Highlands Ranch chooses 'Proposal by Graveside' as Cutest Engagement winner

Winner named at Colorado Community Media Wedding Expo


The winner of the Cutest Engagement Story Contest was Chad Howard, who submitted a story about his proposal to now fiance Mars Simich.


Here is the winning story -

Engaged by graveside

Chad Howard

We met almost eight years ago.  Instantly, I knew that she was something special.  Her being tattooed and dawning bright red hair, I still felt no shame in bringing her to do weekly lunches with my grandmother who, at the time, was living at a retirement community.  My grandmother loved her and was always so kind.  Unfortunately, my grandmother suffered a severe stroke and passed away before my future fiancé could say goodbye.

When I knew it was time to propose, I found the perfect ring that matched her love of vintage style and quiet elegance. I came to pick her up and in the car, and there was a bouquet of pink, (my grandmother’s favorite color) tulips.  “Are those for me?, she asked anxiously.  “Nope, they are PINK,” was my response.  She then knew something was up and we went.

We drove to where my grandmother was buried and arrived at the gravesite. We started talking to Grams about all of the things that have been happening in our lives. I got the courage up to say, “Grams, you were there to see my brother and my sister get married.  I wanted you to be here when I asked Mars to be my wife.” After I got down on one knee over my grandmother’s grave I asked, “Mars, will you marry me?”Just then, a beetle flew in the ring box and flew around Mars’ face, and proceeded to kiss her forehead.  After talking about it later, we realized that the beetle was Grams, checking out the ring and then giving Mars a kiss of approval. I’m sure she would’ve preferred a butterfly, though there wasn’t one near. Yes we became engaged in a cemetery, but it couldn’t have been more romantic.

The first runner up was submitted by Annie Smiley: The couple received a night's stay at Table Mountain Inn in Golden -

As the music started playing, her eyes began to swell with tears because she knew that was his voice coming over her headphones. She never saw this coming, it was something she expected least. It had been an adventure leading up to the engagement of Annie and Sam.

Originally from the Hoosier state, Annie found herself attending a young adult, Catholic conference in Nashville, TN the last semester of her senior year of college. Annie was enjoying life, finishing up her degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and gearing up for her post-grad job at Down Syndrome Indiana (truly living her passion of working with individuals with Down syndrome) when her friends talked her into attending this week-long conference where 10,000 young adults would be gathering for praise and worship. Sam was a shy guy originally from Colorado but was in school at the University of Wyoming when him and his friends left for Nashville for the exact same conference Annie was attending. They both went to the conference for different reasons, but neither of them could have guessed they would be meeting their future spouses.

For the months following the conference, Annie and Sam fell in love over hand-written letters, 4 hour-long Skype dates and weekend visits. Eventually reality set in and they realized that if they wanted this relationship to work out, they needed to be in the same city. So, have seriously discussions and literally only being in the same physical location nine times, Annie took a leap of faith and moved to Colorful Colorado!

Fast forward two years; Annie and Sam were still together, navigating the real-world, friendships, relationships and families. Things started to take a toll on the couple and they started re-evaluating things. After seeking advice from family-friends and a ton of discernment, they decided to part ways even though their hearts were still in love. Two long months had passed when Sam decided it wasn’t over. He showed up at Annie’s work and asked for her to reconsider. With her heart exploding from surprise and love, she agreed to start dating again.

Not long after they rekindled their love, Sam and Annie decided they wanted to create new memories with a photoshoot. Sam thought that this would be the perfect time on camera to truly show Annie how he felt. Being the shy guy that Sam was, he never failed to express his feelings through song writing, his other love.

It was perfect timing; a beautiful, mountainous backdrop all while being photographed. The days leading up to the photoshoot, Sam sent Annie some picture ideas that involved music. They decided on a pose where the couple would be sharing headphones while listening to music. As they posed themselves the day-of, music started playing through the headphones. Annie’s eyes began to swell with tears because she knew she was listening to Sam’s voice expressing his feelings through song. It was a bit of a blur for Annie. She could only catch words of the song, it’s s about time I finished what I started. I’m sorry for leaving you broken hearted; I promise I’m man enough now.” Annie knew one thing as she listened to the sweet words ringing in her ears; he was the man she always dreamed and prayed for. As the music faded, Sam got down on one knee and asked Annie to be his “;forever.”Annie didn’t hesitate to scream, “YES,”; while all of this was caught on camera.

The second runner up, which received a overnight stay at Table Mountain Inn in Golden was submitted by Autumn Shea

Flashmob at Union Station

I thought we just going downtown to eat at Snooze in Union Station. After we had breakfast, we sat down on one of the couches. After a few minutes a random guy handed me a single white rose and sat a Bluetooth speaker up on the table that was playing MJ- The way you make me feel. Then one at a time, strangers walked up to me handing me roses. 3 dozen! The last we’re given to me by our family members, who had been hiding around the corner! He got down on one knee and after I said YES, the whole Union Station was Cheering & clapping! ❤️ Video- search YouTube-

Engagement Union Station DEN.

Also, pretty amazing is that we were 50 at the time and knew each other in Junior High School ❤️


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