Claire Hebert, Auburn

We were in Vancouver (British Columbia) for a couple of days prior to boarding a cruise ship for Alaska. Met some gals from Wisconsin who also were to be on the cruise. When I asked them how they were gonna spend the day, they told us they were getting married. Same-gender marriage was legal in Canada. I looked at my partner and said, “Let’s do it.” It was 9 years ago and we’re in it for life. We had an outdoor wedding in Stanley Gardens surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers. Our new friends served as our witnesses. They married also in a sacred rite just before us. We then went to a wine and tapas bar to celebrate. We have remained friends since our unions.

Doug McIntire, Auburn

I left her a note to meet me at Fort Williams at sunset. Since it was my second marriage, she was worried I had already “done it all.”

From the parking lot to the fort, I stuck bamboo in the ground with lanterns on them leading to the old fort. On each was a single rose and rolled parchment with a “first” we had done together in calligraphy. Inside the fort, there was a circle of lanterns and more roses on the granite windowsill. In the middle was a hand-carved alabaster box with the ring inside.

Mandy Audette, Lewiston

I am Mandy and am happily married now … but a little over two years ago, I was impatiently waiting for my boyfriend of almost three years, Justin, to propose. He was not one for cliche proposals, so I knew my birthday, Valentine’s Day and even Christmas were out. So naturally, when we planned our vacation to Cancun with a few friends … I got a ton of “do you think he will propose?” from family, friends and co-workers. “Nah … too expected or predictable,” I would respond.

Little did I know, he had been planning it for a couple months prior to the trip. We arrived in Cancun on a Sunday and that Thursday (March 20, 2014) he had the entertainment crew at the resort we were staying at set it up so we were going to have a group photo taken. While we were getting into place … I could not find Justin anywhere … then Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” came on and I instantly knew what was about to happen.

My friends cleared the area around me and I turned around to see Justin get down on his knee, make a sweet little speech and propose. In front of the entire pool area at the resort. All eyes on us!

I, of course, said yes and we got married last year on June 6 in Auburn.

I love that he surprised me, I love that he did it publicly and I love that we have photos and video of that moment. He did very well.

Lisa Chouinard, Lewiston

My husband and I were going on 25 years of being happily married and we wanted to renew our vows. I wanted new rings and a new wedding.

We were in N.Y.C. and took our first horse-and-buggy ride through Central Park and the rider had to stop to take a phone call. We were in the middle of Central Park when my husband got down on one knee and brought out a new engagement ring and asked me to marry him all over again! I was very surprised and gladly said yes! We were remarried on Siesta Key Beach in Florida at sunset surrounded by our grown kids and 4 grandchildren!! We are now going on 28 years.

Rhonda Murphy, Auburn

My husband and I picked out my ring, but waited ’til the time was right to propose. I was home sick and he came home for lunch, sat next to me and just said: “So, you wanna get married?” He put the ring on my finger, we kissed and yada yada yada, then he went back to work. Been married 12 years and still going strong!

Dave Marquis, Lewiston

We’re divorced now, but with that said, I worked at a nightclub at the time. The owners and I set up a fake raffle with door prizes for the first three entries. I had the winning ticket and when she came in I gave it to her. Second and third prize were legitimate picks (we gave them some promo things from the distributors). When my now-ex-wife came up for the grand prize there were two huge boxes, one on each side of the DJ’s booth, and one little one. I handed her the small one, and when she opened it and saw the ring I took one knee and asked her. When she said yes, two of the other bouncers opened up each box, one containing a dozen long-stem roses and the other about a 20-balloon bouquet. Had she said no, the balloons and roses were going back.

Velma McConnell, Windham

I asked my husband to marry me after a particularly stressful day with family. We were laying down, looking at a full moon and I said, “Do you want to marry me?” He took it as a legit question and a few days later he used all of his money to get the tiniest diamond from GM Pollack. And the rest, as they say, is history. (Will be married 26 years in May.)

Wayne Heyward, Sabattus

This is when we were living in Virginia. So we had already decided we wanted to get married New Year’s Eve, but it would not be official until the ring was offered. I had until Labor Day or I would be kicked out. I hate to do the expected, so I gave Valentine’s Day and our six-month semi-anniversary a pass — too obvious and predictable. The plan was to wait until I took her to my favorite place in the world, the family house on Mount Desert Island, in July. I wanted to drag her up Flying Mountain to watch the sunrise and do it there, but the fickle MDI weather worked against me, and every morning was foggy.

I had no backup plan. So I ran into the kitchen, where she was helping with breakfast dishes, and said, “Come out to the deck, you need to see this!”

“After I’m done the dishes,” she said.

“No no, you need to come, this is cool!” I said.

So, reluctantly, she followed me out to the deck to look at the mountains she’s already seen.

“OK, fine, I’m here, what do you want me to see?” she said. Clearly, she was annoyed.

I was standing behind her. I reached around and showed her the ring.

“This. So? Will you marry me now?” I asked.

Finally she nodded.

She told me later that by the end of that week, she had decided that I must have changed my mind and was never going to formally propose. So as I’d hoped, I caught her off guard.

Anne Caldwell, Lewiston

On St. Patrick’s Day in 1980 … at New England Conservatory in Boston … in my dorm room. His exact words were, “Oh, what the hell … will you marry me?” I was taken aback and asked him to repeat himself as I thought I was hearing things. He repeated it the exact same way, “Oh, what the hell … will you marry me?” I said yes and we were married exactly four years later on St. Patrick’s Day 1984 here in St. Patrick’s Church (Lewiston) with five priests and two ministers in attendance! That was 32 years ago!

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