These Thanksgiving Proposal Stories Are Unbelievably Heartwarming
When you imagine the Thanksgiving holiday, the first thing that comes to mind might be delicious food, extended family, or fall decorations. You probably don’t immediately think of marriage proposals — but you guys, let me tell you something here. Thanksgiving proposal stories are totally a thing, and they’re actually extremely endearing, cute, and popular. I mean, what better time to pop the question than during a time of year filled with gratitude and celebration?
Maybe Thanksgiving works so well as a proposal holiday because people are at home with their families, or on a break from their typical work week routines. It’s a day dedicated to showing appreciation for what you have, so it only makes sense that couples would choose it as the ideal occasion to get engaged. If you want to include your family in the proposal, you don’t have to plan a whole separate gathering for everyone to attend. The people you love are already there in one place! And if you’re out doing a Turkey Trot or volunteering in your community, you’re already in the spirit of joy and giving.
To further convince you that Thanksgiving proposals are where it’s at, I’ve compiled this collection of proposal stories that all went down during the holiday of gratitude. They are truly touching, and they might just make you reframe your perspective on Thanksgiving. Sure, the pumpkin pie is great and all — but also, hello, romance!
1. This couple wanted to get their whole community involved.
2. This woman thought she was having a totally normal family dinner.
As we all gathered around the table (and I mean my entire family), my mom immediately directed all of us to say what we were thankful for. Naturally, many of us whispered under our breaths, 'Ugh, do we have to?,' 'Can we skip this year?,' 'Can't I just email you?' … Hmmm, what was I thankful for this year? Zoey (our dog), and of course Chipotle. Those were my two things, I repeat, those were my two things ... We finally got to Billy [my now-husband]. My dad filmed the entire proposal.
While I will forever be grateful for Zoey and Chipotle (duh), I can say with certainty that I am beyond thankful for my husband.
— Dara, 29
3. This couple had a picture-perfect moment.
This stunning photo was captured at Munra Point in Oregon, by a photographer who happened to be wandering the area and saw the proposal go down. Since he didn’t know the couple personally, he tried to track them down online to give them the photograph. Here’s hoping they got to see it — this one’s worth framing.
4. This couple had the proposal on their own, then celebrated with family.
I got engaged the day before Thanksgiving … We were outside of Chicago visiting my family, and my (now) husband had never visited the actual city. We took the train into town and had all sorts of plans to see the city, but it was a rainy/cloudy day. I figured, at least let’s go to the Bean and then somewhere indoors. We took a few selfies and then decided to get one more photo which turned into his proposal! After a glass of champagne, we took the train back to my grandparents’ house where we shared the exciting news with family. Dinner that night was deep dish pizza and champagne in celebration.
— Caroline, 27
5. This woman figured out what was happening at the last minute.
I got engaged Thanksgiving of 2018. My then-boyfriend of four years got us all to go out to a Thai restaurant in the area for dinner the day after Thanksgiving. Very appropriate because — ask anyone in our families — I love Thai food. Most of my immediate family and his brother were in attendance. I didn’t notice anything was off until halfway through the dinner, when people started bringing out their phones to FaceTime family who weren’t there (this would usually be a huge no-no with my parents, FYI). That’s when my boyfriend stood me up, got down on one knee, and proposed. A year later, we'll make the Thanksgiving trip again as husband and wife.
— Mackenzie, 26
6. This guy proposed at a fitness studio in front of everyone.
7. This woman was sad her boyfriend hadn’t proposed yet, but she had no idea what he was planning.
I wanted to marry my husband from the moment I locked eyes with him while we were in college in 2014. Imagine my disappointment when, three years into dating, we were not married or even engaged. A few days before Thanksgiving in 2017, I broke down (quite dramatically) over the fact that we were not engaged. At the time, he gave me an answer I didn't want to hear (little did I know, he was planning to propose a few days later, and I was making things very complicated for him) …
Finally, the day of the proposal came, and I was the one foiling his plans, not wanting to go to the place he picked out. He eventually made the executive decision that we would be going to this cute cobblestone village. He started his speech while I was walking away from him with zero clue what was going on, but I eventually caught on. My initial response was, 'Are you serious?' To which he said, 'Yes.' … Of course, I said yes. It was an emotional few days, but some of the fondest memories I have.
— Morgan, 25
8. Two words: Lena Waithe!
Little-known fact: TV screenwriter Lena Waithe, who starred in the Netflix series Master of None, got engaged to her fiancée Alana Mayo on Thanksgiving Day in 2017, while they were on a trip to Tokyo. She shared the news on the Homophilia podcast a few weeks later. “The funny thing is, it was actually super chill ’cause even though I am very over the top, my lovely lady is like the opposite," Waithe revealed. “It was just like in the morning, in the bed, no string, but, you know, it was super low-key.”
9. This guy included his dog in the proposal.
I’d known for months that I wanted to propose to my now-fiancé, Jesse, on Thanksgiving since that’s when my parents got married, and I knew his whole family would be on hand that day. We had just run a five-mile turkey trot with our dog, Ernie, before we took him to play in a park near Jesse’s aunt and uncle’s house ... I thought me asking to go to the park was a bit suspicious, since it was we’d just run a race and it was 14 degrees outside with several inches of fresh snow on the ground. But Jesse thankfully went with it.
When we got to the park, I threw a tennis ball around with Ernie while Jesse stood nearby stretching and shivering. After a couple of minutes, I took a tennis ball that I’d cut open and slipped the ring inside out of my pocket and ran over to Jesse. With a surprised look on my face I exclaimed, 'Whoa, look what Ernie did to this tennis ball! And there’s something inside…' Jesse looked on as I dropped to one knee, said a few memorized lines as naturally as I could while shivering, and asked him to marry me. He said yes, and we quickly left the park and drove home, where his family was waiting to all celebrate together.
— Zach, 35
10. This guy proposed at the finish line of a race.
11. This couple shares a special attachment to the Thanksgiving holiday.
My now-husband and I met each other almost six years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, he proposed to me the day after Thanksgiving on our four year anniversary, and we got married last year the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has always been special to us as the start of the holiday season, and we love that it has even more meaning now! … We are almost to one year of married life, and it has been absolutely incredible! Also, this year, the day after Thanksgiving is November 29, which is six years to the date from when we first met. So crazy and amazing.
— Sláine, 27
12. This couple announced their engagement to family... and got married right then and there.
Ten years ago, we invited immediate family for a Thanksgiving dinner at our Old Town Chicago townhouse, which fit two long tables, albeit very tightly. As everyone gathered, Matt announced, 'We have two announcements… One is we are getting married.' He paused for dramatic effect. Everyone cheered, thinking this was an engagement. 'The second is we are doing it this instant!'
Roger [a family friend] performed a very nice ceremony ... We stomped on a glass, and I went back to the kitchen to finish cooking, and everyone buzzed around greeting each other with 'Mazel Tovs' ... My husband and I were wrought with anxiety and worry about our family’s reaction ... Instead, it was the happiest I had ever seen any of them, and they’ve been telling this story to everyone they’ve met for the last 10 years.
— Julie, 38
These proposals are all very different, designed to fit the unique personalities and wishes of each couple. But what they all share is a connection to the Thanksgiving holiday. As you prepare to celebrate with family and friends this year, think of the endless opportunities to show love to others. And hey! Maybe someone you know will pop the question to their partner, exactly when everyone is least expecting it.