Relationships

He Said/She Said: A Bookstore Proposal

A Bookstore Proposal

Our neighborhood bookstore, Books Are Magic, has always been a great place for dates, but last week, there was something even bigger: a marriage proposal! Here, the couple tells us how it went down…

Lauren’s side of the story:

I’ve always loved bookstores, and Books Are Magic is one of the places that make New York feel like home. Every time we walk down Smith Street, I’m like, Should we go in? Tom always laughs: Are you going to buy something or do you just want to be in the presence of this store?

So, that morning, we had gone out to breakfast across the street with friends, and they said, can we jump into Books Are Magic to get a children’s book? I was like, Yes, It’s my favorite place, I’m always dragging people there!

I started wandering around the bookstore. All our friends were in the kids’ section. I didn’t realize it, but our friends were purposefully not coming near me, so I walked over to Tom and asked him what he was looking at. He showed me a wooden book (I later found out he had planted it there). It was painted with two olives, and one of the olives was proposing. I was like, that’s not a book — I was so confused! Then he opened the book to reveal a ring box inside and got on one knee and proposed.

I still had no idea what was going on. All of a sudden people had their phones out, and I was like, what is happening? I don’t even remember his asking! People were taking videos and the woman who works there was crying. Then I pieced it together. I was still carrying my to-go bag with a pulled pork sandwich! Somehow we got some photos without my takeout sandwich and incredibly confused face!


Books Are Magic Bookstore Proposal

Tom’s side of the story:

Honestly, I was most nervous about having her find out — there were a lot of moving parts and people involved — so I was trying to make sure everyone kept their stories straight.

For the custom book that I put the ring into, I didn’t want it to be too mushy. Lauren has a lighthearted sense of humor — she always buys those funny greeting cards — and I wanted it to feel like that. Then I reached out to Books Are Magic to see if I could leave the book there on the day of the proposal.

The funny part was that the Books Are Magic folks put the book in the new fiction section. That was one part that I didn’t think through enough, and it turns out she doesn’t really browse in that section. She was bopping around in Staff Picks — and I was hanging out over in new fiction. After five minutes, I started worrying she might never come over! But finally, she did, and I was like, Have you heard of this book? She picked it up, opened it and saw the ring, and I kneeled down and asked if she would marry me. She was very, very surprised and shocked. She looked over and our friends were taking pictures. Then she started freaking out. The Books Are Magic staff member, Liv, was probably the most excited of all the people involved. She was crying the hardest!

I think it was perfect.

Books Are Magic Bookstore Proposal

Congratulations, Lauren and Tom! So sweet, right? If you’ve been engaged, how did it go down? I also love the idea of just talking about it.

P.S. More sweet proposals, and 11 wedding dos and don’ts.

  1. I really wanted the protect proposal so I kind of planned my proposal….. My husband was happy to follow a plan I made, that meant he didn’t have to think of one! It was a scavenger hunt to places that are meaningful to us. I told him I wanted my friend with me, not alone the whole time wandering around the city getting clues. That seemed lonely. I even told him where I wanted the final destination to be when he proposed!! It was so so so beyond perfect and he thought of the sweetest places to send me. I like proposals more than weddings because weddings are STRESSFUL and the proposal was just FUN.

  2. Lindsay Wiebe says...

    This is so sweet! I love the idea of the ring hiding in the book! My fiance Nate proposed on mother’s day (May 2018) which has been a really hard day for me for the past eight years since my mom passed away. The only thing we had planned that day was to see a movie. At one point during the day, Nate announced that he had made my favorite dish: homemade pasta with parsley, lemon and garlic. He even came home from the grocery store with a pretty potted plant. I hadn’t noticed that he was doing nice little things for me throughout the day, mostly because I was focused on missing my mom. After I had finished showering and getting ready, I came downstairs and Nate came up to me, kind of out-of-the-blue and started telling me how much he loves me and how happy I make him. He then said he wanted to do something special on mother’s day because he knows how hard of a day it is for me and rather than be sad every year on mother’s day, he wanted me to be happy. Then everything was a blur and he got down on his knee and proposed! This past mother’s day, I still thought of my mom and missed her as I always do, but I was also able to feel happy and grateful to be getting married to such a special guy!

  3. Jessica says...

    Aw, congrats to the happy couple! My friends got engaged in an incredible bookstore here in Los Angeles last year (The Last Bookstore in DTLA) and their wedding was yesterday. It was perfectly sweet and a little nerdy and bookish and so, so them.

  4. Kate says...

    Love this!!
    I unfortunately barely gave my boyfriend of eight years the chance to come up with something sweet like this. Tired of waiting for him, I planned us a trip to Maui and told him that he could choose any of the five days of our visit to propose to me.
    When we were packing for the trip the night before, he told me to pack a nice outfit because he made dinner reservations for the last night of our trip. I didn’t say anything, but I was so disappointed that he was planning on proposing to me in a generic way at dinner. (Yes, I am the worst.)
    But you guys! He actually proposed at the top of the Waihee Ridge Trail completely unexpectedly on day three of our trip! It was perfect. He said that he knew I would hate the dinner proposal and he did it to throw me off the scent.

  5. Laurel says...

    I’m a bit late to the party on this one but oh well!

    We got engaged by just talking about it. We’d just moved in together and we were lazing in bed, drinking coffee and talking….we both started saying things like “oh yeah, we’ll do (this thing and that thing) after we’re married”. After a few minutes, I looked over and asked him, “did we just get engaged?” And he said, “yeah, I think so!” So neither asked, and neither had to.

    We’ll celebrate eleven years in September ♥️

  6. This is so sweet! It’s so lovely to read the full story here after seeing it on IG (my friends all know to send me anything cute book/romance related, hahaha). Congrats, Lauren and Tom!

    My fiancé and I got engaged last fall. We’d started talking about marriage, and in one of our initial conversations, I had mentioned that I wanted a very simple, intimate proposal, something for just the two of us. He jokingly said, “So what I’m hearing is…you want me to build you a Rube-Goldberg machine.” I laughed and rolled my eyes and then, lo and behold, a year or so later, I came home to an apartment filled with flowers, candles, and a RUBE-GOLDBERG MACHINE! He used Command hooks to set up a whole pulley system around our apartment and managed to incorporate some of our favorite books in the set up that ultimately ended with him on one knee with a sign that said, “Marry Me, Simply.” It was the sweetest and most perfect proposal that made me laugh and cry and obviously, say yes :)

  7. Bonnie says...

    Not a bookstore, but still word-related: my husband proposed with the game Boggle. Had it wrapped up like a gift, with “Will you marry me” spelled out with the cubes. He said it was actually pretty hard to find all the right letters, without them already being on a cube he was using for another letter! We had played a lot of Boggle while dating, so it was a meaningful choice!

  8. Lauren says...

    My husband proposed the morning of our 2 year anniversary. He had this whole plan and I almost ruined it by getting up to make coffee, he coaxed me back to bed and said he’d bring me some. He gave me this sweet speech and reached under the bed. I got mad because we don’t do anniversary presents. When he asked to marry him, I literally said “Are you fucking kidding me, is this really happening”. Clearly, his surprise plan worked and I said yes!

  9. anna says...

    This is so incredibly sweet! I’ve always thought bookstores are so romantic. And I absolutely adore her skirt? Do you know where it is from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!

  10. Kay says...

    I don’t have an engagement story to share but rather a wedding story. I adore reading and knew that books had to play a part in my day, either as a venue or as centerpieces. After looking at the Housing Works bookstore, libraries etc, I stumbled upon the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg. Even though it housed sketchbooks instead of novels, it was perfect. We got married under a canopy of roses, surrounded by wildflowers, light and books. https://www.instagram.com/p/BrNuJWpFqGg/?hl=en

  11. Liz says...

    My husband also proposed to me in the bookstore where we met :)

  12. alice says...

