Proposal Stories

Mormon culture, especially of the Wasatch Front variety, is big on creative dating. There has been a lot of discussion of whether this is a good thing, but that there is pressure for bringing creativity to the dating enterprise among at least some groups of Mormon young people seems clear.

Although we’ve had discussions of creative dating in the past, I can’t really recall a thread on proposal stories (so even if there was such a thread in the past, it must be time for another one). How did you and your honey bunny get engaged? Who asked whom? Was it done publicly–and is that ever a good idea? Were props used? Did the strategy work, or did the plan get messed up or otherwise backfire? Did he or she say yes?

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, tell us your tales of proposals made: the good, the bad and the ugly.


  1. These are always a revealing peek into the cultural impact of patriarchy.

  2. In my case, there wasn’t really a moment of true “proposal”. It was more that we were heading in that direction, we picked out a ($10 cubic zirconium) ring, and we figured it would happen sometime after we graduated from high school. (We were juniors at the time.)

    To make a long story short, we called it off near the end of our senior year in high school because he was going behind my back with my (now former) best friend. They’re now married with three kids. I’ve had a few relationships since then, but no more proposals. I’m still single, and I’m ok with that. I dodged a bullet with him.

  3. I proposed spontaneously. I hadn’t actually gotten around to planning a particular day and time, or way to ask. We were talking about various things and I just asked and she said yes. 12 years and 4 kids later, I am still glad I did – even if it doesn’t make a great story.

  4. We were playing Super Mario Bros at her Provo apartment one night in late 2002. She turned to me, put the controller down, and said “I’m not going to wait forever.”

    “Wanna go ring shopping?”


    We skipped class to go shopping the next day. To this day I have a fervent testimony that she would have laughed if I’d done a fancy proposal (or perhaps any proposal).

  5. I met my wife in November 2004 and knew within a month that I need not look anywhere else for true happiness. So I set up a date for us in Boston. I had already asked her father, and made him promise not to tell her. I had already purchased the ring. We talked about our plans, including looking for a ring. I had an idea what kind of ring she wanted, but in order to have some element of surprise, I purchased it myself. On the day of the date, I carried the ring in one pocket of my jacket and kept my girlfriend on the other side, just in the case she might put her hand in my pocket as we walked and stayed warm in the January Boston cold. The date was to go to the Boston Science Museum. Nothing fancy, rather mundane, and then dinner afterwards.

    When it came time for dinner, as we walked to the restaurant, I told her it was going to be the Top of the Hub restaurant, which is located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building, with panoramic views of Boston. She thought it was cool, but still didn’t have a notion she was going to be proposed to. I had already arranged for flowers to be delivered to the restaurant. We were seated and I became very nervous, not talking much. She noticed this, and after we ordered appetizers, I excused myself, walking to the counter and picking up the flowers. I walked back to the table and gave her the flowers, bending on one knee. I proposed to her with a poem I wrote for her (which I then composed a song for that 2005 Valentine’s Day) and asked her to marry me. She said yes, and the restaurant erupted in applause.

    It was a very sweet moment.

  6. We took a picnic dinner and went on a drive up Payson canyon on the Nebo loop. We stopped at a meadow overlooking most of Utah valley and with deer crossing the meadow, I got down on one knee and popped the question.

    Like Daniel, I had gotten the ring on my own but she loved it. Six years later, we still talk about that night. We moved away from Utah four years ago, but if we went back, that would be one of the first places we’d go.

  7. We discussed things hypothetically first, so we were both on the same page. We went ring shopping before the official proposal. The official proposal came after dinner in an antique shop/restaurant that was in Provo (individual room for us two), followed by an official ask on one of those landings on the hillside near the Maeser building at BYU. It was better that she chose the ring and diamond. We felt so in love and excited, but our story betrays the fact that we are two oldest children who plan things out.

    Going to Las Vegas to ask her dad, we got pulled over for speeding. We were so obviously giddily in love, the officer just waved us off and told me to pay attention to how I was driving.

    The Utah side of things (my family), featured my mom not believing that I had actually gotten engaged. I suppose that I thought I was a better catch than my mom did.

  8. I said, “If we are going to get married in December you should change your student teaching to September.”

    She did, which I interpreted as yes. We were of one mind then and are now.

    In September we bought the most expensive ring a grad student could afford just for the symbolism.

  9. A soggy note in the shape of a heart hidden in my chicken sandwich. It was sweet. By sweet I mean covered in Miracle Whip.

