Proposal Stories

By Gerald Korson

Here is a selection of several more unusual marriage proposals:

My girlfriend and I dated all through high school. As Valentine’s Day 2002 was approaching during her senior year, I went to a local jewelry store to look for a gift. I was looking for a nice necklace or earrings maybe, but for some strange reason I went to the “Engagement Ring Center” of the store. I was looking at the rings, and when the clerk asked me if I needed any help, I said I did and picked out a ring.

On Valentine’s Day, we went to our favorite restaurant, and then we went to our spot down by the river. It was cold, so we sat in the car and exchanged gifts. When it was time for her gift, all I handed her was a card. I was very nervous. She read it and then turned the flap to the outside of the card where I had printed, “Will you marry me?” Shocked, she turned toward me as I pulled the ring out of my pocket and said, “Katie, I love you. Will you marry me?” It took her a long time to respond, but finally she said yes.

We were married in 2006, and we are expecting our first child, a girl, in April.

— Michael D. Dalrymple
Huntsville/Decatur, Ala.

My petition for a declaration of nullity was slowly proceeding, and I hinted that when I received that declaration (annulment), I’d ask Sally to marry me.

Then a friend mentioned that a person had to start the process for a sacramental marriage with a priest in a parish at least six months before any wedding could take place. It was nearly August 1986.

On a trip with Sally to the bike path near King’s Island, I brought up the idea that if we were to marry, it would take at least six months before we could sacramentally do so. Sally asked, “What does that have to do with us? You haven’t even asked me yet.” So I blurted out, “Well, I’m asking you now. Sally, will you marry me?” Sally said, “Yes.”

At that very moment I was driving past a church and I clearly saw the address: 300 Main Street, Springboro. Now, whenever we’re driving through Springboro, I like to point out, “Here is where you said yes to marrying me.”

We married at Holy Angels Church, with Sally’s mom, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and my four children, and that was over 22 happy years ago.

— Robert Obach

She said: “I’m pregnant.” I said: “Let’s get married, then.”

The rest is history. We spent together the most wonderful 41 years of my life, and tomorrow we would be celebrating our 46th anniversary if she were still be alive.

— Bolko J. Skowron
Cheraw, S.C.

“I wanted the proposal to be a surprise. Valentine’s Day was coming up, and I was supposed to go down to Maryland for Isabel’s old college roommate’s wedding, which was set for the day after Valentine’s Day. Two days before, Isabel and I talked on the phone about when I would be flying in. She expressed her frustration at being apart for so many months and said she didn’t think our relationship was ever going to make it to the next level.

I tried to calm her down, holding the engagement ring in my hand, not wanting to ruin the surprise.

The morning of her friend’s wedding, we went to a Denny’s for breakfast, and I brought up a newspaper article I had read about people who get engaged in fancy restaurants. “Can you imagine getting engaged in a Denny’s?” I asked. “It wouldn’t matter,” she replied.

I took her left hand, slid the friendship ring from her finger and replaced it with an engagement ring.

The floor was too sticky with maple syrup for me to get down on one knee, but I did ask, and she did say yes. Denny’s was the perfect setting for the start of an engagement and marriage that struggled through tough financial times for a while, and for 16 wonderful years, we’ve always had a cheap place to go to celebrate our engagement.”

— Bob McEachern

I had accepted a position for a residency in a cold city far away (Minneapolis).  She wasn't going with me unless we were married.

We went out for dinner at a romantic restaurant. She ordered dessert, and the ring was in the covered silver plate that the waiter brought. I had entrusted it to him hours earlier and had given him instructions on when to bring it.

— Paul Camarata

We had been going together for about three months. I asked her to get married on a Wednesday, and we did… the next Sunday! When we decided, we figured: Why wait? And we never looked back — only ahead, with the Lord leading the way.

We got married on Feb. 13. The pastor couldn’t do the 14th — way too busy and booked. The 12th was out, too. He said that was his second-busiest day. So I asked my lady about the 13th, since it is my birthday also! (Guys, I must say that I have never missed an anniversary! Hey, I do all three in one pop — anniversary, Valentine’s Day and birthday!)

— Ray Latham
Fayetteville, Ark.

My wedding proposal was preceded by my sending a dozen yellow roses on Jan. 19, 1973, and enclosing a poem that suggested it was time we tied the knot. She was disappointed that I did not propose at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day, but I wanted the day to be special and not shared with another event.

Later, I found out that yellow roses mean friendship. They don’t mean steadfast affection until after you have been married for quite awhile. I had some explaining to do on that one. That night, we went to the top of a revolving restaurant in Cincinnati to celebrate the event. She did say yes, but she had me guessing for a couple of minutes.

We had dinner at that restaurant on our engagement anniversary each year for the next five years.

— John J. Glaser

I’m afraid our “pop the question” scenario is rather mundane. We had been dating only four weeks. We were talking about our plans for September after the summer break when Michael asked me to pass him his checkbook, which was lying on the table in front of me. I asked why, and his reply was, “Well, we can get married either in August or wait until winter break and get married in December. Take your pick.”

That was it! No knee-bending or heartfelt outpouring of love, just a matter-of-fact inquiry. I picked Aug. 28, the Feast of St. Augustine, and the rest is history.

— Peggy Lambert

My dad, Andrew G. Notare, who I am sure is in heaven right now (he died in 1997), gave my mother the best proposal ever . . .

It was at Christmas Midnight Mass, in St. Valentine’s Church in Bloomfield, N.J. During the Offertory, while they were kneeling, he decided to ask my mother to marry him. He would later tell us (his children) that he figured he should offer his life to her the way Jesus was offering his sacrifice to the Father. He also told us, like the true “Jersey guy” he was, that he figured she could never say no in church at Christmas Midnight Mass!

Mother says it was very beautiful and that she cried. Of course, she did admit that there was no way she could say no to such a gift!

— Theresa Notare

On Thursday, Nov. 4, 1976, I joined the Knights of Columbus. I was 18 years old. That evening, my home council held induction into both the First and Second Degrees.

At the conclusion, I pulled the Grand Knight off to the side to apologize for not being able to hang around for the reception. My girlfriend, Mary Kaye, was in the hospital, and I wanted to get there before visiting hours were over because I planned to propose to her that evening.  The Grand Knight not only completely understood, he made an announcement to everyone there of my plans for the evening!

By the time I drove to the hospital, visiting hours had ended. I had to explain to the head nurse why it was so very important that she allow me to see Mary Kaye. She even made me show her the engagement ring. She then allowed me to proceed to Mary Kaye’s room.

I visited with Mary Kaye for a very brief period and then knelt down on one knee next to her hospital bed and asked her if she would make me the happiest man in the world by agreeing to spend the rest of her life with me as my wife. Before she could answer, several nurses who had gathered in the hall and were eavesdropping on our conversation came running into the room to congratulate Mary Kaye. In between hugs from the nurses, Mary Kaye mouthed the word “yes” to me.

Although that was over 32 years ago, I can remember it as if it was just last night. We’ve been blessed with six children, one grandchild with a second one due in March.

Needless to say, she has made me the happiest man I know, and I thank God every night for her and for my family.

— Timothy A. Koewler
St. Louis, Mo.