    I love the bookstore proposal, sweet!
    We were a discussion couple. We had been together for thirteen years at that point, and decided it was time to marry because we were living abroad and needed security for equal parental rights for our two children. We didn’t get engaged, we just discussed it, then waited for a day when our boys were both awake and cheerful during business hours, and then cycled through the old alleys of Beijing to a tiny office where we signed certificates. My little one was three months old and I hadn’t washed my hair for three days! We still don’t wear rings, nobody else was there bar our children, and I didn’t change my name. There are so many other points in my life that mean more to me in terms of our commitment to each other, but this story is very us and represents a time in our life, so I like it too!

  13. melissa Best says...

    i started crying at “all our friends were in the kids section”. so sweet

  14. txilibrin says...

    Love how casual it looks!
    I never got a proposal, don’t really believe in them. So we talked and then decided on a date. Easy peasy. Such a romantic (don’t get me wrong, I love reading all the comments with stories, it is just not for me!)

    • Jade says...

      Agree not for me either. I LOVE reading these stories but for me from an equality standpoint I could never accept the down on one knee thing.

  15. Jordan says...

    In the weeks before we got engaged, things were really hard. Our dog was dying, my now-husband’s dad was dying, we were applying to residency and had no idea where we’d end up or if we’d be able to live in the same place. Even though we had discussed getting engaged, the timing felt terrible. And then in the midst of it all, he proposed. While I kept thinking that timing wasn’t right, he felt it was perfect. Because life can be so hard and if you’ve found the person you want by your side in the midst of all the ugliness, then you’ve found your person.

    • Carly says...

      That is so beautiful and so true. What a wonderful way to see such a difficult time!

  16. Kimmy says...

    I got engaged at a bookstore in Chicago 2 years and 9 days ago! We got engaged at Myopic books in Wicker Park. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know it was going to be that day. We browsed around for a while and I ended up sitting up by the cookbooks and he came up and knelt down and whipped the ring out in the 2 short minutes that nobody was around! It was inconspicuous and sweet and calm. Then we went and got froyo. A good day!

  17. Leslie says...

    My husband planned (and executed, with the help of lots of friends) an incredible Serendipity themed proposal, complete with a treasure hunt through NYC – lunch at Serendipity, the glove at Bloomingdales, the $5 bill with the writing on it, that ended with the last clue at the Waldorf Astoria telling me to pick a floor and he’ll pick a floor and if we both end up there it’s meant to be. He proposed on the 11th floor in the hallway, with the music from Serendipity in the background, and the housekeeper taking pictures. It was magic.

    • Katie says...

      The picking a floor part stresses me, how did you know?! Argh, what if you both went to separate floors!

  18. Rosa says...

    I love love love this story. I love to read, so a bookstore proposal sounds so romantic and lovely to me. I wouldn’t want it to be exactly like this one though: I don’t really like surprises (so some hints / conversations before would be appreciated), and I wouldn’t like it if a lot of other people were ‘in on it’. I’d prefer it if it were something between just me & my boyfriend (which I realise might be difficult in a public place, but still). I also find it a bit weird to read in the comment section that some people wait so long for their partner to propose. Don’t you talk about marriage / proposing etc? My parents even picked out the engagement ring together :) My mom said it was still a surprise: she didn’t know exactly when he was going to get down on one knee and use the ring! It ended up being in the pouring rain at midnight in Antwerp. Pretty romantic, I think. :)

  19. Lily says...

    But was the title of the book, “Because OLIVE you”? C’mon, people!

    • Claire says...

      I thought the same thing!!

  20. Lana says...

    The Book are Magic staff is like Empire Records does paperback.

    • Amy says...

      niceee reference :)

  21. Elspeth says...

    My fiancé and I have always been long distance, him in the USA and me in the UK. We have been together for three years. And last October he planned to come and see me for three weeks. I was so excited about it, three whole weeks together! My colleagues were all really happy for me that he was coming. So I arranged to finish work as a half day on the Tuesday, since he would arrive Wednesday lunchtime. To give myself time to get the flat tidy, beautify myself ha etc. Or so I thought….
    I taught my final lesson on Tuesday morning and was desperately counting down the minutes until I was off. I walked to the staff room and out of the corner of my eye saw a man sitting at the reception desk. I kept walking right into the room before it registered that it was my fiancé!!! He had come a day early to surprise me. We hugged in front of the receptionist haha and then went to get lunch. I was frustrated because I’d planned a lovely outfit to go and pick him up at the airport and now was in my work clothes haha.
    My city has a big hill in the centre which we’ve climbed before together and after we ate he was like do you fancy climbing it with me? So we did and at the top he gave me a letter he had written and when I got to the end he was holding a ring….I couldn’t stop smiling all the way down the hill. And at the bottom of it- my favourite moment of the whole day- he yelled out at the top of his voice ‘I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!’ So spontaneous and joyful haha.

  22. Breamons says...

    I proposed to my boyfriend off the top of “Arthur’s Seat” in Edinburgh Scotland!
    I had planned the trip months in advance, when one off day in spring I emailed my best -girlfriend, who I was visiting: I wanna propose – will you help me?
    I went ring shopping with one of my girls here in the states- shipped it to here place, she delivered it via secrete purse-hand-off during a band practice while boyfriend was in the bathroom (it took so long for him to go!! ) . Then I had to HIDE A RING AND RINGBOX for a month- man that was the toughest part.
    I got the ring to Scotland in a sock in a boot in my luggage.
    Then on the last day I proposed that we hike this hill which I have always wanted to hike and BF announced – he’s tired, it’s been a long week and he wants to see a nice movie.
    …….
    Luckily my best most wonderful girlfriend manages to get us to a coffee shop, we espresso up and get to hiking! He stopped a few times on the way up & she uncharacteristically was just like – “here’s some Gatorade!! We’re gonna make it!! We’ll wait for you!!”, while I was all OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG.
    At the top, she has boyfriend “show” her how to use his fancy camera to take a nice photo while I’m desperately trying to get the ring box out my the bag it’s in in my pocket before he turns back around. He didn’t notice a bit.
    She then asks us to take a FUNNY PHOTO- MY NERVES!!!
    The second photo, boyfriend goes to put his arm around me and I’m not there! I’ve dropped and the box is open and I can’t even remember the ask. He said yes.
    I couldn’t have done it without her – it takes so many good humans to make a proposal happen, I felt so blessed and am now married to that sweet sweet guy who just wanted to see a movie.

    We saw it when we got home :)

    • Elspeth says...

      Arthur’s seat is where we got engaged too!! Yay!!

    • alice says...

      I live really near Arthur’s Seat, it’s a fair hike when you’re in movie mode!! Well done for getting him up there in the first place! I love Arthur’s Seat – I see it whenever I leave my house. It rises over buildings, and I get glimpses of it when I walk around my neighbourhood. My kids call it the volcano. It’s a magical place. Lovely for an engagement :)

  23. Sarah says...

    This is a super cute story and I am so happy for the couple. Personally I am SO glad my husband proposed to me while we were alone. It’s such an intimate moment, and he said some of the sweetest, kindest things to me ever in that moment – things I know he wouldn’t have said if there had been people around. I was a hot mess and I’d have ben mortified (and a annoyed!) if he had done it in front of family and friends and cameras. I fear that everyone feels everything needs to be documented in photos these days – it doesn’t. Take time each day to soak up those precious moments alone, together, without cameras or filters. You never know what magical thing may happen :)

  24. paola says...

