were a little kid stealing candy. I told him to please stop, because I was driving. I really did not want to wreck or get any tickets.
The devil just grinned.

I looked over and he held his hand out this time. It was no quarter. But the most elegant white opal ring I had ever seen. Yes, an opal. My favorite. And in a platinum setting. I’m not a high maintenance girl. So the platinum was a bit shocking. My ideal ring was always something designed, or antique, or hand-made.

He really HAD listened all those times I quizzed him in the car while driving by a jewelry store. I’m just not a “diamond” type of girl. My favorite stone has always been an opal. So earthy and glittery and unique. It was a huge stone, too! Completely shocked (and distracted because I was still DRIVING), I pulled over to hug him. No. To HOLD him. The man of my dreams. The one I had loved for so long had taken the time and the effort to completely surprise me. And to ask me to spend forever with him.

We both sat in the car, hugging and crying and laughing. I slipped the ring onto my finger and it fit perfectly. A size 5. The sweetheart had been able to sneak off with one of my less expensive rings, without me noticing, and helped the jeweler design my one-of-a-kind opal. It is truly special, and not because of the price.

This was in no way the type of proposal I ever expected. On a random Friday night out, in a moving vehicle, from a borderline annoying but persistent boyfriend.
Essentially, I was his birthday present.

Who needs a cupcake at that point? - Amber Arthur

had a huge Halloween party and wore an Elvis costume and while lip-synching “I cant’ Help falling in love with you” dropped to one knee when it said take my hand and proposed to her. Her mom and dad, my mom, and many other friends and family watched. - Carlye White

I wish I could say this was my wedding proposal, but alas not. We own a bath shop in Franklin, and one day a young man came in with a great request. We make a giant cupcake bath fizzy, called an Ultimate Chunk, and his fiancée loved them. So we specially made one for him and placed his beautiful engagement ring inside. He took her to a romantic bed and breakfast (I think the Hermitage, and their gorgeous tubs would have been ideal for this, but that’s just me!), shared a romantic bath with his future wife, and dropped in the cupcake fizzy! When it dissolved, she found the ring and he proposed! They returned to our shop and had their wedding photos taken under our bubble machine! - Stacy Stephens Hayden

My now husband sent me out to get videos on a rainy night after he told me we would go out to eat. I came back frustrated, cold, and wet. When I came back into my apartment and opened the door smoke billowed out! I scanned the room quickly and saw a fire to my left, which happened to be in my fireplace, (not there when I left). I knew something was up. I opened the windows and door and the flume in my fireplace to let the smoke get out. On my table was heart shape of light candles and a dozen roses, chocolates and crackers and cheese. I suddenly got a phone call from my then boyfriend. He came over and said just wanted to surprise you. He said we need to listen to the radio. The DJ was doing requests and there was a caller on the line, IT WAS MY BOYFRIEND who was standing in front of me. He had called in earlier and made a dedication with a song and the DJ said he has a very important question to ask, and my boyfriend on the radio asked me to marry him. (That part had been taped)The DJ said I had to immediately call and give my answer, little did I know all my family was listening at their houses! SO I called in live and answered yes! My ring was in the bouquet of roses on the table in what looked like a real rose but you open it up and my ring was inside. It was a very special night, but hilarious as my apartment smelled like smoke for days where he had forgotten to open the fireplace flume for the fire! It was very memorable and so special all the details he had put into it! We have been married 10 years! - Heather Rampey

So my hubby is a big fisherman….SO we went “fishing”, I just laid out, I only like to fish during tanning hours and really just lay on the boat…but as night approached and my tanning hours went away I became bored FAST! So david was fishing in this cove as I became sleepy a HUGE fish jumped across the cove I mean I REALLY saw this fish come out of the water…..!! So David of course said I have to at least see if I can catch this fish with my favorite pole (which earlier in the day I had asked him if he had a favorite pole!) anyway he cast his line and reeled in back in and said something like I didn’t catch that fish, but I’d like to catch this mermaid….and tied on the end of the line was my ring! (Glad it was insured if that fish would have gotten it) - HotYoga House

My husband and I dated almost 4yrs before we decided to get married. Both of us had previous marriages that obviously didn’t turn out so well….

