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Kristen and Jason's Catch Phrase Proposal
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Kristen and Jason's Catch Phrase Proposal

You cannot vote for this story anymore, as this story participated in constest that ended on January 31, 2011

Photo courtesy of Christine from www.tripphotography.com

Kristen and Jason's Catch Phrase Proposal

I think one of the best parts of any engagement is the element of surprise. Being caught off- guard can make for great memories and reveal true emotions.

Although what ultimately led to our engagement was entering a contest whereby the winning couple get "Married in 23 Hours" after they win, I can definitely say I was "caught-off guard" by Jason's proposal. Yes we entered a contest to get married without being engaged!

The "Married in 23 Hours" contest is held by a local radio station and 2010 was the second consecutive year of its existence. Thousands and thousands of couples enter in the hopes of being selected as one of the 50 finalist couples and ultimately the grand prize winner of the $30,000 wedding. Jason and I combined our creative skills to ensure we were selected as one of the finalists and were invited to attend the finalist breakfast on one Friday morning in May.

The finalist breakfast was one nerve racking affair. Hopeful brides to be gazed one another up- and-down while wearing their best Cheshire cat grins, while over half of the potential grooms there were entered into the contest without their consent. An awkward social gathering masked only by champagne mimosas and goodie bags with reasonable gifts for the losers.

But no matter how much we believed the win was ours to be had, we were one of the 49 losing couples who left with a goodie bag and visions of diamonds dancing in their heads. Jason and I parted as I had to return to work (robbed I say!) and he said he was going home to sleep for a bit and would head into work later in the day.

But I had been foiled! Unbeknownst to me, Jason and my best friend had made arrangements to go shopping for engagement rings in case of our inevitable loss. They had both managed to pull a fast one on me. Me?! I'm the girl who has been bribing her siblings and friends to reveal Christmas and birthday gift secrets since the beginning of time.

Then the very next day we were at my brother and his girlfriend's house (this is the same girl who is my best friend) for a BBQ. My mother was visiting from Annapolis and there were a few of other friends over to share in the eating, drinking and laughing festivities. We engaged in a round in one of our usual board games, "Catch Phrase"....and then, just like that, it happened!

In retrospect there are a few things that took place that night that should have led me to believe something was in the works. Jason was unusually quiet, especially for a social gathering. When we played the board game we were on the same team - that never happens! So there it was, Jason rattling off clues trying to get my brother and I to guess his "secret" catch phrase. He led with, "It's something you do, when you love someone..."

"Buy them stuff," I jeered. Not it. Naturally, my brother yelled something inappropriate that I cannot include in this story...that wasn't it either. "Proposal," my brother finally hollered.

Red in the face and cute as can be, Jason nodded his head in affirmation, dug in his pocket, got down on one knee and asked me, "Will you marry me?"

And there I was, caught off-guard, screaming and asking my friends if this was for real while my mother bawled her eyes out. And of course I finally managed to say, "Yes!" while I happily put on my sparkly new ring, the same one we had seen at one of the vendor-sponsored booths the day before at the "Married in 23 Hours" Contest breakfast!

Now we are happily planning for our summer 2011 wedding, hoping for some more great caught-off guard moments.
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