  10. She was having trouble committing to marriage, and she was graduating and returning home in about a month. I decided I better act quick before I lost her, so I bought a diamond and had it placed on a generic ring.

    One Saturday morning, I picked up flowers and sandwiches from Sensuous Sandwiches (downtown Provo sandwich place), took her the flowers, and then took her up a remote nearby canyon. It was a bit of a hike. I’d been up this particular canyon before, and discovered an isolated stony alcove next to a beautiful stream/waterfall. A perfect place for a sandwich picnic. After we ate, I got on one knee and proposed. After stating “Are you serious?” three or four times, she finally said yes.

    During the long hike back down we were the only two people in the world who knew we were engaged. I called her father afterwords to ask permission, and then we went ring shopping for another ring to place the diamond on.

    There are some amazing places up in those Utah canyons. Just right for the perfect proposal.

  11. On bended knee behind the Provo Temple – two months before I left on my mission and a couple of weeks before the beginning of her senior year in high school. Not what I recommend for anyone else – certainly not our own kids, but it was right for us.

    Buying the ring was a long, complicated, really cool story – and it highlights the good parts of the uniqueness of Mormon culture in Utah Valley.

  12. While technically I asked her, in reality she proposed to me, so Melissa will have to answer this question.

  13. He parked his truck in a yellow zone as he often did to get supplies for construction. I said ‘I’ll wait here.” He said, “You can’t we’re picking out your engagement ring.”

  14. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Hey, Ray, don’t tease like that. Share!

    We were on our way to Japan where we were going to live and teach for awhile. We stopped over with some friends in Vancouver and on the last night before we left, we took a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. He gave me a bouquet of roses, one white and the rest red. Later when the ride was over, he took my hand and said he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. The ring was around the stem of the white rose. :D

  15. I don’t have a proposal story of my own but I’ve heard some good ones. My brother got a rose for every day they’d been dating (297 or something like that) and got her brother to let him fill the apartment with them. She spent all Halloween night expecting him to propose at the restaurant or other places and was really put off that he’d planned a nice evening and not given her a ring. When he asked if she wanted to go back to her apartment to watch a DVD she almost said no, but as soon as they got to her hall she could smell the flowers and opening the door she saw all the flowers and he got down on one knee (with a broken foot) and proposed with a ring she’d been admiring for a while that he’d found out about through her coworkers at a the jewelry store where she worked.

    Another good story actually from the Wasatch Front was told to me recently by my institute teacher. He planned a fire and picnic atop a mountain overlooking Provo. It was August but a cold rain came, killed their fire so the foil dinners didn’t cook and she was freezing in shorts. He had an unwrapped ring pop getting soaked and dirty in his pocket because she once said she didn’t need a ring she’d be happy with just a ring pop. Finally he gave up on their miserable lunch and started to take her home on his motorbike but when the sun came out briefly he pulled over, sat her on a rock and propose with the disgusting ring pop. Her lack of a yes made him toss the ring pop in a puddle (not what you should do with something a girl may find sentimental even if it is covered in pocket lint) and pull out an actual ring. Her response was to ask if he had asked her dad (which he had). In the end he took her home with no firm response! The next day she accepted but he was a bit traumatized. He was very emphatic that people should not agree to marriage ideas in conversation if they don’t know if they’d actually say yes when the question is popped. :)

  16. Wait, there’s (or was) a place in Provo called “Sensuous Sandwiches”??

  17. We had decided to get married but it wasn’t “official” yet. My husband was in school and had no money. He had a little bit of debt that he wanted to pay off before he got married. I didn’t care, told him I would buy the ring etc… He is more traditional than I am and was not ok with that. I was starting to get really impatient and told that I was going to ask myself if he didn’t get to it soon (he didn’t appreciate that one…).
    Anyway, he ended up proposing with a bracelet until we could get a ring. He proposed on the porch of my parent’s house and had a notecard that he had written down some notes b/c he was nervous and was afraid that he would forget what he wanted to say. It probably wasn’t the most glamorous or romantic proposal in the world. But it was so sincere and so genuine, and a reflection of who he is. I loved it!
    BTW, he was given a car (a totally old clunker) and was able to sell his car. With that $, he paid off his debt and bought me a ring. So he got his wish to get out of debt before he got married.

