Relationships

How Cute Is This Marriage Proposal at the Met?

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John Januzzi Alex

Last week, my friend John Jannuzzi, with his heart pounding, popped the question to his girlfriend Alex at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here’s how it went down…


John: We both knew that we wanted to get married. But with the pandemic, there never seemed to be a good time to propose. Then we moved to Brooklyn, we got a dog, and I was like f*ck it I’m going to do it.

At the beginning of the year, I started doing my ring research. Alex loves sapphires. As it started getting more serious, I told my parents that I was looking at rings, and it turned out that my mother had a sapphire. (Must be nice, Mom!) My father had given it to her like 20 years ago.

I brought the sapphire to Brooklyn. It was the strangest feeling to be walking around the city with a gemstone. It felt like Uncut Gems. There’s a sapphire in my pocket. If I get mugged, this is a bad day for it to happen.

I brought the sapphire home and it moved around the apartment a lot.

Alex: Wait, I’m hearing this for the first time.

John: Yes! I put it in my shaving kit, various places in the bathroom, and kept moving it around the house. Then I reached out to Laurel Pantin, a jewelry advisor, and Millie and Noah, a jewelry designer. We started this crazy Instagram DM conversation. They’re freaking out, I’m freaking out, we’re sending designs back and forth. We were designing it all over Instagram. I was like, wow, what a world!

Once I got the finished ring, I got really fidgety about proposing. I’m texting all of her friends. Everyone in New York City except Alex knew that I was going to propose.

But I had to figure out a plan. When we first started dating, we’d often go to the Met to see the Degas ballerinas. It came into my mind that that would be a really good place to propose.

Alex: I always want to go to the Met to see my ballerinas.

John: So, I said, I have some vacation days off, let’s go to the Met.

Alex: I was like, respect.

John: First, I went on Google Maps to look at the Met’s floorplan. There’s a beautiful archway leading to the Degas statue of a ballerina. And it’s flanked by two other Degas. Degas is happening all over the place. So, I knew I had to guide her to the archway.

The day actually comes when we’re heading to the museum. I have the ring in my pocket and was terrified that they’d pat me down at security and be like WHAT’S IN THE BOX. But thankfully we get through.

Then Alex says she’s hungry. We end up in the basement cafeteria of the Met, which is the opposite corner from where I need us to be.

The route I had planned — going up the grand staircase, through the photography exhibit, etc. — was not going to happen. So, now we’re walking through the galleries, and I’m looking at the paintings like, beautiful, beautiful, great, okay — trying to find the one I’m looking for.

And then I see a figure sitting on a bench in a gallery cloaked in black, and I realize that’s Hunter. I had asked my old friend Hunter to come there to secretly take photos. But the tricky thing about Hunter is that they have rainbow hair. So, they’re very recognizable. They wore a black hood to cover their hair. Hunter being dressed like a demon was keeping people out of the gallery!

Alex: I wish there were a reverse photo of them sitting there.

John: I was like, that’s either Hunter or I’m going to die from this grim reaper. All we could see was the back of their head. They had a big hooded coat on.

Alex: I’m still completely oblivious. I didn’t notice Hunter. I was on a beeline to the ballerinas like a five-year-old.

John: Up to this point, obviously, my head is racing but I’m keeping it cool. Once we got into the gallery, I could not speak. I said something like, oh yeah this reminds me of when we first started dating, haha. I guide her gently toward the arch. I had everything I wanted to say planned out. I take out the ring box and I’m down on one knee. At that point, I realize she has NO IDEA what’s happening.

Alex: I immediately got down on my knee and panda hugged him. I don’t even remember what he said, I just started crying. I was holding him so tightly.

John: It was great, I didn’t have to plead my case!

Alex: I could hear the click click click from Hunter.

John: And I said, that’s Hunter. And that’s when she screamed LOUDLY.

Alex: I made a scene at the Met.

John: People started coming up to us. Even the docent was like, congratulations.

Alex: It was like slow-mo. It was crazy the amount of happiness I felt.

John: It was euphoric.

Alex: I was crying and pulling down our masks so I could make out with him. It was like anything I could do to feel closer to him. It was a very intimate public moment.

John: We only pulled down our masks for a second! We’re both fully vaccinated!

Alex: Afterward we went to a nearby bar and had martinis. The whole time, I was like, I feel so filthy! I hadn’t showered in two days. I was like, why didn’t you tell me to shower?!

John: But I was like, if I tell her she should shower, she’ll know something’s up.

Alex: The ring is so killer. I’m just now winding down from the exhilaration of it all and truly appreciating this ring.

John: There’s always trepidation about if the person will like the ring or not. But as soon as she put it on, I was like, that ring is Alex, Alex is that ring.

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John januzzi Alex

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John januzzi Alex

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John januzzi Alex

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John januzzi Alex

metropolitan museum marriage proposal John januzzi Alex


Congratulations, John and Alex!!! Read about John’s cookies and Alex’s organization company here, if you’d like. And if you’ve been engaged before, what was the proposal like? Or did you just talk about it? We’d love to hear.

P.S. Seven City Hall weddings, and more fun proposal stories.

(Photos by Hunter Abrams.)

  1. Jenny says...

    My friend Hattie counter-proposed to her now-husband. A few weeks after he proposed to her on a sleepy Sunday morning in bed with coffee, she proposed back at a fancy restaurant. It felt equal and romantic to her!

  2. Jordan says...

    What a sweet story!

    My husband, quarterback of his college FB team, proposed on the field after they lost the game. “I’m sorry we lost. Will you marry me?” I was SHOCKED — I was concerned he was going to be all down in the dumps because he lost the big game, and he’s also quite shy so I never would have predicted a public display like that. But on the other hand: That’s one way to surprise your girl with a proposal after 7 years of dating!

    Later that night I said, “Where in there world did you get the money for the ring?!” (Context: He was the college student with no job; I was the young professional with full-time employment.) And he reminded me that a month prior, I had borrowed his truck and his car stereo had been stolen from it while it was parked at my apartments. He used the insurance money from the theft to buy the ring.

    I still can’t believe it all worked out that way. We’ve been married 11 years. Best wishes to Alex and John!

  3. Congratulations, John and Alex!! How beautiful!!!! I remember our engagement like it was yesterday and not twelve years ago. My husband proposed to me in a Boeing 777 flight simulator at the United Airlines training facility in Denver! I’m a diehard aviation junkie, and he new the proposal would have to involve airplanes somehow. We got to “fly” the airplanes around for a couple of hours (we were both terrible!) and then he popped the question when our instructor popped out to “get something”. The whole proposal is VHS tape! lol

  4. Martha Patterson says...

    Love it! The ring is beautiful!
    Been married nearly 29 years. When we met, we lived in San Francisco…he’d planned a proposal on Baker Beach, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background…but I got sick, and didn’t even feel like getting out of bed. Plans dashed, he proposed a few days later, on his birthday, in my living room…where my roommate had hidden the ring! Not as glamorous as a GG Bridge background…but for the better, as we had a family baptism to attend the day after the initial proposal plan….didn’t want to steal the thunder!

  5. Jen says...

    We had been living together for 7 years. I had thought that the deal was either a wedding or real estate and we had already bought real estate. So imagine my surprise, when after a game of Trivial Pursuit, where I had whooped his ass again, the final question is “Will you marry me?”
    Readers, I DID marry him.

  6. Gro says...

    Congratulations from Norway! This is so lovely. I am sitting here crying a little bit. Wishing you a very happy future together:)

  7. Joy says...

    Love this! Thanks for sharing with the world

  8. Lucy says...

    I got engaged over the holidays this past year. We hiked up to a beautiful waterfall in a national park. As my fiance is kneeling and actively asking me, I’m crying-it’s the middle of the proposal-a very eager dad walks up and asks my fiance to take a picture of him and his family. I didn’t even have a chance to say yes! My fiance, the wonderful, kind, generous man he is, hops up without hesitation to take pictures of the family. We then hike to a more private place, and he did the whole thing again. It was perfect and comical and we still laugh about how oblivious that man was.

  9. Vicki says...

    Thanks for updating with a ring pic – it’s GORGEOUS!

  10. Kristin says...

    Love all these stories! My husband had to get creative because we did things out of order. I’d worn a slim gold band for many years. He gave it to me, calling it his bookmark, as it marked his place haha. We knew we were getting married and had the license but no additional wedding ring. We traveled to Brazil the month before our wedding. At the airport, there are many jewelry stores, and I found a ring I loved. He bought it and grabbed the bag from me. On the airplane ride home, when he figured out we were over the equator, he pulls out the ring and asks me officially to marry him. So I could have a good story, he said. That was 14 years ago, and he still asks me to marry him.

  11. Denise says...

    I was heading back to work after our son’s arrival six weeks before. He was going to stay home for two weeks with the baby, and he told me he wanted to go to a book store at the mall for some reading material (like you can read with a tiny baby lol, how did I not know?!). He pushed the stroller as we walked through the mall, basically steered me into a jewelry store, and said “I thought we’d look at rings while we’re here.” I think I stuttered okay? He used to laugh that I cry at everything, but in that moment, I didn’t. But I am now, sitting here typing this. I lost him ten years ago this June, ten days before our 21st anniversary. I’m at work with that baby boy.

