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Popping the Question

Thanks to a stealthy pal, Ali Mitchell’s ebullient “Yes!” to Patrick Bradley was caught on film. Photograph courtesy of Cheryl Wood

DECEMBER 28, 2009

Popping the Question
This time of the year, Lowcountry gents are dropping to their knees right and left! Here are some of our favorite proposals past


Football Forever
“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. The following evening, when Kelley Anne got home, she found Clemson balloons covering the living room floor, ‘Tiger Rag’ playing on the stereo, and a projector displaying photos from our courtship. Eleven orange roses were in a vase with a note that instructed her to find the 12th 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. 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. I got down on one knee and proposed.”
—Keith Frye married Kelley Anne Van Dongen on May 6, 2007

Piano Man
“Our birthdays are separated by one day, and on the day in 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.’ Afterwards, I got down on my knee and asked her to be my wife.”
—Jeremy Koenemann married Jenni Hess May 19, 2007

Home Is Where the Heart Is
“I was building a house for myself in a neighborhood near where McKenzie works. After months of planning and design, I realized that it was a shame not to share something so awesome with someone 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. This let me know that she truly knew me, because that’s how I am about a lot of things. One afternoon while at the house, I knew the time had come. There wasn’t some triggering factor other than a sense of overwhelming love and desire to share my life with her. I immediately called her and asked her to join me. Upon her arrival, I led her to the top-floor porch off of the master bedroom and asked if she would like this to be ‘our’ house. While she was holding her breath, I asked her to marry me.”
—Rich Estes married McKenzie Hutaff on May 19, 2007

An Engaging Day
“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, she asked if we’d like to tie the knot. We just looked at each other and laughed. Late in the afternoon, we drove to the Battery, where I proposed 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. She didn’t realize it then, but I’d arranged for our friend to be there taking photos of the whole thing. Afterward, a horse-drawn carriage took us to a restaurant downtown, where a group of our friends was waiting to celebrate out engagement.”
—Patrick Bradley married Ali Mitchell on June 10, 2007

High Flyer
“I had Taylor’s engagement ring for a little over two months and was just waiting for the right opportunity to propose. We went to South Florida to visit my parents and I scheduled a surprise tandem parasail boat ride for the two of us—something she had always wanted to do. I told Taylor we were going on a beach walk, then took her to the ocean cruiser. Once we were airborne and at the end of the line, the world seemed to stop. It was so beautiful and surprisingly quiet up there, and we could see for miles. (Later she said she could tell by the look on my face what I was about to do.) She teared up, and I asked her to be my wife. I always tell people that the view was gorgeous but that it didn’t compare to how beautiful Taylor looked when she said, ‘Yes.’ When we were back on the ground, I gave her the ring.”
—Jonathan Feuling married Taylor Vaughn May 3, 2008

For the Record
“I’m an inveterate keeper of receipts, programs, and mementos, so I made a ‘Laura’ file. On our one-year anniversary, I introduced her to the file, and we had a great time looking back through all of the memories. After that, I knew I wanted to marry her, and I began keeping a list of reasons why in my Bible. When we exchanged Christmas gifts that year, the last package I gave her contained a blank file folder with the list inside. I got down on one knee and read each item to her. When I finished, I told her I wanted to begin a new folder of memories with her in our new life together.”
—Scott Berggren married Laura Luehrs on May 25, 2008

The Big Picture
“We were on Kiawah Island with our families and one morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. to take a picture of the ring I had custom-designed for Katharine. Then I took shots of the ordeal that is getting her out of bed at that hour. Just after the sun came up, I told her to look through the photos on the camera. As she scrolled through, she froze at the picture of the ring. I got down on one knee, pulled out the real ring, and asked her if she would let me be so lucky as to spend the rest of my life with her.”
—Wes Earnhardt married Katharine Haklisch June 14, 2008



Spread the Word!
Have a great proposal story? Tell us! Either e-mail us directly, or click here to submit your own engagement story and photos.

Mon, 12/28/2009