I had a child, he had 3 and we needed to make sure it was a perfect fit for everyone.
I have to go back to before I ever my husband so you can grasp how special the proposal was…I prayed for a sign when I met “Mr. Right” so I would not make the same mistake again, the sign was a feather.(Don’t ask…that is just what I prayed for my sign to be). Needless to say from our first date to this day we see feathers everywhere we go.

Now..to the proposal: I got a phone call one afternoon to come by and see him and the kids at this little lake…not out of the ordinary b/c we would go feed the ducks often, something the kids loved to do! I told him I would stop by on my way to get my son.
When I got to the lake to my surprise…there on the deck stood all the kids dressed up (2 girls and 2 boys.gotta brag:) and Chad was dressed up too.

I walked onto the deck and each of the kids gave me a rose and told me they loved me. (Of course I am in tears by now.) Then Chad instead of a rose, hands me feather tells me how much he loves and asks me to marry him.

Well obviously I said yes, we were married July 19,2008 and stayed at the Hermitage for our honeymoon and had a blast in Nashville! - Julie Gustin Godsey

My husband and I were walking through the grocery store debating on what to cook for dinner. We had chosen the meat but were unsure as to what vegetable to have. I remember thinking he was being especially difficult in deciding. Finally he stopped in front of the carrots and said how about carrots? I then said….you hate carrots!!!! He then pulled a ring box out of his pocket and said again… how about CARROTS? I just stared in disbelief. He later said I looked like I expected to be on candid camera.

Well, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on the 30th of this month. By the way, we would LOVE to do that at the Hermitage Hotel!!!!! - Kris Ann Lee

My wife and I had dated for over three years and although the topic of marriage had come up we had really never gotten further than talking about it. During that time she had discussed what kind of ring she wanted and things like that. So I went to a jewelry designer Designs in Gold and she sketched out what I told her about the ring… She then sent the sketch off to another designer in L.A who does platinum and after some time the greatest ring in the world was delivered. The ring sat in a drawer for over three months as I waited for the perfect time to present it.

So one weekend I told Jodi we were going out and she needed to bring an overnight bag but that was all the info I gave. I then set the plan into action I decided we would go on our first date again. And then at the end I would propose. Our first date consisted of dinner at GreenHills Grill and then a stroll around the gardens at Opryland hotel.

So the night in question I picked her up and went to Green Hills Grill. She still had no clue what was going on. I however could barely eat I was so nervous. Then off to Opryland Hotel to walk in the gardens. What she didn’t know was I had gotten a room and already gone earlier and put rose petals all over the bed and floor. Plus about 2 dozen candles all over the place. After our walk through the garden I told her I had a surprise and had her wait outside the room for a moment while I lit all the candles and put on some Kenny G for music. I then had her close her eyes and led her in the room. When she opened her eyes there I was on one knee with the ring out. I thought she was gonna pass out. But the room, the mood and the ring were all perfect and she said yes. That was seven years ago… We enjoyed our 5th anniversary at the Hermitage Hotel and we both were VERY happy with our stay there. We hope to come back soon. Maybe for the 8th… - Rob Morris

My husband and I had been dating for four years and knew that we wanted to spend forever with each other, We had looked at rings and talked about getting engaged for a while so I knew he would purpose, but didn’t know when. A month or two passed and my parents came down to Nashville for a visit. My dad and Brad, my now husband, were going to a Titans game and we all went to dinner before the game. I could tell Brad wasn’t quite himself and even seemed a little nervous. They went to the game and had a great time. A few weeks later I was talking to my grandmother and she let it slip that he had asked my father’s permission at the game. Now, I was excited I thought it must be coming any day. Every time we went somewhere I would get nervous, but nothing ever happened. Months went by and it was Christmas time. A few days before Christmas he told me that he was so sorry but my Christmas present wouldn’t be here on Christmas day. He felt terrible and kept apologizing. I told him it was fine and not to worry. I thought this was all a big throw-off and that he was trying to confuse me off so I wouldn’t suspect anything. It wasn’t. Christmas came and went. I started to get upset; I thought he had changed his mind. It was January 7th and I got a call that morning from Brad. He told me my Christmas present was finally here and he felt so terrible. To make it up to me he was going to take me to one of our favorite restaurants. He asked me if I could meet him at his house around 7. I wasn’t expecting anything by this point. When I knocked on the door Brad opened the door and gave me a huge hug and immediately put both his hands over my eyes and led me into the living room. He took his hands off my eyes and told me to open. I opened my eyes and saw a gorgeous oil painting of the two of us. I was really surprised, what an original Christmas present. I turned around to thank him and he stopped me. He said look at the picture again and see if you notice anything different. I studied the picture and noticed that a ring had been painted on my left hand. I looked closer and it was the engagement ring I had picked out. I whirled around and found Brad down on one knee with a ring box open. He told me how much he loved me and that he couldn’t wait to start our life to together. I of course said yes and jumped up to hug him. We called our families and headed to the restaurant. We headed to our favorite wine bar rite down the street from Brad’s house. When I walked in I was shocked! All of our friends were there. Brad had rented out the restaurant for the night. It was such a wonderful celebration and it was truly a night I will never forget. The painting hangs in our house and will always be a reminder of that day and our love for each other. - Blake Powell Paxton

