A SURPRISE PROPOSAL STORY | A vintage lace dress, glittery gold shoes, and one of the smartest, budget-friendly proposal ideas I’ve ever seen.

Happy Monday afternoon, friendlies!  Hey guess what?

I just stared at this container of soup for six minutes before I realized I could make it without directions.

I have revealed to myself that I am paralyzed without instruction when it comes to food preparation.  I imagine this can’t be good; for me, or for mankind.

Oh and yes that does say $4.75.  Which is like really close to $5.  And some of you who play with me on the internet in real-time (Twitter) will recall that tub of mayo I tweeted about as well as I passed the eff up on because it was NINE ENTIRE DOLLARS of my money.  There’s a reason the Occupy movement found its beginnings in majestic, overpriced nyc.

Enough about soup!  I wanna get to today’s shoot.  Which is bonkerstown.  Here’s the thing, many of y’all have asked if that proposals series – aptly named “Real Proposals” (series titling is where I unleash my creativity) – was ever coming back.  And that’s when I realized that it’s been LIKE FOREVER since we featured a proposal.  And I know some of you woke up this morning all, “man, I wish that b!tch Alison would feature some real proposals like back in the day; I really enjoyed those.  Also wish she’d cut back on the yapping but I’ll take the yapping if it means my wish of more proposal stories is granted.”

Well I have news for you, people who dream really b!tchy stuff about me.  Other than the fact that you and I have to talk, today I am the captain of your Wishes Ship, because I am about to steer you directly into a Real Proposal of the most elegant and ship-friendly* proportions.  (*Ships were not involved in the making of this story.)

The lovely and talented Michelle March of Michelle March Photography submitted this gem of an event, and I’m pretty sure it’s the perfect way to kick off the reinstatement of this series, OMG STYLE.  Aaaaaaaaaas well as a great way to, once again, send an unwelcomed pulse out across the world wide web saying, Beat This, Proposers Everywhere.  That’s an unfortunate side effect of these stellar, well-thought-out and deeply meaningful proposal stories, as they seem to set a new standard.  But whatever.  I’m still featuring it.  Because it’s not just the beautiful proposal that impresses me you guys.  It’s the creative ingenuity of bringing this couple to Paris, without the cost.  And to me, it’s just as good, if not remarkably better.

I love how you can tell in her face, the precise moment when she seems to sense that SOMETHING IS UP IN DISNEY WORLD.  And it’s not the priest’s funny bone from that marriage ceremony scene in The Little Mermaid.  (You guys know about that, right?  If not, I’m happy and just a little bit frightened to elaborate… let me know.  Because omgitishilar.)

Ok, here’s the (total must read) lowdown from Michelle on how this magical day was planned and how it unfolded:

What started off as a romantic session of a boy and a girl {Marian and Steven} that have been in love for seven years ended {or really began!} in their engagement at the gorgeous France Pavilion at the Epcot Center {Walt Disney World}. Steven {her now fiancé}, Ivelisse {her best friend and a close friend of mine} and I planned the surprise {and very emotional} proposal. Marian is in love with all things vintage. She dreams of Paris and is a hopeless romantic. The next best thing to actually proposing in Paris was their very own backyard… Walt Disney World. After all, this is where dreams come true! When it was time to head over to the France Pavilion, Marian changed into the most beautiful, vintage lace dress I’ve ever seen. Her glittery gold shoes, ivory gloves and a handmade hair piece turned her into a princess. In fact, she was stopped several times by little girls wanting to say hello. The entire time we shot in France, I was looking for the perfect spot and when I found it, I gave Steven the green light. Green light = I had to say how much I could use some gelato right now. Yummy! Meanwhile, Ivelisse was texting me like crazy hoping to get an update from me. Haha! The rest, as they say, is history… A crowd gathered to watch Steven propose to Marian. Everyone cheered! She cried! It was straight out of a movie. It couldn’t have been more perfect. The wonderful people from the shops in the France Pavilion rushed out with tissues and a button that said, “Just Engaged”. They offered the couple special access in the Italy Pavilion to watch the fireworks above the crowds in a private balcony. So romantic!

So romantic indeed, Michelle.  So romantic, indeed.

“wait a minute – something’s up…” ↑

I have a question or three… feel free to answer any or all of them.  Or ignore them completely, and say what’s on your mind.  I am game for either approach, as you well know…

1) What was your proposal story?  We always love hearing them, great, good, bad, horrible, even meh.  Share if you don’t mind!

