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Where stars go to propose marriage

  • Story Highlights
  • Billy Joel proposed to Katie Lee in St. Bart's
  • Roselyn Sanchez and Eric Winter got engaged while in a double kayak
  • Jordan Batman proposed to Christina Aguilera on a Valentine's Day getaway
  • Seal gave Heidi Klum a 10-karat yellow diamond on a glacier in Canada
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( -- Engagement season is in full swing, which, of course, means an influx proposals, but more importantly, tons of creative "will you marry me?" scenarios to top. Take a cue from these celebrities by jaunting off to memorable destinations for a proposal your partner won't forget (or turn down!).

Tiger Woods proposed to Elin Nordegren at the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa.

Venice was the scene of Avril Lavigne and Dereyck Whibley's engagement.

St. Barts

On their first date, Billy Joel took Katie Lee out to dinner, but on that November 2002 evening she got much more than a scene from an Italian restaurant.

"Afterward he took me to see "Movin' Out" [the hit musical based on Joel's tunes], got onstage and sang the last two songs," recalls Lee, 23, who was visiting New York from Ohio and first met Joel, 55, in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, where both were staying. "I knew he was trying to impress me."

It must have worked; six months after that meeting she moved to Long Island, New York, to live with him, and in January 2004 he proposed on a trip to St. Barts. "He got down on his knee, and it was a complete surprise," Lee recalls. "That made me feel really special."

Though Scott Wolf, 35, of "Everwood," and Kelley Limp, 28, formerly of "Real World New Orleans," credit a friend with setting them up, in a way they can thank Oprah Winfrey.

"When I first called Kelley," says Wolf, "she said, 'I just sat down with strawberries and chocolate milk to watch "Oprah." '" Apparently it was not the best timing. "Nobody calls me at 4 o'clock," says Limp. "It's an unwritten rule that I'm watching "Oprah"."

So Wolf decided to catch the episode, and they discussed it afterward. The chatting continued over a dinner date at Raoul's in New York City. A year later, on a trip to St. Barts, Wolf took Limp boating and pulled into a cove for a sunset dinner, where he gave her a Bruce Winston (son of Harry Winston) 2.7-carat diamond ring. "I said yes, like, 15 times," says Limp.

New York City

It was Stephanie March's first and last blind date ever. After weeks of delays, March, then starring on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", finally agreed to meet Food Network chef Bobby Flay for dinner at Nobu in New York. Within seconds of meeting Flay, her misgivings about blind dates were dispelled.

"I know it's a cliché, but I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, this is the rest of my life," says March. She was right: Just before Christmas 2003, Flay took March ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, where he surprised her with another kind of ice -- a princess-cut diamond ring -- and a proposal.


On the golf course during the 2001 British Open was probably the last place Tiger Woods, 28, expected to meet his future wife, Elin Nordegren, 24. The thunderbolt struck when fellow golfer Jesper Parnevik introduced Woods to Nordegren, who was then working as the Parneviks' nanny.

If his scores are any indication, Woods was more than a little distracted by the stunning Swedish former model. He lost the tournament but soon won her heart. And on a South African safari two years later, Woods proposed to Nordegren during a sunset stroll around the Shamwari Game Reserve.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Devon Gummersall, 29, thought he'd blown it after a 1998 date with "Quarterlife's" Majandra Delfino, 27. "I showed up in this awful leather jacket, and Majandra was like, 'Who is this guy?'" recalls Gummersall, the former co-star of "My So-Called Life."

After losing the leather, he reconnected with Delfino at a concert five years later -- and didn't miss a beat. Soon, the future groom bought a garnet ring from the Beverly Hills Watch Co. and hid it for a scavenger hunt on a Nantucket, Massachusetts, beach.

Says Delfino, "I dug up this white box, all sandy, and opened it. Devon said, 'Do you know what this means?'" Delfino definitely did.

