Just Say Yes
Getting down on one knee, presenting the ring, asking the big question—some of the elements are familiar to all of us. But many stars add a Hollywood flair for drama and setting to that moment when they propose marriage. Click through for 15 celebrated couples who did it with panache and pizzazz—plus one who favored a more down-to-earth approach.
George & Amal Clooney
Winning Oscars and working for humanitarian causes may come easily to Clooney. Popping the question, not so much. He planned a home-cooked, candlelit dinner—and asked Amal to retrieve a lighter from the box where he had hidden an engagement ring. "She pulls it out and she looks at it and she's like, 'It's a ring,' as if somebody had left it there some other time," Clooney on "Ellen." He then dropped to one knee, urging his prospective bride to decide quickly, "because I'm 52 and I could throw out my hip pretty soon." Call the parson, not 911: Amal said yes. The couple married in 2014 and welcomed twins last June.
Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
The rapper hit it out of the ballpark when he asked Kimye to marry him on her 33rd birthday in October 2013 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Upon arrival, they were met by a fireworks display and a 50-piece orchestra. A message from Kanye —"Pleeease Marry Meee!!!" — lit up the jumbotron as he fell to his knees to ask for her hand, presenting Kardashian with a 15-carat diamond ring that reportedly cost several million bucks. "Of course!" she said. Family members and friends hiding in the dugouts then jumped out onto the field to celebrate. To no one's surprise, the event was later showcased on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves
McConaughey proposed to his longtime girlfriend in front of his family while opening Christmas presents in 2011. The Oscar-winning actor had wrapped the engagement ring in the smallest of eight boxes that were nested inside each other. "She gets to it, she opens it up, her eyes go wide," he recalled on "The Tonight Show." "I take a knee and I ask her, 'Will you marry me and take my name?'" The first word out of the Brazilian model/designer's mouth wasn't yes—McConaughey couldn't say the exact word on network TV—but he waited patiently until the yes finally came. "Look, I'm down on a knee," he told the mother of his three children. "I'll stay here awhile. I will outlast you.' And I did! She conceded."
Pink & Carey Hart
In 2005, Pink proposed to her boyfriend of four years at a motocross event in Mammoth Lakes, California. As Hart raced by on his bike, the singer held up a sign that said, "Will You Marry Me?" He just kept going. When Hart approached on the next lap, Pink was holding another sign: "I'm serious!" Rather than perform one of his death-defying backflips, he pulled over, waited for his competitors to zoom past him, and then swept Pink off her feet. They married in Costa Rica in 2006, separated for a year in 2008, got back together in April 2009 and started a family. The couple had a daughter in 2011 and a son in 2016.
Eva Longoria & Jose Antonio Baston
The "Desperate Housewives" star married her third husband—the financially far from desperate Baston, known as "Pepe"—in May 2016. The president of Televisia, Latin America's largest media company, he proposed to Longoria while they were on vacation in Dubai in 2015. For the occasion, he crafted a lounge of patterned pillows and Persian rugs in the middle of the desert sand dunes. In a move out of "Arabian Nights," he presented his desert queen with a jaw-dropping ruby and diamond ring. An ecstatic Longoria posted a photo of them kissing under the caption, "Ummmm, so this happened." Vows were exchanged six months later at his lakeside Mexican villa with a guest list that included Ricky Martin, Mario Lopez, Melanie Griffith and David and Victoria Beckham.
Russell Brand & Katy Perry
The British comic's proposal was like something out of a fairy tale, even if it didn't have a happy ending. (He filed for divorce a year after their 2010 wedding.) For "the ask," Brand surprised Perry with her first trip to India, where he arranged a candlelit garden dinner in Jaipur on New Year's Eve 2009. At the stroke of midnight, they were sitting on top of an elephant watching a fireworks display when Brand asked the pop star to marry him. The next day, she posted a photo on Twitter showing the couple standing in front of the Taj Mahal with the message, "He built this for me." Actually, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the landmark as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, one of seven. Brand, who remarried last year, is only on his second.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy & Peta Murgatroyd
The Ukrainian "bad boy of the ballroom" proposed to his "Dancing With the Stars" partner during a performance of the couple's stage show, "Sway," in Miami in 2015. "I am in love with you, and I will be in love with you for the rest of my life," Chmerkovskiy said on bended knee. The couple married in July 2017, six months after the birth of their son.
Peter Facinelli & Jaimie Alexander
In March 2015, the actor Peter Facinelli took the "Blindspot" actress to the top of New York's Empire State Building, where he had arranged for a plane to fly by at 4 p.m., pulling a banner that popped the question. "At 3:55 she was like, 'I'm cold, I'm going to go inside,'" Facinelli told People. "And then, all of a sudden, I look up … and the plane was there! I ran inside and I was like, 'You have to come see this!' And then ... it was kind of cloudy and I lost the plane on the horizon." Even without the air show, Alexander said yes. But the banner lost in the clouds may have been an omen. The engagement was called off 11 months later.
Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent
TV's popular interior designers are experts in making homes look beautiful. But even they couldn't have staged a more spectacular location to get engaged. While on a South American buying trip in 2013, they took a side trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. Berkus proposed to Brent as they walked past ancient Incan temples. Brent's "yes" resulted in a lavish wedding ceremony at the New York Public Library in 2014. The designing men were the first same-sex couple to wed there.
Seal & Heidi Klum
Some celebs will go to any length to avoid paparazzi. During a December 2004 vacation in the Canadian Rockies, Seal and Heidi took a helicopter to an igloo that Seal had furnished with candles and a bed. Rose petals had been strewn about, befitting the British singer's 1995 hit, "Kiss From a Rose." It was in this remote, icy setting—warmed by the glow of their love—that he proposed. "There was food and champagne, and then the helicopter left," Klum told Marie Claire. "It was a little scary, too, because you're so cut off from the world. No trees, nothing—it was hardcore. But I was ecstatic." Sadly, roses have thorns. Klum filed for divorce in 2012 after nearly seven years of marriage.
Ludacris & Eudoxie Mbouguiengue
The rapper, actor and self-described "pretty romantic guy" really stepped up his game when he decided to ask for the Gabonese model's hand in marriage. "You gotta be creative, you gotta be different," he said on "Ellen." "These things stick with women for the rest of their lives, so I had to go above and beyond." True that. The couple was flying on a private plane over Costa Rica, where he had the words "Will you marry me?" etched in giant letters in the grass below." She burst into tears and was just extremely happy," he recalled, "so it was a pretty original idea." To his surprise, Mbouguiengue didn't say yes— "She said 'Hell, yes!'" They married later the same day, December26, 2014.
Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller
Rogen had been dating the "Superbad" actress for six years when he finally decided to put a ring on her finger in 2010. "I had all these elaborate plans, you know," he recalled on "Conan." But what happened next wasn't in the script. He walked upstairs, where Miller was in the closet changing clothes. "She was literally only in her underwear and her boobs were out," Rogan recalled. "I didn't picture it like this, and I know she didn't picture it like this." A quick rewrite saved the moment. "I figured the only appropriate thing was to place the ring on her nipple."
Josh Kelley & Katherine Heigl
The country singer-songwriter met the "Grey's Anatomy" star in 2005 when she agreed to appear in his "Only You" music video, which was shot in a Venice Beach bungalow. A year later, he asked her to marry him in that same bungalow after renting it from its stoner occupants for $100. Heigl arrived to find rose petals strewn about the living room. After Kelly proposed over cake and wine, the couple celebrated with a starlit stroll along the beach.
Dean McDermott & Tori Spelling
McDermott cooked up a banquet of love when he proposed to Spelling in 2006. The professional chef and host of "Chopped Canada" created a winter wonderland at a tree farm in Toronto, which featured a half-mile of twinkling lights leading to a table set for two surrounded by Christmas trees. Upon their arrival by horse-drawn carriage, he popped the question with not just one ring but two—a diamond and a sapphire. Despite their much-reported marriage difficulties, it looks as if they may have finally made it to the dessert. They've been married since 2006 and have five children together.
Todd Kapostasy & Tara Lipinski
Kapostasy met the Olympic champion figure skater at the Sports Emmys in 2015. The Fox News producer didn't waste time breaking the ice. Following a whirlwind romance, they got engaged after ice skating in New York's Central Park. (An Instagram photo of Lipinski was captioned, "Kid's got potential.") "Todd knows I love holiday window displays," Lipinski recalled, "so after a beautiful dinner and on our way for a drink at the Plaza Hotel, he said there was a window there he thought I'd like to see." The hotel's window featured a painting of Kapostasy proposing to Lipinski. Life then imitated art when he fell to one knee and popped the question. "This is one surprise and Christmas that I will never forget," said Lipinski.
Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
The Smiths may be rich and famous, but they didn't need an outrageously expensive engagement ring or an exotic setting to make their fairy tale come true. In fact, the big moment came during a routine evening at home. "We were just lying there, going to sleep," Smith told People. "I looked over at her, and I said, 'Hey, we might be real good married—'Wassup? You wanna marry me?' No ring. Not the classic proposal. She said yes." Married since 1997, the Smiths are proof that love is all you really need—that and marriage counseling, which Will recently credited with keeping the couple outof divorce court. "It's really weird when you live the kind of lifestyle that we live," he said. "Simplicity becomes the jewel."
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