2) What do you think of today’s unique, budget-smart, beyond special approach to popping the question?

xoxo!  - Alison

P.S. – If you entered our Accessory Giveaway with Emici Bridal, we announce the winner tomorrow.  Try to keep your panties from bunching!

Photography: Michelle March Photography / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / Location: France Pavilion at the Epcot Center {Walt Disney World} / Awesomeness scale (1-10): Eleven

Label(s): {Real Proposals}

Love all of this...


  1. Sam Cleasby on November 7, 2011

    Ohhhh this is gorgeous!!! It actually made me gasp at the moment of proposal!!! What a beautiful shoot, she can re live the moment forever and be able to show her grandchildren… just fantastic!

  2. Michelle March on November 7, 2011

    Thank you so much for sharing this! <3 I'm speechless!

  3. Carlien on November 7, 2011

    the boy bought tickets to the orchestra for valentines. month later we went to the concert. after intermission he ‘had to go to the bathroom’, turned out he had arranged with the orchestra to appear on stage straight after intermission and told the audience (about 1000 people) our story. he then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. i screamed yes, ran up to the stage and as they say, the rest is history :)

  4. Alison on November 7, 2011

    Sam – Me too, such a lovely way to make it happen. And being able to show her grandkids has got to be the best part! Man I love that factor.

    Michelle – Totes, it was a beautiful submission! :) xx

    Carlien – OMFG what a story! You had an audience of 1000??? I would have been frozen in my seat in the audience, waiting for this fair maiden to join my now-fiance on stage. It would have seemed too surreal for me! Congrats on being able to function. And congrats on your killer story!

  5. Lena on November 7, 2011

    OH MY GOD THIS IS SO EFFING BEAUTIFUL. And perfect, and sweet, and lots of other good things and absolutely no bad ones.

    But to answer your question, mind if I share my proposal story? No? Okay!

    John had apparently been waiting for a cloudy Sunday for as many weeks as my ring was sitting in our living room, waiting patiently. As a side note, I never once peaked, which is like me saying that I’ve never had a cup of coffee or ridden in a car.

    But he finally got his cloudy day, crawled out of bed for me to flop over onto his side and fall sound asleep, then he set up the ring, lit my favorite (now discontinued I’ve bought 4 of them) Tocca candle, added a bouquet of flowers and wrote a little note (in cursive-he later showed me the 10 drafts!) asking if I would marry him. I woke up bellowing about what on EARTH he was up to, then he crawled into bed next to me and asked if I would marry him. Before I knew it, there was breakfast in bed and a ring I couldn’t stop staring at on my finger! Low key, but exactly our style.

    Now I’m tearing up.

  6. Rhiannon Nicole {Hey Gorg} on November 7, 2011

    This is the most precious thing I have ever seen! First of all, that couple is adorable and these photos are the perfect memento of that special day. I kind of want to jump into each frame and give them both a giant (and probably awkward) group hug. This is how a proposal should be. Or a proposal should be like Lena and Johns. I like that one too!

    And our proposal was three summers ago, sitting on a dock at Anna Maria Island; at 5:30 am. We were sitting together, watching the sun rise and Andrew asked if I would marry him. I said yes and we snuck back up to our room to fall back asleep. Perfect in everyway!

    Hugs xo

  7. Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} on November 7, 2011

    These photos make me smile & warm my little heart. The couple look beautiful in every photo but they’re positively glowing in the proposal & post-proposal photos. You can see their happiness!

    My hubs proposed during a long walk on a deserted, snowy beach in the middle of winter. This may not sound like a dream come true but it was so peaceful & perfect.

  8. Kristine {In Love, Engaged} on November 7, 2011

    Uhhhh, I totally teared up looking at those photos and then I teared up all over again reading everyone’s stories. I’m such a sap. Geez. I just love how all these proposals are so unique–because they’re totally about the couple involved. I want to compile them all in a book so I can read about them over and over and over again.

    So, here’s mine…It was Valentine’s weekend at my favorite restaurant in Chicago. He made me this rather large, and cheesy, valentine that I read at the end of our meal. At the bottom of the card there was a note to flip it over and continue reading. On the back was a little heart cut out–I pulled it off, flipped it over, and had to blink a couple of times because written on it were the words: PS. Will you MARRY ME? When I regained my vision I looked over and he was on one knee next to me with the ring in his hand. After some giggling and uncharacteristic PDA we got up to leave and received an applause from the rest of the tables in the room. It was very sweet.

