Perfectly Romantic Marriage Proposals at a Bed and Breakfast Inn Follows the Trail of Cupid to Bed and Breakfast Lodgings

By Shirley Anitra Swagerty

Love struck by one of Cupid’s arrows? Did Valentine’s Day lead to thoughts of popping the question? Or maybe the romantic holiday passed without much fanfare, and now you want to surprise your true love with a lifelong commitment. No worries! followed Cupid to reveal some creative and romantic marriage proposals and elopements at bed and breakfast inns. 

Easy as 1, 2, 3

champagneandstrawberriesSteven reserved a room at Churchill Manor in NapaCalifornia and told the innkeepers that he was going to propose to his girlfriend. Steven ordered champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries to be placed in the room for their arrival. He wanted a card with it to read “I love you. 5.” He arranged that after they left for dinner, a bouquet of flowers were placed in their room with a card to read “I love you. 4.” He also provided an envelope the innkeepers gave her the following morning at breakfast. Written on the outside was, “I love you. 3.” He asked for a cheese platter to be placed in their room for their return late in the afternoon with a card to read, you guessed it, “I love you. 2”. By this time the innkeepers could barely look at the two of them, afraid to give something away. He asked that a small box with a big bow be placed in their room while they were gone for dinner. Of course it was the “I love you. 1.”

flowerandcandleAbout six months after a couple stayed at Inn at Aberdeen, Ltd. in ValparaisoIndiana, the man booked a room and announced that he had been there with his girl friend on their first serious date. He wanted to ask her to marry him during their stay and asked for the innkeepers’ help. He had a schedule to follow: 6 pm check-in, 6:15 leave for restaurant, 8:20 light candles, put flowers in the room, start CD player (all provided in a box with the itinerary). At 8:30 they would return. Sure enough at 8:30 sharp–the door opened and in they came–right on cue. The next morning she showed off her engagement ring. About 9 months later, they got married at the inn. About 6 months later they returned for a getaway night. About 3 months later they called and she was convinced that she had conceived during their stay. After she delivered they called to say it was a girl–named “Abbey” for Aberdeen.


proposal1A young man woke early at Cloran Mansion Bed and Breakfast in GalenaIllinois and covered the floor of their room with rose petals and mementos of their years of dating. He had movie stubs, play programs, pictures of their times together and a letter that told her to get dressed as if she were going to a party and meet him in the gazebo. He set the alarm clock for 9 AM and put it across the room so she would have to get up to turn it off. It was a beautiful spring morning with birds singing and the sun shining. He was dressed in a tux with flowers in hand and had their favorite song playing in the gazebo. When she arrived he took her by the hand, sat her down on the chair, got down on his knees and asked her to share the rest of his life with him. He had not shared this with the innkeepers in advance and the guests at breakfast watched from the dining room windows and cheered for the couple when they came in. Innkeepers Carmine and Cheryl popped some champagne for everyone.

Flowers, Champagne and True Love

Innkeepers Jim and Joy at The Firelight Inn on Oregon Creek in DuluthMinnesota had fun fulfilling a special request while the couple was at dinner. They spelled out, “Will You Marry Me?” with rose petals on the guests’ bed.  The bride-to-be said “Yes” and asked for a picture for their lifetime memory.

CandleBathA recent romantic marriage proposal at Abbey’s Lantern Hill Inn in LedyardConnecticut included a roaring fire, candlelight bubble bath, champagne, and rose petals sprinkled about the Southwest Room all setting the stage for a young man’s proposal to his beloved. She said “yes” of course. How could anyone say no to all that romance?

Allan arrived at Golden Dreams B&B in WhistlerBC and immediately asked to purchase a dozen red roses and bottle of champagne. Hostess and proprietor Ann decoratively arranged it all in their room for après ski. Meanwhile, Allan nervously tried to pick the right ski run. He skied all day with pins and needles….waiting for the opportune private moment. Supposedly stopping for a photo, he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring–watching out for passing snowboarders/skiers who might unknowingly make him drop the ring into the powder never to be recovered. They returned gleefully cheery and Orla opened their Black Bear guest room to find the surprises that Allan had pre-arranged for her. 

Timing is Everything!

One couple had dated when they were younger but without getting serious. He drove down from Canada and she flew up from Washington, DC to meet midway at Chez Sven Bed & Breakfast in WellfleetMassachusetts. He brought all kinds of great foods and wines in his trunk and used the Seagull Cottage kitchen to whip up a feast. They enjoyed it so much that they organized a second weekend a month later and he proposed. The couple even invited the innkeepers to their wedding.

Dinner Bells and Wedding Bells

motorcyclesKathleen, owner and host of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in ShinnstonWest Virginia offered a Grand Prize Certificate for a motorcycle group’s 40th Annual Rally. The winner received an overnight with dinner at three inns. The young man contacted her and said he planned to propose on this trip, and asked for suggestions of a great place. I told him the breathtaking scenery surrounding the other two inns, but he chose to propose at the Gillum House. He slipped the ring to Kathleen and she attached it to the clapper of the dinner bell the young lady was to ring for the next course. When she picked up the bell, the ring dropped down. She had no idea he was going to propose. She said, “Yes,” and later sent a lovely wedding picture.

That’s Amore!

An Italian guest at The Winemakers Porch Bed & Breakfast in Paso RoblesCalifornia wanted to propose in a vineyard. Upon arrival he asked the innkeepers to get a poster board out of his trunk and set it up on an easel in their room while they were in the vineyard. He left his trunk open just slightly, but his girl friend noticed and insisted he close it. He snuck the keys to the innkeepers so when the couple returned, the poster board with his love poem, flowers, champagne and chocolates were ready and waiting.

“Special Celebrations are Always in Season”

Shelly and Doug, owners and innkeepers of the Lilac Inn in BrandonVermont had a couple arrive for an elopement. Only the bride to be had no clue of what was about to happen! The groom had yet to propose to her!  He did that day and they got married a few hours later. 

waterfallAlexander’s Country Inn & Restaurant specializes in small weddings and is a popular place to pop the question. Elopement ceremonies are hosted year-round. Located at the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park in AshfordWashington, your marriage proposal will be a most memorable one by the waterfall.

Mark called The Crystal River Inn in San MarcosTexas to renew his wedding vows on his 25th anniversary and wanted it to be a total surprise for his wife. He asked the innkeepers to set up the whole thing…including a dinner for the couple and their grown children who were flying in just for the event. The couple came downstairs at the appointed time and Innkeeper Cathy had the honor to say, “Mark has planned something very special this evening. I know you think you’re going out to dinner, and you are, right here in our dining room, with some very special guests who are waiting out in the garden for the two of you. Emily, Mark wants you to know that after 25 wonderful years together, he would like to marry you all over again.” Her jaw dropped, but with tears in her eyes she threw her arms around him and said she would love to. They were ushered out to a twinkle-lit wedding arch, where he gave her the most beautiful diamond ring during a poignant ceremony witnessed by a lot of happily weeping witnesses, innkeepers included.

For more information on these or other inns browse or use the free InnTouch application on iPhone or iPod Touch. The Web site lists 19,000 B&B inns with many full descriptions, photos, video clips and Web links. Many of the properties are also in the best-selling bed and breakfast guidebook Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns with a Buy-One-Night-Get-One-Night-Free Certificate. ILoveInns also offers Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates, a perfect solution to help celebrate any occasion.