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June 2008

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Ask & He Shall Receive

Locally wed grooms trade tales of how they won their ladies’ hands


“Kelley Anne is a huge Clemson football fan. I know the team’s chaplain, so I called him and arranged for the players to help with my proposal.

Eleven orange roses were in a vase with a note that instructed her to find the twelfth rose by following the clues on a DVD I had made. Each clue—given by starting players like Chance Stuckey and Gaines Adams—led her to a signed item of memorabilia with a note telling her why I love her. The last clue led her outside, where I was standing in a spotlight by the pond wearing a Clemson hoodie, which, as a South Carolina fan, is pretty much against my religion. I told her I wanted to love her until the last rose died and handed her an artificial orange rose. Then I got down on one knee and proposed.”
—Keith Frye married Kelley Anne VanDongen on May 6, 2007
 
Light Up the Night
“Our birthdays are separated by a day, and on the day between, I picked Jen up from her late-night class and took her to our church. I had pulled the piano into the sanctuary and lit candles, so when we walked in I could sit her down and play our song, Billy Joel’s ‘Lullaby.’ Afterward, I got down on my knee and asked her to be my wife.”
—Jeremy Koenemann married Jenni Hess on May 19, 2007
 
Home Sweet Home
“I was building a house, and after months of planning and design, I realized that it was a shame not to share it with the one I loved so much. Some time earlier, McKenzie told me that if I ever knew the time was right to ask her, to ‘Just do it,’ and we would figure out the rest later. That let me know that she truly knew me, because that’s how I am about a lot of things. One afternoon I just had a sense of overwhelming love and desire to share my life with her, and I knew the time had come. I called her and asked her to join me at the house, then led her to the top-floor porch and asked if she would like this to be our house. Then, while she was holding her breath, I asked her to marry me.”
—Rich Estes married McKenzie Hutaff on May 19, 2007
 
Pocketing a Surprise
“We started the day at Sullivan’s Island, where we saw a young couple being married. We watched from a distance, hugging, and as the pastor walked by afterward, she asked if we’d like to tie the knot. We just looked at each other and laughed—little did Ali know I had a ring for her in my pocket right then. Late that afternoon, we drove to the Battery, and I proposed to her in the gazebo at sunset. I got down on one knee and slid the ring on her finger. Before I knew it, she was down on her knees beside me, and we both began laughing. I’d arranged for a friend to take photos of the whole thing, and afterward, a horse-drawn carriage took us to Mistral where we celebrated.”
—Patrick Bradley married Ali Mitchell on June 10, 2007
 
A Birthday Wish
“Christine and I entered the courtyard at the Blind Tiger to find 40 of my friends and family members there to surprise me for my birthday. A week before, I’d gotten an engagement ring for her and planned to propose when we were on vacation. I had hid it in my glove box, so I ran out to get it during the birthday party. When they asked me to make a toast after blowing out the candles, I got down on one knee and said, ‘The only thing I want that I didn’t get for my birthday is for Christine to spend the rest of her life with me.’ And she said yes! To share that moment with my friends and family and get Christine’s hand in marriage? Not a bad birthday!”
—Eric Jablon married Christine Nott on April 14, 2007




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