New Zealand

The romance that blossomed between "Two and a Half Men's" Melanie Lynskey, 30, and Jimmi Simpson, 31, star of "The Farnsworth Invention" on Broadway, surprised them both. The pair, who had become friends while co-starring in a Stephen King miniseries in 2000, were sharing a taxi when "good night" turned into a good-night smooch.

"We kissed each other unexpectedly!" says Lynskey of the moment. "Once that happened, I was head over heels for him."

Simpson chose a moonlit moment on the deck of Lynskey's family beach house in New Zealand in 2005 to get down on one knee. "He opened the ring box," she recalls, "but then he set it on the table. I was like, 'Can I try that on?'"

Six months after Matthew Perry introduced them at a 2004 barbecue, actor Jonathan Silverman, 41, proposed to "Close to Home" actress Jennifer Finnigan, 28, in a New Zealand rain forest.


Channing Tatum surprised his "Step Up" costar Jenna Dewan with a weekend proposal in Maui in September 2007. Tatum arranged to have close friends of the couple fly in for the festivities.


When commissioning an engagement ring for his girlfriend Heidi Klum, Seal had one key word for New York City jeweler Lorraine Schwartz: canary. Schwartz's sister delivered the 10-carat yellow diamond stunner to Whistler, British Columbia, where Seal proposed to Klum on a glacier -- with the sunny piece of ice.


In May 2004 Jason Priestley arranged a trip to London, England, -- to the very street corner where he and girlfriend Naomi Lowde first met. Once there, Priestley presented Lowde with an emerald-cut, three-diamond ring by Steven Pomerantz. "It became evident that my life was better with Naomi in it," says Priestley.

In the summer of 2006, after 3 years of dating, "Superman Return" star Brandon Routh purchased the 3-carat diamond ring that had caught girlfriend Courtney Ford's eye during an earlier visit to Beverly Hills jeweler Neil Lane.

But since the two were traveling for the "Superman Returns" press tour, Routh asked Gilbert Adler, one of the film's producers, to hold the ring until they arrived in England. "Poor man!" says Routh. "He carried it around for two and a half weeks." Finally, while picnicking in Glastonbury, England, Routh popped the question.


One year after Avril Lavigne and Dereyck Whibley's friendship turned romantic, Whibley, 26, proposed with a 5-carat diamond solitaire after a picnic and gondola ride in Venice, Italy. It was something of a shock for the bride-to-be. "I might look like a tough chick -- and I am," Lavigne once said, "but I'm a hopeless romantic inside."

Puerto Rico

Just two days before Christmas 2007, under a full moon at midnight in a bay off the coast of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Roselyn Sanchez and Eric Winter were seated in a double kayak, taking in the bioluminescent organisms shimmering in the water all alone, except for a tour guide in a second kayak.

After giving an "amazing speech," Winter pulled out a 4.3-carat brilliant-cut diamond ring by Michael Barin, Sánchez's favorite jeweler.


"I can't remember the exact day I knew she was the one; I remember it was an accumulation of what she's about, where she came from, and her family," says tennis star Pete Sampras of his bride, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. After nine months of dating, Sampras proposed to Wilson at his Los Angeles, California, home with a platinum ring with oval-shaped diamond from Cartier.

The romance between Noah Wyle, 29, and Tracy Warbin, 31, a movie makeup artist, was born on the frigid Maine set of the 1997 film "The Myth of Fingerprints."

Recalls Warbin, "At the end of one shoot, there was a huge snowball fight. Noah pushed my face into a snowbank. It really, really hurt! I knew then that he liked me, because it was so kindergarten-y."

Wyle concurs: "It's a technique I learned in grade school, and it's worked for me ever since." Three years later, on Valentine's Day 1999, at a picnic for two on the couple's Santa Ynez, California, ranch, Wyle got down on one knee to propose, a marquise-cut diamond ring in hand.

In February 2005 Christina Aguilera and her beau, Jordan Bratman, went on a Valentine's Day getaway to Carmel, California, where Bratman proposed with a five-carat diamond-and-platinum ring by Stephen Webster. Eight months later, the pair -- who share a love of the wine country -- wed in Napa Valley.

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