5 InStyle Editors Share Their Heart-Melting Engagement Stories
Ah, wedding season. Both newlyweds and their respective guests will attest that it's the most blissful — albeit stressful — time of year. And for those who have already tied the knot, it's the opportune period to reflect on the halcyon days of your early courtship. For nostalgia's sake, we asked a handful of InStyle editors to dig deep into their memory and recount their proposal stories. Read on below, and make sure you have a wad of Kleenex handy.
"Four years ago, I came home from work one night expecting to find my then-boyfriend in a terrible mood. He'd messaged me earlier saying that it had been a rough day and he really wanted to take a ride to a nearby beach to relax. We hopped in the car and headed to the boardwalk. Once we arrived and found a seat on an empty lifeguard stand (sorry, beach patrol), it became obvious that his mood was a fake-out. Just in time for sunset, he popped a bottle of bubbly and popped the question. He'd packed a set of Champagne flutes that once belonged to his godmother, so our first toast as an engaged couple was extra meaningful. We'll celebrate our third wedding anniversary this fall, and I still can't stop smiling!"
— Christina Shanahan, InStyle Senior Editor
"My fiancé proposed on a Monday morning during our daily dog walk with my Jindo, Doori. As we were passing through a small park, he quickly crouched down to grab something out of Doori's mouth. He said, or maybe shrieked, 'Doori's trying to eat this!' and he held out a cheap plastic ring in his hand. While all I could think about was that my 10-year-old pup was going senile because she was trying to eat a piece of jewelry, he then turned to the dog and said, 'Doori, why are you eating this ring when I have a better one right here?' and held a shinier ring in his other hand. Fast-forward 30 minutes later, we were back home and I was on the phone sharing the news with one of my oldest friends in California when the doorbell rang. I opened the door and was face-to-face with the same friend I was on the phone with. Standing next to her was her husband and my brother. They had all taken the red-eye in from L.A. and were hiding out in my neighbor's apartment across the hall since 5 a.m! Swoon."
— Anne Kim, InStyle Lifestyle Editor
"I had gone ring shopping and decided to pop the question after we decorated our Christmas tree in our apartment. I pulled out all the stops: There was Christmas music playing, fresh cookies in the oven, Champagne in the fridge, holiday candles burning, and a ring in my pocket. There was only one problem—my then-girlfriend, for some reason, insisted on watching Changing Lanes, the 2002 thriller starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson (not exactly your typical holiday movie). Eventually though, the credits rolled, we put the star on the top of the tree, and, as she was holding our dog, I got down on one knee, and she said 'Yes!' I guess Changing Lanes is a decent metaphor for the life-changing event that happened that night."
— Alex Reside, InStyle.com Photo Editor
"It was a Friday night, I got home from work late, and we had plans to attend the Alzheimer's Association of New York City Junior Committee gala. (I was really involved with the organization at the time.) But I was exhausted, so I dragged my feet getting ready. I wanted to watch TV and relax and eat cold pizza. Jared, my now-husband, politely forced me to get a move on. I did my hair and makeup, and as we got ready to leave, he bent down on one knee. I was not expecting it at all, and I freaked out and cried. He said that's why he wanted me to get ready so fast—in order to allow for some time for me to redo my makeup, which made me laugh. I couldn't get a hold of my parents to tell them the good news, and I didn't want to leave without telling them. When I wouldn't budge, he threw all my stuff in my purse, we got in a cab, and went to the event. Lo and behold, he had arranged for my parents to be there to surprise us, as well as his parents, and my best friend, who went on to become my maid of honor. I was doubly ecstatic because he had brought all my favorite people together not just for us, but also to honor such a good cause. When I think of that night, it still gives me chills."
— Sharon Clott Kanter, InStyle Senior Editor
"I was turning 30 and the only thing I wanted was to celebrate somewhere else. I lived in New York City at the time and, while I adore Manhattan, I was really craving a change of scenery for the milestone birthday. My then-boyfriend Michael ended up surprising me with a trip to Barcelona. To this day, it remains my favorite city. We ate tapas at midnight, sat on the beach at noon, and went to museums in the afternoons. And on the night of my 30th birthday, Michael made a reservation at a restaurant that was, quite literally, a hole in the wall. We turned down these dark, dodgy streets (my black stilettos scraping and clacking on cracked, 100-year-old cobble stones) until we found a large wooden door set back into a damp, dark, stone wall. We walked in and pretty much had the tiny place to ourselves. We ate lamb chops by the dim light of dripping pillar candles, and when our sweet apple tart hit the table at around 2 a.m., Michael got up to sit next to me. (I used to think this was so cute — my boyfriend always gets up to sit next to me during dessert! — but five years into our marriage I'm starting to wonder if it was all just a ploy to get his fork and sweet tooth closer to the dessert plate.) It was ridiculously romantic until Michael leaned in close, nuzzled my ear, and promptly fell off his chair. I cried laughing — I couldn't help it! — and when I finally caught my breath and wiped the tear from my eye and reached down to help him up, I realized that he hadn't fallen off his chair — he had gotten down on one knee. He held up a little black box and asked, 'Will you marry me?' I can't say that I remember much after that. My eyes were blurry with real tears and my brain was blurry with jet lag, sugary tarts, and the shock of it all. But I remember I said 'Yes.'"
— Angelique Serrano, InStyle Beauty Director