11 outrageous Dallas marriage proposals

Big D sure does it big, especially when it comes to popping the question.

When did engagements become so extravagant, public and lavish? Heck, my mom proposed to my dad, and, wait, it gets better: over the phone. It should come as no surprise that they didn't live in Texas at the time.

In Dallas, proposals have gusto. They take serious preparation, and oftentimes, they take money, too. Here are 11 very real, very outrageous Texas proposals.

A global treasure hunt

Esther Havens and Austin Mann were engaged in an airport. The story's actually better than that.

Austin Mann had been plotting this proposal for years, by way of leaving notes for Esther Havens all over the world. The couple is Dallas-based but has an affinity for travel; both are travel photographers.

The best place to photograph Austin Mann and Esther Havens? At the airport, of course. The two had just flown into D/FW Airport on Feb. 3, 2018.

The plan was hatched when they were just friends. Mann was passing through the Amsterdam airport and knew Esther would be passing through a few days later for work. So, he taped a special note just for her under a table at Starbucks. As the relationship blossomed, he continued leaving notes for her at airport Starbucks locations around the globe.

Six years later, Havens found another note in a Starbucks in the Amsterdam airport, and Mann surprised her halfway across the globe for a proposal.

The game is still afoot: There is still a special note hidden in Dallas that Mann says Havens has yet to find.

A jumbo proposal

Nick Bozich and Melissa Chiranky dated for two and a half years before he got down on one knee. She was a Dallas Stars Ice Girl and they had a special place in their hearts for Stars games, so it's no surprise Bozich wanted this to be the very spot he professed his love for her in a jumbo-sized way.

Here's Melissa Chiranky and Nick Bozich today, after they got engaged during a Dallas Stars game.

Chiranky was dancing as an Ice Girl when "Brown Eyed Girl" began blasting on the American Airlines Center's speakers. That's their song.

"I was really confused at this point but kept dancing," Chiranky said. "I was looking around to try and figure out what was going on and then saw Nick come on the stage with us."

All eyes in the arena were on her as Bozich dropped to one knee while the crowd watched on the jumbotron. Proposals of this magnitude typically don't happen at Stars games, but an exception was made for one of the team's very own Ice Girls.

Surprise: It's 50 of your friends

DeAndre Upshaw, left, and Stuart Hausmann met us at one of their favorite Dallas spots, Emporium Pies in Deep Ellum.

Stuart Hausmann and DeAndre Upshaw's epic proposal involved about 50 people — including 15 professional dancers, friends and family from Houston and Austin, and the video team who helped capture it. It was a surprise for Hausmann, who was told by Upshaw he needed to get ready for "a fancy brunch," we reported back in 2016. But then it rained. And they had to change the venue.

Ultimately, Upshaw and his cast of dozens delivered the proposal to Hausmann in a parking lot at a Plano middle school (where their friend is a theater teacher).

"I've never seen pure joy on a person's face, and that's what we saw that day," said Danielle Georgiou, who choreographed the dance.

Instant engagement party

When Dalton Potts was planning to propose to Emily Walsh, he knew he wanted it to be big. So he hired an event planner.

"We decided the most picturesque place that would be the easiest for people to get to would be the arboretum," Potts says.

Walsh was photo-ready after a manicure and visit to Drybar that morning arranged by a friend who was in on the plan. After the emotional proposal at the Dallas Arboretum, Potts arranged for 60 of their closest family and friends to arrive for an instant engagement party. Walsh says the proposal was even better than she could have imagined.

"Dalton hates planning, and I know organizing 60 people from around the country was probably stressful, so it was even more of an act of love," Walsh said. Disclaimer: Walsh has since become a co-worker of one of this story's writers.

Surprised by flash mob

Prescilla Collins after her engagement.

When Nick Cornelius wanted to profess his love to Prescilla Collins, his plan was grand.

First, he took Collins on a carriage ride through Downtown Dallas and showered her with roses. Then they stopped at Klyde Warren Park. As they were enjoying the afternoon, a flash mob erupted. Cornelius had hired professional dancer and choreographer Geena Ngaaje to coordinate it, and Cornelius joined in at the end. She said yes. (She also said "duh!" after he asked.)

On one knee in the dugout

Brent Meurer proposed in the Texas Rangers dugout, one place Michelle LaCost didn't expect.

Michelle LaCost is a serious Texas Rangers fan. That means Brent Meurer instantly had the idea, right? One little catch: Proposals during games are no longer orchestrated. So Meurer worked with the Special Events Department and planned a faux stadium tour of Globe Life Park.

The tour took the two through the media room, press box and batting cages. It ended in the dugout with Meurer on one knee. Now LaCost has another reason to love the Rangers.

Sky-high proposal(s)

Susan and Steven Armijo nearly had a timing snafu before their helicopter engagement.

Isaac Washington asked for Erica Sonnier's hand in marriage aboard a propeller plane, overlooking Dallas at dusk. He wrote out the proposal on flash cards and proposed mid-air.

Steven Armijo chose to propose midair too, but by way of a helicopter. His now-wife, Susan Armjio, was almost not available for the proposal. "She was at another event that night," Steven said. "I was already nervous about proposing and now I had to deal with staying calm and making sure she was on time to make the helicopter ride." (She made it!)

A romance at White Rock

'Every time we go to White Rock Lake, I remember that special time,' says Jenny Hill.

How to arrange a proposal and get it on video? Jenny Hill was fooled by her now-husband Aaron Hill, who coaxed her to White Rock Lake and tricked her into thinking they were helping out her brother by playing actors in his latest music video.

When Aaron got down on one knee, and she quickly prompted him to stand up. And then it all sank in.

"I still can't believe how surprised I was," said Jenny, whose family and friends joined them after the proposal. "It was the happiest day and every time we go to White Rock Lake, I remember that special time."

Paddle, propose, paddle

Darrin Hicks struggled not to rock the boat as he proposed to Julie Hicks.

White Rock Lake certainly has seen its fair share of proposals. Darrin Hicks wanted to propose to his now-wife Julie Hicks at White Rock Lake as well. But not just along the shoreline; he wanted to be paddling in the lake. He even enlisted the help of family and friends to serenade them with "Dancing Shoes" by Green River Ordinance as they paddled underneath a bridge.

If paddling and proposing sounds tricky, it is. After popping the question, Darrin told Julie she was going to have to take the ring from him or the canoe was going to tip over.

Luckily, it didn't. The couple enjoyed a surprise dinner with family and friends afterward. "I saw my mom first," Julie Hicks said. "We hugged and cried happy tears."

A very green engagement

Easily one of the most memorable Dallas proposals of 2017 was when Mark Willey proposed to Bianca Caram at the 38th annual Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival. Donning a green shamrock suit, Willey secretly (and stealthily) arranged to have a float in the parade, asking for Caram's hand in marriage as it stopped in front of her.

"It was seriously the most millennial proposal of all times," Willey says.

Charles Scudder contributed to this story.

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