Many ladies have an idea of how they’d like to be proposed to – on a romantic beach at sunset, in the middle of an amazing festival, over a glass of champagne in your favourite restaurant – but it goes without saying that sometimes the men are determined to do things a little differently!

Here are some of our favourite real-life proposal stories…

Plan your own proposal

You may well know exactly how you’d like to have the question popped – but it’s never going to go just as you imagine.

Except, that’s exactly what happened to Ashley. Her boyfriend secretly booked a room under a fake name in the hotel she worked in and her manager (who was in on the secret) told her that the hotel guest in question was planning on asking his girlfriend to marry him and asked her to set up the room for a romantic proposal. She duly filled with room with chocolates, flowers, champagne and candles… and you’ll have to watch the whole clip to see what happened next!

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A Venetian surprise

Pippa, our very own brand manager here at Wedding Ideas, is getting married soon and her boyfriend popped the question in beautiful Venice.

“It’s nearly a year since we got engaged and it’s flown by!” says Pippa. “This time last year we were packing for our weekend break to Venice – a trip I planned for Chris’s birthday – so you can imagine my surprise when he brought out a sparkly diamond ring as we were making our way around the canals on a gondola! It was incredibly romantic and completely unexpected! I thought he was going for some crazy photo opportunity when he got down on one knee!

Nearly a year on and we have only nine weeks until we say “I do” on the beach in Antigua! We can’t wait; there are a last few finishing touches to sort and then we’re done! It’s been a year of saving and planning but we’re nearly there and I’m counting down the days until I get to try my dress on for the first time!”

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Boys will be boys

We get to hear some great proposal stories when brides send us in photos of their real weddings.

Does your boyfriend like going fishing? One bride’s partner came back after a trip and asked her to come and see what he’d caught. When she turned around he was down on one knee, with the ring tied to the end of his fishing rod. We think that’s a lovely personal touch – and it’s funny too!

Another bride accidentally scuppered her original proposal by telling her boyfriend off just beforehand! “He wanted to pop the question at the end of a week’s holiday in North Wales,” says Lisa. “On the last day, we climbed Tryfan and Glyders. On the summit of Tryfan there are two large rocks called Adam and Eve and the story goes that a local priest jumped between the two rocks to ‘gain the freedom of the mountain’ – a tradition that many walkers have since continued.

Mark had planned to do the famous jump, ending on one knee, but I told him off for being irresponsible and made him get down! He then had to rethink his proposal, and ended up doing it by a beautiful lake a little further down the mountain,” she adds. We think this is just as lovely – and much safer! You can see more of Lisa and Mark’s gorgeous country wedding here.

Going all out

Look on YouTube and you’ll see plenty of wedding proposals that have been filmed. We’re amazed at some of the preparations made by the bridegrooms involved. This man flew all the way from LA to London to see his girlfriend and suggested they took a trip on the London Eye together. And yes, you guessed it (but she didn’t) – suddenly the music broke out and he popped the question. We love this – it’s certainly a moment she’s never going to forget and one to tell the grandchildren!

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Estate agent Steve took out a whole page advertisement in his local newspaper Eastern Daily Press. On a picnic with his girlfriend Hayley, he suggested she take a look at it and she saw his page! It read:

“I love you with all my heart. We’ve been with each other for years and my love for you grows more each year. You are a beautiful and caring person and have always been there for me 100% through the bad times.

My family adores you and I cannot imagine my life without you in it. Now we are expecting our first child I hope you will say yes and make me the happiest man alive.”

She looked up from reading and he was on one knee – very impressive, Steve. We think this is the perfect balance between a private and public proposal, because it was a bit of both!

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A royal engagement

Talking of preparations, our very own Prince William was very prepared when he asked his girlfriend Kate Middleton to become the Duchess of Cambride. We also think he had nerves of steel for other reasons, because he apparently carried a priceless sapphire and diamond ring in his rucksack around Kenya for two weeks before he found the private place he had in mind to pop the question! Kate must have been very impressed by his pre-planning.

We’re always on the look out for real-life proposal stories and we’d love to feature yours – so let us know about it by leaving us a comment on Facebook, or post in the Wedding Ideas Forum!