POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 19, 2014
The question was written in the sand. It was asked under the big top and with bells on. There was a bended knee, followed by a "Will you marry me?" on an elevator ride and a proposal made on a hotel rooftop to a soundtrack of whirling propellers. There are many other memorable and creative ways to ask that age-old question. Here are some of the most interesting proposals submitted last year to the Vows pages of The New York Times:
Though Diana Al-Hadid and Jonathan Lott met briefly in 2006, they did not reconnect until August 2011, when she received an invitation from him for an architectural event at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
She accepted, telling him she would be there "with bells on."
Lott soon began playing on Al-Hadid's figurative promise, buying her a souvenir bell on trips he took. What she did not know was that each bell had been keyed to a specific note.
In October 2012 she took him to the neighborhood in Canton, Ohio, where she grew up. He had some of the bells from her collection and asked her to hang them in a certain order on a piece of wood. He then gave her one final bell, tuned to F-sharp, to complete a set of 18 notes.
With the last note in place, he played the bells to the tune of the "Wedding March" and asked her to marry him. They were married May 19.
In the summer of 2004, Emmania Rodriguez was waiting for a friend to arrive at a video arcade in Times Square when she noticed Henry Blum.
"He was playing 'Dance Dance Revolution,' my absolute favorite game," she said. "I thought he was impressive because he could play at a higher level than I could. And he was really cute."
She was 17; he was 16.
They soon embarked on a long relationship that entered a more challenging level in September 2012 in the basement of their home in Scarsdale, N.Y. Unknown to Rodriguez, Blum had acquired a "Dance Dance Revolution" arcade machine similar to the one he was playing the day he met her.
"I thought it was the most considerate and lovable thing he could have done," she said.
But he was just warming up. He was soon on one knee with a ring, asking, "Will you be my player two for life?" They were married May 25.
At 31, Virginia Wettlaufer learned she had breast cancer. She began treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, and in January 2013, during one of her final radiation sessions, nurses told her that she needed to go to an examination room to speak with her doctor. Once inside, Wettlaufer was greeted with a floor full of rose petals and the sight of Walter Tomenson III down on one knee.
"This place saved your life, and you are the love of my life," he said to her. "Will you marry me?"
She said yes, and they walked out of the radiation room to the cheers of an ecstatic nursing staff.
"The nurses joked that Dr. Love was here," she said. "I'm a pretty difficult person to surprise, but Walter pulled it off, and it couldn't have happened in a more wonderful place filled with so many wonderful and caring people." They were married Nov. 11.
On Nov. 29 at Big Apple Circus in Lincoln Center, in front of an audience of about 1,500, the ringmaster called on Victoria Kirby and Robert Busch as volunteers for a special activity.
He then handed his microphone to Busch, who promptly proposed, a surprise performance that created the ultimate circus atmosphere.
"The crowd went berserk," Kirby said. "It was very overwhelming, and I was shocked because Robert is a very private person, and proposing in front of that kind of crowd was the last thing I expected him to do." They have not set a wedding date.
Vincent M. Mallozzi, New York Times