My husband had convinced the manager of the Nashville City Center to allow him to rappel down to my office window, but when the building owners caught wind of the scheme, they wisely rescinded permission. My husband’s last minute call to a high rise window washer resulted in his proposal via the washer who was 24 stories high holding a sign that told me to “look under your desk” where my ring had been clandestinely taped. When I pulled my head up from under my desk, I looked up to find the entire office, plus a news crew, peering in behind my husband who was standing in the doorway.
I was so overwhelmed that I was uncharacteristically speechless and could only nod when he asked me to marry him. - Frances Fenelon

We got engaged on March 21, 2009 after being together for about 4 years. We had been doing a lot of traveling in the recent month or so and had had almost no free time to ourselves so we made a plan earlier in the week to go to Arrington Vineyards on that Saturday afternoon. It is one of our favorite places to go and relax and have great wine. The day was gorgeous, one of the first great days of spring. We made a picnic lunch and brought a blanket to lie on. When we arrived, we did the wine tasting, got a bottle of wine and went to the top of the hill overlooking everything. We had lunch and just drank and talked all afternoon. As we were getting ready to leave, I stood up to take some pictures of the scenery and when I turned around, he was on one knee. He had a little bouquet of flowers in one hand and the ring in the other hand. He said all the lovely romantic things a man should say and then asked me to marry him. We cried, celebrated and then he said that he had other plans for the rest of the day and evening. My fiancé had arranged for someone to come to our house and take the dog for the night so we could go to dinner at the Capitol Grille and stay the night at The Hermitage Hotel. We sped home, packed a bag and headed downtown for a wonderful evening! Now we are planning a wedding for April 2010! - Sarah Smithmier

My husband and I traveled to Poland to see my family. We were dating for about 3 years. We talked about the idea of getting married, but we knew we wanted to get through school first. I had no indication what was coming ahead of me. My husband was never in Poland until that summer. We did a lot of site seeing and I took him to all of my favorite places. All this time, he was carrying my engagement ring in his little book bag for the right time and opportunity. We were 2.5 weeks into our trip and I took him to the southern part of Poland to a place called Zakopane. I wanted to take him on this 8 mile hike up the mountains where there is a natural lake made from all the snow. It’s just a breath-taking place. I did not tell him about this place, I just wanted him to see for himself. So we get to the top of the mountain and he was speechless. He wanted to get closer to the lake and he told me to go ahead and wet my feet in the water. I argued with him and said the water was way cold – there was snow still in certain areas. He told me to have some fun and to go ahead and do it. I caved in. At that time, not knowing any Polish, he gave his camera to some other tourists while I was not looking. As I turned around to see where he was he was kneeling down in the ice water with a ring in his hand. I was speechless and in shock. I was like – is this for real?!!! He said yes and asked me to his wife and partner for life. I said absolutely! I forgot about the freezing water and was the happiest woman in the world. I was really impressed that he waited in between our vacation and truly picked the best place to propose to me. Our 5-year anniversary will be on August 14. We have a 3-year-old girl and 10-week-old baby girl. - Basia Skudrzyk Najarro