  12. Layne says...

    I’m a big bathrobe gal. If I’m at home, I’m always in a robe. So, naturally, we got engaged in our robes at home by the fireplace. It was easy and comfortable, just like our relationship.

  13. Emily says...

    My husband also had the ring in it’s box in his pocket while standing in line to enter Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. When he saw the security guards patting people down he started clutching his stomach and said “I’m not feeling well, we gotta go!” He proposed later that day at the Eiffel Tower. It’s a wonderful memory!

  14. I am the crankiest possible person about engagement stories, but these people are absolutely delightful and I wish them all the best!

  15. Tammy Thiele says...

    That ring is gorgeous! And the story is beautiful. My husband and I got engaged (29 years ago) at the Seattle Art Museum. We were there for an opening, but went to another gallery where a security guard kept circling us! :) He was so nervous he kept grabbing the wrong hand while proposing. It’s such a trip to visit there with our daughters now. I’m going there tomorrow with our youngest who is now twenty one!

  16. Kristen says...

    Holy cow, what a gorgeous ring! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Valerie says...

    This is so sweet!

  18. Madeleine says...

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE this! I laughed reading it – I feel like I know these people just by the way they talk… through text. Hilarious :) Congratulations!

  19. SophieDC says...

    I love their matching sneaks! Best wishes to the happy couple

  20. Jane says...

    My husband would always take me to storm king around my birthday. you can rent bikes and look at all the sculptures and it was there where he taught me how to bike (I was 30 years old, late bloomer) As I was getting the hang of it started raining and I was getting nervous about biking in the rain. He finally stops by this bench facing the lake and he told me we should take a break before heading back home. I was eager to just stop biking in the rain so I’m sitting and drinking water then he kneels down and whispers to himself here it goes! and the rest is history :D

  21. Allison says...

    Agreed, I LOVED that they’re wearing matching shoes. Soulmates!

    • Marsi says...

      Solemates.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      solemates, haha, yes!

  22. Jessica says...

    My husband and I had been together for almost 10 years, we owned a home, we were a fully committed couple, but not formally married. We had talked about it, but neither felt compelled to plan a wedding party. We were at a place where I was quite sure he didn’t want to formally marry.

    We were on a ski vacation and on our last day on the hills, our very last run, we happened to score a gondola up the mountain just the two of us (it’s a busy mountain, it almost never happens). He starts talking very sweetly about life, and I’m thinking he’s just moved by the incredible view of the Rockies. Then all of a sudden he’s on one knee. And I still don’t know what’s going on! It takes a full minute for my brain to catch up and realize he’s proposing. I was so sure he didn’t want to get married, the first thing I said was “oh you actually want to get married!” when I noticed the ring in his hand. He still teases me endlessly for that response. Once I realized what was actually going on, it was an easy yes. Such a sweet moment.

    The ring was the best part. He had bought a novelty mood ring from the gift shop to propose with, knowing he wanted us to pick out a ring afterwards together. This was an amazing feat because we were almost never apart the whole trip. There was one five minute window earlier in the trip when I had gone to the bathroom and he covertly bought it. The whole thing was such an alignment of the stars, from him pulling off buying the ring, to finding the perfect moment alone right on our last day in the gondola.

  23. betz says...

    Not sure if the couple is taking requests, but can they please wear brand new matching Stan Smiths for the wedding?! I love how they are twinning!

  24. Lynea Wilson says...

    My now husband planned a whole scavenger hunt through our little village. Where we met, places we loved then and now. It ended at the local park where we went on our first date. All of it was so sweet and well thought out, but my favorite part is that he set up a camera in the trees to film the proposal, but the battery died after a few moments. So the only footage captured is his sweet, nervous self giving a thumbs up to the camera, and then it goes dark! I smile like an idiot whenever he tells that story.

    PS learn from me, nothing goes on social media until you’ve called all grandmas! They do not like to find out on “the face place.”

  25. Reba says...

    Aww, I love this! Congrats you two! What beautiful photos (Well done, Hunter) and setting. You will have such beautiful reminiscing on all future visits to the Met! Don’t you just love love?!

  26. Lynea Wilson says...

    Cool cool, saw the photo of them crying in a museum, now I’m crying in a museum (where I work). Congrats to them! Very clear from the way they tell this charming story that they are very sweet and well suited.

    • Esperanza says...

      I also cry a lot reading the story and seeing the photos … what a nice detail of this man …

  27. Patricia E Mitchell says...

    That ring is just stunning! Glad it all worked out. Wishing you every happiness together going forward. x

  28. Claire says...

    What a sweet story, and the ring is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, it’s very uplifting, so full of hope. All best wishes to Alex and John.

  29. Annie says...

    My husband took me to our favorite hiking spot in our small town. The trail goes to a beautiful creek where we take our golden retriever to run and play in the water. So we get to the creek and our pup is splashing and I’m watching him and laughing. I hear my husband call for me right behind me, and he was down on one knee. I start crying, he says the sweetest things, I say yes… and not a second after I say yes, our dog body slams into my husband thinking he was down on his knee to play with him! It was hysterical. It felt like he was saying “Dad! She said yes!!!” They were both soaking wet… One of the best memories of my life!

  30. Ana says...

    Such a sweet story! Congrats to the couple. Their rainbow hair friend deserves a special mention for being so awesome!
    My husband proposed on our dating anniversary while we were hanging out on the couch in our tiny apartment. There was no getting on one knee but I could tell he was nervous when he gave me a gift for our anniversary. The ring was inside and when I pulled it out he asked sheepishly with a big grin on his face: ” So, do you want to get married?”. It was low-key and sweet and perfect. He knew an all out public engagement was not really my vibe and kept it very cozy and simple. We had Champagne and the rest is history.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s so sweet. <3

  31. LeighTX says...

    That ring is absolutely gorgeous. And the matching shoes surely mean this marriage is destined to be. :) Congratulations!!

  32. G says...

    I don’t really have an engagement story, or a ring. We’re one of those married couples who never wore their wedding ring just because we do not feel like having something on our fingers. :)

    The year leading to it we were kind of sure that we would end up getting married (we we’re on an off in a relationship for 5 years already). We had an on going discussion on the pros and cons of getting married for an entire 3 months. We did come to a conclusion that getting married would be our best option, and I remember husband and I were were having lunch (or was it breakfast), and he was clearing the plates. I think I was the one who nonchalantly, “Why don’t we get married end of May, it seems like the best time to get married since the weather will be nice.” And he just responded matter of fact, while cleaning the kitchen and focusing on scrubbing the sink, with a “Why not? Can we get the planning done in 2 months?” I think I had more jitters telling my parents over the phone that I am planning to get married in 2 months, than the entire conversation with my husband.

    • Lisa says...

      That’s so cool! I like the “low key” engagement stories as much as the elaborately-planned ones :) My now-husband and I decided on date and venue before he proposed – we had been dating for like six years and were only not yet married already because we dreaded the planning and suddenly, the perfect opportunity came along. In the end, we both laughed when he got down on one knee as a matter of form after our plans had been confirmed by the wedding planner.
      Telling our parents/extended family was the scariest thing for us, too, because we didn’t plan on inviting anyone ;) We told my parents over dinner in a restaurant, and shortly after my mom and I went to the ladies’ room together. My husband later complained “How could you leave me with your dad after this?!? I was so, so scared!” In the end, we didn’t get one complaint, even my grandparents where supportive.

  33. Claire says...

    I had organised a whole weekend to propose to my boyfriend, involving travelling to the city where we met, enlisting a friend to take covert pictures and Champaign ordered in advance. Then the pandemic hit and I cancelled all plans, and I focused on not freaking out about the lockdown orders. In the end, I proposed while we were assembling a jigsaw puzzle. He said yes!

  34. Annie says...

    A Saturday evening. I was washing the floor. He poured me a gin and tonic and then mumbled: you know those rings you saw today, we could get engaged if you like. I would like to add, 30 plus years later, he denies this and insists he proposed properly. I, however, recall it all perfectly. But it was a lovely evening and I did, indeed, say yes.

    • Tricia says...

      Wonderful! Ours, too, was like this, some 37 years ago!
      (I don’t recall any G & Ts, though…)

    • Lisa says...

      I love this!! :D

  35. Danielle says...

    What a gorgeous ring and story!

    There’s something incredibly sweet about the photo where their feet are pointing right at each other wearing the same Stan Smiths. And with the ballerina in the background!

  36. Katrin says...

    I proposed via my bfs keyboard. He is into pc gaming, so I bought the exact keyboard he has a new and re-arranged the keys to spell out will you marry me. Covered his room in photos and heart shaped ballons on our 5th anniversary. I was so nervous. When I went to his room I followed and he frist did not realize the changed keys. But as soon as he realized it he hugged me, picking me up with a very emotional yes!!!

    (Till last minute I was not sure how he would take it that I proposed and he did not get the chance to do it. But he thought it to be real cool ;-) )

  37. Mel says...

    I got engaged last year on a beautiful beach in Tofino. My fiancé and I have been together for 8 years, since I was 21. He planned a weekend away with close friends of ours, roommates from college that lived with us when we met (we were platonic roommates for a year before I tipsily asked him out one night. Literally just said “wanna date?” So smooth.) We went to the beach for the proposal and everyone knew he wanted to do it then, but I kept running away to pet all the cute dogs! He was so exasperated, haha. But Tofino is beautiful rainforest and our friends took amazing photos. Planning a wedding during Covid has been interesting (when you can’t even do things like draw up a concrete guest list) but it’s honestly helped us stay grounded and remember what is important. Our guest list has gone from 80 to 10, but I’m excited for an intimate and fun day. Two months to go!

