Courageous Women Who Proposed On The Leap Day.

The underwater proposal: Emilia Ribeiro – Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil

Emilia Ribeiro proposing to Rodrigo Bornholdt underwaterImage copyrightEmilia Ribeiro

Rodrigo and I had lived together for five years when I proposed. Neither of us are really into words, so I wanted to propose in a way that would be symbolic, but also speech-less.

We went on a guided scuba diving tour in a river in Bonito. It ends up below a waterfall, where it’s like you’re under a curtain of bubbles.

The diving master helped me hide the ring in the scuba diving equipment, then when we were behind the waterfall I swam towards Rodrigo with the ring. He was really surprised!

Everybody thought it was a cool idea – firstly because I proposed, and secondly because it was underwater.

Wedding photo of Emilia Ribeiro and Rodrigo BornholdtImage copyrightPaulo Akio Iwano
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Wedding photo of Emilia Ribeiro and Rodrigo BornholdtImage copyrightPaulo Akio Iwano

We’re now married but Rodrigo likes to joke that he never said actually “Yes” to my proposal [since we were underwater at the time].

Society is designed so the man needs to propose to the woman – but the man proposing doesn’t make your marriage more or less romantic.

Women need to be confident – people can waste so much time thinking, “When is he going to propose to me?” and creating lots of expectations. I think if you want something done, you can go out there and do it yourself.

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The bracelet: Ally Richards – Birmingham, UK

Ally Richards and ChesterImage copyrightAlly Richards
Image captionAlly and Chester had been together for three years when she proposed

Proposing is something I’d thought about doing for quite a long time. I realised I’d been, on some level, waiting for my partner to propose, then it occurred to me that I was ready to make that step and it felt quite silly to just wait and see if it would happen.

I spent a while thinking about what to get him. It didn’t feel appropriate to propose to him and say: “Now can you get me a ring?” I settled on a bracelet with several rings on it.

On the morning of the proposal I felt very nervous, even though I knew it was probably going to be a “Yes”.

I still felt shaky and had butterflies in my stomach. I was worried he might be upset I’d taken the opportunity to propose away from him.

The proposal braceletImage copyrightAlly Richards

I made him breakfast and showed him the bracelet, and said: “Will you marry me?”

I think he was very surprised – he wasn’t sure if it was a joke! He seemed shocked in a happy way and quite surprised.

When people found out we were engaged they’d always ask me how he popped the question. They’re often quite embarrassed when I say I was actually the one to propose – not because they have set attitudes but because it’s just what people expect.

I’d definitely recommend it to others. You give up the excitement of having someone propose to you, but it’s a great feeling to be able to show someone you love that you feel that way.

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The blanket fort: Brooke Armstrong Pazoles, Baltimore, US

Brooke Armstrong Pazoles and Matt PazolesImage copyrightCallum Pinkney Photography

Matt and I had been dating a long time and lived together – we were in a pretty committed relationship.

Two summers ago, I was going through a really stressful couple of months. I went home one night and all I could do was lie on the floor and cry.

Matt found me on the floor, and asked me: “What do you need?” Eventually he said, “What if I build a blanket fort for you?”

He built me a great fort with blankets in our room, and we lay in there for a while until I calmed down. I thought to myself, “Someone who builds me a blanket fort when I’m stressed is someone I want to hang on to.”

Brooke Armstrong Pazoles and Matt Pazoles on their wedding dayImage copyrightCallum Pinkney Photography

So I asked him to marry me. I was a little bit nervous.

His response was: “Is this for real?”

We both started laughing and the nervousness went away. I said “Yes,” and he said “Yes.”

He also wanted to propose because he didn’t want to miss out so he arranged a more traditional proposal a few weeks later.

I guess we technically both proposed to each other but I did it first! We got married in September.

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The big surprise: Flavia Massucatto – Sorocaba, Brazil

Flavia proposing to DiogoImage copyrightDeJota Foto e Video

There is a bar called Berlin in Sorocaba which Diogo and I always frequented. There is a big square in front of the bar so I decided to propose there.

On the night of the proposal, I arrived at the bar with Diogo and some friends who knew about the surprise.

Then I invented an excuse and left the bar. I went to the square where all our family and friends were hiding with heart balloons, photographers, and a microphone and sound system.

I’d already agreed things with the owner of the bar – a waiter came to the table and told Diogo his car was involved in a crash outside. So he left the bar to check on his car – and to his surprise, saw all of our family and friends there, and me proposing to him.

DiogoImage copyrightDeJota Foto e Video
Image captionDiogo left the bar expecting to see his car damaged…
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Flavia, Diogo and friends and family at the scene of the proposalImage copyrightDeJota Foto e Video
Image caption…and instead encountered his family and friends – and a proposal from his girlfriend

I was very very nervous but very happy too. I didn’t get down on one knee because I was wearing a dress but I was very sincere.

Diogo was always a special man for me – he is a great person, a great son, a great brother and a great friend. I thought he deserved a special moment.

He was surprised – he told me that he never thought I would propose. It was so exciting and cute, and a few months later, we got married.

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