This article originally appeared on Broadly.
Real life proposals don't always look like they do in films. Faced with a question that big, not everyone is capable of uttering a simple, composed yes. I was so flustered when my husband proposed that I said, "I'm too hot!" and ran to turn our hotel air conditioning on. It wasn't the Hollywood reaction I'd had in mind. With Valentine's Day on the horizon, we asked people what their first words were when their beloved popped the question.
I'd been telling my fiancé that my brother wanted to propose to his girlfriend but didn't have the money for a ring. I'd told my brother that she would say yes even if he used a Haribo ring. Two months later, my partner and I were on holiday, pissed as farts at 2 AM and looking for a taxi rank. He turned to me and presented a ring box.
Him: If I asked you to marry me with one of these, would you still say yes?
Me: Bryan, you're such a dick!
Him: I'm serious!
Me: Oh! Really? Yes!
We were driving up north, and at the first lay-by we came to in Yorkshire my husband screeched to a halt, jumped out and opened my door, then went down on one knee. My response was, "But we're already horribly late for my mother's!" We've now been married for 18 years.
I was sat in my underwear drying my hair after a run. It was my fiancé's birthday and he was about to open his cards when he said, "Actually, I've got a present for you." He handed me the ring and said, "I thought maybe we could hang out forever." I am rarely speechless but I was totally thrown. I suddenly felt angry that I hadn't seen it coming, said "Who else knew about this?" and made him run through everybody he'd told before me. Then I said, "Alright." It makes me laugh that that was how I reacted. Thankfully he was OK with it.
When Mark originally asked me out, he did it via an elaborate audio tour of where we now live. So when he came to propose, he recreated a mini version of that tour in our local park. We'd been for dinner, I'd had a few glasses of champagne, and by the time we got there it was dark so he'd asked friends to set everything up, including a small fire. We're both lawyers and when he proposed I said, "Did you get a permit from the council for that fire pit?"
When we recounted the story to my dad, that was his first question too. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in our family.
We were decorating our bedroom when my husband proposed by writing "Will you marry me?" on a wall in a paint sample we'd chosen. I said "Yes—but I hate that paint, it looks like shit."
I was so shocked that I said, 'No, no, no, fuck off!'
Sam had been acting strangely all day. I discovered later that this was because he'd woven such a crazy web of lies so that I wouldn't see the proposal coming. He even spent two hours cooking a meal we'd never eat as a decoy so that the booking he'd made at our favorite restaurant for after he proposed would be a surprise.
We went for a walk on the beach. He's normally so calm and collected but got weirdly angry that people were sitting on our bench when we got to the shore. I had no idea what was happening so when he asked me to marry him, I was so shocked that I said, "No, no, no, fuck off!" I put the ring on and told him I was just relieved that that's all it was. I was really starting to think he was losing his mind. He'd hidden a bucket of champagne in a bush there earlier so we drank that to celebrate (and calm down).
My precise words were: 'What? It's a Monday night?'
I believe my precise words were: "What? It's a Monday night? We're out for supper. No-one gets engaged on a Monday!"
Paul and I were living in sin in Abu Dhabi. It was the 2010 World Cup, we'd been drinking and watching a few matches with mates and got Lebanese pizza on the walk back. Back home, I popped the pizza in the microwave and was drunkenly watching it go round and round. Paul was saying something but I wasn't really listening. Then he said, "I should probably get on one knee for this."
I turned around, said "What are you doing down there?" and then realized he was proposing to me on the kitchen floor. I sobered up, said yes, and when we woke up the next morning, I said, "Did we just get engaged?"
We were on holiday in Dorset. I knew he was going to propose at some point because he'd asked me a couple of days before we went whether jewelry was still covered by your insurance when you were outside of the house.
On the day it happened, we'd walked up to the top of a hill. He accidentally went down on both knees so my first response was, "You're supposed to be on one knee!" This was quickly followed by, "That herd of cows is getting very close," so we had to scarper pretty quickly. So romantic…
I turned round to see my other half on one knee and was so taken aback that I shouted, "What are you doing you doofus? Get up!" I don't react well to surprises.
* Name has been changed.