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Grant Morris/The Nashua Telegraph
Sid Ceaser made two custom designed Muppets to propose to his girlfriend, Sara. Using the Muppets, he made a movie trailer telling the story of their relationship and at the end asked her to marry him.
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updated 2/13/2012 3:21:28 PM ET 2012-02-13T20:21:28

Love is in the air for Valentine's Day and with it, thoughts of popping the big question. But when faced with such a life-changing moment, how can you make your marriage proposal stand out from the rest? Take some tips from these seven men who turned the quirks, geeky obsessions and loves shared by their significant others into proposals that will have you 'aww'ing in no time!

Slideshow: Legos, Muppets and more awww-inspiring proposals (on this page)

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Legos, Muppets and more awww-inspiring proposals

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  1. I can't Lego of you

    Every so often, Walter Thompson would sneak Lego figurines into the background of the food photos he took for his girlfriend Nealey, a food blogger. The plastic interlopers became such a special inside joke that she'd look out for them every month. So naturally Walter wanted Legos, or rather a Lego figurine holding a ring, to help him propose.

    “I spent a couple hundred bucks on Lego items and pieces. It took a couple of weeks to get it all together, buying them online,” Walter told TODAY.com. He decided to create a stop-motion film to tell the story of their relationship.

    It took Walter five days to turn 26 still images into a three-minute movie, keeping his special project hidden by working on it outside the house. Whenever he was locked in his room he would tell Nealey he was working on an epic poem for their anniversary. (Walter Thompson) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Stop-motion in the name of love

    When the time came to show the film, Nealey thought he was just setting up her anniversary present — the poem.

    “She knew when she saw the Lego people,” Walter said, “that this was something other than an anniversary gift!”

    When the words “Will you marry me?” appeared on-screen, Walter fell to one knee and presented her with a ring box, inside which stood a Lego bride and groom, holding the ring.

    “She had so many questions (about the movie) that it took her a good 10 to 15 minutes to say yes!” said Walter.

    Walter and Nealey will incorporate the Lego people into their wedding. They’ll be seen in the background — and maybe at the very top of their wedding cake.

    (Walter Thompson) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Pow! Bam! Proposal!

    David Salomon considered a wide range of ways to propose to his girlfriend Jennifer (including a song and dance with friends at a restaurant), but none of his ideas seemed quite unique enough. So he remembered something he learned about her when they were first dating.

    “I had introduced her to a comic book while we were studying," he said. "It was her first one. She ended up reading the entire thing, and I knew from that moment that she was the girl for me.”

    He enlisted some artist and designer friends to help him create a very special comic telling the story of their relationship. The cover was inspired by one of her favorite books, “Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.” (David Salomon) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. In the next issue...

    David gave the book to Jen at a party surrounded by friends.

    “I was extremely nervous for the proposal! I spent the whole party worrying about what might go wrong: Maybe she'd not want to read the book on the spot, or maybe she'd flip through the book and catch the ending before reading the rest,” David told TODAY.com.

    Jen was overwhelmed from the start. On the last page was his proposal with Jen’s blank talk bubble waiting for her answer. After lots of tears, she wrote in "yes."

    What does the future hold for our hero and heroine?

    “The comic book we created is very thick and full of blank pages," said David. They'll use those pages as the guest book at their wedding, and to chronicle "The Further Adventures of David and Jennifer." (David Salomon) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Harry Potter and the elaborate engagement

    Dennis Ventrello always knew he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Danielle in a unique way.

    But a YouTube flash mob wasn't for him. "I'd be horrible at something like that,” Dennis told TODAY.com.

    So the art director focused on Danielle's favorite bespectacled Brit, Harry Potter. And when Danielle asked for a paperback copy of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” Dennis had his idea. He remembered seeing someone hollow out a book to store valuables.

    “Since I've never had enough cash on hand to necessitate hollowing out books, I had never tried it,” he said. “What I did have, though, was a ring sitting in a drawer just waiting for a good idea.” (Dennis Ventrello) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. An unbreakable marriage vow

    “Was I nervous about cutting up the book? No. Was I nervous about proposing with it after the fact? Yes,” said Dennis.

    When Danielle discovered the surprise hidden inside her book, she was shocked.

    “It was not at all expected and obviously exciting,” she told TODAY.com. “My second reaction was remorse for the cut-up book, but Dennis had thought ahead and purchased an additional one to give me as well."

    (Leslie Barbaro) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A proposal from a crazy AI

    Gary Hudston and his girlfriend Stephanie are both very shy, but that didn’t keep Gary from making his marriage proposal a grand gesture.