  18. My friend (28) got engaged last weekend. It will be his second marriage. He led her on a treasure hunt through his sister’s house which ended in the baby’s room where there were some thirty balloons, each with a plastic ring on the ribbon, and one balloon with a real ring at the end of the ribbon.

    I kept waiting for the story to end “and she said she’d go to prom with me.”

  19. My teenage ‘soul mate’ dumped me on my Mission. Not even a ‘Dear John’ letter! (Oh the years of pain!)
    A year after my return, I learn she would be in town for Xmas (She was now a RN at LDS Hospital). I called her house, spoke to her Mom, and said I was coming over. She answered the door and she begin a WEAK apology. I could feel my ‘Marine voice’ build in my chest, but just said: “I don’t want to hear that, I only want to know if you are still open to marrying me”!
    That was 1967.

  20. My husband proposed to me at Uncle Bud’s park in those Indian street neighborhoods above the Provo Temple (we were living in the FLSR at the time). We played Frisbee for a while and it kept dragging on. I mean it was fun and everything, but after a while I was wondering what was going on. Finally he asked me. It turns out that he was extending the Frisbee throwing because there were some construction guys hanging around and he was really hoping they would leave before he asked me to marry him.

  21. My husband and I both are fans of adventure games so when I proposed to him, I created a text-based adventure game (with the help of a friend). We played it together, although he was the one actually typing in things and I mostly was there to make sure that he won. It was designed so that when he won, a wizard appeared and spirited him away to my house (in the game) where I got down on one knee and proposed (while in real life I was just sitting next to him). He had to enter in “yes” and then the game told him he was engaged. I was thrilled that he didn’t figure out what was going on until the actual question appeared in the game, and then he was like, “What is going on? Is this for real?!” He said yes, and I pulled out the ring I’d been stowing in my pocket.

  22. Here’s my story and the previous engagement thread:

  23. 16–Yep.

    Center Street in Provo often gets overlooked by the BYU crowd. Now, with the tabernacle gone, it will be even more overlooked.

  24. We had already discussed getting married, and spent the day hunting around for the type of ring I wanted (a malachite stone in a silver band – not quite as thrifty as the cubic zirconium mentioned by a previous poster, but almost). He got nasty looks (and I got weird, pitying looks) because we were not getting a diamond. Well, those people can suck it. We found a nice little piece of malachite and decided to get it set later.

    In the evening we went out to the beach and were chatting about things and then unexpectedly he got down on one knee in the sand and said, “Will you marry me?”. I was so stunned I didn’t answer right away, but finally had the presence of mind to drop to my knees along with him and answer “only if you marry me back” (i know, goofy). I felt him slip something on my finger – turned out he had already found a malachite & silver ring the weekend before and had bought it without my knowing it. We turned the piece we’d found that day into a matching necklace to go with some earrings I already had. I’m not a jewelry person but I do like to wear that set.

    It was pretty cool. Also cool was that he happily agreed to let me get him an inexpensive silver band to wear as an engagement ring. We also sat down and each called the other’s parents the next day to ask “permission” (although why we felt we needed to do that at ages 28 and 36 is still kind of an unknown to me). My conversation with his parents went as follows:

    Me: Bro. and Sis. R______, I was just wondering if it would be okay with you if I married your son.
    MIL: I dunno Les, what do you think?
    FIL: Well, at this point I’d let him marry just about anybody.
    (they really were thrilled to pieces, they were just trying to be funny about it.)

    That was 5 years ago this month. Still glad every day for that choice.

  25. Don’t forget- romantic facebook day is coming up!!

  26. Here’s your patriarchy, z. My roommates and I took turns making dinner each weeknight. We usually made enough to invite whatever (guy) friends anyone wanted to. As I became friends with DH, he started coming over to dinner every night and then staying to wash the dishes. Of course he was everyone’s favorite guest because he did the dishes! Four days after our first “official” date, we were sitting at his apartment, and I said, “You know, if I don’t go on a mission this summer, you could still come to dinner at my apartment ever day”. He said, “If you don’t go on a mission, we could make dinner in our own apartment”. I looked at him and cocked my head and said, “Okay”. So then I called my mom to tell her, and she said, “Don’t talk to me until you have a ring”.

    Because we spent every waking second together (when we weren’t at class or lab), I knew when he went to order the ring and when he picked it up. (We had gone ring shopping before that so he knew what I wanted.) He tried to be sneaky, but I knew he had the ring when he came to my house the night he picked it up. He didn’t want to propose at my apartment with my roommates there, so we drove up to the Provo Temple. He asked, “Do you want to get out and do it by the temple?” (Hmmm . . . looking back, that doesn’t sound so good.) I said, “No, I don’t want people looking at us, let’s just do it here”. So, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes. Then (after I got home), I called my mom, and she believed me.

