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5 Super-Sweet Proposals From Michigan Couples

Five couples share the memorable stories that led them to "I do."
rachel sylvester the knot real weddings expert
by Rachel Sylvester
rachel sylvester the knot real weddings expert
Rachel Sylvester
Real Weddings Expert
  • Rachel Sylvester is a Senior Editor for Real Simple.
  • Rachel is an editor with experience covering fashion, weddings, and lifestyle.
  • Rachel spent over six years with The Knot, serving as an Editorial Assistant, Associate Editor, and Real Weddings Editor.
Updated Nov 15, 2018

Qixin & Kalyan

downtown Ann Arbor engagement
Tracy & Riva | Modern Wedding Photography

Ann Arbor

Kalyan's love of soccer and the Kung Fu television series were just two of the reasons why Qixin quickly realized she had met her match. Five years into dating, Qixin sat down for a birthday dinner in Chicago's Chinatown when Kalyan sent her a video of her apartment lobby. "I was really surprised since he told me he'd be visiting the following week," Qixin says. After rushing home, she was greeted with a proposal that included a homemade birthday cake, a Chinese proposal speech (spelled in Hindi script) and, of course, a ring. The ring: The Diamond Factory of Ann Arbor

Tamela & Ken

Gatsby inspired Michigan engagement
Visi Productions


After two years of dating long-distance, Tamela and Ken finally found themselves celebrating their first Thanksgiving together alongside family in St. Louis. The only problem? Everyone came down with the flu. "We were quarantined in the house all week, so we decided to get out for some fresh air that Saturday," Tamela says. Because the couple had previously discussed their plans to wed, Tamela suggested a visit to her favorite St. Louis wedding venue—the Jewel Box. "I wanted Ken to see the space and fall in love with it as much as I had," she says. But once the pair arrived, they soon realized the venue was closed for a wedding. Luckily, Ken was able to talk an attendant into letting them view the space, and the pair walked up to a balcony overlooking the Jewel Box grounds. "I noticed he was sweating profusely, so I just thought he was still sick," Tamela says. Once the couple sat down, Ken took the ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee. "All I could think was, 'There better not be a necklace in that box!'" Tamela says. The ring: Dillon's Jewelers

Christine & Sean

Holland Michigan engagement
Allie Siarto Photography


Just nine months after their first date (they went skydiving!), Sean booked a trip with Christine to New York City, where he planned to pop the question. But first, he had to catch his girlfriend off guard. "He would tell me 'I can't wait to marry you,' but leading up to the trip he kept emphasizing how he hadn't bought a ring yet, so he wouldn't be proposing that weekend," Christine says. After a day of shopping and sightseeing in the city, the pair traveled to the top of the Empire State Building (where Sean was stopped by security due to a suspicious-looking ring box) followed by a nighttime walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was there that Sean got down on one knee while the two were enjoying the view of the Manhattan skyline. "I was so shocked I didn't say anything for a few seconds," Christine says. "I hadn't suspected a thing—of course I said 'yes!'" After the initial shock wore off, the to-be-weds spent the remainder of the night admiring Christine's engagement ring under all of the storefront lights. "The whole night was like a dream," she says. The ring:

Sara & Alex

terrarium bar Michigan engagement
Dan Stewart Photography

Traverse City

What happens when an American and an Italian meet at a dinner party in Bangladesh? They plan a first date at a local British club, naturally. "I met Alex's family in Italy just two weeks after that," Sara says. Nearly three years later, the couple was in Suttons Bay when Alex suddenly turned on his record player to one of Sara's favorite bands. Moments later, Sara was blindfolded and standing outside in the snow beneath a billboard of lights and fireworks. "I took off my blindfold and saw Alex dancing in the snow in front of a message that read 'Will you marry me?' in white lights," Sara says. "Such engagement traditions aren't practiced in Italy, so Alex researched what it was all about and came up with the idea on his own!" The ring: Becky Thatcher Designs

Emily & Joe

Traverse bay beach engagement
Brittany + Devin Photo Co.


Just two years after they met through mutual friends, Joe proposed to Emily during his annual New Year's Eve party with friends. "I was so preoccupied with making sure every last detail was perfect that I missed all of the telltale signs that something was up," Emily says. The morning of the party, Joe set up a DIY photo booth in the garage before the couple retreated with friends to a nearby restaurant to watch the ball drop at midnight. As they were leaving the house, Joe got Emily to come to the garage where she was shocked to find a handmade wooden marquee sign that simply spelled out "Will you marry me?" Emily was so surprised that she failed to notice Joe's three brothers hiding on the property capturing the moment. "I was a speechless, sobbing mess and just overjoyed with the reality of it all!" she says. The ring: Lucido Fine Jewelry

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