    In Italy we don’t make all this fuss about proposals. It’s lovely to read all these stories, but still… I don’t get it. So much pressure on the poor man. And also: why are you all so feminists and then wait so anxiously for the man to propose? Why don’t you do it? (I did, as many of my friends did)

  25. Rebdcca says...

    Love proposal stories. We are getting married in a few weeks! We had talked about marriage before and he ended up proposing on the morning of our (11 year!) anniversary in our room while I was in pjs just before Christmas. He said we should exchange one gift early so I said fine and gave him a jumper. He put it on then came back with a shoe box. I was like great, I love shoes. Opened it up to find a ring box. No idea what he said or what I said. The ring was beautiful and not at all what I expected style wise. He had my best friend help him chose. It was lovely and low key. I would have freaked out at a very public proposal!

  26. Stephanie P. says...

    Am I the only one who wants to see this olive book??

    • Emily D says...

      ha! NO! I was like – where is a photo of the Olive book?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you can see it in the middle photo! :) zoom into the book in his hands and you’ll see the olives proposing, so cute!

  27. Kathryn Whitmoor-Pryer says...

    My now-husband proposed ten years ago two days before Christmas in Central Park. We were visiting my family and it was the first time he met all my siblings in person (I grew up in New York but moved to Australia). Little did I know he had already contacted my brother to arrange my ring while my sisters booked us into bridal appointments since I knew when the time came, that would be a milestone I’d have to do without them. Boy was I wrong! We spent the day in the city celebrating the sale of his house in the UK (He’s British) and his visa application being approved but all through our swanky lunch I just knew he was going to do it!
    He proceeded to torture me with a loooong horse and carriage ride through the snow before walking down the Bow Bridge which – miraculously – was completely abandoned and got down on one knee. Then out the corner of my eye was a couple of backpackers who watched it all go down and offered to snap some photos for us. We got a limo home to Long Island where my siblings were waiting with champagne.
    The absolute BEST part of it all was that until that very night, I completely forgot that I had told a friend years earlier how getting engaged in Central Park would be perfect. Somehow he just knew and it was hands-down one of the best nights of my life.

  28. We were in the Yosemite Vally, just below El Capitan. My now-husband told me to “stand over there and look up like you’re gazing at the view so I can get a picture of you” – you know, one of those posed “candid” shots. As I looked up, posing for the photo, I felt a presence near me. I turned around, and there he was, on one knee with a ring. He proposed, I cried in disbelief/surprise, we wrapped ourselves in each other’s arms, and the rest…well, it’s all just magic. The best part – we have it all on video, as he set up the camera on our tripod to capture the moment in its entirety. A memory I will never forget in a place that will forever be sacred to us.

  29. Hilary says...

    My now husband is an elementary school teacher and had just read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to his students. He kept telling me how amazing it was and wanted to read it to me. So, like many books and magazines before, he read the whole thing aloud over many hours. Towards the end, he kept crying, and I kept crying. I at one point stopped and told him how much I loved how deeply the book touched him, and how I hoped our kids (which I didn’t know whether we would have, LOL!) would cry at books like him. He put the book down, wiped his face, and asked if I would marry him. We’re about to celebrate our 10th anniversary and will read the very same book aloud to our oldest child, now 7, this summer.

  30. Bec says...

    My fiance couldn’t find a ring he liked for months. Then we went on holiday and he couldn’t take it anymore and impulse purchased a diamond ring at the airport (while I was in the toilet!). But then he couldn’t find the right moment. When we got home he tried to take me for dinner at our favourite local- it was closed that night, and then wanted to propose on the last run of the day during a ski weekend- I skipped that run because I was tired. After pub trivia one night I got drunk and accused him of never wanting to marry me (not my finest hour) and he almost whipped out the box there and then.
    Two months after buying the ring he proposed on the beach as we watched the sunset and it was lovely.

  31. Stefanie says...

    We were out in Clear Lake, MB camping which happens to be a dear spot to both of us for different reasons. We had a delicious dinner and then went into town for our nightly vacation icecream and to do some geocaching. We were walking down the gorgeous pier looking for the geocache (my fiance was manning the GPS) when he stopped beside a tree and said “OK! This is where it is! Start looking!”…. But I had found that geocache a few years before and knew we were about 50 feet away so I was like “ummm I think it’s over that was more”. But he insisted this is where it was. So for a couple of minutes I fake looked for it, wondering how I could nicely tell him he is wrong and that it’s more to the left. All of a sudden though my daughter comes out from behind a tree and says “Found it”! Then I was in shock and she gives me the container, SO excited and tells me to open it! I wanted her to open it though because she was 7 and that’s a really exciting thing for a 7 year old to open! We went back and forth a couple of times when she said mommy just open it!
    Inside was a beautifully written poem :) I read it a couple of times, now thinking something funny was up then turned to my fiance to ask if he wrote it and he got down on one knee!
    I was so shocked and had so many thoughts running through my mind that I can’t remember when one word he said haha I remember faintly hearing gasps of the public watching it happen and him asking if I liked the ring and just hugging him so hard but that is all :)

  32. Steph says...

    My now-wife and I were visiting friends in Norway and spending a few days at a remote cabin with them in the mountains. Late one afternoon my wife announced that she wanted to go for a hike, and uncharacteristically our very outdoorsy hosts were like, “We’ll stay behind.” So we went just the two of us, but there was probably four feet of snow under our feet so I doubt we made it more than 100 yards away. She was inching closer and closer to this little drop off and I just… stopped walking. I think I was warning her it looked like it would collapse, so then she turned around and had to take off her big ski gloves to dig into her pocket and pull out the ring. I knew exactly what was happening then, but immediately began worrying we’d drop it in the snow and lose it, so I said yes quickly and put it on and hustled us back to the cabin where our friends (who were in on it) had been preparing us a fireside dinner. They are all the sweetest and best secret-keepers I know.

  33. Tara says...

    My husband and I got married in a little bookstore in Vermont! It was magical.

  34. Jill says...

    I almost ruined my husbands proposal a few times! First, he had arranged with my mom to babysit my daughter that night (he is old fashioned and asked my parents first, even though I was 41 and he was 43 at the time, 7 years ago.) I told my mom that I didn’t want her to babysit when she told me to go out, bc it was a Wednesday night and I really wanted to go to be early. So my husband at the time begged me to go out to dinner when I said no. He said he had a coupon for a $25 dinner for 2 at a very expensive restaurant in Los Angeles and it expired that day. So fine, I felt guilty, I agreed to go! (there was no coupon). One of my favorite movies is Moonstruck with Cher and Nickolas Cage. My husband arranged the proposal with the italian restaurant that after we ordered dessert he would get down on one knee, I’d say yes, and they would bring champagne cocktails, like in the movie. So first, it was a very expensive Italian restaurant, but I don’t like italian food, so I didn’t love dinner, but pretended I did. There was nothing on the dessert menu I wanted so I didn’t order dessert. But he did get down on one knee and propose. I was in such shock, I apparently ( I dont remember this, I was in shock) asked our waiter if this was a joke, bc no one gets engaged on a Wednesday. Then I put the ring on but never said yes, until like 5 minutes passed! So funny. The best part is that the next day we brought my daughter, who was 6 at the time, a bracelet and told her we were getting married and would be a family. She asked when, I said soon. She said “On Sunday?” . So happy she was happy too!

    • Caitlin says...

      My husband has used the “I have a coupon” excuse to get me to a restaurant for a surprise, too! Clever and plays to my frugality!