  38. Angie says...

    My husband and I had planned to get married (soon) because I’d a family member health situation. I knew he had a ring, but no idea when a proposal was coming………
    we are both ICU nurses who worked at different hospitals. On this particular day, I had admitted and treated a patient with scabies. All I wanted was a hot shower and to burn my scrubs. Cut to opening our apartment door, filled with candles and rose petals up the staircase to our living room. So, I stripped down to my underwear, followed the rose petals upstairs, said yes, and then showered/decontaminated before I put on the ring!

  39. Caroline says...

    We just got engaged in February this year. My fiancee (still crazy!) knew I would hate any sort of public proposal but also knows how much I LOVE animals so he proposed at the zoo on a random Wednesday! The snow leopard cubs were a little too popular so we ended up in front of the tapir, and while no-one was near us, he got down on one knee and just blurted out “will you marry me?” super fast because he was absolutely terrified someone would appear! It was a complete surprise and I couldn’t believe it, and kept asking if he was sure. Apparently he is, so we’re going with it!

  40. KC says...

    Congratulations to the sweet couple! I LOVE this story!

    My husband and I got engaged four years ago this month. He had designed my ring and it got super delayed! It didn’t come on time for the trip he’d planned to propose on, then I got sick and canceled another weekend trip to visit with a big group of friends in San Francisco (his back-up plan). I guess he was so bummed. He started getting really insistent we make a day trip up to Santa Barbara, one of my favorite places and a place I used to live, to the point where I started getting suspicious.

    When we were in Santa Barbara, he let me plan out the day and take us where I wanted to visit that day. He was so go-with-the-flow I figured I’d read the situation wrong. We’d been up to Santa Barbara multiple times before, but I’d never taken him to Butterfly Beach in Montecito, right in front of the Biltmore. We went there and watched a spectacular sunset, and he got down on one knee. We were so giddy, we asked the first group of people walking by on the beach to take a picture in our happy daze. And they said no and got all weird! Then one of the girls in the group turned back around and asked if we had just gotten engaged. When we said yes, she ran back and sweetly took a ton of photos for us, including my favorite picture ever of us. She handed the phone back to us, and the man with her said, you know, it’s not every day a celebrity takes your engagement photos! Turns out, Dakota Johnson snapped photos of us that day! They said no when we first asked because they thought we wanted photos WITH her. We had to ask who she was which was excruciatingly embarrassing , haha, but we could not recognize her in the moment! She posted a video of her group frolicking in the waves on her instagram and drew arrows around my husband getting down on one knee in the background, so we got to see a video of the proposal from afar! And my husband posted a picture she took on instagram, and tagged her, thanking her, and we got swamped by members of her fan club messaging us and commenting on the post, haha. Such a fun memory!

    • Cecily says...

      Oh my gosh what a fun story!

  41. kd says...

    Haha I love the shoes too! xx

  42. Natalie says...

    My now-husband proposed in September 2020 at the Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden (Philly Museum of Art). I knew from the moment we got on the train to head to Philly, lol. We’ve been together for nearly 11 years, so I easily pick up on his nervous energy, and he made a big deal about this trip .

    We walked around the museum for what felt like eons, and I could sense he was trying to pick the perfect spot to pop the question, but after revisiting several exhibits, nothing happened. AND LET ME TELL YALL, MY FEELINGS WERE HURT, AND I MENTIONED IT, lol. As we were making our way down the staircase in the Great Stair Hall, I looked at him and said, “I’m bummed you didn’t propose. I thought you would.” He looked at me and asked, “Why do you think I’m going to purpose?!” So on we went to the Sculpture Garden to kill time before our dinner reservation. We sat down underneath Ursula von Rydingsvard’s sculpture, and I start to tell him about the time I went to her studio, met her, and learned about her process. On and on, I went until he started talking about how long we’ve been together and our relationship– we were in Philly for late bday celebrations and our anniversary (11 yrs!!). And as he’s talking, I look out to the little park/river area, so I’m not looking in his direction at all, but I hear him say, “I wish we had champagne to celebrate our anniversary, but I have something better.” As I’m turning to look at him to see what he has, I notice he’s down on one knee and looking more nervous than I had ever seen him in all our years of knowing each other. It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening, and I honestly can’t remember if he even asked. In true Natalie fashion, I started laughing+crying and asking what was going on. It turned out to be a surprise after all, and a lovely and very personal moment we have to remember forever.

    To keep with the theme of surprises and not planning much of anything, we eloped on Feb. 14. The team at Little Sister Creative in BK gave us another FUN and beautiful forever moment. https://www.instagram.com/p/CLZP4kaH9aM/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CLSp3cJjwAa/

  43. L says...

    We went out to eat at a favorite restaurant Hunan Taste and during what is a very spicy dinner my husband said it would be “okay” if we got married. How romantic! But, it’s always been really meaningful for me because getting married wasn’t important to him but he knew it was to me. My husband is extremely truthful so when he said it was okay, I knew he meant it and it was a decision made with so much thought and love.

  44. Caitlin says...

    My husband and I got engaged the same day he bought the ring. It was a non-event for sure! Hulu crashed during an episode of This Is Us and he was trying to fix the TV while down on one knee. I couldn’t resist making a snide comment about it, and he looked over and said *you don’t want to get engaged right now* We went back and forth for a while. I actually pulled up the Cup of Jo article on just deciding to get married instead of the big proposal and I made him read it. Ha!! He brought out a ring box filled with cufflinks and fake proposed to gage my reaction. I rolled my eyes, and then he pulled out the real ring. After that we were a mess of tears!
    Really goes to show it doesn’t matter how it happens as long as it happens in love. Part of me felt like I missed out on something by not getting a planned out proposal, but wow wow wow does my heart beat fast when I remember how he just couldn’t wait to ask.

  45. Tara says...

    I pretty much knew the day it was going to happen because my husband had taken it upon himself to make our Saturday plans, which he never did. When he suddenly said “I have a plan!” I knew something was up. He told me to dress nicely, which was another clue, and then I had to stay in the bedroom while he made preparations outside. He took me downtown to the Freedom Tower and to the docks outside, where we found our way to a sailboat. The captain welcomes us and asks if we’re celebrating anything, and my husband says, shiftily, “Maybe.” Maybe!! It was very obvious by that point but we were both pretending like I didn’t know what was happening, haha. Eventually we get out on the water and my husband proposes in front of the Statue of Liberty. It was the most gorgeous day out and the most wonderful proposal. The captain even snapped some shots of ~the big moment~ for posterity. He said we were the 80-somethingth couple to get engaged on his boat.

  46. Mira says...

    My husband and I decided to get married in the middle of having sex about 3 months into our relationship. It was all a bit intense and sex-fuelled but we’re still happily married 20 years later so we must have known it was a sure thing despite all the raging youthful pheromones! Anyway, our now 7-year-old keeps asking for the story of how dad proposed and did he get on one knee with a ring etc etc. He so wants this to be our story too, like in all the movies and shows he sees! I keep having to tell him that it wasn’t like that, that we just decided together one day. But I always feel a little guilty that we don’t have a more PG version of our proposal to share with him!

    • Lynea Wilson says...

      This is too funny and sweet on behalf of your son! I hope you wait to tell him until he’s mature enough to hear it but also young enough to be MORTIFIED. Because that seems really fun. When I was a teenager I asked my dad what he and my mom’s song was and he said, without a beat; “You Shook Me All Night Long, ACDC.” Turns out that wasn’t even true, he just wanted to see me react. I did not disappoint and its one of my funniest memories with him.

  47. Tara says...

    I asked to be surprised by his proposal, by which I meant, please don’t propose at a predictable moment such as when we’re enjoying a romantic walk. He took surprised to mean more along the lines of “Boo! Haha, surprised you!”. So he literally snuck up on me while I was walking home from work, started running after me, causing me to think someone was chasing me (because someone was) and start running myself. Somehow he caught me and asked me, but honestly, not the greatest memory for a while! Haha. Now I see how in line it is with his desire to love me well and his personality that takes things to the max!

    • Toyosi says...

      Tara, I burst out laughing at this! Hahaha what a sight to envision — him running after you trying to propose, lol! Congratulations and thanks for the laughs :)

    • Olivia Jane says...

      Oh my word, I tried to read this aloud to my husband but wound up laughing in tears on the floor and handing him the computer. This is glorious.

    • Annie says...

      Brilliant. Especially the bit in brackets.

    • Alice says...

      I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING AT THIS!! Honestly, this is the most ridiculously brilliant thing ever, thank you SO much for sharing.

    • Erin says...

      Tara I’m laughing so hard that I am truly crying. THE best engagement story.

    • Jessica says...

      This made me laugh out loud too! These are the best stories of love – the little legends of a relationship that are just so dang human.

    • Emily Therneau says...

      This is one of the cutest and most hilarious proposal stories I’ve ever heard. I’m literally LOLing over here. :D

    • Anna says...

      Hahahaha thanks Tara <3

  48. Jen says...

    I loved this sweet story and how real it felt! Like being out the night of for a celebratory drink with newly engaged friends. I so loved her quip about wishing she’d showered. I had a similar feeling in my own engagement!