  27. Oh, and since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I just have to share that our first date was the day after Valentine’s Day. I had gone on a trip over the weekend and got back to find flowers at my house. So, I invited him over the next morning for breakfast, and he brought jewelry. I thought, “I think this guy likes me”. Then we went on our first real date – that led to the engagement four days later. We’ve together for 13 years now.

  28. Not as romantic (or cheesy) as the proposal I got from my high school boyfriend by the Cinderella Castle in Disneyland, though.

  29. waterspout says:

    I was graduating from BYU (1993) – at the actual commencement in the Marriott Center. My name was announced, and as I walk across the stage my husband shouts out from the audience, “WILL YOU MARRY ME??!!” I remember all sorts of “Wow, she just got proposed to!” whispers and gasps, and a few professors I walked by on the stand beaming at me. One professor asked, “So what is your answer?”

    I was just rolling my eyes and shaking my head. We were already married and had 2 kids.

    Our real proposal? Something like us sitting on his bedroom floor, me punchng his arm saying, “So when are you going to ask me?” I think I ended up asking him.

  30. Kevin Barney says:

    Loving all the stories!

    I didn’t start this thread off with my own story because I don’t really have one. We just started talking about it in hypothetical terms, which gradually morphed into more practical, concrete terms. I don’t recall a specific proposal, we just sort of mutually agreed to do it. And we never bought rings; we were just too poor. In a way it was a very Mormon way to get engaged, I think.

  31. He said “Meow,” I scratched his ears, and I’ve been fixing his meals, cleaning up after him, and cuddling at night ever since — pretty much the same as the rest of you ladies, am I right?

  32. Exactly Ardis! Except he likes his head scratched instead.

  33. We met before my mission, I had prayed and gone on a mission, so I doubted he was the guy. He didn’t doubt. He spent his time happening to run into all sorts of family members, sending brithday cards to my family (to be fair he sent birthday cards to anyone who’s birthday he knew), and organized his schedule to graduate in 3 years.

    After my mission I was overwelmed at the flowers I came home to and my sister and mom talking about making her wedding (which was 4 weeks away) a double wedding . A few rocky months later I told him he didnt’ have to be patient anymore. A few days later we went for a walk on the beach and he got down on a a knee and proposed.

  34. Wonderful stories! Two recurrent parts of the ritual fascinate me: getting down on one knee (does it continue to happen?) and asking Father for permission to marry her. Are those fairly constant pieces of the Big Moment? And will tomorrow (Valentine’s Day) bring more delightful accounts? (I hope so.)

  35. Chicken Little says:

    In his apartment in Provo. After completing a veritable chemisty experiment (it is sad they don’t make them so complex anymore) it was pink. He said in his happy pragmatic way, “I guess we will just get married.” I started bawling did that for a few minutes, pulled myself together put on a smile and said “Okay that’s what we will do.” Best accidental decision I ever made. Just keeping it real people. Eighteen years and six kids later later we’re still keeping it real and the smiles are real too.

  36. I guess I always thought the idea of asking a father’s permission was the quintessential “patriarchal” moment of an engagement. Why does everyone think that’s such a romantic thing? Isn’t it rather demeaning for the girl that she can’t be trusted to make her own choice without “permission”? What if the dad said “no, you don’t have my permission”?

  37. Jes, the last episode of Friday Night Lights answered it all for me. The patriarchy issue anyway.

  38. Jes,

    I think it’s more a sign of respect to the father than anything else.

  39. My wife and I were sitting in the waters of Malacca off the coast of Sumatra, two hundred meters of climbing rope stretched between us, with water skis on our feet. We had parachuted into Kuala Lumpur, on a mission for a secret arm of an unnamed government. We were waiting for a submarine, which would surface enough that the periscope could snag our rope and we would water-ski into safer waters. She had just rescued me from a drug lord’s palace and we had had a prolonged fire-fight, that had raged for about ten hours, and I knew she was tired. Plus she had taken a bullet to the shoulder and, even though it was just a flesh wound, was acting a little testy and out of sorts. But I knew the time was right. I had popped the ring into the hollow-handle of her combat bayonet while we had been pinned down. Luckily most of the blood had washed off from the mercenaries we had escaped from, and she was talked into unscrewing the top of the knife where I told her I had GPS coordinates for the pick-up in a note. Was she ever surprised to find my proposal and the ring. I’ll never forget her smile as we water-skied over the open ocean, in the moonlight, together forever.

