Jewelers Speak: How I Won My Spouse’s Heart

There’s a little-known criterion for anyone selling diamond engagement rings: Your own personal proposal story has got to be good! How else can you dispense advice to others about to pop the question? If you don’t have a good tale, relax. We won’t tell. But to inspire future awesome engagement stories, JCK queried your peers nationwide to give you a glimpse into how other jewelers have made their own memorable engagement moments.

Sweet Surprise

When my wife, Kim, was attending college and living in a dorm, she would frequently buy her favorite candy from a campus vending machine. I was scared before I asked her to marry me—I was 22 or 23—so I decided to test the water first and use the vending machine to do so. I put a pair of aquamarine earrings in the spot where her favorite candy was, so that when she bought the candy, the earrings would come out instead. She did, and she liked the earrings! So I handed the diamond ring to her five minutes later, and she said yes. We’ve now been married for 24 years.
—Chip Stone, owner, Stone Craft Jewelers, Elko, Nev.

Babbling Brook

“Monika and I both knew a wedding proposal was coming soon with so many family members coming to town for a big dinner party. I wanted to get the proposal out of the way before the dinner party. I had just moved to a new rural subdivision, kind of in the woods. The night before the big event I was taking Monika home. On the way there I asked Monika to take a walk with me by a nearby creek. With the babbling brook and moonlight in the background, I got down on one knee. Just as I was getting ready to convey my love and commitment to her, we heard a car door slam and someone’s footsteps crunching in the gravel. As the sounds got louder, a man hollered out, ‘what are you doing here, you don’t live here.’ I shouted back, ‘I just bought a house in this development and I’m here proposing to my girlfriend.’ Silence, then crunch, crunch went the footsteps away from the creek. That’s how the proposal went. We still laugh about it to this day.”
—Mark Clodius, Clodius & Co. Jewelers, Rockford, Ill.

‘Marriage’ Me

“I started dating my wife in July 1969. Within a few months I knew I wanted to marry her, so I started hinting around with ‘marriage me’ teases, not framing it as an actual proposal but slowly increasing the frequency. For Christmas that year I purchased a jewelry music box and placed an engagement ring I made inside it. The proposal came a few days before Christmas. With so many family members getting together I wanted the proposal to be more private. When she opened the box I said, ‘This time it’s marriage me for real.’ We went out to dinner to celebrate and were married in April 1970. The penny she placed in the box that day for good luck still resides in that box. And, we are still lucky together.”
—Charles M. Beaudet, Beaudet Jewelry, Inc., Eugene, Ore.

Gazebo Love

“For my engagement ring, Todd wanted me to be involved in the design. Taking that element of surprise out of the proposal, he asked for my patience. He wanted to surprise me and sweep me off my feet. I agreed, figuring it would be a few weeks wait. I got into the habit of wearing my little black dress every time we had a date night thinking this would be the night. Weeks turned into months and still no proposal. As summer faded into fall I started hinting about how a beautiful gazebo down the street from his house was a romantic place for the ultimate gesture. In October, we were getting ready for a business trip. I was frantically getting ready, running from room to room in his house, and Todd had a chance to set the stage for his proposal idea. Over several months, he’d had a photographer photograph this gazebo at different picturesque times. While I was upstairs, Todd had displayed several framed pictures of the gazebo all over the dining room. He lit candles and left a note saying ‘You know where to find me.’ He left and took his place at the gazebo for nearly an hour. He made several calls during that time asking if I had been downstairs. Apparently I was distracted since it took me so long to notice. I finally heard our song playing and found the display of pictures, the candles, and the note. I started balling my eyes out. I dashed out the door and was so excited I could hardly drive. It was cold and the poor guy was freezing. He got down on one knee, poured out his heart, and proposed. It was beautiful.”
—Stacie Anderson, buyer, Gunderson’s Collectibles Fine Jewelry, Sioux City, Iowa

Corking Proposal

“I had an engagement ring made up in August 2007. We planned a trip to the Poconos. I took the ring with me to propose during the trip. Our time together wasn’t as romantic as I’d hoped, so the ring never made it out of the suitcase. A few months later I planned an evening at a bar we frequented, followed by a romantic dinner. I called the manager ahead of time and arranged for a bottle of good champagne to be on hand and had a dozen roses sent. I wanted the roses to be delivered during the proposal, so I set up a signal with the manager to bring over the roses at the right moment. When we arrived we agreed to have some champagne. After enjoying a couple of glasses, she started complaining that I don’t write on champagne corks to remember celebrated moments in life like I did when we first dated. I was actually writing ‘Will you marry me?’ on the cork from the champagne we were drinking. I gave the cork to her, and of course she started crying. I pulled the ring from my pocket, and the manager saw the tears and figured that was as good a time as any to present the dozen roses. We finished our champagne and moved on to our romantic dinner and more champagne.”
—John Joseph, co-owner, Josephs Jewelers, Des Moines, Iowa

Swept Up

“I proposed to my wife at one of the most romantic spots on earth, the Hotel Del Coronado on San Diego’s Coronado Island. That evening we were quite swept up in the setting—a Spanish flamenco guitarist, an outdoor fireplace, the moon, the stars, and waves crashing on the beach. As the evening progressed, I realized that we were the only two left in the entire dining area. In a moment of spontaneity—inspired by my inner “Mr. Romance”—I dropped to one knee and asked her to be my wife. I hadn’t planned on that being the moment, but it just felt right. And I did propose without a ring. Imagine, a jeweler proposing without a ring!”
—Craig Husar, president, Lyle Husar Designs, Brookfield, Wis.

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