  35. Katherine says...

    Love all of these! Oh love ❤️

    We dated long distance & constantly flew back & forth to visit each other. He went to South by Southwest one week in Austin so I decided to fly down to join him. Our anniversary was while we were there so I was determined that he’d ask me there. Instead, we left on our separate planes, me crying and disappointed. Little did I know, he flew home to Indianapolis, only to catch a plane to Philly to propose to me at my house! He made a video proposing as he flew, making sure to stand in special spots along the way including the train that I always took to the airport! I came home to find a bouquet of flowers, a note and an iPad on my kitchen table. I hit play and watched his proposal video which ended in said kitchen but he was nowhere to be found. He popped out a minute later & got down on one knee to ask me to marry him! Turns out, he had the ring with him in Austin but knew I would love to be surprised even more so he waited & went through with his plan! ☺️

  36. STK says...

    My boyfriend (sounds so strange to call him that after 7.5 years of marriage!) and I were on vacation in the Pacific Northwest from NYC. The night we got there I was tired and in a bad mood which only got worse when he spent an extra 45 mins picking up the car rental. Turns out he was convincing them to upgrade us to a mustang convertible which is basically my worst nightmare. Then the next morning he was super excited to go to the Portland Rose Garden and kept asking me if I was going to take a shower. Still in kind of a funk I said no, threw on some shorts and a Patagonia and didn’t notice he was blasting “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it” in the hotel room (he has a very sunny personality so my bad mood wasn’t getting him down!). When we got there I was instantly feeling happy and energized again – I LOVE flowers and beautiful views so we were wandering around for a while holding hands, taking pics etc. Eventually we sat on a bench and he said he’d gotten me a gift (I was in law school and we had just spent the summer apart while I did an internship in SF). It was a beautiful Limoges box painted blue and white with colorful flowers on it, and the beginning of my now prized collection. I was admiring it when he said to look inside. I opened it up and began having an out of body experience. I saw the ring and remember thinking it looked so big and sparkly and put it on for two seconds before putting it straight back into the box and mumbling that I couldn’t wear it. At this point my head was in his lap as I experienced an overload of excitement/ terror/ embarrassment (lots of ppl were looking at the scene I was making at this point). Eventually I came to, put the ring back on and asked him if he wanted to try again with the proposal. He said he hadn’t planned a big speech since he knew I was going to have that exact reaction, LOL. We had talked about marriage and I was certain he was the one, but even so, being proposed to was the most intense and overwhelming experience of my life! Until 5 minutes before our twins were born four years later when my doctor said it was time to push and I passed out ;) Thank goodness opposites attract.

  37. britt w says...

    My (now) husband and I had been discussing the logistics of me completing law school/moving across the country back to where we met and he still lived/taking the bar exam/starting a job so I knew that we were going to get engaged but… he did surprise me. I was visiting my sister in the bay area for the weekend and thought he might surprise me. Friday came and went, no surprise. Saturday wine tasting came and went, no surprise. By Sunday I had convinced myself that I had guessed wrong, but as the doors opened on the elevator to the de Young museum’s observation deck he was there! Surprise!
    Also, related…I don’t do surprises well. I literally took a couple steps backwards away from him and said, “you’re not supposed to be here.” He read a sweet poem he had written (he is a civil engineer and not generally the poem writing type), cue the waterworks.
    We haven’t been back to the de Young since then and need to go back so we can actually see the museum!

  38. Em says...

    My husb. proposed at the gelato place we’d had treats at a year earlier. The previous year we’d just been acquaintances, catching up after not having seen each other in a decade, and I was telling him about all the doofuses I’d gone out on dates with (one of which ran away from me in the parking lot of a mingolf place). He says that when he heard those stories that night, they made him so sad and mad, thinking, why on earth would those guys have done that to me–and he fell in love right then and there! So hang in there, those of you on the bad-date train. Even those stories may come to some good some day.

  39. Bren says...

    I am one of those “we just talked about it” engagement stories! My now husband and I had dated for a year, then broke up over the summer (because I kind of went crazy and sort of gave him an ultimatum about marriage – BTW don’t do this, especially the day before you get your period and are already crazy HAHA) so when we got back together I was just so happy to be together again I vowed to never bring up marriage and just let him take the lead! Fast forward…we dated another 4-5 months and one night we were laying on the couch and he said “how fast do you think you could plan a wedding?” (it was early December) and I said “Wait, are we really talking about marriage right now? Honestly I could probably plan a wedding in 6 weeks” and he got all excited “Wait really?? Can we get married in February!?” and it was just this natural conversation and we talked about it and then the next day we went to a venue and booked it on the spot with a down payment and everything so we were like, I guess we are officially engaged?! hahaha! He had a real proposal a few weeks later on Christmas, but we were already “engaged” at that point! And sure enough, we got married on February 18th, 7 years ago! It was perfect!

    • Julie says...

      Haha this is quite a lot like my “engagement”. Not the beginning bit, we never broke up and I literally never cared about getting married, but we were just sitting on the couch talking and were like… maybe we should get married. And then we were like, well we can’t do it in the summer 8 months away because his brother was about to move overseas, and we didn’t want to wait like 2 years so we decided to do it 2 and half months from then, and just crammed it all in and it was great. No waffling over decisions, no spending money on unnecessary things, just planned a giant party with 150 guests and had a great time!

    • Beth says...

      This is too strange – my parents got married on February 18 after an approximately 6-week long engagement!

  40. Annie says...

    We were at a theme park and having an awful time. It was almost 100* out and every ride was shutting down from the heat. We decided to step onto a teeny slow ride (think Lovers Lane) and during the ride he leaned over and asked in the darkness “Will you marry me?” I didnt hear him! I thought he asked “Will you get married?” I remember thinking “what a strange time to be asking me about this” And then he asked me again and I said “WAIT. WHAT?!?” It was just so us. Messy, funny, sweaty and sun kissed.

    • Melanie says...

      Omg, I laughed so hard reading this! Thanks for sharing :)

  41. Stacy S says...

    Years before my now husband proposed, he had won me a little plastic ring from a vending machine in the grocery store. Well I wore that plastic ring everyday for the next 2-3 years until it broke just before my 26th birthday. I jokingly told him he’ll have to get me a new ring! He got me a new ring alright!
    We were at home, getting ready to go golfing, and he comes into the bedroom and told me he had another birthday present for me. He got down on one knee and handed me a small plastic egg (the same kind from the vending machines) with an engagement ring in it! We didn’t end up golfing that day!

  42. Kelly says...

    Obviously I’m biased but I think I was lucky enough to have the best proposal of all time. We were watching an episode of Better Things (the one in which Pamela Adlon’s character does a choreographed dance as a graduation gift for her daughter) and I turned to my boyfriend and said “That’s the best gift you could ever give someone.” He kept that in mind, and two years later surprised me with the same exact dance. Luckily we have it on video, because I immediately started crying so much it was hard to watch through the tears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6wkV0Kz3iY&feature=youtu.be

    • Vero says...

      Omg this is so sweet!!! And Kelly, are you a writer? I think I used to follow you on one of your other platforms. Congratulations on your love and happiness!

    • Anne St Jean says...

      That made me cry so hard, thank you for sharing! What an awesome proposal (P.S. your hair is so CUTE).

  43. Cooper says...

    My husband and I were randomly out for dinner at a nice sushi restaurant when we noticed a group of people setting up for a party, including a screen and a projector, in an open space near our booth. I was like, I KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING, OUR SUSHI IS LONG GONE BUT WE ARE NOT MOVING! Sure enough, the group “left” one guy alone, a girl showed up, and a homemade film started rolling. The guy had traveled throughout the state interviewing people from his girlfriend’s life – her grade school teacher, her high school swim coach, etc. – about how wonderful she is!!! At the end, he proposed, she said yes, and their family and friends rushed in. I had no idea who the couple were but it was surprisingly touching to witness!

  44. A says...

    What a sweet story! I relate to that completely surprised feeling…. while my husband and I had certainly discussed marriage, his proposal somehow still shocked me! It was the 4th of July, which is my favorite holiday, and while a more romantic human might have popped the question during the big fireworks moment, he went for a quiet moment at my house while I was still in my pajamas, and proposed without a ring so I could pick out my own (as soon as I said yes, he said in a panicky voice, “I don’t have a ring!”), which is SO him and still cracks me up.