  40. Jes,

    I kind of agree. Enough that I didn’t ask for permission beforehand. Although I did “ask” after the fact (mainly for the respect thing).

    Of course, part of the reason I didn’t ask for permission beforehand was that I was afraid of her mom finding out and talking her out of it before I asked the question.

  41. Larry the Cable Guy says:

    Emailed the in-laws to-be a few days before, mostly as a sign of respect and courtesy to them.

    We had sketched out ideas about timeframes and temple, but I wanted a little bit of suprise and wow, so I opted to get a ring ahead of time rather than shop for it together.

    Needing a diamond alternative for the proposal, I had a ring made with a little piece of original granite from the SL Temple, where I figured we would be getting married. (No, I didn’t take a hammer to it as I walked past, it was removed during a renovation.) It has become her right hand ring after going diamond shopping once we were official. It was a little bit sentimental and sappy, but kind of lets us carry the temple around so to speak.

    Flowers, knee, ect

  42. SteveP, that’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the diameter of a combat bayonet’s handle is not large enough to accommodate even the daintiest of engagement rings. If you’re not going to take this seriously, then at least make the story believable.

  43. MCQ, you haven’t seen my wife’s combat bayonet.

  44. Re permission=respect shown to the father, I’d rather it morph into something that didn’t take away respect from the daughter. And it probably already has morphed in everything except name only, mostly, but perhaps something more like the newly engaged couple talking to both sets of parents before they announce the engagement to anyone else and saying, “we’re planning on getting married, do you have any questions for us?” It would just be nice to get rid of all aspects of a daughter going from the care of her father to the care of her husband. But enough of the ruining of romance. Carry on!

  45. I’m not sure I would’ve said yes if my husband had gone down on one knee or done any other cheesy junk like that. We’d already discussed getting married, but he didn’t actually “pop the question” until we were eating dinner one night and he told me he must have gotten my fortune cookie by mistake. Purely coincidental. The fortune said, “Accept your next proposal.” So I did. Luckily, he talked me out of it. I couldn’t even pronounce that guy’s last name. I married Merkin instead.

  46. The asking of the father’s permission does bother me. I know it’s a romantic part of the tradition for some people, but I dislike the implications. DH already knew that I did not want that to happen; I’m not sure he even had to ask me about it. It was important to me that when “permission” was “asked” (by which I mean, as someone said above, the courtesy of informing parents first) that BOTH parents are asked at the same time, together. I think I actually called his parents first.

    Even when people defend this remnant of patriarchy by suggesting that it is just a tradition out of respect for the father, I have to wonder what equivalent gesture of respect is given to the girl’s mother.

    Nope, nope, nope. Don’t find it romantic. Same thing with the engagement rings; I’m not sure I would have worn one if DH had not agreed to wear one too.

    But honestly, to each their own; I know these are important traditions to some people.

  47. I was trying to avoid the high mountain pass by traveling through the Mines of Moria. The dwarves there had dug too deep and besides unearthing a Balrog, they had come across a foul, evil witch. She had imprisoned a young lass in a glass coffin, and she was in a medically-induced coma brought on by a Schedule-1 apple-based opiate. I had an acceptable antidote, but it had to be mixed with human DNA. So, I woke her up, but the introduction of my saliva into her bloodstream left her addicted to my touch. If she’s ever away from me for more than 31 hours, she reverts back into the coma state. And, without those stunted little miners manning the life-support machines, I hesitate to think how things might turn out.

    So, when she says she can’t live without me, she’s not kidding.