My AMAZING Proposal Story…
My boyfriend wanted to take me out on a special date to celebrate our 6 months of being together. When he came to pick me up he was dressed in a full suit and tie and as we walked outside there was a limousine sitting in my driveway. My knees starting going weak! He had our driver take us to the walking bridge in downtown Nashville, TN, where we had gone on our very first date. We got out and started walking up the bridge, and as we neared the top, I began to see red rose petals scattered all over the ground, around and on a bench over looking the water. His guitar was sitting in the midst of all the petals. He had me sit on the bench and he took out his guitar and sang me a romantic song he had written for me. Of coarse, I was in tears! Then he got on his knee, took a beautiful diamond ring out of his coat pocket and proposed! I was on cloud nine!!! After saying, “YES”, he slipped the ring on my finger and we headed back to the limo, where he had arranged for us to drive to a romantic dinner at… are you ready??? The “Capitol Grill” at The Hermitage Hotel in Downtown Nashville, TN!!! When we got to the restaurant, there were red rose petals scattered all over our table. It was beautiful! After dinner, my fiancé and I agreed that it was the best food we had ever had! We then took the limo back to my house to end the amazing evening… so I thought. When I got home and opened my door, my fiancé had arranged for all of our friends to be there and bring deserts and celebrated with us! If that’s not amazing enough, I was then handed a DVD. That’s when I found out that during our proposal on the bridge, he had a friend filming the entire event so that we could then come back and experience the night all over again with those closest to us. So, I got to end the night eating dessert and watching my entire proposal with all of my dearest friends. It was one of the best moments of my life!!! So, that’s my AMAZING proposal story!

I will add that, after our wedding, May 10, 2008, my husband arranged for us to have dinner, yet again, at the amazing “Capitol Grille”, where we sat and had dinner in his tux and in my wedding dress. We then spent the first night of our honeymoon at “The Hermitage Hotel”. It was the most amazing experience! - Lanae Hale

My husband and I went for a romantic weekend getaway to Hickory Bridge in Ortanna, PA (a bed and breakfast). We spent two nights there and I was expecting the proposal on the first night . . . needless to say it didn’t come. On the second night, we ate dinner at the restaurant and had a wonderful time. We went back to the hotel and planned for a soak in the Jacuzzi tub. I filled the bath, and promptly got in. My husband never came in, and the longer I waited, the more impatient I became. After about a half hour, I listened only to hear the football game coming out of the TV. Needless to say, I was very irritated as I got up, dried off and stomped out of the bathroom. My comment was something to the tune of “I can’t believe you brought me all the way up here, left me to soak in a Jacuzzi all alone and you are out here watching football!!!” He didn’t know what to say, I lay down on the bed, completely frustrated. He came over to my side and knelt down by the bedside. He asked if I was going to stay mad all night or if I would forgive him and then asked me to marry him. Come to find out, he was extremely afraid of dropping the proposal ring down the drain of the tub and talked himself out of the romantic proposal he had planned. Five years later, we celebrated Valentine’s Day at the Hermitage Hotel. - Heather Renee Abell

My husband and I were friends all through college at Samford University. It wasn’t until our 3rd year of professional school (me in pharmacy school and Alex in dental school) that we took the plunge from “friend zone” and started dating. Things obviously were wonderful and we both knew we were meant to be together, but should wait until we graduated to marry. We had been dating a little over a year and Alex was busy studying for his dental boards near the end of his 4th year of school, which were set for the middle of December. He took boards on a Tuesday and told me that the Friday after that we would go to dinner as a “thank you” to me for being so encouraging & patient while he had been occupied studying. So, on Friday I knew we were going to dinner at the Opryland Hotel and eating at Old Hickory Steakhouse. When we arrived for dinner there, the host had a “special seat” just for us overlooking the Delta area. On the table was a red rose with a sweet note attached to it that he had written. The host seated us and gave me a “menu” that was really a scrapbook Alex had made highlighting our last year of dating (how creative he is!). It was titled the “Thank You” book. Of course then I started crying because it was such a sweet gesture and he had worked so hard on it, all while preparing for his board exam. (Alex had planned this all ahead of time and the host had all his props! ;) We had a delicious dinner and then went for a stroll through the Conservatory Area there at Opryland. We came upon a bench and he told me to take a seat and he would be right back. (He had scoped out the perfect bench and left the roses there, but a couple had sat down on the bench not knowing what was about to happen there. My husband’s parents had held this “perfect” bench the entire time we had been eating. He let them know we were coming right when we left the restaurant) He came back carrying the remainder of the red roses which each had a note tied to it describing all the attributes of me he loved. The very last rose, which the card had my now married name on, he held in his hand and dropped to one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him…and of course I said yes!!! What a perfect night it was! We married September 1, 2007 and spent our first night at the Hermitage Hotel! - Courtney Fenwick Goodman

We had spent the summer separated by an ocean – her in England with college, me on Florida’s East coast with a church. I spent much time on the beach and soon found myself looking out East towards England. It was time to ask her. I could think of nothing more beautiful than a beach sunrise.

