'We were on a long haul flight next to a crying baby.' 15 women share their worst proposal stories.

I witnessed a proposal years ago that has been so ingrained into my mind, that I still think about that couple on a monthly basis. 

I was sitting in a park near my house by myself, reading a book and quite literally minding my own business. 

The issue was that a couple soon came over and laid down a picnic rug close to me. Not too close where it was creepy but close enough where I could hear everything they were saying... and I heard everything. 

Watch: Horoscopes in the bedroom. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

I was trying to pay attention to my book until I heard one of them (the man) say to the other (the woman),"I'm ready." 

"Ready for what?" the woman asked. 

"To get married," he said. 

I peeked a look at her face and just like mine, she looked both confused and mortified. 

She asked him if he was going to propose and he replied with "I just did?" 

Luckily for me and my second-hand embarrassment, she called him a mean name (which he kinda deserved) and got up and stormed away. 


He immediately started packing up the picnic and followed her to their car where I'm sure the conversation would've continued. 

I always think about what happened to that couple... did they get married? Did he give her a proper proposal? Did they break up?

But all I'm left with is an empty "I'm ready..." 

To fill the bad proposal-shaped hole in my heart, I asked 15 women to share the worst ways they or someone they knew has been proposed to. 

Here's what they said...


"My now husband and his sister were trying to think of ways to get their parents to capitalise on their rural property. They decided a wedding venue was a good idea, so they also decided my husband and I should get married there to show their parents that it could be done. 

He turned around at the dining table in his sister's house and said "Hey, let's get married."


"We were going to a concert and left the house in a rush to catch the train. When I realised I had left the tickets on the kitchen counter, I said “I also forgot my earrings”. I think he heard “ring” and took it as me dropping a hint or something, so while I quickly walked into the kitchen to grab the tickets he went to grab the engagement ring and put it on the counter as well and said “Here, try it on, it’ll look better on you than in my closet”. 


Not once did he mention the word “marriage” or “do you want to?”. I was taken aback and did not know how to react so I just put it on and we went to the concert. It didn’t really hit me until a few days later that he didn’t actually propose..." 


"It was my 30th birthday and we were in the UK for a wedding. I had made it clear that all I wanted to do on my birthday was go on a little tour of London, get an iconic photo and buy something nice to remember the day.

Very early in the morning, he posted photos of me on social media that were ugly and rude. We had a fight and eventually, he took them down.

After that, he had a tantrum when he tried to exchange some Australian currency and got charged more than he expected.

By this stage, he had already ruined my morning and we were in the middle of a big fight.

We checked into our five-star hotel and I bawled my eyes out in the shower over my partner ruining my birthday before it was even lunch.

I came out of the shower wrapped in a towel with puffy eyes to find him on one knee proposing. He had a camera set up to film me. I said “Oh, is this why you were acting weird all morning?” He responded “No”. 

He then told me that he found the ring on sale and that he went into the jeweller where he had found rings for his first wife and said “What have you got? I don’t want a diamond this time..."

By the end of the day, I gave him the ring back and said "Let’s try this again another time."


A few days later after we attended a friend's wedding, he pulled out the ring again and in an angry tone said “Will you marry me?”. I took the ring from him (out of fear that he would keep proposing) and didn’t mention it again until we got back to Australia when I spoke to my therapist.

He proposed again a year later (with help from my mum and one of my best friends) and that proposal went viral on TikTok.

Who proposes in the middle of a fight on a special occasion? Or while away for someone else’s wedding? Who tells them in the moment that the ring is on sale? Or that you went to the same jeweller as your last marriage and specified no diamond?

We separated a few years after all of this."


"My brother proposed to his partner on his birthday. Was she going to say no and ruin his birthday forever? She didn't — but she should've. They're divorced now."


"In London in the kitchen, cooking for a dinner party for eight that night, he casually said to me while we were both at the hot plate stirring the food, “How about we get married?” or words to that effect. 

I don’t actually remember anymore, it was so underwhelming and certainly not the romantic gesture it had meant to be. I’ve been divorced for way longer than I was married."


"My current partner was in the throes of passionate lovemaking with his ex and at a moment of coital ecstasy blurted out “I love you, marry me!” She accepted instantaneously and he boarded the train to 'Weddingville' not knowing how to get off. 


They ended up spending a fortune on a huge wedding only to split after four months."


"My old hairdresser got proposed to at the movies. It was a very average movie with no significance to the couple (Something like an Austin Powers film sequel). Her disappointment was tangible."


"I was on a long-haul flight from Australia to Ireland with my boyfriend in the middle row next to someone’s unsettled baby. We were going back to my homeland so he could meet my parents for the first time. Midway through the first 14-hour flight, losing the will to go on, I was playing one of those games where you match gems in a row. He then put a ring box on my pullout table and asked if I liked this gem... 

I was a bit confused. And pissed off because he was literally on the way to meet my folks and could’ve done the traditional asking my dad had he waited another 20 hours. Plus, we hadn't really talked about marriage so I said... no. We then had an awkward 20 hours left to travel until we got to our destination."


"I was recovering from chicken pox and was still spotty and wearing my daggy trackies and slippers. We were watching TV and my sister was there with us. He waited for a commercial, turned the sound down on the TV, got on one knee and whispered in my ear ,"Will you marry me?" It took me a few seconds to realise what he'd said and respond."



"My now ex husband wasn’t really interested in marriage but as I was pregnant at the time and my mum was a bit of a stickler for the rules (marriage before kids etc), I went and picked a ring out with my mum. She gave it to my ex in the dining room at her house and he handed it to me. He didn’t even see it until my mum gave it to him… The writing was on the wall the marriage lasted 29 years and two kids before divorce."


"I walked into our bedroom to see a bag on the bedside table with the ring in it (I knew, as we bought it together). He gets down on one knee and says "Will you marry me eventually?" Eventually because he didn’t want to get married anytime soon. We waited two-and-a-half years before we finally got married."


"My boyfriend came home drunk at 2am from partying with his friends to tell me to get out of bed in the middle of winter. I had bleary eyes and no time to get clothes on and was wondering what the hell was going on. He then dropped to one knee and said all these beautiful things and I responded with 'Are you drunk?' And he said yes. I said that I will say yes for now but we will revisit it in the morning when he was sober and give him the opportunity to take it back.

In the morning I asked if he remembered what happened and if he would like to take it back and he could and there would be no hard feelings. He said no, he meant it. And then I said "Great, let’s go ring shopping." We’ve been together for 24 years and married for 17."



"We were sitting on the lounge together watching The Bill and he says “Do you want to get married?”


"My dad and mum were walking through the local mall. They stopped to look at rings in a jewellery shop window. My dad turned to her and said 'how about it then?'" 


"My boyfriend suggested we go to the beach on a random Saturday afternoon. I didn’t really want to go because it wasn’t beach weather and I had new shoes on that I didn’t want to get sand in. Anyway... we sat down on some wooden steps that led down to the beach. 

He started talking about all sorts of random stuff and he was obviously nervous. I thought “He’s going to break up with me”. It didn’t really make sense to me since we’d been getting on well but we’d only been going out for six months so I wasn’t expecting a proposal. 

Eventually, he got to the point and said “So how about it? Let’s get hitched”. To say I was underwhelmed would be an understatement. There was no ring, nothing! I told him that was no way to ask and if he was serious, he needed to ask me properly."

Do you have a wild proposal story? Tell us in the comments below! 

If you want more culture opinions by Emily Vernem, you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

The women in this article are known to Mamamia, but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Feature image: Canva. 

Calling all beauty & fashion lovers! Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!