Getting engaged is one of the most special moments of a woman’s life. Each week we celebrate one beautiful engagement after another and the unforgettable proposals that leave us feeling warm and fuzzy. Here are the sweetest stories of the year.
Honor Thy Love
U.S. Army Capts. Jasmine Walker and Trevor Black started dating when they met while in the same unit. During a surprise birthday trip in Arizona, Trevor asked Jasmine to go for a walk on the grounds after dinner. In front of the resort's main entrance, overlooking the city lights, he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife… but without the ring! He had planned to propose later, but he told Jasmine he just couldn't hold it in anymore.
Nakia Lumpkin, 29, met Tega McKinney, 29, at an office training program. They were instantly attracted to each others’ energy, and once their business ties ended, a whirlwind romance ensued. Ten months after their first date, Tega popped the question during a romantic beach getaway by sending Nakia a link to a website he made just for them that read: “Nakia Denise Lumpkin: Will you marry me?”
Chris Dean proposed to Jade Patterson at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City because it held sentimental value for them both. He surprised her in the lobby while she was running a business errand and popped the question on bended knee. The thrills didn’t end there. Chris told Jade she had the rest of the day off and to go home and pack a bag. The next thing she knew, he’d whisked her off to Rome to celebrate their big news.
Roshal Erskine and Zwade Marshall were set up by a mutual friend during their college years in Atlanta. “Our friendship was effortless, and when it became something more, it seemed only natural,” she explains. When Zwade proposed to his best friend, he pulled out all the stops. “We arrived at the Botanical Gardens, and he ushered me to a private patio,” says Roshal. “I saw a butler with champagne, and then two of Zwade's friends playing Bach's ‘Air on G’ on the cello and violin. All of a sudden, friends and family started appearing, and he got down on one knee.”
Megan Pettus and David Price found true love on the campus of North Carolina A&T University. When David realized he had found "the one," he decided to include their two dogs, Layla and Lupe, in the proposal. "He put heart-shape tags on each dog collar. One tag said “will you” and the other said “marry me," Megan says. "He waited for me to notice that the dogs had new tags and read them. When I turned around he was already down on one knee."
When Tommie Conner asked Rosetta Hill to invite all of their friends over for a Cinco de Mayo party, she had no idea she was planning her own surprise engagement. "Everyone was having a great time, then he came out on the deck in the backyard, dressed in a suit," says Rosetta. "He called me over to his side, as he started to thank everyone for coming. Then, he turned to me and pulled out the ring. I started to cry. Of course, I said yes!"
Whitney Leone Boggs always told her beau, Jeremy Michael Lewis, that she'd always dreamt of a super-romantic proposal she could tell her kids about. He always joked that she was his “pretty, pretty princess,” so when he was ready to ask for her hand in marriage, Jeremy decided to create a real-life fairytale. He wrote and bound an original tale starring Princess Whitney, and on her 26th birthday he gave it to her wrapped in a bow. As she read the story aloud, the last page revealed that the princess would soon become a queen. Whitney looked over to find Jeremy on bended knee with a ring!
When first-year law school student Wendy Ferguson needed advice, she found a friend and confidant in Harvard Law student Brando Starkey. They were madly in love before they even knew what hit them, and Brando, who's now a law professor, decided to propose in his classroom on the projector screen. "I stood there in shock as Brando started a slide show during which he told me all the reasons he wanted to marry me," says Wendy. "It was amazing!"
Professional dancer Tangara and her love Brian, a musician, have been perfectly in tune since day one. Three years after meeting, he proposed by staging a fake audition just for her. "As I opened the door and looked to my left, there was Brian on one knee holding an open ring box," Tangara says. She landed the role: his wife-to-be.
Candice James met Arthur Tutt at church and found him to be a true "man of God." "He asked me to be his wife at the very same beach that we shared our very first date on," she says. "He set up enlarged pictures of us with notes under each one. Anita Baker was playing in the background. After I read the notes, we hugged, and he got down on one knee and proposed. He recorded the entire thing."