Abbie flew in to Florida and stayed with a friend. Before dawn we met and headed out to the beach. This time we would look east across the waters together. We found a quiet favorite spot of mine and sat. We read a few psalms during the horizon’s warm-up to the sunrise. Then as the sun began to break through and ignite the waters, I gave her a small but thick journal. In it I had tried to write what she means to me and a prayer that I hoped she’d say yes. The next page revealed hollowed out pages that held a ring box. As she opened it I knelt in the sand. Then my prayer was answered!

As we embraced a friend was nearby discretely capturing the moment with her camera. Another friend exchanged my car for a new and newly rented convertible Mustang. That was our chariot to an outdoor breakfast at a quaint brick café, decorated by Gerber daisies, which were later to become the flowers of our wedding. We then went on to church, 9 months later to be married, and on to this wonderful walk together that is coming into its 4th year. - Adam Graham

I was living half a world away in Xianyang, China teaching English at a university. The 1st year of my contract was completed, and I came home for a short summer break. I was thrilled to be back in my hometown for a few weeks, but I never imagined what was in store. Josh & I met that summer, & by our 2nd date we both knew that God had destined us to be together. For 5 weeks we spent every moment we could together, knowing that I’d soon be thousands of miles away. I tearfully boarded the plane back to China & knew that we’d be apart for nearly a year. Winter break came, and we couldn’t stand to be apart any longer. Josh boarded a plane for the very first time, & he and my mom flew to China together to visit me. They stayed 9 days, and then I flew home with them for a few short weeks until I had to return to finish my last semester. While I was home Josh and I visited our friends at my alma mater – Asbury College. He’d heard of a place that was special to me – High Bridge. There’s a huge old train bridge that goes over the KY River. My best friend and I used to go there & study. He’d secretly asked my parents’ permission beforehand and took me to a point at High Bridge overlooking the KY River. Before I knew what was happening, Josh was on his knee, chin quivering, shaking, and asking me to be his wife. I still had to go back to China to finish that last semester, but only 6 weeks after I returned we were married. I’m blissfully happy and thrilled to be his wife! By the way, the first night of our honeymoon was at The Hermitage! - Beth Creek

My husband and I had dated since high school (circa 1999), and then both went to colleges that were across the country from each other. After we graduated, we both ended up back in Nashville – me pursuing my career in Nursing, him in Politics and Law. We perpetually dated for the next year or so, and once again he was beckoned to return to Law school in Colorado. As I was working full time and finishing graduate school, I was certainly in no place to move, and I made that abundantly clear.

The summer of 2007, my little brother was getting married in the summer and Drew was planning to start Law school shortly thereafter. I certainly was not looking forward to him moving once again.

Drew had been working feverishly all summer, mostly 60-80 hour weeks (as campaigning is), and decided to make reservations to take me out to a nice dinner on a Sunday evening, about the only time he had off. I had not seen him much at all the past few weekends, and was becoming weary of his work schedule with the pending move.
He took me to Sole Mio, which is one of our favorite Nashville restaurants, and had a lovely dinner – lots of time to discuss my brother’s pending nuptials, my graduate school, and his plans to start graduate school that fall.

It was a beautifully sunny and rather hot weekend, we were returning to my apartment in the Belmont area, and from a distance I could see a rather large mass of flames coming from my front yard at the end of the street.

As we approached, the shock turned into excitement as I could see my entire yard was enveloped in votive candles and literally hundreds and hundreds of white roses!!! He took me out of the car, walked me down a pathway of rose petals, to a small bench also covered with rose petals, and with large candles all around. The timing was perfect as the sun was going down and the candles glowed in the yard – I really don’t recall what he said as I was in such shock – but I do remember the gorgeous ring and the most romantic setting I could’ve imagined.