    My husband ordered my ring from a jeweler out of town and was really shocked at how quickly it arrived. It was burning a hole in his proverbial, and later, real pocket so everything else happened faster than he expected, too. I was out of town visiting friends when the ring arrived and was due back Sunday in time to go to a joint Mother’s day dinner. He was originally planning to meet me at my house to go together and organize flowers to bring for both of our mothers, since I’d been out of town. He kept texting me to see how my trip was going, but I thought he was just being unusually attentive, or was bored! The trip was a bit delayed and after a long time on a megabus I was absolutely dying to go to the bathroom but my pup made it clear that she wanted to go first! I grabbed the leash and dashed out the door and saw my soon-to-be fiance at the bottom of the apartment stairs with a huge bouquet of roses. My first thought was, well he overdid it a bit for Mother’s Day! I raced down the stairs with misinterpreted urgency. He dropped to one knee and I finally figured out the situation. My dog was a delightful Disney character and tangled us up with the leash. I was such a mix of emotions – love, excitement, a desperate need to pee!! That was 9 years ago Sunday and we’ve been married for close to 8. This Mother’s Day we’ll be celebrating with my mom and our two girls.

    Cheers to the happy couple!

  49. Rachel says...

    There is just so much joy and emotion in these photos. And the details of the story made me laugh and cry. My pandemic heart needed this jolt. Thank you!

  50. m says...

    What a sweet story! Also, they have matching sneakers [insert heart eyes emoji] :)

  51. Jessie F says...

    You can find the ring on the Millie and Noah jewelry Instagram! It’s the giant sapphire.

  52. Emily says...

    My (now) wife had been in a deep depression for the year before we decided to get married. After trying many medications she switched to a new medication on a Monday and told me that she started to see color in the world again. By Friday, over coffee in bed, we decided to get married. No proposal, no ring, just antidepressants.

    • Kita says...

      Your comment made me cry and think of my kids (6 and 2 years old). I want them to be happy and see color in the world! Congratulations to you and your wife and hope the medicines keep working and you have a beautiful life together.

    • Julie says...

      LOVE THIS. I hope you both continue to experience many shades of joy in your life together.

    • Ashley says...

      Brb sobbing

    • Emily Pellegrino says...

      Thanks so much! We are now on the journey of adoption and are grateful that the antidepressants are still working.

  53. l.s. says...

    The ring matching her outfit, their matching shoes, the Instagram ring design session, the rainbow-haired friend in grim reaper attire — I love every detail about this story! XD

  54. Lucy says...

    My proposal is beyond cheese in the best kind of way. Husband and I used to joke about really elaborate, ridiculous proposals e.g. a dolphin would jump out of the water holding the ring. I knew we were going to get engaged at some point, I’d picked a ring, but didn’t know whether it’d be in a year or in a month. We were in his home town for xmas and took a snowy walk by a lake, I turned away to take some pictures, then turned back and he’d pulled out a printed cartoon picture of a dolphin and taped the ring to its nose. He didn’t even get a chance to ask, I just burst into tears and grabbed it hahaha.

    • Neela says...

      That’s very cute.

    • Agnès says...

      oh that’s so adorable!

    • Hannah says...

      That’s the best story ever!

  55. Emmy says...

    Congratulations!! Love those Degas ballerinas :)

    As an art museum curator, I LOL’d at the part of the story about your friend Hunter dressing like a demon and maybe scaring people away from that gallery. Seems like an effective way to encourage social distancing in museums… haha!

    • B says...

      Can we get a day in the life from Emmy? Would love to see behind the scenes of an art curator.

  56. S says...

    They look so happy! Congrats to the couple.

    My mother doesn’t happen to own sapphires, nor would it ever be in my reach to contact a jewelry designer. Maybe this post isn’t for me, but I’m starting to feel like this blog features a lifestyle outside of my income level. Can anyone recommend another blog or online community that maybe is?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you for your note, S! I’m glad you wrote. We strive to feature a huge mix of people — different budgets, sexual orientations, marital statuses, family structures, locations, religions, styles, careers, body shapes and sizes, etc. That is a top priority for us. So, I really hope we can make you feel welcome and comfortable here. Please take a look at our house tours, proposal stories, beauty uniforms and weeks of outfits for a wide range of people and backgrounds. Thank you so much, and I’m so happy you’re here.

    • K says...

      But don’t you think the core of love stories transcend “on paper” differences? like i feel like this story would be just as romantic with a gum ball machine ring

    • Sarah says...

      Hi S! I’m more of a target budget kind of girl myself. But this community. Oh my heart. I have read some the best articles and comments on this blog. I’ll be a committed reader til Jo and team call it quits. Please stay and be our friend!

    • Julie says...

      It would be entirely outside my ability to live in NYC or buy many of the items showcased on this site…but most of the content on CoJ is about love, belonging, beauty, self-doubt vs. self-confidence, friendship, reading, media, and things that really are relatable at every income level. It’s wonderful to have so much of those things alongside the clothing and home decor content. Maybe those aren’t the posts where you will feel most at home, but I’d say there’s a nook for anyone here.

    • Monica says...

      S, you’re not alone. I’ve felt similarly over the past year or two, some of the focus seems to have shifted to a more consumerist ethos, but honestly that will be every blog community that serves as an income source for the writers and creators.

      At this point in my life, I know that I’m not going to be buying the products sponsored or agree with all of the views presented here, and that’s ok.

      I do come for the human stories and sometimes the recipes and to read the comments. I reread old posts- the “parenting in” various countries are still inspiring.

      My totally unsolicited two cents aside, where you spend your precious reading minutes matters and seeking out varying spaces where you’re refreshed and feel spoken to will be a beneficial endeavor in the long run.

    • Hi S! I sometimes feel that way too with the posts highlighting folks in a different class than me (have yet to find the working-class-midwestern-lesbian-artist-lifestyle-blog of my dreams for some reason… time to make it myself?)- but a lot of this blog is in the comments and you’ll find all sorts of us here. I also didn’t have any familial jewels to pass on to my wife when I proposed, but I made her a quilt and put it on our bed!!

    • Lainey says...

      S, I feel you in some ways. John and Alex seem super cute and happy, but my entire wedding definitely cost less than it cost for John to have that ring designed, preexisting stone and all. I’m certainly not in the same income bracket as Jo and many readers and I also lead an intentionally pretty minimalistic lifestyle, so some of the more consumeristic posts on here definitely aren’t my jam. I admit that all the cries of, “let’s see the ring!” strike me as a little uncomfortable. It’s just very much not indicative of the culture or income level of my friend group. That being said, it’s probably one out of ten or more COJ posts that feels “not for me” like this. That still means nine out of ten posts I find personally engaging and make me feel like part of the community. I haven’t found a better ratio than that on any other site, even though there are certainly bloggers whose lifestyles better align with my own.

    • silly lily says...

      Can you afford a twist-tie wrapped around your finger? Then don’t worry about income level.

      Everyone in my family wears rocks on their ring-finger. Not me. We bought a very small (but pretty) diamond ring, which didn’t fit over my enlarged knuckles after two pregnancies. Yes, that’s a thing. I never had it re-sized and about eight years ago the stone was incorporated into an engagement ring for my daughter-in-law.

      Neither my husband nor I wear any kind of ring, but we are involved in a very loving marriage of 43 years so far. If anyone judges the state of your commitment based on what you have on your finger, start looking for better people to hang out with!

      I’m always amazed when I hear people say it’s so expensive to get married. It’s the cost of a marriage license and maybe a sweet bouquet of flowers. A ring really does fall into the same category and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    • NM says...

      I knew instinctively when I read this comment that, although I was not in a frame of mind to give a thoughtful response to what (in that moment) felt so jarring, many in this community (including Jo) would. It is so true that the big work of this blog isn’t the posts themselves (although I love many of them!), but the listening, responding, communicating, by both readers and staff. I literally go almost no place online. I glance at headlines, look up information as needed, frequent social media only in dire circumstances — but there is only one place on the internet where I am always drawn. And it is here. Thank you for always challenging my perceptions, cultivating empathy, and inspiring curiosity.

    • S says...

      I feel like this comment hit some nerves. I wonder why that is. I question if this site is open to the feedback I gave.

      I feel like the immediate assumption was that I am not familiar with this site. I’ve been a a reader for quite a few years. I’ve seen the house tours, beauty uniforms, recipes etc. I am just less and less feeling like I am relating to the writers or those featured.

      There is clearly a target audience for this blog . And it must be hard to have a target audience WHILE being inclusive. I think maybe I’m just changing and I’m shifting out of the target audience. That’s OK, though.

    • M says...

      I’ve been a long time reader. Since Toby was a little baby. There are some posts that aren’t for me. There are many that make me laugh and others make me cry. But I don’t judge the content based on whether it’s a shirt that fits me. What keeps me coming back is the empathy and the humanity behind the stories. I love how honest and raw and open all the writing is. I didn’t read this post for the ring (it is so very nice) but for the nervousness and the giddiness and the romance. I love Cup of Jo and appreciate how hard they try to be inclusive and thoughtful and to tell many stories. Reading your comment made me want to defend them. You’re doing phenomenal editorial work Jo. Thank you.