  45. Ariana says...

    Two years ago, in the middle of my spring exams for law school, and on the sixth anniversary of the day we met, Conner took us on a beautiful walk down memory lane and ended the night by asking me to spend my life with him. It was probably a six-hour extravaganza, but it began when he told me he’d found out about a “secret” Magnum ice cream pop-up shop somewhere in the city.

    Apparently, Magnum had sent out clues as to how to find it, and, the stakes being delicious ice cream, I didn’t question it and jumped right into solving the clues, which led us downtown to Tompkins Square Park.

    When we arrived and I didn’t see any ice cream shop, I asked Conner if maybe they’d closed, since it was already after 9 PM. He pulled us aside to “check on that.” Then, he pulled out a ring box (!) and asked me to “go on a treasure hunt with him,” opening to box to reveal… a slip of paper. He’d written a riddle on this paper that ultimately told me I’d been tricked: there was no ice cream pop-up. Instead, we were about to go re-visit all our early haunts from six years prior. The paper slip also had a clue, which led us to what used to be one of my favorite ice cream shops (because Conner knows he can’t just *tease* ice cream) in the West Village, although he’d forgotten that they’d permanently closed the year before. (Maybe he is an ice cream tease after all…)

    There, though, Conner pulled out the ring box again and opened it to reveal…another clue! Throughout the night, he opened the box to reveal a clue five different times, leading us through the West Village park where we’d had our first kiss, to the restaurant where we spent our first New Years’, to Grand Central Station where we caught a train to White Plains one of our first, impromptu dates. Finally, though, we ended up at the corner of the nondescript building on 5th Avenue in which we’d first met six years ago (the clue leading here was an “audio clue”–Conner played a clip on his phone of The Script song that sings “back to the corner, where I first saw you…”).

    I knew there weren’t any clues left when Conner pulled out the ring box again–this time with an actual ring in it!– got misty-eyed and descended to one knee to ask me to marry him. I said yes to the love of my life and a man walking by on the sidewalk shouted a single “whoo!”

    We got married less than five months later!

    • shannon says...

      We had a random bystander too! These people drove by and started honking at us, haha. I don’t remember anything about what my husband said for the proposal, but I remember the honking.

      You were so patient to wait through all those clues! I would have been like JUST PROPOSE ALREADY MISTER

  46. My husband steamed open a letter from the bank, then wrote his proposal, sealed it back up and planted it in the mail box. He didn’t realize yet that it takes me days to open mail from the bank…haha. He kept asking whether I wanted a moment to open the mail. Today is our ninth wedding anniversary and we still laugh about it….

    • Blandine says...

      ha ha, so funny. I wouldn’t have found out in weeks!

  47. Julie S says...

    We took a trip to hike across the floor of the grand canyon, but because I was practically dying by the end he decided not to do it. ( Poor guy carried it for a 9 hour hike, I’m sure nervous about when he should try… while I just kept worrying about rattlesnakes.)
    But the next morning at the crack of dawn we drove until we couldn’t see one tourist and he asked as the sun came up over the canyon. It was beautiful <3

    • Vero says...

      I love this. What a sweet moment <3

  48. Becky says...

    Love proposal stories!!! And that store! And especially that street, it’s a couple blocks away from where my grandfather grew up on Smith street.
    My husband proposed on Nantucket at the lighthouse. He tried to get my attention as I was taking a picture and I yelled at him! Haha he’s the best for putting up with me. Totally took me by surprise because I was never on a time crunch to get married. We kept the news to ourselves that night. We went out for drinks then dinner. Didnt call anyone till the next day. We needed up being stuck on the island an extra night because of high winds. Our ferry wouldn’t leave! Oh well! Extra time on a story book new England island 💖

  49. Kristin says...

    That’s the sweetest!! My husband proposed nearby at Floyd, where we first met. I just love proposals and weddings :) Lots of love and congrats to Lauren and Tom!

  50. Rosanna says...

    My now husband and I agreed to get married less than 4 weeks after we started dating. He officially asked me at about the two month mark but we agreed even before that. I don’t actually even remember quite how it happened but a few weeks in we just began casually saying, ‘when we get married we will….’ It felt so natural to both of us that it was never even a discussion and we don’t know who said it first. It never needed to be a question. We got married less than nine months after we met. I never would have thought this would be my story – in fact both of us always said we would never get married – but I have never felt so sure and calm about anything in my life. He is my person.

  51. Mouse says...

    I technically proposed to my second husband after we built a house together and had been living together for about 9 or 10 years. It was the most unromantic thing imaginable and, as we are in our 50s and 60s, both second marriage, utterly about logistics. But somehow, it became romantic in a very grounded, real way. We’re in it for the long–well, in our cases, maybe not that long–haul. That’s what’s romantic.

  52. Katherine says...

    I love this so much! Proposal stories are so lovely to hear.

    My special guy surprised me at the airport when we were living in different states 9 years ago. I expected to pick up my dad and my husband walked out instead, dressed in a tux with a bouquet of peonies. He got down on one knee just past the security gate! It was such a fun moment that I did not see coming.

  53. Leah says...

    My husband’s and my close friend’s mom was a grant writer for the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, and could arrange behind the scenes tours for donors. Our friend told me he got me a tour for my birthday, I cried I was so excited!

    We went with friends to the tour, got to feed giraffes, get up close with gorillas and see trainings with the vultures. As we walked out, I could see my whole family standing at the bottom fo the walkway – including my sister who lives in NY. I whipped around and saw my boyfriend down on one knee – I just couldn’t believe everyone kept the secret!

  54. Lisa says...

    We had the sit down and discussion about getting married, and I think had maybe even booked the venue by this point. A year before, we had flown to India but got bumped from the flight, so the airline gave us free return flights to anywhere in the world. After lots of research, we decided on Tobago. The holiday came at a really stressful time so was very much welcomed. From the beginning, he was being super weird about the sports bag he’d brought, like insisting on taking it to the beach with us, and freaking out when I looked in it. He had booked all the accommodation and partway through the trip we were staying in this tiny village called Castara. On Friday evening when we were sitting on the balcony looking at the ocean, he said to me “I have a gift for you”, got down on one knee and proposed. We then chatted, drank wine and ate cashews. It was magic. I really want to take our kids there some day

  55. AN says...

    At first glance I thought that first pic was you, Jo, and my first thought was “not sure what’s up there but Alex is gonna be mad!!!!” 🤣🤣🤣

  56. lalarya says...

    We went on a walk in the park and came upon a beautiful vintage motorcycle that I was gawking at (I love bikes). Turns out, the jewelery box he propsed with had the key. After 4 kids, it now sits in the basement because I keep envisioning myself as an organ donor when I ride it ( but I will never ever sell it.)

  57. Amanda says...

    My husband proposed at Christmas, with a heart-shaped box he made out of Legos. The top folded open to reveal a little Lego man holding up my ring to a little Lego woman. I had an inkling the proposal was coming (relatives that normally left right after holiday dinners suddenly found excuses to stay, his aunt asked me to help her bring a load of presents in from the car but all she had in the back was her yoga mat and a pair of shoes haha), so I wasn’t SUPER surprised, but I was still not expecting such an impressively designed box, and I loved all the time and thought he put into it! 5 years later, I still have the box in a desk drawer and keep meaning to super glue all the pieces together so I have it forever :)

    On the unfortunate side…his mother decided on a “theme” for Christmas that year – Hawaiian shirts. All the pictures from the proposal have me in a lei and a *very* garish Hawaiian shirt I picked up from the thrift store last-minute on our way to his parent’s house. Thanks, Kathie! Good thing you’re the best mother-in-law ever ;)

  58. cilla says...