Shawntel Asemota and Jerry White met while playing on their high school track team. They were the best of friends who then became soul mates and lovers. On Christmas, Jerry surprised Shawntel with an engagement ring under the tree.
Photo by T. Skroskis Visual Communications
You Warm My Heart
Be’Anka Macey and Dapo Ashaolu met at a housewarming party. “His proposal caught me completely off guard,” she admits. “I didn’t even have my just-in-case manicure. I walked in our house and thought someone had broke in because the lights and music were on. He had candles and rose petals everywhere with champagne for the two of us and Luther’s “House Is Not A Home” playing in the background. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Our families were waiting outside our door the entire time. It was very cute and exciting.”
Lovebirds Mario Austin and Brittany Powell met in middle school on Field Day. After coming back from a helicopter ride over the city they met in, Mario asked Brittany to close her eyes for one final surprise. He led her to a balcony and told her to open them. And there it was...a big sheet held up in the air by four of their closest friends, spray-painted with the words "WILL YOU" on top. She turned around and Mario was on one knee and said, "…marry me?"
Shara L. Senior and Reginald A. Wesley met and fell in love on the campus of Florida A&M University. “I was smitten at first sight,” she says. “Reggie had me at hello and his being the perfect gentleman stole my heart.” He proposed to her by making a scrapbook filled with mementos of all the memories they’d shared and presented it to her. The last page was a blank “Wedding Page,” and when Shara turned to Reggie and smiled, he got down on bended knee.
Harold Q. Jackson and Jessica A. Jeffries met at a stoplight outside of a party. A year and a half into their flourishing relationship, he knew it was time to take things to the next level. With his heart in his hand, Harold proposed to Jessica at the Kentucky Derby in front of thousands of people. Jessica was so overjoyed by his proposal that she just kept smiling, and asking, "Are you serious?"
O’Shea Jones and Shawn Guillory met at a part-time job while attending Georgia State University. They dated close to 10 years -- most of which they were long-distance lovers -- before he popped the question. Before he proposed to her on a surprise visit, he flew to Texas to ask her father for permission face-to-face. (What a keeper!) P.S. Their James Bond-themed engagement shoot blew our minds!
On a romantic visit to New York City, happy couple Janeen Jones and Christopher Simon visited museums and took a helicopter ride over the city. When they got back to the room, there were rose petals and candles lit everywhere. As Chris popped the question, a photographer popped out to snap real-time photos of their special moment. After she said yes, he escorted her downstairs for their dinner reservations, and when she walked in, she saw all her friends and family standing there – it was their surprise engagement party.
The day Marlana Hawkins and Corey Burch locked eyes in the church parking lot, they knew God had something special in store for them. Corey popped the question while with Marlana's family on Mother’s Day. "My mother stands up and says my cousin wants to sing a song," she says. "Right after he hit a high note in his song, he said, 'My man Corey is going to help me finish this song.' He walked across the room to where I was sitting, took me to the center of the room and dropped down on one knee."
Katrina Green was riding up the street one night with her parents, when her boyfriend of two years, Reggie Kendrick, sent her a text message that said to pull over wherever she was and wait for him. Reggie pulled up in a brand new Porsche Turbo and proposed to Katrina on bended knee right there beneath the streets lights in midtown Atlanta. Onlookers cheered for the happy couple, and her mother cried tears of joy.
High school sweethearts Terri-Nicole Brown and Michael Texidor are very sentimental. On the day they got engaged, Michael’s 26th birthday, they spent the entire day visiting their old school and the spots on the campus where they met and fell in love. When they got home, their song, "Forever & For Always" by Shania Twain, was playing, and candles and roses were everywhere. He gave her a box filled with memories from their past then asked for her hand in marriage for his birthday. When she accepted they began to dance and her family and friends from all over popped out to surprise her.