  57. Liz says...

    What a great story! And the photos are just perfect..how lucky to get those epic shots without anyone in the background! Gorgeous ring too, good luck you crazy kids 🍀

  58. JO says...

    Such a lovely read!
    My husband proposed at night on the beach. I forget a lot of what he said, but I’ll always remember that he told me, “I’m in love with your heart.” I think it’s stuck with me these past ten years because he really has proven to be all about heart: he always leads with his, and when our kids were babies he used to put his head up to their chests to “hear their little hearts,” like he couldn’t even believe it.
    This post was a nice reminder so thank you!

  59. Katy says...

    The ring is perfection, topped only by the matching sneakers.

    Can proposal stories be a regular feature? Such of beautiful way to experience virtual joy.
    They seem like wonderful people who I would genuinely like to be happy for years to come.
    Also thanks to the readers who shared their stories in the comments!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes we would love to do more!

    • K says...

      yesss please, i’m so thirsty for wholesome content these days!

  60. jeannie says...

    This must be one of my favorite posts ever!!!! It is so sweet and funny and touching. And I love that what John says: “We only pulled down our masks for a second! We’re both fully vaccinated!” The ring is lovely. Congratulations and best wishes to to you both! One question – what does it say on your silver ring, Alex? Love to you both.

    • Lindsay says...

      Omg, I love this retelling, too! I was just asking myself, does Alex’s silver ring say “trust your guts”?! The sapphire ring is gorgeous and the evident joy you both have is beautiful!! Congrats!

    • Alex says...

      Omg y’all I just read your comments and they made me SO happy!! Thank you so so so much for the sweet words. My heart is exploding. And yes, my silver ring says “trust your guts” – got it about 6 years ago during a rough time, and haven’t taken it off since. It’s like a little piece of therapy on my finger haha. It’s from a place called Ascot + Hart, but not sure if they still make it?

      SO much love to y’all and thanks again!! <3 <3 <3

  61. Laurie says...

    It’s straight up wild that the ring is white-blue-white AND her shirt that day is white-blue-white. Sometimes, it’s just like, get outta here, universe! How’d she do that? Congrats to both!

  62. Charlotte says...

    I agree Agnès, I am Belgian, he’s French, we have been together 18 years now and we are never getting married. We have 2 kids, a house, a cat. That’s how much our engagement is for real. But marriage here only happens for tax purposes I suppose ;) It would feel very weird to have him down on one knee and propose. The way I m wired I would probably say no ! Although I totally respect anyone who feels like that’s the way things should be done.

    • T says...

      Yes, yes, this! So much!

  63. Rue says...

    Oh wait, I already commented but remembered the best proposal story in my family. We don’t know the details of their engagement, but after both my grandparents died, we found a handwritten “contract” that my grandfather wrote, saying something like, “Dear [Grandmother], Mr [Grandfather] requests the honor of your presence at his wedding, whenever it should occur. Please note that this agreement, once executed, supersedes all other invitations, requests, and proposals. Signed,” And then his name and date was written and signed, with my grandmother’s name written as Mrs His Name at a later date. I honestly start weeping just thinking about it. It is the perfect combination of hilarious and earnest, and they met in high school because she was dating a friend of his (!), so there’s an extra layer of meaning in the, “please don’t marry anyone else” phrasing.

    • K says...

      this is so sweet.

  64. K says...

    Congratulations, Alex & John! There’s something so comfy about their story and photos <3 <3 <3

    We totally planned out getting married, yet somehow it still felt like a sweet surprise getting proposed to on the couch in a giant t-shirt. It felt like a private reading of vows, and I hadn't seen him that nervous since the early days of dating. It's one of those things that, whether I like it or not, was a milestone in feeling like a "real" grown-up!

  65. Claire says...

    This was the wholesome content I didn’t know I needed today. *crying emoji*

    Congrats you two!

  66. Alyssa Leister says...

    My now-fiance and I had planned that I’d come up to his parents house, where he’s been living, to hang out and eat lunch, maybe play a game. I hadn’t showered either, was rocking some sweatpants and was not looking my best. When his parents weren’t there, he said they were “out shopping for camper supplies” which seemed normal enough. I made him suffer through lunch – McDonald’s happy meals because clearly I’m a grown up – before he offered up that he had an “early birthday present for me.” He told me to wait in the other room. When I came out to the Living Room, the family dog was dressed up as my favorite type of dinosaur. I was so enamored by his cuteness (a golden retriever dressed as a triceratops COME ON!). I didn’t even notice that he was holding a sock, which is a very typical thing for him to do. The sock, when I FINALLY looked at it, said “I hope you say yes”. Once I read it, I knew what was going on. My fiance started playing our song and then I started crying, yelling and hysterically laughing. Of course, I said yes. It truly combined all of my favorite things, namely him, the dog and a dinosaur! Oh and french fries.

    • silly lily says...

      I’m impressed that you have a favorite type of dinosaur. I’ve spent a year choosing a new sofa so I guess you can say that, in some ways, I’m not a great decision maker. But as soon as I get that sucker ordered I’m moving onto the huge extinct reptile decision. Two things to cross off my bucket list!

    • Alyssa Leister says...

      Silly Lily – trust me, I agonize over many, many things! I just happen to really love dinosaurs. My favorite is a triceratops, if you need a starting point. And imagine a golden retriever dressed up as one to get the full cute overload. <3

  67. Hope says...

    Everything about this is so beautiful. My favorite part = Alex’s hair. She looks gorgeous, and as mentioned, appears to be a human being who did not shower that morning. That factor makes the photos even more visually enchanting. (Speaking of, I haven’t washed my hair in days). Congratulations, John & Alex! Wishing you both an abundance of museum dates in matching kicks.

    • Vero says...

      I agree. These pictures are so perfect in the realness of the moment <3 They feel relatable and sweet!

  68. Laura M. says...

    I love the person in the background of the fifth picture wearing what looks like a puffy, pink ball gown. It’s like … finally getting out after pandemic? .. definitely going all out! :)

  69. Andrea says...

    My husband proposed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in front of an Egyptian tomb relief—https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/ancient_egyptian_art

    We had seen this on the night we met and he impressed me by stating that it was his favorite piece in the museum. This unfinished relief shows the artistic process itself with sketched parts, changes, initial carvings and finished sections. He showed himself as a thoughtful person and willing to share what he loved.

    Hilariously, at dinner before we went to the museum the night he proposed, I told him that it was OK if he didn’t want to get married, but that he should tell me if that was so. He totally poker faced it and agreed that he would let me know if that were true.

    Reader—today we celebrate our 15th year wedding anniversary.

    • Madame says...

      Happy anniversary! Lovely story.

  70. Silver says...

    Why am I crying?
    This is simply beautiful and I wish them a long and happy marriage.

    So not only did he propose in the MET but you get front line on Cup of Jo – the whole world is supporting you two now!

  71. Tara Ilsley says...

    THIS LOVE!! YAS. Congrats to all this beauty lovers!!!! That ring whew!!! We need the minute by minute deets all ALL ENGAGEMENTS.

  72. Toni says...

    The description of your friend Hunter had me chuckling at my desk. What a special moment. The ring is even more beautiful than I had pictured in my head from the description (wowza that sapphire!). Mazel Tov!

  73. Erin says...

    Congratulations! How is the sweetest part of all this that they have matching shoes?! <3

  74. Liz says...

    I almost made it through this without crying and then I saw the picture where they were pulling their masks down to kiss and I lost it. Congratulations!

  75. Sonja says...

    I really love a proposal story; this is no exception – completely beautiful.

    We got engaged in a UC Boulder off campus dorm room at 2AM surrounded by mostly packed boxes wearing t-shirts and underwear.

    I was 21 and my then 22 year old boyfriend (babies) had spent the summer doing a research internship at NIST in Boulder. I’d flown out from California to help him pack and drive back with him. I knew a proposal was on the horizon, I knew there was a ring, but I figured it was back in CA.

    I’d spent the day packing up his dorm while he wrapped up his last day at his internship. We were giddy to see each other even even after a long day of packing; I was lying in bed reading and I could see him watching me in the mirror of the hall sink while he brushed his teeth. He said, “I really just want to propose to you now,” and being the supremely impatient person that I am I said, “Fine, do it. I’ll probably say yes.” He then let slip that he had a plan and couldn’t propose yet but he did have the ring with him. I shot up in bed and said, “If I can find it can I look at it?!” He was slightly incredulous but then remembered who he was dealing with and said, “If you’re serious…ok.” So I jumped up and demanded whether I was hot or cold and began UNPACKING boxes in my search for a ring box. He let this go on for a while and said, “I’m really sorry – I don’t actually have the ring! I thought it would be funny…” I did not find it funny. I got back into bed, turned toward the wall a bit embarrassed and said, “That’s it – when you ask me I’m going to say no out of principle.” He laughed and I heard some rustling as he got into bed and he said, “Sonja…” Me, “What.” Him, “Sonja, will you marry me?” Me, “No. I told you I’d say no.” Him, “Can you at least look at me when you turn me down?” So I turned around prepared to mildly berate him and there he was with a big silly grin and a ring out and he asked me again. I proceeded to attack him with kisses and at one point he pulled away and said, “So…yes?”

    We are celebrating our ten year anniversary next month.

    • Liz says...

      THis is wonderful! “I told you I would say no.”
      What a fun story.

