Happy Proposal Day from Sanibel Island

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By Shelly Sanders

The proposal. It is the moment that connects the “first comes love” and “then comes marriage” lines of the popular children’s refrain K-I-S-S-I-N-G, a taunting song heard on playgrounds for decades. Arguably, almost everyone who has ever been a part of a marriage proposal has experienced the complex mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to fear to ecstacy and finally relief (when the proposee says “Yes”).

Ever since De Beers discovered diamonds and Tiffany and Co. introduced their six-pronged setting in the late 19th century, the emphasis on the proposal has become more and more important. In today’s culture, couples continue to up the ante, composing bigger and more creative productions to ask the question: “Will you marry me?”

Thanks to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”, there is now the perfect song to choreograph your proposal to.

Just check out this impressive group, who helped their friend propose to his girlfriend with the assistance of “Marry You”:

*Warning: It’s a tearjerker.

My own proposal experience was not as elaborate but no less special. It was the fall of 1999 and Joshua and I had planned a trip to Sanibel to celebrate both of our birthdays (his September 30 and mine October 12). It was going to be the first time I would be able to share this amazing island with him. Leading up to our arrival, he kept telling me how excited he was for the trip and to be able to see Sundial Resort,  the place I spent so many summers growing up, but he seemed quite nervous.

Once we arrived, we checked in and headed to our room to get settled in for our long weekend. I was just finishing unpacking when Joshua came out of the bathroom in a tizzy.

“I can’t do it!” he said exasperatedly, throwing his hands in the air.

“Okay. Can’t do what?” I asked nervously.

“I can’t wait any longer. I feel like I’m going to explode!” he responded. Then he shoved his hand in his pocket, dropped to his knee, pulled out a small velvet box, opened it and said, “Just say yes. Okay?”

I started laughing and crying at the same time. Of course I said yes. Then we both went down to the pool bar to have a drink and calm our nerves before we had to start dialing up relatives and letting our families know.

Just thinking about that moment always brings a smile to my face. Was it the most perfect, best-planned or biggest surprise proposal ever? No, but it was ours and that made it just right.

I wish you all a happy Proposal Day and hope you have had or will have your own special engagement story.

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