March 20 is National Proposal Day and the first day of spring. And it's no coincidence either. John Michael O'Loughlin -- who invented the holiday after his cousin's boyfriend failed to pop the question after years of dating -- chose the date when "day and night are of equal length worldwide, symbolizing the equal efforts of the two required to comprise the successful marriage."
In honor of the holiday, we asked our readers to share their proposal stories and photos of their engagement bling. Click through the slideshow below to see the beautiful rings and the even more beautiful stories behind them!
"We spent the day fishing, sitting in the water. After I out-fished him (as usual), I was getting hungry so we decided to leave. Matt said there was one last spot he wanted to try for some different bait he had (he had mentioned this earlier). As we walked there, in my head I was thinking about how ready I was to leave, but I didn't say anything. He cast the fishing pole and then handed it to me while he dug around in the tackle box. Then he turned to me and got down on one knee. Matt said a lot of sweet things about me being the best thing that's ever happened to him and a blessing in his life, and then opened the box to show me the ring. I was shaking so badly with shock and excitement. He stood up and kissed me, called me his 'forever love' and then asked if I had said 'yes!'" - Sarah C. Hudgins
@laurenburrell: "Last August my best friend asked me to spend the rest of our lives together and this August we marry!"
"On Christmas Eve, Eric handed me a tiny box that contained a crystal dish. I was confused. A million questions were going through my head because I had no idea what this crystal dish was and why I was getting it for Christmas. I didn't notice that the side of the box had a description. Eric realized that I was confused and asked me if I knew what it was. I finally read the side of the box, and it said 'ring holder.' I looked up from the box still confused, and there he was down on one knee [and] the rest is history." - Elizabeth Tobias
@Hannah_Virginia: "Best moment of my life last November!! #NationalProposalDay #bowbridge"
"It was the night of our 5th anniversary. Chris tucked the ring box in a small cardboard box and covered it with crumpled tissue paper. He then wrote down his feelings in a letter. Chris and I were known for our courtship, which consisted of months of letters after our first meeting. Chris handed me the card that contained words that would be the start of a new stage in our relationship. Light tears streamed down my face as I read Chris' letter. I looked to Chris and thanked him for such loving words and explained this letter was all the gift I ever needed. He then handed over the brown box. I opened it. [I] said 'yes.'" - Bernadette Cornett
@awhooker: "My fiancé @jcbernthal proposed to me 680 feet in the air in Berlin's Fernsehturm!"
@ashleycbirdsell: "Last Sunday, with the penguins at the zoo (and singing of course!) Love, love, love #nationalproposalday"
"My fiancé is a high school teacher and this past fall he took over directing the school plays. His family and I were all there on opening night to cheer him on as he made his directorial debut. At the end of the play he added on one extra scene [where he proposed to me] and it was <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rk_FdJ0-9A" target="_hplink">caught on video</a> by his brother. The only thing that you can't see on the video is that he had all of my family from out of town come in, and they were all standing at the back of the auditorium." - Adrienne Gilbert
"[He was standing next to me at the Met in New York City when I got a text from him that read] 'check your email'...Right there, sat an email from him with the subject 'Be mine?' and inside it read 'The top ten reasons I want to marry you. You are kind. You are intelligent. You are beautiful. You are sincere. You are generous. You are principled. You are tender-hearted. You complete me. You are my soulmate. I love you.' I didn't even see the ring, all I could see was his knee and that he was on it, and that we were in this crowded room, but the only thing present to me in that moment were his green eyes asking me to be his for eternity. I screamed 'yes,' I whispered it, danced in celebration, and screamed it again." - Caitlin Ashbury
"My fiance surprised me with a trip to London on the day after Christmas 2012. Before the holidays, he managed to get my grandmother's ring from my father and reset the diamond. We had been in London for a few days before he proposed -- he planned an incredible day for us the day of the proposal. Asher proposed just before the New Year's fireworks went off as we looked out our hotel window over the River Thames, the London Eye and the London skyline." - Blakely Whilden
"My fiance knew that I had dreamed of getting engaged in Paris, France AND at Disney World so he came up with the best and most romantic solution. While the sun was setting, he proposed to me by the garden fountain in the French pavilion at Epcot [at Disney World], which also happens to be my favorite park!" - Jondell Lafont
"My fiancé Ben actually proposed twice -- once without the ring at my house and then with the ring in his mom's office. My mom and his mom were both there. It was sweet because he was so nervous the second time even though I had already said 'yes.' We are getting married in 9 days!" - Jessica Newby
@liz_hutson: "My fiancé proposed on the field in Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee! We are marrying on March 30th!"
"My fiancé proposed on our 7-year anniversary in October of 2011! I came home from work to candles lit everywhere and two dozen roses waiting for me. He took me out to dinner to our favorite restaurant. Once the bill was paid he said he had one more gift for me. He handed me a card that said 'All you need is love' and on the inside it said 'And of course a beautiful dress! Congratulations on getting married!??'(He added the question marks). He then got down on one knee in the restaurant and asked me to marry him! We are getting married June 1, 2013!" - Catherine Rogers
"After dinner, we drove to our hotel, the Westin on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I [went] into the bathroom to freshen up and Adam [got] ready in the main bed area. Upon finishing, I exited the bathroom, turned the corner, and there was Mr. Adam Fear down on one knee...holding a black box with my beautiful engagement ring." - Brittney Morris
"My fiancé planned the perfect proposal: a scavenger hunt around Chicago...The final clue was the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. I met him at the ride and he led me onto the wheel. Once we were at the top, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said 'yes!' Even after I thought the night was over, he surprised me with an engagement party. It was the best night ever and totally worth the hard work to get it!" - Elizabeth Walsh
"[After my boyfriend Luca surprised me in Paris for my birthday], we continued our sightseeing tour [in London], finally heading towards Buckingham Palace, through St. James Park. It was just getting dark and the lake in the park was lit up. Luca suggested we rest on a bench, and he offered me my second birthday card (his tradition to give me two -- I got the first in Paris). I read the card and tears filled my eyes, as it spoke of how we are a perfect match. And then, Luca was in front me, on one knee in the park. I started screaming, and couldn't even look! I was surprised, excited, ecstatic, emotional -- he had to ask again before I finally answered 'Yes!'" - Tanya Ali