5 Sweet Love Stories From Local Couples

Five couples share the romantic stories that led them to "I do."
by Nicoletta richardson
  1. Erica & John

    Rachel May Photography

    Washington, DC

    During their vacation in Argentina, John surprised Erica with a trip to see the vineyards for her birthday. The next morning, Erica heard traditional Argentinian music and an old car horn outside the inn. "I saw a small circle of people gawking at an old model convertible," Erica says. "Still forcing myself to believe that this was all just for my birthday, we got in the car and were whisked away to the famous Nieto Senetiner vineyard." Once Erica and John arrived, they went on a horseback ride guided by a guacho (an Argentinian cowboy) along the foot of the Andes Mountains. They rode for some time before John got Erica off her horse for the ultimate surprise. "We walked down a path and came to a tree, where a picnic, book and champagne bottle was set up," Erica says. "John opened the book, and inside was a gorgeous ring. He asked me to marry him and I, of course, said 'yes.' " The ring: Washington Diamond

  2. Amanda & Mike

    Ken Pak Photography

    Washington, DC

    Once Mike finally had Amanda's engagement ring in his possession, he jumped at the first opportunity to propose. One evening, while they went for a walk at sunset, Amanda ran ahead to a nearby hill. "I thought to myself, 'This is the moment I'm going to ask my future wife to marry me,' " Mike says. As he reached the top of the hill to meet her, he got down on one knee and proposed. "It was a surreal, blessed moment," Amanda says. "After six years together, I feel more in love with him than I did on day one." The ring: DeSimone Jewelers

  3. Chelsea & Shandi

    Sarah Kimble Photography


    After trying to come up with the perfect proposal, Chelsea (right) decided to be spontaneous. One night after work, she revealed to Shandi that she had planned a surprise and she needed to wear a blindfold. Chelsea guided Shandi to the park outside of the Walters Art Museum, where candles, flowers and a gorgeous view of the Washington Monument created the ideal romantic setting. "I think my tunnel mind blocked out any recollection of what Chelsea was saying," Shandi says. "I remember holding her hand and watching her mouth move, but all I could think was, 'I know what's happening! This is happening!' It was special because it was us—simple with an element of mystery and surprise." The ring: Etsy.com

  4. Betty & Mark

    Audra Wrisley Photography

    Washington, DC

    Right after Betty finished the Virginia Bar Exam, Mark took her out for a celebratory dinner, and for a walk along the waterfront. He led Betty to a secluded area with a great view of the Virginia State Capitol—and that's when he popped the life-changing question. "He knows I can be very sentimental, and that I keep every note he's written me—even if it's just to wish me luck on an exam or remind me that there's more pie in the fridge," Betty says. "After I said 'yes,' he gave me a handwritten letter of everything he wanted to say to me, so I could hold onto it forever." The ring: Tacori

  5. Jenny & Evan

    Allison Kuhn Creative

    Richmond, VA

    Evan told Jenny he booked the spontaneous trip to Chicago because of her love for the city, but little did she know there was a proposal in the making. On their first night, a horse and carriage took them on a tour of the city, stopping right in front of the Christmas tree at the Daley Plaza. Evan asked the professional photographer he hired, who was in disguise, to take their picture, but told Jenny he had to ask a question first. "He pulled out a piece of paper from his jacket and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it's happening,' " Jenny says. "I'm so glad he wrote everything down on paper, which I now have framed on our nightstand, so I can reread it all the time." The ring: Fifth C Fine Jewelry

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