It's that time of year again, and I'm not just referring to the holidays. It's also engagement time.
The 2011 American Wedding Study found that the majority of couples become engaged in December. The month has remained the most popular time for engagements, proving that Christmas and the New Year are great for popping the question. Some of Philadelphia's finest couples took advantage of the special season.
Congratulations are in order for Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Demeco Ryans and his fiancé Jamila White, who just got engaged on Sunday in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Another Philadelphia couple that got engaged in front of a famous tree were Matt Lombardo, sports radio host and producer at 97.5 The Fanatic, and Stephanie Paine. Lombardo knew she loved all things Christmas so he took Stephanie for a stroll through Christmas Village. He escorted her to the Christmas tree and LOVE statue for a photo using his phone. But she was caught off guard by him bending down on one knee and proposing while a hired professional photographer popped out of the crowd to catch their magical moment. Lombardo says he wishes that night could last forever! What a sweet guy.
Another A+ for creative effort involving a Christmas tree goes to Drew Swallen of Philadelphia who proposed to his lady with a Christmas tree ornament that said "Kim and Drew" on one side and "Will you marry me?" on the other. His fiancé Kim Brandes jokes that she kept missing it on the tree. Once she saw it she couldn't have been more excited. The couple says they like to buy ornaments that commemorate special moments, and I can't imagine a more special ornament than this one.
It's great to utilize the special places our city has to offer for creative holiday engagements. Some have proposed using a storefront window display featuring the engagement ring. Create an inspiring engagement experience in front of beautiful landscapes like the Longwood Gardens Christmas spectacular or the light show at Shady Brook Farm. Others use their favorite childhood pastimes as a way to say their love.
Josh Alcorn of Wilmington, DE asked Brianna D'Amico Alcorn of Paoli, PA for her hand in marriage on Christmas Eve morning in front of Isgro's Italian Bakery on Christian street. Isgro's held a special place in their hearts because for fifteen years Josh spent every Christmas Eve morning in South Philadelphia picking up items for their Italian Christmas Eve dinner.
It used to be just him and his grandfather but since Josh started dating Brianna, she always comes along. Their tradition is to be in line outside of Isgro's by 5:15 am braving the cold amongst 200 others looking to get baked goods for the holidays. After they picked up their treats, Josh proposed in front of hundreds, including friends and family who had come to see the special moment. The owner of Isgro's says it's the first ever Christmas Eve proposal in their 109 year history. He was so moved he even made their wedding cake for free.
The D'Amico Alcorn family seem to have Christmas engagements in their blood, because even Brianna's mother, Lisa Gaudio Kazanjian, was proposed to Christmas Eve morning just a few years before. As she was dressing her dog, Noel (even their dog has a holiday inspired name) she noticed a ribbon around Noel's neck that she never tied. On the ribbon was a ring that her now husband James Kazanjian surprised her with!
In case these magical holiday love stories have inspired you to take the plunge this season, event planner Susan Norcross of Two Rings One Circus gave me some other neat ways to pop the big question.
Norcross recommends holiday props, because they are "fun, heartfelt, and less expensive." You can have 'elf helpers' deliver her the ring while you bend down on one knee or dress up as Santa and bring it to her yourself. Norcross also loves the idea of serenading your special gal, so why not use Carolers?
If you're willing to plan something more elaborate, some fun ways to capitalize on the holidays is to trick her into attending what she thinks is a holiday party for her boyfriend's work, but instead plan a party filled with family and friends and Christmas tidings just for her.