  48. My husband talked to my father and told him he loved me and planned to marry me. I thought it was nice. I would have been ok with him “asking” (1991) but preferred him “informing” my father, rather than asking.
    At this point we were almost engaged and he had come home for Xmas with me to meet my family. He had already asked me twice. The first time was way early and he hadn’t really thought about it. I wasn’t stupid and simply told him I wasn’t ready to think about that yet. The second time, same thing but then it we’d been dating long enough that I realized it would be pretty tramatic for both of us if the answer ended up being no. So I had to start praying and deciding.
    I finally was ready to say yes when he was coming to visit for right after Xmas a few days after I had already arrived. I wanted to meet him at the plane with the exciting info, but little sister wanted to come with me to the airport. Later that night I finally got him alone to tell him I was ready to answer yes. But he didn’t ask. But hey, we were at my parents house in Maryland. I wanted to start making wedding plans with my mom since this would be the ONLY time I would see her before the wedding, but she was pretty nervous talking about it since we weren’t officially engaged and he was right there! I had to tell her privately that it was going to happen but maybe the guy wanted to take me out somewhere or have the ring or something.
    New Year’s Eve he rang in the new year with him setting up my parent’s video camera and proposing at midnight.
    I haven’t actually watched it. It was on my parents old video camera tape that they gave me but no way to watch it. I just had it transferred to DVD along with our videos.
    I think it might be way to cringeworthy to watch. We got engaged on camera and then told our entire courtship story.
    Am I brave enough to watch it? It has bad lighting and poor sound, plus I’m sure it is embarrassingly sentimental. Am I better off with my own memory of my proposal or should I actually go back in time and watch it?

  49. My SIL has a great story: they were having lunch up at Sundance, and her boyfriend excused himself to use the restroom. There he changed into a suit of armor, and went outside where his friend was waiting with the white horse and videocamera. The staff invited her outside, where her knight in shining armor awaited with a marriage proposal and ring.

  50. leisurelyviking says:

    We’d been dating for a couple years and knew we wanted to get engaged, but still wanted it to be special. I didn’t need a ring, but he wanted a symbol that he was taken, so we ordered matching sterling silver bands from etsy. Then we took a camping trip to Deception Pass state park in WA.

    The morning we left for home, we proposed to each other on the beach. Then we drove back to Seattle and spent the day celebrating at various parks, free museums, and restaurants/cafes. We drove down to Portland the next weekend to tell our parents in person.

  51. Include the mother, by all means, but it seems foolhardy to me to marry anyone under nearly any circumstances if his or her family is seriously opposed.

  52. If the family is opposed, wouldn’t you ordinarily know that quite well before ever asking permission? In other words, if you really have to ask in order to know if the family approves of the union, you’re probably already hosed.

  53. Any means of figuring that out is fine by me. If the parents live several states away, it might be difficult.

  54. Oooh, I want a knight in shining armor!

  55. From the church’s Juvenile Instructor magazine, 1934:

    Mabel: “What’s worrying you, David?”

    David: “I was just wonderin’ if Dad would see to the milkin’ while we’re on our honeymoon, supposin’ you said ‘yes’ if I asked you.”

  56. including the parents is reality…you may think when you’re young and in love that all you need is the two of you., roller skates and a crime, but it’s just not true.

    I prefer asking for the parent’s blessing, not permission. If you need their permission, you’re too young.

  57. My conversation with her father went like this: “I intend to marry your daughter. Have you any objection? I am prepared to fight you.”

  58. By the way, the talk of courtship rituals stripped of all remnants of the patriarchy really gets one geared up for a splendidly militant v-day, thanks.

  59. Mine is not very romantic. In fact I had a fun cute way planned out and the night before it was all to go down I simply got on one knee with no one around and gave her the ring. Everyone was surprised the next morning. We had been planning/ talking about it for some time. She was there when I asked her father (having never met him previously I was terrified) but that’s about it. I like it. It was simple.

  60. What a surprising revelation; I am married to gst. How else to explain the coincidence? Honey, you have a lot of explaining to do- pretending to be Mormon, for starters…

  61. In regards to the family approval for marriage, my brother, upon meeting his future wife’s family for the first time, was required to compete in the “So-you-want-to-marry-PJ Olympics”.
    He competed against different family members in a variety of events, like changing a tire, basketball, sprinting, sawing a board in half, etc. (she’s the 8th of 10 kids, so I don’t remember all of the events). He barely squeaked by with a win, if I recall correctly.

  62. Kevin Barney says:

    61, I love the hazing games; sounds like a great tradition!

  63. Include the mother, by all means, but it seems foolhardy to me to marry anyone under nearly any circumstances if his or her family is seriously opposed.

    Yes, if I could think of one word to describe Joseph Smith – it would be “foolhardy”.