  76. Rebecca says...

    Such a great story and John and Alex sound like really fun people, kind of jealous they aren’t my friends. I’ve lived Degas’s little ballerina since I was a kid.

  77. Jane I. says...

    The proposal – So cute, so sweet, timeless, classic, yes!! But can we talk about that RING, honey?! Gorg!!

  78. Clara C McClenon says...

    So adorable! <3

  79. Hilary says...

    This is the cutest ever. That ring is killer, but what really got me were the matching kicks!

    Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness where you move inevitably toward some solid golden years riding a tandem bicycle and wearing matching sweat suits. I feel like you guys are on the right path.

  80. Ramya says...

    This is so adorable! Thanks for bringing a big smile to my afternoon and congratulations to the happy couple!

  81. Erica says...

    Omg, I’m crying.

  82. Cat says...

    I am legitimately crying. This is so sweet!

  83. harley says...

    what an incredibly special moment! well done, john!

    my husband’s proposal is one of my favorite stories. to set the scene…
    1. we spent every saturday morning in fall 2015 bringing our pup to the beach. it’s the off season, so we were almost always there by ourselves.
    2. a few weeks prior to the day mike planned to propose, the house of my dreams sold — we weren’t ready to buy a house yet, but i was gutted.
    3. for months i accidentally caught 11:11 every single day, and so for a while, i was wishing that we’d be able to buy said house.
    4. mike had had my great-grandmother’s engagement ring for months and decided that he’d propose one saturday in november at the beach at 11:11.

    so. the week mike plans to propose is here. and turns out i tried to mess with his planning many times. first, i made an appointment for our pup at the vet at 9:30am for *the* saturday, and the vet is an hour away from the beach. mike did a great job not panicking. we end up getting to the beach a bit before 11am. we head down and as soon as my pup and i are on the sand, mike said he had to run back to the car for his phone. (note: the man never has his phone on him but for some reason i didn’t find this strange.) he gets back, pup poops, so i pick it up and run it up to the garbage, at which point i see a cooler that looks *exactly* like ours, but i don’t say anything to mike when i get back.
    we’re walking along and next thing i know, mike tells me it’s 11:11 and that i should make a wish. i was a snob and responded that my house already sold so i had nothing left to wish for. he asked me if i was sure and when i turned around he was on his knee with my great-grandmother’s ring.
    i immediately asked if he was sure, and after he said he was i started sobbing and we kissed and our pup came over to join in the love puddle.
    turns out the cooler i saw was ours, and it had a bottle of champagne and two glasses (and a treat for our pup). it’s what mike was actually getting when he went back for his phone.
    we celebrated our engagement on our favorite beach on a beautiful fall morning. it was perfect.

    mike is one of the most thoughtful humans i’ve ever known and i’m lucky he’s my husband.

  84. Jo says...

    Ok, pumped to see the ring but now I want to know the story of the OTHER ring on her hand. All I can read is “YOUR GUTS” and my mind is spinning. I hate your guts? I love your guts? Trust your gut(s)? Misspelling of yogurt for the yogurt enthusiast in your life?

    • Sonja says...

      I agree, crucial details have been left out. Though…I’d hate to find out it’s anything but a yogurt related saying.

    • Florencia says...

      oh my god, “yogurt enthusiast in your life” made me laugh out loud. I love Cup of Jo peeps! Thanks for the laugh :)

  85. Becca says...

    Oh that ring is lovely but am I the only one who turned their computer screen upside down to read what the OTHER ring on her other finger said? And I *think* it says trust your guts? How rad!

  86. Nerissa says...

    this is too sweet! My parents got “engaged” in the funniest way- they were on vacation, walking around Napa, and without my mom knowing, my Dad’s sisters and mom was there. Apparently this stressed my Dad out so much that he gave up on trying to plan anything (he’s also on the autistic spectrum) so on their walk, he just took my mom into a jewelry store and walked over to the engagement rings. He looks at my mom, and says: pick one. My mom is confused, and asks him why, and he just responds matter of factly that “we’re getting married.”
    The story never fails to make me laugh, much to my Dad’s embarrassment. My mom always teases my dad that she never got a romantic proposal that everyone else had.

    • Em says...

      This is so similar to my parents’ story! My dad called my mom and asked if she wanted to stop by a jewelry store on the way to visit her mom. My mom asked, “Are you proposing?” and he said confirmed that he was. After 8 years together, he was terrified that she would say no! 35 years later, they’re still happy as can be and we still tease him all the time. My partner always jokes that he needs to one-up my dad by: 1) waiting at least 8 years to propose to the love of his life (fast-approaching 8 years) and 2) to do so over a text, post-it note or something weird and trivial… We both have a sense of humor and find the idea hilarious!!

    • NM says...

      Omg both of these comments made me laugh.

  87. Sam says...

    This is SUCH a sweet story! Congratulations to the newly engaged couple!!!

    My proposal story was sweet and silly. My then-boyfriend and I had quietly done all the wedding-planning over a year before because he was deploying– the date was set, the church was booked, the reception was booked, most of our vendors were booked– all without our families knowing so we could plan the wedding we wanted. I *highly* recommend this plan if action if you are blessed to come from an overly involved (because they care and love us, haha!) family. Him proposing was the only thing waiting for us to share the good news!!!

    A week after he gets back, still no ring and I am getting so antsy. He surprised me one night in our own living room before his parents (his mom sweetly took pictures) by asking me to go to dinner not as his girlfriend but as his fiancé. ❤️ We then called EVERYONE and immediately told them to save the date!!!

  88. Alex says...

    What a fun couple, Congrats!- I wish we still lived in New York and I could hang out by the ballerinas waiting for them to show up again and be-friend them.

    My husband proposed to me in our bed, on my birthday after he had hired a private chef to make us dinner and a cello player(!) to play for us. His rouse was that it was all for my birthday. After we’d gotten it on, I started to get teary eyed because it was all so romantic. He goes, “wait are you crying??” And I said “yea, this is the most romantic night of my life.” And he goes- “You’re crying! Yes!!!! This is perfect!!” pulls out the ring from his bedside table and asks, “will you marry me?”. I said yes.

    Side note – we befriended the cello player and he played at our wedding and at the baby shower for our first born.

  89. Emily says...

    I totally relate to her showering comment! My husband proposed to me after I had been out on a construction site for 10 hours and was gross and in dirty work pants and a hoodie. Meanwhile he was in a shirt and tie, also coming straight from work. I was mortified when we went for dinner afterwards! There are no engagement photos of us for this reason LOL

  90. katie says...

    I love a good happy moment story and this one brought tears. Congrats!!

    About 10 months after dating my now husband, I was in Charleston for a bachelorette weekend. My cousin and I were checking out all of the houses and I saw a beautiful one with a second story balcony. Later that evening, I sent a pic of it to now husband and said “this is where I want to get married.” He swears it said “this is where we’re getting married.” That’s the day I proposed.

    Fast forward six months and we’re in Napa. After a long day of wine tasting, we feast on pizza and beer. He asks “did you think I was going to propose on this trip?” I respond with a “yeah, sort of.”

    Three weeks later we’re headed to a gala at the Museum of Science and Industry. I arrive at his place in my black lace dress and magenta pumps. On the table is a bottle of champagne and a box. He proposes with diamond earrings, which is what I wanted over a ring. I, of course, said yes. That’s the day he proposed.

    In all honesty, I knew by the second date I wanted to spend my life with him.

  91. Wink says...

    Best wishes to Alex and John! Love the proposal, the Degas, the sapphire, the Stan Smiths! My husband and I just celebrated our 18th anniversary. We got engaged on City Island (Bronx, NYC), at a little French inn where I’d reserved a room for my husband’s 30th birthday, having no idea he would propose to me after dinner with a lovely Art Deco ring! It was like a gift for us both. At the time, we lived on the upper-UWS, and the island felt like a mini-get away. Ah, NYC…

    • Sarah says...

      Aww City Island! My husband is from the Bronx and we had a few wonderful years in NYC- I loved heading out to City Island!

  92. tamara says...

    Thank you what a perfect way to ruin my mascara! THIS is the good stuff! Congrats to the happy couple with the gorgeous ring and thanks for making me smile! Cheers to romance and everlasting love! F*ck Covid and the horse it rode in on too! Mazel Tov!

  93. Rue says...

    Ugh, I love a good proposal story! We’re also a pandemic engagement, and I’m sure everyone finds their engagement to be a wild ride, but the extra pandemic layers really made it intense for us!

    We were somewhere between “talk about it” and “proposal.” After months of discussing it, we had a conversation in August at the end of a work-from-home workday about engagement, where my partner said, “Are you ready to do this?!” And I said, “Yes! Are *you* ready to do this?” I proposed a few weeks later with a spread of takeout Italian from our friend’s neighborhood restaurant and an engagement watch my partner had picked out but didn’t know had shipped yet.

    Once we were engaged, we worked together with a jeweler to custom design an incredible ring. It made the ring process feel celebratory and special since we were already engaged and getting to revel in it by designing a ring. It also took a long time to commission custom work during a pandemic, but it was 1000% worth it.

