Latter-day Saints are known for marrying young, having brief courtships and engagements, and of course, for over-the-top marriage proposals. Although no stereotype fits every Latter-day Saint love story, here are a few engagement stories that show just how far some will go to ask for the hand of the one they love.
Double Proposal in Front of 3,000
Seven years before identical twin brothers Jason and Jeffrey Linford proposed to their wives to be, they’d written an original song together for that special moment. The brothers, performing artists who have appeared on America’s Got Talent, are used to sharing the limelight—but perhaps their fiancés were not. At the end of a concert in front of 3,000 people, the brothers requested that their girlfriends, Esther and Ashley, come to the stage. You can watch this proposal play out in their YouTube video below.
A Surprise Proposal on TV
At 2 a.m. one cold December morning, Matt Zavoral was among the last students in BYU's Harold B. Lee Library in the wee hours before finals week began. That's when he had an epiphany—and it had nothing to do with his six impending finals.
No, Matt had an epiphany of a way he could surprise his girlfriend, Johanna Jones. Matt and Johanna had been dating seriously for some time, and "she knew I had a ring and . . . her family knew I was going to propose," Matt says. But what if there was a way Matt could propose to Johanna without her ever seeing it coming? What if he could take all of his finals later that day and surprise her at Hollywood week, showing up when she would least expect it?
"Johanna always said she wanted to be surprised. I think that was the biggest surprise I could do, especially [because] she was doing something she loved," Matt says. The timing seemed perfect.
The proposal was so hastily thrown together and so unplanned that Matt says only he, a few producers, and a few stage hands knew what was happening. In fact, throughout the filming, Matt kept getting strange looks and the questions "Who are you?" and "What is this guy doing here?"
"It was so nerve-wracking; it was so last minute," Matt says with a laugh.
Matt watched from backstage as Johanna received a standing ovation from Katy Perry for her performance of "Wicked Game."
Then, before he knew it, men were screaming "Go, go, go," and he was being ushered onstage for one of the biggest moments of his and Johanna's lives.
Walking 500 Miles
You know the song by The Proclaimers, right? The chorus goes, “But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more just to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door.”
Michael Baker, stuck in Colorado Springs, Colorado and trying to think of a way to propose to his girlfriend back in Provo, Utah, had this song stuck in his head. 500 miles is about the distance between the two cities, and with his dad’s encouragement, Barker decided to make a video of himself walking “500 miles” to Provo.
Although Barker didn’t actually walk from Colorado Springs to Provo, he did trek about 150 miles with a drone and a GoPro getting footage for his video, according to ABC news.
You can watch it from Tracie Wyson (now his wife)’s point of view below.
An Unexpected Movie Preview
After the lights went out in the Scera movie theater, Sarah Bradshaw didn't expect anything but a typical date night. But when the trailers started playing, she couldn't help but recognize the voice and the song playing in the preview. Her boyfriend, Nate Noble, was onscreen singing "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge, a song that has a special meaning for the couple.
"As many of you know, I got engaged this week to the girl of my dreams," Nate Noble wrote on Facebook. "Sarah was truly surprised to see [this trailer] come up on the big screen during the previews, and it was definitely one of the most memorable nights of my life."
A Private Airplane Ride
The first time Daniel took Ashlyn on a private airplane ride piloted by his father, she had just friend-zoned him. For their second date, Daniel had asked her if she would rather ride a Razor ATV or go in an airplane, and not wanting to lead him on by eagerly accepting such extravagant plans, Ashley had told him to ask someone else. Instead, he invited her to come along as a friend.
The next time, Daniel weaved an elaborate plan to surprise Ashlyn with a second private airplane ride. Only this time, a proposal awaited once they landed.
"Anything Can Happen" Flash Mob
Andrew Justvig is proof that "anything can happen." Despite being born with cerebral palsy, a condition that greatly inhibits his motor skills and speech, he learned to walk and has performed in BYU productions of "Old Town" and "Mary Poppins."
It was his performance in "Mary Poppins" that brought him his sweetheart-to-be, Carrie. After the two met briefly just off campus, Andrew invited Carrie to watch him perform in the play. A few days later, he snuck her backstage. Just before performing in the number "Anything Can Happen," he asked her to be his girlfriend.
Three months later, Andrew proposed by commissioning the BYU Mary Poppins cast to perform a special rendition of the same number. According to UtahValley360, Andrew wrote, “We weren’t looking for love, but love found us. For me, the song is more personal because having cerebral palsy, I have faced naysayers, doubts, and criticism of who I am and my dreams. I was told I would never walk or live a normal life, but I’m dancing and singing in shows, pursuing my dreams of working for Disney, and now I get to marry my best friend who dreams bigger than I do! ‘Anything Can Happen’ is a song that reminds me that the impossible can happen and dreams do come true.”
Winning Her Fiancé in a Raffle
When Lauren heard her name read over the microphone in the BYU commons, she quickly stepped forward to get her "grand prize." Although previous raffle winners had received gift cards for varying amounts, Lauren was directed toward a large cardboard box.
As she began to open it, surprise! Out popped her boyfriend, red-faced and sweaty from being curled up in tight quarters for so long. He quickly stepped out of the box and dropped to one knee to pop the question.
A Special Performance from Polynesian Cultural Center Dancers
Christian Parker's connections to dancers and choreographers at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) landed him an epic way to surprise his girlfriend with a marriage proposal. His girlfriend, Terina, is a lead performer in the evening show, but when she walked to the front of the stage on New Year's Eve, she simply thought she was escorting service missionaries who were being honored that night. Partway through the performance, however, the truth dawned on her. The performance, including the original choreography by her uncle, a choreographer for the PCC, and the music, recorded especially for her in Chicago by Christian's Latter-day Saint friends The Jets and The Moleni Brothers, was all for her.