  64. My proposal story is decent, but the full engagement story is the real story. Especially in reference to the whole “Father’s Blessing” debate. I was considering posting it on here, but after about page 3 I decided to just post it on my blog and link to it here. I’ll include the proposal below FWIW:

    My friends and I planned a trip to Lake Powell. We were all going down for a week. We were about 6 couples, a couple singles, and my dad (the captain), a houseboat, two ski boats, two sit-down PWCs, and a stand-up JetSki. It was a blast. I was a little stressed and probably more irritable than I should have been, but that was probably because I had a diamond ring in my duffel bag. I was so gun shy I didn’t know if I could bring it out again.
    Friday I asked A if she wanted to go on a hike. She said she was down, and we decided that the evening was the best time to hike because it was too hot during the day. As the sun was starting to set we took a PWC across the channel, parked it in a small cove, and hiked up the slickrock. We didn’t hike very far, but stopped at a spot that overlooks Halls Creek Bay and Halls Crossing Marina. We just sat there while I tried to work up the courage to possibly get rejected again. Finally after about an hour I reached into my sock, put the ring on my pinky, and shifted onto my knee. I looked her in the eyes, told her she was my best friend, that I loved her, and that I wanted to spend eternity with her. She told me I was her best friend and that she would love to.


  65. Asking my father’s permission wasn’t romantic to me, either. DH asked if I wanted him to and I said absolutely not. He didn’t.

  66. john Harvey says:

    Regarding “patriarchy”: As a father I think it is just to ensure that on the outside chance my daughter is making a big mistake that the new groom knows at a fundamental level I just may track him down and do incredibly painful things if he ever hurts the women my “baby princess” has become.

    With respect to the proposal itself it is much more than just a cultural thing for the guy to propose. In the vast majority of species the male must impress the female (and often fight off other males). The proposal is one of the few “displays” modern men in the western world have left. For example see:

  67. It's Not Me says:

    I was about to graduate from college and was getting ready to head to graduate school. I wasn’t sure whether I should ask her to marry me or not. My bishop thought I should, but clarified that he wasn’t necessarily inspired to say so.

    I had always wanted to do something very creative and unusual. I was also committed to make sure the Lord was ok with my choice. We had spoken a little bit (hypothetically) about marriage, but just superficially.

    That day we had bought some hamburgers and were headed to my home to eat. I was gauging my feelings as we began to speak of hypothetical wedding dates. It got to the point that I was feeling ok about things and worried that if I didn’t do something then I would chicken out and move on. We had decided a certain date would work.

    Me: “So, the 13th, huh?”
    Her: “Yeah.”
    Me: “So, you want to do it then?”
    Her: “Huh?”
    Me: “Yeah, you want to do it then?”
    Her: “Are you serious?”

    Very unromantic, but 20 years later we’re still happily married.

  68. Morgan Lee says:

    I was both overjoyed and mortified when my husband proposed to me. We were in a long-distance relationship: he lived in Utah, and I lived in CA (how my LDS husband came to be involved with a non-LDS girl in Utah is a weird, long story that I will spare you). We traveled back and forth to see each other for about a year and a half, managing visits every three to four weeks. We had talked about marriage long before, and had even looked at rings during one of my trips to Utah. But months had passed with no proposal.

    Then one Saturday morning as I sat in my Costa Mesa apartment, unshowered, in my robe, eating a bowl of cereal, there was a knock at the door. It was my husband (then boyfriend) who had flown in from Utah by surprise. I was happy to see him, but embarrassed by my appearance. He asked me to check my email right then, and when I did I found that he had emailed me a videotaped proposal that he’d made at home. I didn’t know at first that the video was going to end in his proposing, but when I felt his arm shaking as he held my hand, I suspected what was up. He’d had the email prepared but did not send it until he was on my front porch (where he sent it with his phone) so that he could be sure I didn’t see it before he got there. There were good, relationship-related reasons for him to propose the way he did (mushy stuff, which again I will spare you).

    At the end of the video he pulled out a ring. Apparently, I screamed. And that was that.

  69. I almost asked my wife to marry me prior to asking her father and she hinted that this would not be appropriate because she loved her father and she wanted to show respect to him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone loved and respected their parents enough to consider their wishes. After all we may be with them for eternity.

    As for asking the mother as well, once again as an ideologue, once married the two (should) become one. Anything that the father commits to he should have already consulted his wife’s opinion and together made a decision.

    After asking her father, we had root beer floats (a tradition in their family) then I took her up above the Capital in Salt Lake overlooking Temple square in Christmas lights and made it official.