I was curious to understand exactly how this romantic paradise was created as we were at dinner…. He had actually taken off work all weekend, and spent 2 days in his house with his roommates separating 500+ white roses, putting them in buckets of water trying to keep them alive in the June heat, and pulling petals off of about 200 of them. His roommates and our parents had come to my house while we were away and set up the “walkway” of roses in vases, and candles, lighting them one by one when they received a text message from Drew saying we had left, and hurriedly scampering out of sight before we came around the turn on my street. Disaster had been averted earlier in the evening, when one of his roommates felt the candles had been lit too early and the hundreds of tiny votives would burn down before we even left downtown, so they had to be blown out immediately, and then re-lit upon receiving the signal that we had left. Incidentally, the “signal” was to be a text message, and I was busy in the car ensuring no text messages would be sent while Drew was driving. After I accepted, we phoned my parents and his friends to officially announce the engagement – and they just happened to be down the street (that’s as far as they could get by the time we arrived), and so they returned to celebrate, as well help me find a place to put several hundred vases of roses in my small apartment!

And as it goes, my brother was married a few weeks later, my new fiancé had declared he had deferred his seat at Law School, and so he was in fact, also staying in Nashville (much to my relief!!!). We were married the following summer at Legislative Plaza…and of course, there were lots of white roses. - Ashley Staniewski

My husband and I were high school sweethearts, and after dating almost five years, he proposed.

It was Christmas time, and we spent the day at Opryland Hotel, walking around and enjoying all the sights of the season. We were staying at the hotel overnight for a work function, all dressed up and at a pre-party in the hotel when he asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I said sure, and when we got down to the fountains, he got down on one knee and asked if I would be his wife. We got to spend the rest of the evening filling all our family and friends in on the good news! - Brienn Klahn

My fiancée and I had been together only 8 or 9 month when he popped the question, we had dated off and on for a while before that. I broke my back doing something for theatre (which we met each other in theatre class) and he was there for me everyday, so after high school we decided to attend the same college. One day I was at work and my dad calls and was like you’ll never be guess who I talked to I was like who dad he said Michael, I was like what did he want, he said to marry you…I was so happy…well a week and another nothing happened I was really getting bumped out. We had to go back to school and I’m the one who sets a time and I need to go by that time or I freak out, any ways he was like an hours late I was MAD…. the next night we were watching a movie in his dorm room. He often took on my ring and massaged my hands, so this very night he did the same how ever when he put my ring back on it felt odd so I looked down and there set a different right, I looked at him and he was like so will you marry me…omg my heart stopped and said YES! - Ashley Star Austin

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Best Wedding Proposal Contest Winners

After reading more than 100 incredible wedding proposal stories, our judges were blown away by the creativity, style and romance that went into creating the perfect proposals. After hours of deliberation and some tears, here are the winners of a free Romance Package at The Hermitage Hotel, which includes a night’s stay, breakfast for two, valet parking, and champagne and truffles:
Blake Powell Paxton (Facebook post #19)
Jenn Pitoscia (Facebook post #31)
Crissy Cassetty (Facebook post #8)
Mindy McReynolds (Facebook post #67)
Lanae Hale (Facebook post #23)

These runners-up will receive a free dinner for two in the Capitol Grille:
Molly Burns O’Connor (Facebook post #80)
Carolyn Cossey Pitchford (Facebook post #78)
Ronna Price (Facebook post #56)
Kristy Graves Mall (Facebook post #41)
Ashley Staniewski (Facebook post #28)

These honorable mentions will receive luxurious Hermitage Hotel robes:
Stephanie Pots (Facebook post #49)
Cortland D Joyce (Facebook post #53)
Ronna Price (Facebook post #61)
Carolyn Hoelscher (via e-mail)

To read all the Facebook contest entries, including the winning stories, visit http://tinyurl.com/cn5khs.

To claim your prize, contact me at jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com within the next five days.

Warm Regards,
Janet Kurtz
Director of Sales & Marketing
The Hermitage Hotel
615-345-7120
jkurtz@thehermitagehotel.com

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WKRN, Nashville: Hermitage Hotel Seeks Best Engagement Stories

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The social networking site Facebook is often a place where people reconnect and stay in touch, but now, Tennessee’s only five-diamond hotel is using the Web site to find and reward couples with the best engagement stories.

Janet Kurtz and her co-workers at The Hermitage Hotel are in charge of the decision making and, thus far, have sorted through 150 wedding proposal stories.

“It’s really going to be hard to decide,” Kurtz told News 2…

To continue the story or watch the video, click HERE.

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Hermitage Hotel Men’s Room Voted Best in America

Voters from across the United States named The Hermitage Hotel’s Oak Bar men’s restroom the winner of the seventh annual America’s Best Restroom competition, presented by the Cintas Corporation.

You can read the Associated Press story HERE.

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