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It's World Proposal Day! The 7 Best Proposals in Movies

Boys, listen up! This week celebrates World Proposal Day on March 20th. I hadn’t heard of this before, but apparently it was created by John Michael O’Loughlin of Irving, Texas, as a day dedicated to men bending down on one knee and proposing.

The date was chosen due to the alleged effects on hormones to “spring awakening.” It falls on the vernal equinox and is symbolic of the equal forces that are required to make a marriage work. So basically, spring has spah-rung — make haste, boys!

Over the years I have heard many, many romantic proposal stories: The words “Marry Me” written in the sand on a beach, as the groom stood holding a ring box; another friend had a jigsaw puzzle made of a photo of the couple, but at the top it had “Will you marry me?” written; a summer picnic where the guy offered his girlfriend a platter of strawberries — the ring was planted at the top of one. Ahhhh. How romantic.

My own proposal? Less so. My boyfriend had come home late fr0m work at 2 AM. I’d just gotten into bed and left him a note on the stairs. In it I’d made a joke about getting married the following year during Halloween (a plan I had long entertained). When he entered the bedroom, we started talking about a friend who had split up with his girlfriend and how lucky we were to have each other. My boyfriend looked up at the ceiling and then said, “I’m never going to meet someone as great as you. Will you marry me?” I said, “Are you serious?” then, “Yes!” I called my mom — even at the early hour — so he couldn’t take it back! Then I made my now-fiancé wear the Shrek ears I had just brought him back from Florida, as the whole situation felt too serious. He went on to watch sports on TV, and I fell into a happy sleep. Did that story bring a tear to your eye? Thought not!

I feel for you guys, having to do the whole proposal thing. Too much and isn’t it a bit of a cliche? Not enough and well, won’t she be disappointed? According to my husband, I proposed about 31 times before he actually did — which may well be true. I knew he was “the one,” and I wanted to plan a fabulous day. It was like, “Get on with it!”

So, if you need some inspiration on how to make the whole thing go without a hitch — take a look at the slideshow below where I look at the best proposals in movies — ever.

  • Carrie and Big | Sex and the City 1 of 7
    big proposal

    Ahhhh, the wedding that never was. Who can forget Carrie in that flouncy Vivienne Westwood gown with a bird in her hair? The wedding seemed doomed from the start. Then months later, Carrie discovered Big had been sending her a whole bunch of romantic emails, just as she had to race to their apartment before it was sold to rescue her Manolo shoes. Waiting there was Big, and they did some serious kissing. Then, holding her shoe in true Cinderella fashion, Big seals the deal. Cue gasps in the audience. The proposal, which was somewhat practical at the start of the movie, had transformed into something über romantic! 

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Jamie and Aurélia | Love Actually 2 of 7
    love colin

    Having discovered his girlfriend has been cheating on him with his own brother, Jamie disappeared to a French cottage to mend his broken heart. There, he meets his Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia who speaks only her native tongue. Returning to England, Jamie realizes he is in love with Aurélia and rushes back to France to find her. He ends up in France with half the village following him to a restaurant where she is waitressing. In front of the assembled crowd, in pretty poor Portuguese, he proposes. Having learnt English, she replies, "Yes." They kiss, we swoon. If only all proposals could be in a candlelit French village with the world watching.

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Robbie and Julia | The Wedding Singer 3 of 7
    wedding singer new

    Robbie is a wedding singer who had his heart split wide-open when he was cruelly dumped by his fiancée Linda at the alter. It makes performing at other weddings somewhat challenging, until Julia shows up. The kindness she shows him turns to friendship and eventually love. The problem? Julia's engaged to the philandering Glenn and thinks Robbie didn't want her. She dashes off to Vegas to get hitched. Robbie follows her and finds himself on her very same flight. After a pep talk from Billy Idol (playing himself), Robbie goes on the loudspeaker and sings "Grow Old with You." He sings:

    "I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad, I'll even let you hold the remote control, so let me do the dishes in the kitchen sink, put you to bed when you've had too much to drink, oh I could be the man to grow old with you. I wanna grow old with you."

    Cue lots of kissing and love and Glenn being shoved into the cabin bathrooms by Idol. What more do you need for a proposal than Billy Idol and a guitar? 

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Johnny and June | Walk the Line 4 of 7
    johnny cash new

    Such a love story, and so beautifully acted. June Carter and Johnny Cash felt a connection to each other from the moment they met, but both were married to other people. Once divorced, Cash sets his sights on wooing June, but his addictions compromise their relationship. Finally sober, he proposes but she turns him down. Later, on stage, he invites June to do a duet with him, saying:

    "You've got me all revved up. Now I've asked you 40 different ways, and it's time you come up with a fresh answer ... I'm asking you to marry me. I love you, June. Now I know I said and done a lotta things, that I hurt you, but I promise, I'll never do that again. I only want to take care of you. I will not leave you like that Dutch boy with your finger in the dam."

    Then he tells her that she is his best friend. She finally relents, they kiss, and the crowd cheers. My husband cannot watch this film without weeping. I defy you not to cry at this proposal. In a moment so publicly shared, it is oddly incredibly intimate. 

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Jake and Melanie | Sweet Home Alabama 5 of 7
    alabama

    So you might assume that the romantic proposal is the one at the start of the movie where Andrew proposes to Melanie in a Tiffany's store — the whole shop lit up like a Christmas tree. But for me, it is too over-the-top and flashy. No, the proposal that I love is Melanie asking her husband Jake to marry her ... again. (Yes, I know they are already technically married but they are about to be divorced.) Enter the scene on the beach, in the rain, where Melanie uses their childhood phrase of why she wants to marry him, "So I can kiss you anytime I want." I love this proposal because it proves that true romance isn't about money and status, but about the simplicity of love — the joy of a kiss. 

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Darcy and Elizabeth | Pride and Prejudice 6 of 7
    pride and prejudice

    Having been told by Darcy's aunt that she must renounce her feelings for Darcy, as he is betrothed to her daughter Anne, Elizabeth refuses. Unable to sleep, lovelorn Elizabeth walks the moors at dawn. Suddenly Darcy appears, having heard what his aunt had done. Taking her face in his hands, Darcy pleads:

    "If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

    Elizabeth and the entire cinema audience melt. She accepts his proposal — after all, with such passion from such a tempered man (who verges on cold throughout the entire fim), how could she refuse? 

    Photo credit: Twitter

  • Luke and Isabel | Stepmom 7 of 7
    stepmom

    The tearjerker that is the movie Stepmom also has moments of utter romance. Luke wakes up his girlfriend Isabel by handing her a ring box that she opens to reveal ... er ... a spool of thread. Luke then says:

    "When two people love each other, commit to each other, it has to be an act of will — a decision. You have to hang on to that decision and the choice to love each other even if it's only by a thread. I let that thread break once, this time I won't."

    He ties the string to her finger and unspools the thread as she speaks, only to slide a diamond ring down the thread and onto her finger. Now that ... that is a proposal. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

P.S. For those who are aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, fear not as the second equinox happens on September 23rd. One word of warning, it is still traditional to ask the father of the bride-to-be for her hand before popping the question!

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