  70. Morgan Lee says:

    oops, that should be “non-LDS girl in California”

  71. It never occurred to me that someone might ask my father’s permission to marry me. And indeed, if someone had, my father probably would have replied, “What are you asking me for?”

  72. Brandon, I read the whole story at your personal website. All I could think was “Mmm… Kimber 1911.”

  73. Its a gorgeous gun.

  74. Ok I’ll play.

    I and my friends devised an ingenious scavenger hunt for my (then) girlfriend where she would have to go to all the places where we’d been on important dates in the past. The clues were all in poetic verse and led her from place to place. My friends hid in some of these places to make sure she got where she was supposed to go, while I hid at the end with the ring. The end was a bennetton store where we both worked at the time, so we both had keys, and the store was closed and dark.

    I hid there forever and she didn’t come. I finally called her and she had given up and gone home when she got lost on one of the clues. My friends didn’t see this happen, because it was between clues.

    I got her back on track and she finally finished the hunt late that night after we missed our dinner reservations.

    The end was that she had to come into the store and log in to the cash register and I had reprogrammed it to say “Marry Me.” Then I came out and gave her the ring.

    Worked out ok with some glitches. Kinda like life.

  75. madhousewife, I can totally picture that in my head.

  76. MCQ, your proposal story could only be worse if it ended with a very, very heavy burtation.

  77. For those of you haven’t heard of geocaches, all around the
    world, people hide “geocaches”, typically a log book and usually some kind of treasure, toy, or trinket and hide it in a container at a specified coordinate. There is a website that you can get the coordinates and then with a GPS you find the coordinate and then try to find the cleverly hidden, sometimes camoflauged geocache. At the time of our engagement, I was really into it. It involves hiking and basically the closest you can get to treasure hunting, so of course I loved it.

    So my boyfriend of 2 years at the time asked me to go to this old Helicopter Pad that overlooks our city to go reading. We started hiking up to the top, and I, unbeknownst to his whole plan, just happened to ask, “I wonder if there are any geocaches up here.” We finished hiking up to the top. We then started reading our books. I finished the last couple pages I had of OF MICE AND MEN. It was super hot, so after I finished reading, he suggested we go back to the car. As we were walking back down, he pointed and walked over to a bush, saying “NO WAY.” To which I refrained “Yeah, right!” and hurried over to the bush and picked up what I supposed was a geocache. I opened it up and there was a log book inside and weirdly, a ring. The weird part of it was that it was a gold Lord of the Rings ring which I had an exact copy of at home that he had given to me with a bookmark for Christmas (haha, I know nerdy). I was utterly confused and opened up the log book, to find a note saying I LOVE YOU. He then got down to his knee and was fumbling to get something out of his back pack. I was totally baffled by now and thought to myself, “no way, he’s not doing this, its just a joke” To which he pulled out a beautiful diamond ring and then asked me to marry him. I was in complete shock, and after crying and then mumbling a couple times “you’re joking me, you’re joking me. are you serious?” I then hugged him and managed to say “of course.”

  78. My wife asked me what my blood type was and RH factor.
    She then wanted to fast and pray so we did and she said yes.
    So no real big proposal at that point.
    She picked out three rings, I to pick the final. Told her I had an old companion from my mission days (Germany) whose name was D.R. Weib (D.R. for diamond ring and weib meaning wife in German). Took her to the MGM Grand, it having a secluded grassy area surrounded by bushes in the back. Put the diamond ring in the bouquet of roses, kneeled and proposed…After she said yes again, fireworks went off at a hotel across the Strip (Dunes) which was great timing.

    That was some 33 years ago…

  79. His apartment invited mine over for Sunday dinner, and I enjoyed talking to him so much that I jokingly proposed right then at the table in front of everyone. We went on our first date a few days later and he asked if I’d be interested in marrying him–I said there was a good chance I would be. We bought an inexpensive ring together a couple weeks later, he called my dad to ask for his blessing, which my dad did not give, I said “oh well, that’s why we didn’t ask permission” and we went ahead and got engaged anyway. Lots of family opposition at first, but we married in spite of it and as soon as we got pregnant all of that changed and everybody was suddenly supportive.

    My dad was offended and hurt that we only asked for his blessing rather than for his permission, and particularly upset when we went forward with the engagement even without his blessing, but he sees now how happy I am and I think he’s pretty much over it at this point. Not really my problem either way–my hand in marriage was never his to give, and there was no reason for me to seek his permission for a decision that was 100% mine to make.

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