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Love in Bloom

Beth & Patrick Oakes Beth Oakes was completely surprised when her husband Patrick proposed to her on Christmas Day 2004. They went together to celebrate Christmas with his family, where every year the family plays a gift exchange game. That year Patrick was picked to go first and happened to draw the very gift that he had brought. He unwrapped the gift to reveal a big can of ravioli and a can opener. Beth and everyone else took turns drawing numbers and opening gifs but no one wanted to take Patrick’s gift from him. At the end of the game the first person is allowed to take any of the other people’s gifts and give them his. Patrick walked around the room and ended up back at Beth, who had a coffee cup that was filled with chocolates. He took Beth’s gift and gave her his. “I looked at him funny and he told me to read the note on the top of the can,” Beth recalled. It read, “Open this and try a new flavor.” She used the can opener to open the can. (Patrick had opened the can along the seam, emptied out the ravioli and cleaned the can.) On the inside of the lid he had written “Will you marry me?” and inside the can was an engagement ring. “Of course I immediately said yes and started crying,” Beth said, noting that one of the best parts of the proposal was having family members present to cheer them on. They were married on December 17, 2005.

Jacqueline Graham Perkins & Kelvin Perkins Jacqueline Graham was already thrilled when her boyfriend surprised her with a cruise as a birthday present in March 2007. After a formal dinner several days into the cruise, Kelvin asked their waiter to take a picture of the two of them by the grand piano in the dining room. As they sat at the piano posing for the picture, Kelvin began to play and sing Lionel Richie’s song “Still”. At first Jacqueline was embarrassed, thinking that someone would tell them to go back to their seats. But just as the other guests and waiters were turning to look, Kelvin knelt down on one knee in front of Jacqueline. He told her that he loved her, wanted to spend his life with her and asked her to marry him. “After regaining my composure, I said ‘yes!’” Jacqueline said. And, because the waiter was taking pictures of them, she has it all in photos.

Tiffany & Ron Bryan Tiffany Bryan is a take-charge kind of woman. She and her now-husband Ron first met because she walked over to him and asked him to go out on a date. He was flattered by her attention and they went on a date the following weekend. So it wasn’t exactly out of character a few months into their relationship when Tiffany again knew exactly what she wanted and acted on it. She picked out a ring for him and let some friends know that she planned to propose at midnight while they were in Georgia together for New Year’s Eve. When the clock struck 12 Tiffany jumped up on her barstool and asked for everyone’s attention in the bar. “Ladies and gentlemen, I love this man and I will marry him,” is what she said as she grabbed the ring box from her purse. Then she climbed off the stool, kneeled before Ron and asked him to marry her, ending her proposal by saying to him, “top that.” They were married a few months later at Lu Mil Vineyard and will celebrate their first anniversary this year.

Petronia & Richard McBride

Petronia McBride had no idea anything out of the ordinary would happen when she and her boyfriend went to eat at Red Lobster that July night in 2006. She thought it was strange that Richard, her sports-fan beau, was willing to skip Buffalo Wild Wings and the game, which was their usual habit, but she didn’t expect anything like what was to happen. After ordering, she excused herself to go to the bathroom, but when she walked back to the table she noticed that a lot of people were looking at her funny and that Richard was no where to be seen. As she got closer to their table the other customers began to stand up. Thats when she saw Richard, down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. He took her hand, read a letter he had written to her and asked her to be his wife. She smiled and said “Yes!” and all the other customers clapped and cheered. They were married on July 7, 2007. “The three 7s are supposed to mean ‘Jackpot!’,” Petronia said, explaining their wedding date, “which is what I got when God united us.”