    How did CoJ find out about this proposal? Do you know the couple from before?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi! i saw a photo on the books are magic instagram and reached out to the owners emma and mike (who are also long-time friends of ours) and they connected us with the couple! xo

  59. Annie says...

    On vacation by the ocean, a patio to ourselves, day drinks in the sunshine and about two dozen oysters. We giddily talked about our future and I thought “I’ll always remember this conversation, this day”. The waitress said “I can’t let you go without one more!” and P moved a shell to reveal a ring in any oyster. Cue the waterworks (and blackout…apparently he got on one knee but I truly don’t remember!).

    We’d been together for years and though we were building a life together, we had focused on the important topics: finances, location, beliefs, kids, traditions, etc. An engagement ring and romantic proposal weren’t on my radar, but one of my life’s greatest gifts was that sweet surprise! SO FUN.

  60. Samantha says...

    Love the comments on Cup of Jo and am finally contributing vs just lurking. We got engaged on Saturday (6/15) and I have to give my fiancé a ton of credit because I (unintentionally) screwed up the poor guy’s plans. We were planning on going to an outdoor concert at one of the lakes in Minneapolis to see a band that he loves and we saw together on New Year’s Eve. His plan was for us to take scooters there for an early picnic with a detour around one of the other lakes in town that we often run around together. (I later learned this is where he was planning to propose.) Well, I needed bug spray from the trunk of his car and when I shut the car trunk I did something that basically made my left wrist feel like it was on fire and ended up in tears of pain. It was SO bad and I jokingly told him I hope my fingers didn’t swell into little sausages. (Exactly what he wanted to hear when he was planning on putting a ring on said hand.) After icing my wrist for 20 minutes on his front porch, we ended up taking an Uber directly to the lake where the concert was. We got out of the car and took all our stuff to find a spot for our picnic. The poor guy was so nervous he faked having to go to the bathroom so he could throw all the stuff down and propose before something else could go awry. Of course I said yes! He then told me the rest of his plans because he was certain something else would go wrong. He arranged for my parents and sister to drive from 12 hours away to come be at the concert and have his parents + brother come to celebrate with us. (It was also the first time the parents met!) He did SO well on the proposal and gave me a memory I certainly won’t forget.

  61. My husband proposed at the Providence Athenaeum, the most wonderful and picturesque library, which happens to be one of my favorite places on earth. I thought we were going someplace else entirely, and the athenaeum was just a detour, but it turned out he booked a hotel in town and we spent a magical night in Providence. We didn’t get married there, but at our reception all of the place cards were old school library book cards, where we made up a book that each of our guests wrote (they were lots of inside jokes). Then each table had a book that was meaningful to us.

    • Sarah says...

      Oh my goodness, that is such a perfect place for a proposal! The Athenaeum is so cozy and inviting. What a lovely memory.

  62. We got engaged at the BookMark Shoppe in Bay Ridge in 2012! Very similar to Lauren, I was quite oblivious. It was my then boyfriend’s birthday, and he dragged me down there early on a Saturday to get a book he had ordered I was the reader in the relationship but did that send up any warning flags? Nope, of course not. As he asked for it, he handed me a copy of a Harry Potter book I had already read. Again – clueless. He suggested I open it up, and inside was a carved out section with ribbon and rose petals and a ring. The chapter was entitled The Unbreakable Vow – clearly a different meaning to anyone who is familiar with the book. Around this time I realized a friend was in the store video taping it. Other folks started crying and taking pictures as I started crying and he got down on one knee. It. Was. Perfect.

    • Annnnnd just remembered I actually blogged about it way back when if you’d like to see! My memory was hazier than I recalled – so happy to re-read it just now and really remember how it all happened!!

      http://iamkilobravo.com/2011/09/he-put-ring-on-it.html

    • Amanda says...

      Kayla! My partner did something so similar. But we were on vacation at a little cabin on a ranch (so no audience — he is pretty shy) and he gave me my Valentine’s Day present. It was copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I love …but I but already owned it. He told me to look inside, so I opened it, expecting a thoughtful inscription, but….nothing. He nodded at me to keep looking, so I flipped through and when I got to the chapter titled “Married Life,” there was a carved out nook with a ring in it. Perfect perfect perfect for book-loving me.

  63. Kim says...

    We just talked, which was perfect. Getting proposed to in my favorite bookstore would have been great, though!

  64. Katrina says...

    My husband asked me to marry him 15 minutes into our first online conversation.
    We’ve been married for 11 years in July.

    • P says...

      NO WAY. I want all the details. STAT. what chat room. when did you meet face to face. omg. this is amazing. and wild!

    • Jenny says...

      Agree with P! I’d read this book!!!! Did you say yes at that time?

    • Katrina says...

      We met 3 months after we “met” online on a website tattoo website. We were living in 2 different countries.
      I said sure let’s get married. We Skyped everyday, I met his brother and mom on skype. I also texted my friends everyday whilst visiting “not dead”, for you, know for safety.
      11 years, 2 kids later.

  65. Aj says...

    My hubs proposed on the Rockefeller Center ice rink right before Christmas. I was teetering on ice skates and gripping the sides the entire time he was skating around. I was miserable and annoyed but then he slid up on one knee. Thank god the ice skating was over after that.

    • Lindsay says...

      Lol

  66. Jillian says...

    A bookstore was sorta involved in ours! My now husband had wanted to propose to me, even though I said I’d do it. We were young’uns, 18 & 19, in college and he got the help of my roommate/best friend. We walked to the local Barnes and Noble and I wandered around and happened to find the latest Sister of the Travelling Pants book. I’d stopped reading those years earlier but flipped through and landed on a page that said “Someone is going to ask you a question you should say yes to.” My blood froze, but in a good way! I walked upstairs and saw my partner and roomie sitting a table, but with a box of chocolate. I knew it wasn’t happening then and I thought I’d gotten myself psyched up for nothing (to be fair, my partner did enjoy dropping MASSIVE hints for weeks prior so not without merit).

    We stopped at the grocery store and he saw how glum/sad I was and he said if you smile now, you’ll smile later sweetie. I just shot him a look and we went back to our dorm. He asked to put on Love Actually and we snuggled up on my bed to watch it. He was planning on waiting till the end of the movie, but I reached over to grab his butt and felt the ring box and let out a shriek. So he chuckled and got down on one knee next to the bed and asked me. What I still find amusing is that the part in the movie he proposed during? When Colin Firth’s character finds out his gf is cheating on him.

  67. Ashley says...

    Love this! But did he leave the ring on the shelf in the planted book? So much trust!!

  68. Nathalie Bockelt says...

    This is my dream proposal!!!! Congratulations to Lauren and Tom, I hope their married life will be filled with many happy moments and good reads.

  69. Sigrid says...

    Oh darn. When you end a post with a question like that, I jump right out of lurk mode. We met right before my 29th and his 32nd birthday (he’s Christmas Eve, I’m Christmas Day). Blind date, lasted 7 hours. Next date 17 hours. Third date two full days. I moved in and that was it. Coupledom established mid January, after a month of going out (or staying in). Traveled to Goa and had a great time. We decided pretty soon that this was it, and I went through tremendous mourning when he told me we could be together for ever and ever but he would never marry. The grief was real, but eventually lifted and I became content with being his forever girlfriend.

    Went on our second trip to Goa in December that year and stayed with friends in awesome location. Turned out; he´d planned a getaway within the getaway and we were whisked away to a fabulous beach house on a secluded beach far away (amazing as in chill, pretty, fantastic view, small scale, kinda luxury beach bum, its now been remodeled but back in the days it was called Turtle lounge, situated on Agonda beach). I was sweaty after a full day out and about when we told me to get my shit together as we were going to watch the sunset from the dunes and not our veranda. Sitting on a cheap sarong, with a stray smooching up to us, he pulled out the ring and boom. I was equal parts shocked and overjoyed. And pissed that I couldn’t call my mom for several days as I´d left my phone at our friends place. Wedding a year later. Now we’re celebrating two kids and 10+ years of togetherness. There’s been rough patches (small kids, busy lives, I’m a doctor and he’s a lawyer), but this weekend we smooched in the communal pool when the kids were occupied. This is still absolutely IT.

