Here are 16 of Our Favorite Celebrity Proposal Stories, from Brides,
Pop the champagne! We never get sick of hearing stories of popped questions, sparkly engagement rings, squeals of surprise, and tears of joy—especially of the star-studded variety. What better way to celebrate our favorite holiday than by reminiscing on the proposals of a few of our favorite celebs?
These adorable moments aren’t just special because of the epic engagement bling they usually come with. With strewn rose petals, champagne, and over-the-top surprises, these celeb proposals are memorable for way more than just dazzling diamonds.
George and Amal Clooney
Clooney’s proposal to Amal turned into a romantic comedy of sorts when he couldn’t get his sweetheart to sit still long enough for him to pop the question. When he finally caught Amal’s attention, Clooney instructed his about-to-be-fiancée to light a candle with the box of matches sitting behind her. “She reaches around, pulls out the box, and I’ve got just the ring sitting in there,” he explained on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “She pulls it out and she looks at it and she’s like, ‘It’s a ring’—like as if somebody had left it there some other time!”
Eva Longoria and Jose Antonio Baston
Baston swept Longoria off her feet with a dazzling desert proposal while traveling in Dubai. The television executive crafted a romantic lounge of patterned pillows and Persian rugs right in the middle of the desert sand dunes, where he proposed to Longoria with a jaw-dropping ruby ring fit for a queen.
Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady
The NFL quarterback pulled out all the stops when he proposed to the supermodel in 2008. On Christmas Eve, Brady took Bündchen for a ride on a private jet with dozens of white roses and champagne onboard. Another surprise? Gisele’s parents were also on the plane to witness their daughter’s memorable moment.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith’s proposal was shockingly low-key—but that only made it all the more romantic. “We were just lying there, going to sleep. I looked over at her, and I said, ‘Hey, we might be real good married. Wassup? You wanna marry me?’ Unplanned. No ring. Not the classic proposal. She said yes,” he told People of how he popped the question to Jada, now his wife of more than 21 years. “It’s really weird when you live the kind of lifestyle that we live: Simplicity becomes the jewel.”
Giuliana and Bill Rancic
Giuliana spends her days interviewing celebs on the red carpet, so it makes total sense that her proposal story is just as glamorous. To pop the question, her husband surprised Giuliana with a helicopter ride over Chicago, complete with champagne and her favorite deep-dish pizza. (You had us at pizza, Bill!) When they were high above, looking down at the romantic Chicago skyline all lit up, Bill popped the question.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
Saying that these two are big on family is an understatement. Even Wade’s proposal to the Being Mary Jane actress was a family affair, as he had his three sons hold up a sign reading, “Will you marry us?” Union certainly couldn’t say no to those faces!
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The recipe for the royal lovebirds’ casual proposal was an actual recipe: Ina Garten’s classic roast chicken, to be exact. In their first joint interview after the announcing their engagement, Meghan and Harry revealed they’d been cooking dinner together when Harry, unable to wait until they’d sat down to eat, surprised his co-chef by getting down on one knee and presenting her with that gorgeous custom sparkler.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
The much-talked-about pair may have had an extravagant wedding and may now be parents to three tiny tots (with a fourth on the way), but that all started when the rapper proposed to the reality star on her 33rd birthday, whisking her away to a ballpark where he surprised her with a 15-carat engagement ring, all of her family and friends, and the words “Please Marry Me!” lighting up the scoreboard.
Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara
The Magic Mike star incorporated his bride-to-be’s Colombian roots into his proposal. “I had a big speech in Spanish, and that’s what I was nervous about,” he revealed during an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael. “The last thing you want to do is like mess up the Spanish on the proposal to the Colombian woman.” Manganiello explained that he told Vergara Eres mi todo, which translates to “You are my everything,” in English. He may have been nervous, but with their newlywed status as proof, the proposal must have been a hit.
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
In 2007, David Burtka asked Neil Patrick Harris to marry him with a sweet and simple proposal that proved that thoughtful, intimate moments can be among the most special. On the way home from an event, Burtka asked their limo drive to pull over—on the exact street where they pair had first met. He got down on one knee and proposed right then and there.
Emmy Rossum and Sam Esmail
The Mr. Robot director’s proposal to his actress wife was something straight out of a kooky rom-com: He had their love story printed in a faux version of The New York Times‘s “Modern Love” section, which they read together every weekend. But when Esmail asked Rossum to read it to him, it didn’t go quite as well as he’d planned. “I said, ‘I’m having a back spasm. I’m actually going to take a bath and have a glass of wine, but if you really want to hear it I’ll read it to you from the bathtub,'” Rossum told Vogue. “When I realized what it was and that the proposal was happening, I somehow thought, ‘Well, the story can’t be that I was in the bathtub when it happened.’ So I got out of the bathtub wrapped in a towel, got cold, and then got back in the bathtub because the stories are quite long. And then by the time I finished the story he was down on a knee in the bathroom, with me in the tub.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd
What better place for the Dancing With the Stars pro to propose to his pirouetting princess than onstage? Chmerkovskiy got down on one knee and proposed to Murgatroyd during a dance performance, surprising both his bride-to-be and the audience.
Pink and Carey Hart
The unconventional pop star decided to forgo tradition when she proposed to the motocross racer Hart herself. (You go, girl!) During one of Hart’s competitions, she stood on the sidelines with a whiteboard reading, “Will you marry me?” as Hart raced past. On his second lap around the track, he sped right up to Pink and dropped out of the race to kiss his future wife!
Kate Middleton and Prince William
The royals always go big—especially with their proposals. Prince William asked the future Duchess of Cambridge to marry him during a 10-day African safari in Kenya. “It was very romantic,” Middleton told reporters of the moment, which included the late Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
John Stamos and Caitlin McHugh
McHugh is a Disney superfan, so there were only a few real options for where Stamos would propose: Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland—you get the idea. Stamos chose the original Disneyland and created a montage of romantic scenes from Disney movies, ending with The Little Mermaid‘s “Kiss the Girl,” at which point he got down on one knee and, probably, took Sebastian’s very smart advice.
Ciara and Russell Wilson
Wilson’s proposal was surprise after surprise for Ciara. First, he whisked her away on “travel roulette,” giving her a list of 30 possible places they could be going, before eventually landing at an exclusive resort in the Seychelles (the same one where Will and Kate honeymooned!). But the biggest surprise of all came when he got down on one knee at the private Honeymoon Beach, in front of a blazing campfire and a gorgeous sunset. Not surprising at all: Ciara said yes right away.