    And, also, I love an engagement in Paris, Walt Disney World. It’s absolutely the best budget-friendly proposal. :)

  9. Veronica on November 8, 2011

    Cute engagement photos! The photographer really captured the special moment. The gloves were romantic and beautiful :)

  10. Ashley on November 8, 2011

    Thanks for asking! I don’t like to gush without being prompted. OK, here goes:
    One of our best friends was serving in Iraq and my fiance (then boyfriend, obvs) bought a bloggie (handheld little video recorder) so that for the whole time he was over there we could document everything we were doing and send him videos to catch up. For instance, our friend missed 4th of July, which was a real bummer, so we videotaped all the fireworks and fun. We videotaped concerts and got bands’ autographs made out to our friend, etc… So it came as no surprise that my fiance wanted to bring the bloggie to our Long Island vineyard vacation. We were running around between the grapevines talking to our friend through the bloggie when my fiance said “You’re gonna’ wanna’ see this” and focused the bloggie on me and got down on one knee. In the middle of a vineyard (and I was already pretty tipsy too!), while I’m on camera, he pulls out the ring and asks me to marry him and I said yes of course. Now the whole thing is on video and I was completely shocked because to me, we were just going to get sloshed on some fantastic LI wines! It was the best possible scenario that I could have hoped for for us, so I love it.

  11. Ilana on November 8, 2011

    Holy crap: Shark week + proposal stories + stressed-out-TO-THE-MAX + earthquakes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and flooding = TOO MANY TEARS! I’m sitting here practically bawling. In a really good way! Her face is so precious in those photos, and I can’t believe how beautiful the couple is! You can see on his face that he is so honestly in love with that girl!

    My proposal story? I only love telling it to everyone I know, and sometimes random strangers! My fiance and I had been together for almost two years at Thanksgiving last year. We live in Wyoming and our families live in California and North Carolina and we had opted to stay home for the holidays this year. A few days before Thanksgiving, he suggested we take a trip to Jackson Hole for the weekend. He told me to bring something nice to wear. Jackson – to put it in perspective for us – is where we had our first date after we met during the summer of 2008 and he came back to visit me that fall on his fall break from school, and it’s also amazingly beautiful and romantic! So, that weekend was the tree lighting ceremony in the town square and he reserved us an amazing room at a B&B with a jacuzzi and fireplace, and the whole town was deserted of tourists and quiet. Two years previously when he came to visit, our first kiss was in the Jackson town square, and before he left at the end of the week he took me out to an amazing dinner at a tiny restaurant in an old log cabin that was possibly the best meal I’ve ever eaten. So after a day of amazing snowboarding, we got ready for dinner and he took me out to that restaurant again. We were walking back through the snow to our B&B, and walked through the town square. I thought something MAY be up…possibly… we were the only ones in the square and all the trees were lit with white lights reflecting off the snow… Then he pushed me in the snow. I honestly though, “well shoot, it’s not happening tonight!” and when he helped me up he got down on one knee and pulled out the most AMAZING ring! I cried (thank god for waterproof mascara! One can never be too prepared) and we called our parents and walked across the street to buy champagne.

  12. Shannon {Shannon Reeves Events} on November 8, 2011

    LOVE this! The colors in these photos are absolutely gorgeous. And she’s so darn cute! Thanks for sharing!

    My boyfriend (now husband) asked my boss if I could have time off (without my knowing) and convinced me to tag along on his “business trip” to NYC in July 2009. He proposed on a cliff overlooking the rowboat pond at Central Park, then took me to a surprise brunch at Tavern on the Green where champagne was waiting for us. We spent the afternoon shopping for a perfect engagement party dress, having drinks at the Oak Room and watching Fourth of July fireworks over the city. Perfect! He later confessed that it wasn’t really a business trip after all, but it sure did stop me from being suspicious!

  13. Sara from MarryThis! on November 8, 2011

    Pretty much in love with the look on her face in these. I love proposals!

