Wedding Stories: The Most Heartfelt Wedding News Of 2011
From a father-daughter wedding dance that went viral to the story of a man who beat all odds to propose to his girlfriend, there were no shortage of heartwarming headlines on HuffPost Weddings this year.
Below, we've compiled the best of them -- which amount to some of 2011's greatest proposal, wedding and marriage stories -- into an "aww" inspiring collection.
Marathon of Love
Cystic fibrosis patient Kevin Dwyer never thought that he'd be able to finish a grueling <a href="http://www.nycmarathon.org/about_index.htm" target="_hplink">26-mile race</a> -- or <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/04/a-powerful-new-cystic-fibrosis-drug-shows-promise/" target="_hplink">live long enough</a> to propose to his girlfriend. But in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/marriage-proposal_n_1080019.html" target="_hplink">November</a>, he did. Despite his <a href="http://www.cff.org/great_strides/cffactsheet/" target="_hplink">life-threatening chronic disease</a>, Dwyer ran the NYC Marathon with his girlfriend -- and proposed at the finish-line. She said yes, of course! (Skip to 3:40 to watch the tear-jerking proposal.)
Married Couple Dies Holding Hands
Norma, 90, and Gordon Yeager, 94, were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/19/long-married-couple_n_1020085.html" target="_hplink">married for 72 years before they died in the hospital together</a> after a fatal car accident in October. The Iowa couple was given a shared room in the ICU with adjacent beds. Although Gordon passed away one hour before Norma, his heart monitor continued to register a beat -- because the couple was holding hands until the end.
"Meme Proposal" Goes Viral
When it came time for Timothy Tiah to propose to his long-time girlfriend in December, he knew that he wanted to do something a little bit different -- and although most of us wouldn't even <em>think</em> of incorporating memes in a romantic way, this daringly hopeful boyfriend did. Using a series of cards with customized <a href="http://vimeo.com/33507366" target="_hplink">images featuring various memes</a>, Tiah proposed in a hilariously sweet way that left his new fiancee in tears.
Garbage Dump Miracle
In October, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/husband-searches-through-_n_1088761.html#s468923&title=In_A_NASCAR" target="_hplink">Brian McGuinn accidentally tossed out</a> his wife's custom-designed platinum ring with the bathroom trash -- but instead of accepting that the ring was gone, he went to the ultimate lengths of love, and headed to the local landfill to search for the token of love. After searching through <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/10/2496739/husband-searches-through-nine.html" target="_hplink">nine tons of garbage</a> and <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/10/2496739/husband-searches-through-nine.html" target="_hplink">10-foot high piles of rotting trash</a> -- he found the ring, and returned it to his wife -- after getting it thoroughly cleaned, of course. What a happy ending!
David Shoemark had asked his girlfriend Cherie Butler to marry him several times before, but she had always responded with "One day," instead of a resounding "Yes!" -- which is why Shoemark was so surprised when <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/new-zealand-bride-surpris_n_1070371.html" target="_hplink">Butler surprised him with a secret wedding</a> in November! The unsuspecting groom had no clue what was going on -- he thought he was just attending a family picnic in the park after a fishing trip. Instead, the two were happily married that day.
Groom Treks To His Own Wedding
One New Zealand groom, Jeremy Newton, was left stranded after severe weather hit his parents' farm on Pepin Island in December. But he was <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/6159798/Groom-treks-to-wedding" target="_hplink">determined not to miss his own wedding</a> -- and trekked through cracked roads, waist-high mud and more to meet his bride on time. Widespread flooding and destruction may have deterred other grooms, but not this one.
British Proposal On Train Goes Viral
When Lucy Rogers <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/marriage-proposal-british-flashmob-train-proposal_n_1080569.html" target="_hplink">was serenaded by a group of commuters on a London train in November</a>, she thought the stunt was just part of a flash mob. Instead, it turned out to be part of an elaborate proposal that her boyfriend, Adam King, had set up with his choir mates -- and it was all planned out months in advance.
In-Flight Marriage Proposal
In October, Arvin Shandiz <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/in-flight-marriage-propos_n_1028656.html" target="_hplink">proposed to his girlfriend Alexandria Williams in the same place they met</a> -- on a Delta Airlines flight to New York. Shandiz even used the plane's loud speaker to ask her to be his wife. Delta <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/24/travel/in-flight-engagement/index.html" target="_hplink">gave champagne to all the passengers on board the flight</a> -- and also surprised the couple with a free trip for their honeymoon.
Heartwarming Graffiti Proposal
In February, one groom-to-be's clever proposal went viral -- and for good reason. Aaron Vandenbroucke <a href="http://www.woostercollective.com/post/aaron-vandenbrouckes-street-art-proposal-cograts" target="_hplink">planned a secret street art "tour" </a>to propose to his girlfriend, Tamara Marie Altherr. Vandenbroucke enlisted the help of several street artists to make this wonderfully heartfelt engagement happen -- and it was all caught on video. Aw!
Father-Daughter Wedding Dance
Bride Ashley Richmond surprised guests when she and her dad, David Sparks, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/04/father-daughter-wedding-dance_n_1076406.html" target="_hplink">performed a choreographed dance</a> at her August wedding. The father-daughter duo practiced their moves for a month and a half before they unveiled the routine on her Big Day. The video became a web sensation in early November.
Cutest Ever Wedding Speech
Who could resist a wedding speech given by an adorable kindergartener in a tux? This little boy gives a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/little-boy-gives-cute-wed_n_1088558.html" target="_hplink">short, honest and very funny toast</a> to the bride and groom.