    There was an amazing moment when the Fedex box with the actual ring finally finally arrived but I was in the middle of a meeting and my partner was in his (not home) office. I sat with the Fedex box on my dining table next to my laptop while trying to subtly but frantically text my partner and best friends that THE RING was actually here. (I mean, everyone was already on high alert that it would be delivered that day, but you know, delivery windows and all.) Everyone over text was like OMFG GET OFF THE CALL AND OPEN THE BOX. I eventually told my department I had to leave ten minutes early to prep for another meeting (suuuuuure) and tore open the Fedex box, then did a slow unboxing of the actual ring with step by step photos for my partner. He texted “will you marry me?” as I slipped on the ring. I had already talked with him the day before about whether I should open the package when it arrived or wait til he got home from work, and he was like, “oh that’s your choice sweetie!” and I was like, “good because I absolutely could not wait that long.” Also, dear reader, it is the most perfect ring for me imaginable.

    My therapist says that our “actual engagement” was the “are you ready to do this?!” conversation, and I couldn’t agree more. I also love that like the story in the post, all engagements are really a string of beautiful and meaningful moments, not *just* one question.

    • Sadie says...

      The only unboxing we need.

  94. Jess says...

    So I know about this sweet proposal because for some reason I’ve followed John on instagram for several years now! I have no idea how or why? From you, Jo? Somewhere else? So strange… Anyway, the cookies are also delicious (of course I’ve ordered them) and these extra pics are adorable. Congrats to the happy couple!

  95. Agnès says...

    In France we don’t really have that tradition anymore (Maybe some other french readers wouldn’t agree?), I can’t think of a single married friend who proposed. So, I find it refreshing to read that story; romanticsm is not dead! The matching shoes are adorable.

    • Madame says...

      Haha Agnes, I have a really lovely engagement story with my (French)husband! It was so romantic and utterly silly. Wonderful picnic after a super romantic weekend getaway complete with an engagement ring made of tiny meadow daisies! He asked me to come with him to Venice in a weeks time to seal the deal! Oh my gosh it makes me swoon remembering 15 years later😍

  96. Rachel* says...

    Happy Engagement John and Alex! I’ve followed John on social media since he was at Lucky Magazine and in the “Sh*t Oscar PRGirl Says” video (a 2012 classic!) and saw these pics when he posted them. It’s fun to read the behind-the-scenes details. Also, everyone looking for the ring, if you click through on Laurel Pantin’s name in the story, maybe there’s a sapphire ring on her Instagram.

  97. SP says...

    OMG, I also got engaged at the Met! We used to live on 72nd and 2nd, and would walk there all the time, and I love this painting of Gerard de Lairesse by Rembrandt- something about his gaze, and his saddle nose. We had moved to Boston though, and my husband (Charlie) created this story about a welcome to NYC party for a friend of his, complete with a fake e-vite (which I didn’t even glance at). I also didn’t really question meeting people at the Met rooftop for drinks first, even though that makes very little sense! But we get to NYC, get to the Met and immediately go to the bathroom, and when I walk out, Charlie is gone and a random person says my name and reaches out with an envelope. I sort of just stare at him, and his friend says “Trust me, you want this” and the guy just says “Charlie.”

    So I take it, and it is a series of letters with instructions to stand in front of specific piece of arts and read the corresponding letter…highlighting all our favorite pieces, and culminating in his quiet (standing), secret proposal in front of Gerard. Wish we had a Hunter! A passerby took a pretty badly lit photo of us (every one of the handful of photos is pretty terrible). We then went to the roof and had potato chips from a bag and champagne.

    However, due to my getting lost a million times, we missed our dinner reservation at Cosme and so went to our old spot, Pisticci’s. Apparently Charlie was just kind of standing around waiting for a couple hours trying to not look too sketchy. This was in 2019, and we ended up eloping last November in Joshua Tree, which was also the best…

    • William says...

      That Rembrandt is my favorite painting too!

  98. Taylor says...

    Maybe three months after my husband and I started dating we went to the holiday lights display at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in VA near DC and I made an offhand comment about how it’s the perfect proposal place. Fast forward a year and we make a plan to go back—I 10000% knew he was going to propose there. Not only did he take me to dinner beforehand at the restaurant where we had our first real date, but we also ubered so we could both imbibe and relax. The entire Uber ride he is SILENT, every time I try to bring up a topic he’s like “yep, uh huh” and at a certain point in the Uber I’m like “angel, it’s okay, you’re gonna do great” and he’s like “idk what you’re talking about!!” Five minutes into walking the path he proposes, was so nervous he couldn’t make the whole walk. I like him so much.

    • Stacey says...

      “Angel, it’s okay, you’re gonna do great” just melted my heart…

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Aha love that Uber moment

  99. Jess. says...

    That picture of them down on the floor together. The sweetest. I want to see Hunter’s rainbow hair! I want to see the ring! I feel like we need a part 2, once we’re down off Cloud 9. xoxoxxx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww haha I added a photo of the ring to the post, so it should appear soon (it takes a second to update/populate).

    • Peggy says...

      I also wanted to see Hunter’s rainbow hair!!

  100. Megan S. says...

    I love this story soo much! Congratulations! BUT…WHERE IS THE PICTURE OF THE RING????

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      just added!

  101. Nicole A. says...

    What a memorable proposal! Who doesn’t love a good Degas? Congrats to them both! What a lovely engagement ring- sapphire!

  102. N says...

    Ours was both a conversation and a moment, which I really liked – the conversation, so we both felt like we had equal say on timing, roughly, and had come to the decision jointly, and the moment within the window of time (like, a year) we’d agreed on, so that there was that nice element of surprise and a specific celebration.

    We met way back in college and didn’t get engaged till ~7 years later. My husband’s original plan was to take me to the High Line, where he’d attempted to take me on our first date, but it hadn’t worked out because we got there too late. That plan didn’t work out for a few reasons, and so he proposed instead on a vacation in India, where my family is from, and which had become really meaningful to us in more recent years (we moved there a few years later!). While the High Line plan was incredibly sweet, and I’m sure I would have loved it had it played out that way, I’m really glad it didn’t, because we were such different people at the start of our relationship (albeit very happy ones!). The real location felt much more true to our relationship as it was by then, with all that we’d gone through together, instead of an homage to the kooky, innocent kids we’d once been, and it felt right to enter this next, big phase of our lives together in that way, rather than reenacting our past.

  103. Allison says...

    I loved this story and totally relate to Alex!

    On the night my now husband proposed, I thought that I was going to dinner with my girlfriends. When I walked into the restaurant and saw him sitting there, shocked that he wasn’t at his home two hours away like he had just told me on the phone, the first thing I said was, “I should have washed my hair today.” It’s become one of our favorite fun memories from that night spent sharing dinner at our first date restaurant and then celebrating with friends.

    • Cooper says...

      Haha, I totally related to that part, too. My husband came over to my house (roommates let him in), made breakfast, and then woke me up AT 7A.M. ON A SATURDAY to propose. I was literally wearing pajama shorts FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL and an old T-shirt from college. He was just too excited and didn’t want to spend the day all hyped up with anticipation :)

  104. Audrey says...

    The matching Stan Smiths kill me 💔

  105. Julie says...

    Adorable! Congrats to the couple.

    My husband and I had been together 2 1/2 years and living together for one and had recently started discussing marriage. One morning I was running around the living room looking for change for the bus and checked his suit jacket pocket-instead of change I felt a square box! I screamed like it was fire and ran out of the house so I wouldn’t peek. A few weeks later we got on the plane to head to the Bahamas, our first international trip together, and he wouldn’t let go of his bag, not even to put in the overhead compartment, and carried it with him when we got to the resort. He was VERY stealthy. Once we were situated in our room and had wandered around and gotten drinks, he said “Oh look, it’s sunset! Want to walk on the beach?” I was laughing in my head, he was so cute and so very obvious. Once we were on the beach I felt him fumbling in his pocket. One hundred emotions and thoughts ran through me: elation, happiness, terror, asking myself “this is what you want, right? You want HIM and not the thought of being married, right?” And he proposed. Some older ladies doing a beach power walk started cheering, it was adorable. We’ve been married almost 9 years. He’s the best guy I know.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “Some older ladies doing a beach power walk started cheering” — I love this!

    • harley says...

      ha! incredible. but how did he respond to knowing you knew what was happening?? i imagine he must have been a real sweetheart about it. :)

    • Julie says...

      We laughed about how obvious he was, and I fessed up to finding the box later that night over drinks. :) He thought the image of me yelling and running out the door was hilarious.

  106. cg says...

    Congratulations! What a beautiful proposal, and lovely couple… but, no picture of the gorgeous ring?

  107. Katie says...

    I definitely imagined this interview happening with them on the couch from When Harry Met Sally 😂

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwwwwww

  108. Irina says...

    Not a typical engagement story here. My then-fiance and I were in a long-distance relationship, living in different countries. Shortly after we first met, we realized that we had very strong feelings for each other and wanted to be together. A few months after we met abroad, he applied for a tourist visa to come visit me in the US, but was denied after the consular officer found out that we were in a relationship. In fact, it was the consular officer who told him that the marriage route was the only way he could ever hope to come to the US. So we kind of had no choice after that ;)

    I suppose we could consider the day that my now-husband told me about what went down at the consulate as our engagement day, since that was the first time the word “marriage” crossed his lips or mine… except neither of us remembers the exact date. It was such a whirlwind of emotions, travel itineraries, and plans for the future.