    I got proposed to on a podcast. As far as we know (it was five years ago) it was the first podcast proposal ever. I love it cause I can go back and listen to it anytime I want. Don’t know if I can post a link here without getting marked as spam, but here’s my proposal:

  14. Nicole on November 8, 2011

    first of all i love disney world and the fact that they immediately gave them a just engaged button. i just love that. this sounds so sweet and the pictures are amazing!

    we got engaged on a hike to a waterfall (which is something we love to do together) on the border of north and south carolina, which was fitting bc at the time i lived in nc and he was in grad school in sc. he had looked for, picked out and purchased a ring without me knowing it! we hadn’t looked at rings together at all and i didn’t realize i had even dropped hints about what kind of ring i wanted! but we had been together over 5 years and we both knew one day we were getting married. so he took the ring and taped it to the inside of his pocket so he wouldn’t lose it in the beautiful fall leaves on the hike and waited for the perfect moment while we were relaxing on the overlook to this gorgeous waterfall – lower whitewater falls. then he stood up to “stretch” and pulled a poem he had written me out of his pocket and said he wanted to read me something. “ever since the day we met…” honestly i still wasn’t on to his plan at this point because he is romantic and we were in the woods, just the 2 of us so i thought he was just being sweet. then he gets to the last lines … “2 birds can much more easily fly, when you are down I’ll lift you high, and when i struggle i know you’ll carry me, nicole will you marry me?” and he gets down and one knee with the ring in the palm of his hand! it was the sweetest most perfect day of my life.
    and now we’ve been married for 1 month exactly and this weekend marks the 1 years anniversary of the proposal and we are going on a hike to that same waterfall to celebrate <3

  15. invitation consultants on November 10, 2011

    WOW – this is gorgeous. i’m getting a little teary reading everyone’s stories! so so cute!

  16. Alyssa on November 12, 2011

    All of these stories are beautiful! I had more than a sniffle and a wet eye for each of them. Our engagement story is sweet, and has some similarities to Nicole’s.
    Mike and I had known each other since middle school, and started dating in high school – moved in together when I was 17 and have always been laid back and comfortable being together without being married. Unbeknownst to me he had asked my parents permission one day while I was at work, and that set the plan in motion… We went on a 9day road trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas, it was our second time, and we love going on road trips. It was January, 2010. We spent a romantic day/night in a historic hotel and ate at a wonderful restaurant. The next night we camped in the Chisos Mountains, got up early to watch the sunrise and hike up to an area that was said to have a waterfall. We took our time, lots of pictures, and many detours before coming across a 5+ story waterfall that was completely frozen. Nothing but giant dangling icicles, it was beautiful, and dangerous (the ice would break free, and fall – shattering on the rocks below it). As I was standing there, looking up at the awesomeness, I hear Mike say my pet name and tug on me – I was so into everything I didn’t look for a second, and when I did, I was so confused! He was down on one knee, and handed me a stone butterfly I had given him years ago, asking me to marry him (I love geology, and am a bit of a rock hound, so this was all very fitting). I said Yes, and as he stood up I asked “Are you serious?” suddenly thinking it could be a horrible joke, he assured me he was sincere and said he was glad I answered yes before asking that, haha. We then had a few more days of hiking and camping together before getting cell phone service and calling our families to tell them the news :) We are still not married, it’s in the works, but like I said, we are very comfortable being together without anything being official.

  17. gowns on November 15, 2011

    Great look photos. BTW I love the gloves, they really add to the look

  18. Ruby on November 17, 2011

    AMAZING photos!

    After being with my boyfriend for 10 years I finally got my proposal last week… whilst I was in the bath! He told me he chose that moment so I couldn’t make a quick getaway.

  19. Crystal on November 28, 2011

    I love my proposal story, it is very unique and always makes me smile when thinking about all the effort my fiancee went to. Last November we went on a holiday to Vanuatu, as we both love diving and wanted to dive a very famous ship wreck. On our 10th dive, our last before heading home, we went into one of the famous parts of the ship, and waiting there were 4 other divers holding up a custom made sign asking me to marry him (painted in glow in the dark paint as it was inside a dark ship wreck). I was so excited, and when we got to shore a champagne picnic had been arranged with the dive club. It was unbelievably romantic, and I love how much thought my partner but into making it special.

  20. Perennial Weddings on December 30, 2011

    What a romantic, vintage-y photo shoot. Really loved everything about it! Thanks for sharing this. The bride is adorable with her lace gloves!

  21. I really like weddings on April 6, 2012

    Oh em gee. Dying. They are such a cute couple, I ADORE her dress, and her reaction is perfection!

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