  70. Allison says...

    My husband hates having his picture taken but always humors me when we stumble upon a photo booth, because he knows how much I love them. We had time to kill before dinner one night, and there happened to be a photo booth near the restaurant (no coincidence on either count, I later learned). We did one strip of pictures, and then he said we should do a second. As soon as it started taking pictures again, he got down on one knee. Neither of us is one for public declarations, so this was perfect – we had our own little private moment, and we have the photos to capture the memory.

  71. Jessica says...

    I definitely fall on the side of preferring a conversation over a surprise. I watched a friend suffer through over a YEAR of uncertainty, talking to her boyfriend and his “reassurances” that they’re on the same page, even though she’s saying she wants to get married and his saying that “someday” will be the day, but not now. Friends were actively encouraging her to break up with him! I don’t necessarily think she felt like it had gotten to that point, but I honestly just cannot imagine choosing that feeling for a year or more for the sake of a surprise, rather than an honest conversation. (He did eventually propose — he’d been planning it for maybe 8 months, but for the sake of the surprise, he didn’t want to tell her.)

    For what it’s worth, my partner and I are actually not married because we both agree that, for us, marriage was not as important as putting in the work together to be a strong couple and team. We also see the “getting married” part as a contractual, financial decision — we ran the numbers and thought about the future and being not legally married is the more logical, financially sound decision. And there are other documents we put into place to ensure we’re protected in the same way that married couples are protected.

    • Sarah says...

      Could you talk more about the documents you’ve put in place to make sure you’re protected? Also not sure marriage is for my partner and me but want to make sure we’re taking the right steps!

  72. Wink says...

    I think the best part of this story may be the titles of the books surrounding them: Necessary People, A Lucky Man, Memories of the Future, and How Not to Die Alone. Ha!

    • A Martin says...

      Ha! Great observation!!

    • Katie H says...

      Great catch! Fate or thanks to the staff? :)

    • Jean says...

      I noticed this too!

  73. Sarah says...

    When I was a waitress, I helped facilitate a few romantic proposals, and I *always* cried on the side :). Now, as a church musician, it is my special privilege to make music for families on their most beautiful days (weddings! baptisms!) and their most difficult (funerals). We try to remain in the background, but I can’t help being emotional watching a dad walk his daughter or son down an aisle, hearing the readings they’ve chosen, or reflecting on a particularly special eulogy. I’ve sung at massive state funerals at the National Cathedral and hundreds of weddings and funerals, but nothing compares to the small, intimate moments. It is the highest calling as a professional musician, in my opinion.

  74. Jenny says...

    I love this beautiful story, the photo of her shock in their embrace, the obvious love and respect between them. And I fucking needed this today. I think I need to tell my boyfriend not to propose. I think I need to tell him tonight. My favorite ring is missing and I’ve turned my studio inside out looking for it. He signed at a new fancy job and told them he wanted to bring his fiancé for the tour (and explained to me he just wanted to convey relationship gravitas). His mother sent me a set of vintage Pyrex mixing bowls. He wants to take a trip to Nashville. He asked if the botanical gardens on the coast allow dogs. And while this man is kind and handsome and loves me, I’ve gotta run. This post made me feel it in my bones. It knocked the wind out of me. My newfound life at medical school, living alone, carrying all the groceries myself, learning to use a drill, late nights with Jurassic 5 records and Nina Simone while I study and cook and be 30 and beautifully free. I cannot give up this golden season when I finally get to be my own woman.

    • A says...

      Wow, Jenny! This is so powerful. I applaud you for knowing your own mind.

    • Sigrid says...

      You do you! Good luck! Sounds like an amazing plan. And life after med school is (quite often) fun too!

    • Olivia says...

      Sometimes you just know. Run with the wind girl.

    • V says...

      Your comment stopped me dead in my tracks. I am in awe of your resolve and sense of self. ❤️❤️

    • P says...

      holly shit. I applaud your clarity. I wish I had taken some time to myself in my 30s.

    • Maggie says...

      Jenny! This is so scary and wonderful and true. You can do it. You must! And if you need a reminder, Mary Oliver’s The Journey is the best encouragement I’ve ever found.

    • Kate says...

      Jenny you CAN DO THIS! What an incredible realization. We all love you and support you as you navigate this journey. What an inspiring and strong woman you are. All the best to you, my dear!

    • Claire says...

      I really admire your strength and clarity, Jenny! Knowing when to leave is often harder for me than working to stay. Wishing you the best and much happiness, now and later. P.S. Medical school and Nina Simone? You’re even more incredible.

    • Lily says...

      You have to take care of yourself. I can hear the compassion for this man in your words, but you clearly know what you want to do. Remember that it’s okay to take care of yourself, and being honest with him is being respectful. All the best to you.

    • Julie says...

      All the best to you Jenny, you sound like you know EXACTLY what you want and that’s wonderful.

    • Terry says...

      Listen to Nina! So good that you know what you need right now.

  75. Meredith says...

    My husband and I were high school sweethearts but broke up because we didn’t think our relationship could make it through 4 years of long distance during college. We reunited for lunch as friends the day before he went back for his senior year and a few weeks before I left to live the rest of my life (or so I thought) in a small town near Venice, Italy. He wrote me a letter every day and sold all his possessions to be able to buy a plane ticket to see me on his spring break. I couldn’t wait to show him Murano (the island in the lagoon famous for its blown glass). While there, he was taking forever chatting with this one old man in his shop, so I left to get gelato for us and waited for him. A few days later we were in Florence people-watching on the Ponte Vecchio and he pulled out a hand-blown glass ring that he asked the shop owner to make for me. He hadn’t thought he’d propose on the trip (we’d only spent 6 total days together since we reunited!) but the magic of Italy overcame us both. Best decision (and story) ever! We are about to celebrate our 10 year anniversary later this year.

    • Kristin says...

      That’s fantastic and SO romantic, Meredith! Warms my heart. x

  76. Heather says...

    Aww, love this! And a guy who plans his proposal in an indie bookstore is a guy to marry for sure.

  77. Julie says...

    Well this is just the CUTEST. Congrats to the happy couple!

    My now husband and I moved in together and about 6 months later we discussed getting married. We even looked at rings together, to give him a sense of what style I liked. That January, about a week before we were set to go on vacation in the Bahamas, I was rummaging around the house looking for change for the bus. His suit jacket was hanging on a chair, so I checked the pockets for quarters…and felt a small square-shaped box! I jumped back and yelled like my hand was on fire and ran out the door. On the way to Nassau he wouldn’t let go of his bag for ANYTHING, he had it under his seat and when we checked into the hotel he wouldn’t leave it with the conscierge while they readied our room. Super stealthy, I kept laughing in my head. At sunset he goes “Hey, the sun is setting, do you want to go for a walk on the beach?” I said “Ok, sure!” but inwardly I was yelling “HERE WE GO!” When we got to the shore he put his arm around me and I could feel him fumbling in his pocket for the box. It was all just the sweetest way for him to do it. And I’m glad I didn’t peek at the ring :)

    • Jessica says...

      Ahh, this gives me butterflies!!

