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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