Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

‘Ring’-ing in the Holiday Season with Festive Proposals

Twinkling lights wrapped around tree trunks and draped across windows weren’t the only things glittering during the holidays for these couples.




Photos by Amanda Brisco Photography
 

When there is a winter chill in the air, it feels like something magical is always about to happen. Maybe it will be a quiet snowfall or an unexpected light show.

Mallory Pavilonis hoped it would be a Christmas Eve proposal. Mallory and then-boyfriend Jonathan Knoll were living in Louisiana but traveled to Pittsburgh to be with family for the holiday. At the time, they had been together for two and a half years and were moving around the country for Jonathan’s job, so being home for the holidays meant a lot to the couple.

They spent the morning before Christmas visiting some of their favorite Pittsburgh locations, starting with breakfast at Pamela’s before heading to PPG Place.

“I just really hoped for it,” Mallory says. “I was pretty anxious that day because I love the Christmas tree at PPG Place, and I thought, ‘Oh maybe he’ll do it here.’”

The couple walked around and admired the massive decorated tree, but when they left to go to the Duquesne Incline, a proposal had yet to take place.
 

“I was still kind of hoping that it was going to happen, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Even though they were definitely up,” Mallory says.

The weather that day wasn’t great, with rain and a cloudy sky setting the scene, but when Jonathan knelt on one knee on Mt. Washington, all of that faded away. Because the proposal happened the morning of Christmas Eve, though, they waited to tell their families until after Mass that evening.

“I didn’t want to make a big fuss about it at Mass and [wanted] to keep the surprise until everyone was all together,” Mallory says. “I knew they were going to be loud and react how they did, so I didn’t think that was appropriate to do at Mass.”

When Mallory thinks back to the proposal, she loves how the experience added to the joy of their holiday celebration.

“It just made the holidays so much more fun,” she says. “With each person that walked into the house, we got to tell them and see their excitement and celebrate with each of them.”
 


Photos by Rachel Tokarski Photography
 

Another Pittsburgh bride didn’t start her night anticipating a proposal. But as the evening unfolded, Sarah Very began to wonder if her boyfriend, Carson Barnes, had something up his sleeve.

“I love Christmas, and he knows that, so he wanted to take me on a Christmas date after work,” Sarah says.

Their date also began Downtown, where they did some shopping in Market Square. Sarah recalls taking a lot of pictures even though it was chilly outside. When Carson took her to dinner on Mt. Washington, she started to have an inkling that their relationship was about to change.

“We looked around the city, and then suddenly he got down on one knee,” Sarah says.
 

She didn’t know it until after she said “yes” that her whole family was hiding in the area to make the moment even more of a surprise. She says Carson knew she would love to celebrate with her family, so having them there would be that extra, thoughtful step. They spent the night celebrating a new chapter with their friends and family.

“We had been long distance for a while,” Sarah says. “We were waiting to be together.”
 


Photos by Jenna Hidinger Photography
 

Sometimes, though, a proposal comes as a complete surprise. Sarah Kolcun was entirely caught of guard when her boyfriend, Mike Tevis, proposed to her at Shadrack’s Christmas Light Show in Butler. Even though the couple had talked about getting engaged, she didn’t think that’s when or how it would happen.

“It didn’t cross my mind that it would happen that night,” Sarah says. “We were actually a little on edge because we were running behind and wanted to make it on time.”

But as they posed for a photo, Mike turned to her with tears in his eyes. She didn’t know why he was so emotional until he got down on one knee.

“I was freaking out because I had been waiting my whole life for this,” she says.
 

Sarah and Mike planned the light show excursion with his family, so he let them in on the secret that morning. As key players in this special moment, they helped with pictures and making it into one big celebration.

“It meant everything to have them there,” Sarah says.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

As a franchise QB with Hall-of-Fame credentials and as the only player in the locker room that’s actually won a Super Bowl in a Steelers’ uniform, Roethlisberger is perfectly positioned, Colbert insists, to run the show.

Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

The plant-based meat alternative from Impossible Foods is a significant improvement on its initial offering.

Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Somewhere beneath all the headlines and controversies, there are actual awards to hand out.

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The rags-to-riches tale is an easy winner, when it's not a straight-up ad for WWE.

Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

A key goal of the new terminal at Pittsburgh International is to get passengers to their planes faster.

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

With spring (hopefully) right around the corner, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gears up for a month of nature-centered activities.

Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Liberty Magic, the new venue in the Cultural District, is all about perfect presentation.

The 400-Word Review: Paddleton

The Ray Romano/Mark Duplass dramedy is heartbreaking, but absolutely worth watching.

Perspectives: ‘He Wants to Talk to Ms. Betty’

An encounter at a healing garden in Larimer leads the writer to reflect on his own connection to others.

Astroid Brings Dialed-In Coffee to the South Side

Manager Emerson Graham's detailed approach to crafting a beverage makes for a tasty experience.

Watch: The First Episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

The landmark childrens television series was first broadcast 51 years ago this week.

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Skip the Gift at this Wedding at the Carnegie Museum of Art

In a romantic twist on its Third Thursday events, the Carnegie Museum of Art is throwing a wedding this week, and everyone in Pittsburgh is invited.

See What Piece of Pittsburgh is Going to the Moon

Of all of the items proposed, this one earned the most votes.

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.