  78. Laura says...

    This is so special and sweet! I was proposed to by my now husband while on a trip to Ireland for my 30th birthday. He had the most gorgeous emerald ring designed and hid it in his suitcase. We were staying at a beautiful air bnb cottage on the Dingle peninsula (where they shot a lot of the most recent Star Wars) and he called me over to the sitting area to have mimosas while looking out at the gorgeous view. Then he said he had one more birthday gift for me but had to ask me something first… we were both sitting down and I actually fell to MY knees so we had the positions reversed :)

  79. Sarah says...

    So sweet! Our proposal story was so very different than what I thought it might be. (My assumption: while camping in Big Sur at sunset. The reality: the morning of my birthday while sitting on the couch in an airbnb!) Though not without some planning: for my birthday the year before, my husband had given me the gift of a year of birthdays: on the 21st of each month, I’d open an envelope for something small. One month it was cozy socks, another month it was a picnic, one time it was a love letter. When it ended on the following birthday, he repackaged all the cards and tucked the ring into the last card at the end. Even though it seemed obvious, I was *sure* I wasn’t getting engaged that weekend because the ONE thing I asked is that we go ring shopping so I could get a sense of my own style– never happened though! Turns out he was planning on throwing me for a loop and proposing midway through the year, but my sister got engaged so he had to build in some waiting time :) But I’m all for a morning proposal. Literally anything can happen that day and it doesn’t matter because you’re floating!

    • P says...

      what a sweet and romantic guy!

  80. Elizabeth says...

    Our engagement was very private, just between us, but then we were engaged in 1996 long before social media. The previous summer we were in Alaska looking for shells on Kodiak Island. I picked one up and said, “Shells are the most beautiful thing in nature!” A year later, on my birthday, I opened a small box containing a shell with a note inside the shell asking “Will you marry me?”

    This is so unlike my husband but after all these years it makes my heart swell. I still have the box, the shell, and the note.

    • Sarah says...

      Elizabeth, that is so sweet!!

  81. Maggie says...

    Oh man, we need a pic of this custom book!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you can see it if you zoom in on the middle photo — it’s so cute!

  82. Sara says...

    Beautiful story, thank you for sharing and…I have a terribly lame request. Can you please do a week of outfits with Lauren? I literally want her entire outfit!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i know!! i was laughing with her on our phone interview about how she was SO glad she ended up wearing a cute outfit that morning!

    • P says...

      phew, I’m glad someone said that. I didn’t want to be the person taking away from the proposal story but her outfit is on point, one that is timeless for when her grandkids look at grandma and grandpa being in love. le sigh.

  83. Grace says...

    AWW this so so perfect! How sweet.

    My husband came right into class while I was teaching my first graders and proposed! He had flown my mom in as well. My girls were delighted and still talk about it how magical and romantic it was now that they’re third graders. Right when he got down on one knee one of them said excitedly, “they’re gunna kiss!!” My boys were absolutely disgusted that we did. There was a little confusion and a few parents came in the next morning to ask if I had really gotten married in my classroom the previous day :)

  84. Y says...

    That is a very sweet proposal, but I always wonder if they had a conversation about marriage before the proposal. She seemed pretty surprised. We had MANY conversations before getting engaged. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married at all so it was a process. I wouldn’t have handled the surprise nearly as well as she did! They look happy and adorable! Congrats!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! she was just surprised in the moment. this part was cut from the interview: “we had a conversation with my parents toward the end of last year, and we had been doing some planning.” but he wanted to create a proposal moment for them, too :)

  85. Lindsey says...

    I also got engaged in a bookstore! In downtown LA, there is an old bank that got converted into one of the best bookstores imaginable, The Last Bookstore. My boyfriend Michael and I were leaving for a trip to visit his family and my friends in two different cities, and I was convinced he was going to propose on the trip when we were with his family. The day before, a very good friend asked if I would get dinner with her downtown kind of late, at like, 8pm. I originally said no, because our flight left at 5am or something insane, and I still needed to pack and all of that. But she begged me, offered to pay for my dinner, and said she needed to talk thru some boyfriend issues. I had mentioned it to my boss and he was like, “Geez, be a good friend! She needs you!” so that shamed me into going. Also the offer of a free dinner. (I know this makes me sound like a horrible friend, but I didn’t know why it had to be that night and I am a person who really needs sleep, please don’t hate me, haha.)
    So we went out to dinner, and afterwards, she asked if I wanted to swing by The Last Bookstore afterwards. By this time I was sort of like f*ck it, I’m out, let’s do it, I love that place. And, it was only a couple of blocks from our restaurant. So we go, and she leaves me to go to the bathroom. I feel like I’m waiting a long time, so I think that I’ll text Michael. But as I pull out my phone, I see something out of the corner of my eye, and looking up, Michael was walking towards me! I’m like, ‘What are you doing here? I was just about to text you?’ But thenI see he’s wearing a tie. :) He pulls me over to a couch that was set up in the middle, and brings out a Mercer Mayer book (remember those??), about a friendship, but he’s edited it with little notations making it romantic and personal. So we read it together, and then he proposed! I have no idea what he said, haha. But then music started playing, and it was a playlist he had made of a couple songs, and we danced. The whole time, my friend who had taken me to dinner was behind the scenes setting up champagne, and my other best friend was there taking photos. They both popped out at the end, and we toasted and celebrated. It was magic.
    What I didn’t find out until later was that Michael had asked the bookstore to close early, and they did! We had the whole place to ourselves, and they had rearranged the main section so we could dance and have that couch in the middle.
    Suffice it to say, we barely slept that night, and we got to spend our trip as fiances. Best day ever. <3

    • Cait says...

      That is so, so special!!

    • JS says...

      I love this story so much! So glad your friend convinced you to go to dinner :)

    • Jessica says...

      But how did you pack after all of that?!?!

  86. Awww, this is such a sweet proposal story. Our proposal was a simple one. I got back from a business trip on a Friday evening and he had the ring wrapped and under our Christmas tree (it was mid-December). He asked me to marry him while we were sitting on our couch, I said yes (of course!) and then we went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. He asked that we not tell anyone so we could just enjoy the evening without phones calls/text messages. I ended up calling my parents on the way home from dinner, though. He had asked for their blessing so I knew they’d be on pins and needles waiting for my call! But that was the only person I talked to and I am glad we did it that way. I started making calls the next morning and was basically on the phone non-stop for the entire day. We had looked at rings together about 6 months before. I didn’t think I’d want to do that but I have very specific tastes and since this is one of the biggest purchases he’d ever make, he wanted to make sure he got it right. We talked A LOT about getting married before we got married. Some of my friends said we covered topics that they didn’t get to until the first couple of years of marriage. But we were 36 when we got married and are both super practical, logical people so it made sense that we covered a lot of topics (kids, religion, family dynamics, career, money, etc) before getting engaged.

  87. Monica Mulhern says...

    What a wonderful and incredibly sweet story to start Tuesday with !!!! I loved the Book Store proposal. Congrats to Tom and Lauren!

  88. Tara says...

    In literal tears because this is my dream proposal. Congrats to the happy couple!

    • Emma says...

      I thought for sure my husband would propose over Christmas break at the same place we first kissed in our home town. At the time we were both in college two hours away from each other both without a car! I woke up that morning, took a final and then got a text from my sister asking if she could bring me dinner. I told her I was way on top of finals that semester and was pretty bored that day and wanted to come over and make dinner with her. She said she was actually making dinner with her date so there went that. My roommate and I were holed up in our room getting a good by party ready for our other two roommates who were moving after that semester when she suddenly left to hang out with her sister. I was feeling pretty annoyed at everyone ditching me when there was a knock at my door. I was chilling in my long johns (this was Utah in December and I’m a Floridian!) so I hurried to pull on some pants (not easy to do over long johns!). When I opened the door, there was my boyfriend! He was super nervous and ended up lifting me up immediately and placing me down again in our living room illuminated by Christmas lights (courtesy of roommates who were in the loop and by that point I realized all mysteriously gone). It turns out my sister never brought dinner, but I was at home on an empty stomach that my then fiancé and I filled over a post proposal dinner. I was so surprised and really touched by all the orchestration it took to surprise me on what would have otherwise been a cold, gloomy, finals Saturday! And who doesn’t like catching the shimmer of a new diamond out of the corner of their eye while feverishly filling out the bubble sheet of their last final of the semester. :)