  109. K says...

    My husband also proposed at the Met (the American Wing) and had a friend secretly photograph it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      no way!!!! that’s so cute.

  110. Hannah says...

    Ok but where is the ring photo????

    Love this sweet proposal, but I am very invested in seeing the ring!

  111. Maggie says...

    This is just the story I needed today! Congratulations!

  112. Diana K. says...

    For those looking for a ring pic, you can see it on the jeweler’s instagram @millieandnoahjewelry it’s the only sapphire ring in the first few photos.

  113. Naomi says...

    We need a picture of the ring!
    I love this story. With Covid it feels like so many life events have been stalled and it is so refreshing to hear about this proposal.

  114. Cat says...

    Wow, reading this was so interesting to me (in a good way). I’m going to give credit to the writing and storytelling style of this post for that, although these two people also seem amazing!

    I am married but we “talked about it” and did not go through proposal/ring/engagement (I’ve removed the “just” from “just talked about it” because the way we went about our journey to marriage wasn’t any less special than the traditional/most common approach…at least to me).

    Anyway, reading this recap of John’s thoughts and feelings and process of designing the perfect ring and setting up the proposal and Alex’s reaction to learning about how he planned everything and the actual experience was so lovely! I didn’t want any of those things and am very happy with my own experience but I still had major happy feelings when I read about theirs, which I think speaks to the universal power of human love :)

    PS – not a ring person but I also want to see this ring!

    • Sage says...

      Agreed, Cat :) We didn’t do a proposal, were “engaged” for all of 3 months, and we didn’t have a wedding (we had a small reception after privately tying the knot, with like 10 people in my dad’s backyard), and I absolutely loved everything about our journey to marriage. But I still enjoyed reading this, even though it wouldn’t personally be my jam. Yay love! <3

  115. Chelsey says...

    We need a ring pic!

    I think I ruined my own proposal. I was so awkward about it (we had previously discussed things and I knew it was coming) but I was so nervous about making a scene that I scared my partner off I think. Now 11 years later we wonder what he would have done if I hadn’t been so shy about it/made so many “don’t you dare speeches”.

    This is the cutest proposal ever!

  116. Maggie says...

    What a joyful story! “Hunter being dressed like a demon was keeping people out of the gallery!” made me laugh out loud at my desk. Thank you for sharing :)

  117. Anna says...

    Ring!

  118. Karen says...

    Love their matching sneaks! 😊

    No proposal here. We just talked about it one day while we were out and then we went and got a ring that day. I plopped it on my finger and the jeweler looked at me and her empty ring box and told me, “you should let him put it on you”. Oh.
    I put the ring back in the box and when we got to the car, he put it on my finger only because the jeweler said to. It was a very funny, no-fuss event.

  119. Amanda says...

    We lived near Washington, DC and my now-husband wanted to propose to me on a nighttime walk around the monuments, after we had been out at happy hour. Except it was April, which is still pretty cold at night in DC, so I wasn’t into the idea and just wanted to head home. He tries to call in uberblack for us to go home, but secretly route it to the monuments. Except I see the $30 price over his shoulder and become adamant we should take the metro home (always thrifty!). On the way home, I get a hankering for McDonald’s, so we hop out a stop early to get McDonald’s. As we leave the McDonald’s, Mcflurry in hand, my husband dropped to one knee and proposed! He was so determined to propose that night that he wouldn’t let anything deter him!

  120. Jennie says...

    Is anyone else crying? I LOVE that they are wearing the same shoes. If it was the same shirt or coat – that would have been too much. But the same shoes? Perfection; especially with the angle of the shots.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww, that’s such a sweet thing to notice.

    • Anna says...

      My husband and I both happened to be wearing plaid flannel shirts when we got engaged. He had a friend secretly take photos and I love/hate them because it was a happy moment but looks ridiculous. So yes, matching shoes=cute, matching shirts=not cute. When I got home from the hike where we got engaged I changed so we could take a (not matching) picture to send our families.

    • betsy says...

      OMG…It’s the first thing I noticed! So fun!

    • Kate says...

      Oh yeah, this TOTALLY made me tear up. And I’m normally kind of a grinch about this stuff! What a lovely story. I laughed out loud at the part with the grim reaper.

    • Alex says...

      I noticed this too! Everyone in my family owns a pair of sambas and when I’m feeling really sentimental I request a “samba family outing” and it makes me so happy.

  121. Kelly says...

    The matching Stan Smiths ❤️❤️❤️

  122. Laura B says...

    I love this! What a sweet, thoughtful proposal. Also – love her surprised eyebrows!!!

    My fiancé proposed at Burning Man! I had zero idea of what was happening – I thought we were taking a photo together and next thing I knew, he was on one knee at sunset in front of the LOVE statue. After 16 (!!!!) years and one pandemic postponement, we are SO excited to do the damn thing this August!!!

    • K says...

      Ahhh congratulations! What a magical spot for it. My husband came back from his first Burn with marriage on the mind, sat on it for a month to make sure it was still what he wanted in the default world, and then when I got home from work on a random Monday night, he met me with a glass of wine and asked if I was happy with how things were going, because he sure was, and if I was too, then maybe we should get married. I chugged my glass of wine, took a deep breath, and gave a whole-hearted YES! Though I did have to check a few minutes later on whether we had in fact just gotten engaged (he was like, yeah! I mean, I had to talk with you about it!), big decisions with this man have always been shockingly straightforward, and I’m so grateful for it <3

  123. Virginia says...

    My partner and I had been dating for five years (and living together for 3) when we got engaged. We had talked about getting married at various times and both knew that we wanted to marry each other but he wasn’t ready to take the next step. The weekend before my 30th birthday, we took a mini-getaway. We were on this beautiful ferry ride and he spent the whole time holding me close and making meaningful eye contact. He clearly had something going on. Long, fancy dinner, relaxing hotel room, he is showering me with intense eye contact. As we were falling asleep, I kind of flippantly say that we should just get married and he whispers, “Yes.” All day he had been trying to work up the courage to propose in a fancy way! I love that I had to get the job done for us.

    • Clara C McClenon says...

      That’s so sweet <3

  124. Erin says...

    I love this. So sweet. Congrats, John and Alex!

  125. meg says...

    ummm. picture of the ring please?

    • Meg says...

      thank you so much for the picture and, of course, for the lovely story. i have been smiling all day along with the rest of you. Love is such a sweet surprise. xxxx.

  126. Paula D. Salinger says...

    Congratulations! So sweet. I really want to see the ring!

  127. Samantha H says...

    HOW is there not a picture of the ring included here? Details are important!!

  128. Bridget says...

    That’s a beautiful story. Am I the only one that wants to see the ring? It sounds so unique and beautiful!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I added it to the post :)

  129. Brett says...

    We clearly need to see this ring!

  130. Vicki says...

    So sweet! I may be crying
    But what about RING PICS?!! I’m dying to see what it looks like

  131. Tricia says...

    This is the one of the best proposal stories I have ever read, thank you for the lunchtime laughs. I kept picturing Hunter as Orin from Parks and Rec. Congratulations to Alex and John!

    • Vero says...

      HAHAHA Orin… yes. That’s perfect. I love when Andy and April get married and Leslie sees Orin at the wedding.

  132. Les says...

    Wait this isn’t fair, we need to see the ring!! Why am I crying right now?!

  133. Erica says...

    OMG HAPPY TEARS – Congratulations you two!! May your marriage be filled with joy and patience and laughter and all the beautiful things! <3

  134. Alli says...

    Well, now I’m crying in my living room at 9:15 on a Thursday morning. What a joyful story! Congrats to Alex and John, and thanks for sharing your love with us!

  135. Jo says...

    Proposal aside, these two just sound like a freaking blast. What a delightful couple!

    I also had zero idea what was happening when my husband proposed (we were backpacking and he put the ring in a little box of fishing lures and asked me to pick one out, and when I found the ring and looked up he was down on one knee *swoon*). The decision to get married/partnered comes in all shapes and sizes and I can definitely understand why a couple might not want to do the dance of a traditional proposal, but as the one who had always felt more like the pursuer in the relationship, it was important to me to feel pursued in this grand way. The flood of emotions I felt was so great, and eight years later I still randomly bring up that my husband totally nailed it when he proposed.

  136. Lindsay says...

    I’m pretty sure we need to see this ring better. And was his mom just like “yeah sure, here’s my sapphire, you can have it”?

    • Kelsey says...

      Yeah I’m like ‘hunter! Can we see the ring????!!!’

  137. Sara B says...

    The eyebrows above the mask when she first realizes what’s happening. So rad to have that moment captured. Congrats and happy life!!!

  138. LindyO says...

    Adorable! Thanks for sharing your thoughtful engagement. Love the story, the ring, and the matching Stan Smiths.
    It’s a trifecta. Wishing you a lifetime of love, friendship, and ballerinas.

    • LindyO says...

      I just zoomed in for the ring.

  139. Jill says...

    to not show us the ring is just cruel

    • Krista says...

      Hard agree!!!

  140. Susan says...

    I just got engaged & it was the most lovely surprise! My fiancé took me to the shore of Lake Michigan — where we first met, and he popped the question!

  141. Alexia says...

    Omg they have the same sneakers on! the sweetness of it all!

  142. Yael says...

    Loving this story!!
    Is it possible to get a close up photo of the ring – pretty please?? There was so much buildup around it, I’m so curious!