Relationships

One-of-a-kind marriage proposals that worked

©iStockphoto.com/Yuri Arcurs Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/Yuri Arcurs

Relationships

One-of-a-kind marriage proposals that worked

The best marriage proposals are personal and meaningful, reflect a couple's personality and relationship, and offer an element of surprise. The time and place are very important elements -- and there is a lot more to a proposal than the ring.

Deciding that you want to spend the rest of your lives together is one thing, but the official story of your proposal will likely be told over and over again to family members, friends, colleagues and admiring strangers. In order to make this gesture as unforgettable and as one of a kind as your love is, we compiled a list of three unique proposal ideas.

1. Fresh-baked proposal
Sweets are not just for the wedding ceremony anymore. How about incorporating some sugary baked sweetness into your proposal? Request a box of six cupcakes and have each cupcake decorated or stamped with the message "Will" -- "You" -- "Marry" -- "Me" -- "?" -- and leave the final space for a ring box. Or you can even request a single cupcake with that princess-cut white-gold sparkler as the centrepiece.

"People absolutely love it because cupcakes have become such a trend right now," says Janet Somers, a baker at The Flour Shoppe in Ottawa. "Someone actually proposed in our store recently. They also had their first date here, so it was really special -- a perfect moment."

Tip: Any bakery or cupcake shop will personalize cupcakes for you if you order them in advance. If you're looking for the most romantic flavours, try chocolate, red velvet or whatever flavour you know your significant other loves the best.

2. Book of love
What better time to fill a scrapbook with photographs and mementos than when you're reflecting on your relationship and contemplating a future full of memories yet to be made?

No doubt you've collected a few special notes, birthday or Valentine's Day cards and other souvenirs of your time together throughout your relationship that could be included as well. Fasten the ring to the last page of the scrapbook, but leave it otherwise blank. That way you'll have the perfect spot for your new engagement photo to complete the journey and you can begin a new album after the wedding.

Page 1 of 2 -- Is your partner a fan of puzzles or board games? Find one marriage proposal idea to put you in the winning books on page 2

"I was amazed at how many photos we actually had," says Andrew M., who was recently engaged in Ottawa and created a scrapbook as part of his proposal. "I was easily able to fill an album, then I added ticket stubs I'd saved from concerts we'd been to and bits of colourful maps and images of the places we'd been together. I gave it to her on the anniversary of our first date. When she got to the end I asked her to marry me so we could fill even more albums with new adventures together. She said yes."

Tip: Try Michaels arts and crafts stores (www.michaels.com) for reasonably priced, eye-catching scrapbooks.

3. Piece of my heart

If the two of you are ferocious board game players -- or simply delight in reliving childhood fun -- a custom puzzle is a personal, memorable way to ask for anyone's hand in marriage.

"My wife and I met at a friend's games night several years ago, so when I was thinking about proposing I knew I wanted to incorporate that element of games somehow," says Bryan B. from Toronto, who has been married for two years.

"I asked a friend to take a picture of me holding a sign that said ‘Marry Me,' which I sent away to be made into a puzzle. When it arrived, I told my wife that I had received it as a gift and suggested we work on it together -- without looking at the cover -- as a fun challenge. As she put the last piece in place I got down on one knee with the ring. She was totally surprised! We framed the puzzle afterward. It's a fun keepsake."

Tip: We recommend a 12- to 24-piece puzzle. You don't want your beloved getting frustrated before you get to the big finale. Gone to Pieces Puzzles is a Canadian company specializing in custom bespoke jigsaw puzzles.

Whether your own proposal happens after a workout when your hair is a mess and you could really use a shower or during a gorgeous sunset after a delicious meal, the most memorable proposals are the ones that come from the heart and reflect the relationship of the two people involved.

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One-of-a-kind marriage proposals that worked

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