    “I needed to find something big that I could reveal to her in private but that she would also be excited to show off afterwards,” Gary told TODAY.com.

    He found inspiration in the puzzle-solving video game "Portal 2."

    Gary was a huge fan of the first "Portal," but it's a single-player experience. The sequel allowed the couple to share it together.

    Gary aimed for the stars, and set out to actually propose in the game. Through a stroke of luck, he contacted Ellen McLain, who voices the game's character GLaDOS, and found a way to record some custom lines at the end of her dialogue. All he had to do was tell McLain and Erik Wolpaw, the games' writer, what to say. (Douglas Hoogland) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. This wedding cake is not a lie!

    He had 24 hours to come up with the dialogue. With the help of designers Doug Hoogland and Rachel van der Meer, they built a special level of the game.

    “I was terrified that something would break or that the game would crash," said Gary.

    It was Stephanie’s 21st birthday and understandably, she was a bit confused when Gary insisted she sit at her computer and play "Portal 2" that night. As the game went on, though, she started to realize he was up to something.

    “Once the door opened into the final room and GLaDOS started to pop the question, we were both crying," Gary told TODAY.com. "Stephanie was just about able to nod!”

    (Dasha Caffrey) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The Great Puppet Proposal

    A lifelong fan of Jim Henson’s Muppets, Sid Ceaser tapped FAO Swartz’s Muppet Whatnots, a service that allows people to create their own customized puppets, to propose to Sara, his girlfriend of 10 years.

    “I always knew that I wanted to do something special for her in a way that was something authentic and ‘Sid’,” he told TODAY.com. “There was no turning back! This was what I had to do.”

    Sid recruited two good friends to help him film and edit a fake movie trailer telling the story of their relationship through the puppets. Sid filled a theater with employees; family and friends snuck in once the lights were turned down.

    “I wasn't nervous at all because I knew it was a room full of friends and family who supported and loved us,” Sid said. (Sid Ceaser/Sid Ceaser Photography) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. "Somebody's getting married!"

    Quickly, Sara became aware something was going on, joining Sid in laughing and crying as the puppets acted out their story. At the end, Sara turned around to see friends and family looking on as she said yes.

    “Our own wedding was a smallish affair, although the puppets were present, off to the side dressed in their own wedding outfits,” said Sid. They took the puppets with them on their honeymoon too, and made a wedding and honeymoon film.

    “I'm so happy that something I created for the love of my life was shared in a way that touched so many people around the world," said Sid. " What a perfect bonus!” (Grant Morris/The Nashua Telegraph) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Indiana Jones and the ring of engagement

    When Homer Liwag’s girlfriend Aimée wanted to do something special on November 11, 2011, Homer decided it was time to propose. Only one problem — he had no ring!

    “Being that Aimée is an avid Indiana Jones fan, I decided to surprise her with a ring box. When she opened the box, inside wasn't an engagement ring — just a bag of sand! I told her that Indiana Jones must have swooped in and stolen the ‘treasure’ and left her with a bag of sand,” Homer told TODAY.com.

    Fans will remember that bag of sand from “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” where Indy pulls a similar trick. This bought time for Homer, an artist and designer, to come up with a ring he customized himself. He sketched a coiled whip for a band. The gem was a yellow diamond, resembling the color of the idol Indy steals in the movie. He created a container out of a 1920s steel soap bar box, using sculpting clay to create the "ancient ruins" inside. (Homer Liwag) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Choose wisely...

    Homer didn’t just present the box to Aimée. He mixed it with four others: Modeling the experience after Indy choosing the Holy Grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” In the movie, the knight guarding the Grail tells Indy, “You must choose, but choose wisely, for as the true Grail will bring you life the false Grail will take it from you.” Luckily Aimée’s choice wasn’t so dire.

    “I used a magician's trick to make her ‘select’ the correct box. I asked her if she ‘chose wisely.' Then I opened her selected box, revealing ‘The Whip.’ I then looked at her and said, ‘I chose wisely’.” (Homer Liwag) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Funny Foozles

    Joseph Sypeck made his girlfriend of five years work hard for her proposal. Jen loves puzzle games, so Joe decided to pop the question inside one of her games.

    “I wanted something really unique and memorable because we have six pets so it’s hard for us to get away,” Joe told TODAY.com. “I honestly never believed it would have been possible, though, because I've never heard of anyone doing something like this.”

    He posted on a developers' forum looking for ideas on how to propose inside such a game, and received an overwhelming response. One in particular stuck out – Foozle, a puzzle game available for the iPhone and iPad.

    “We have five cats and a little Chihuahua and the characters in Foozle reminded me of them and I knew Jen would fall in love with it... and she did!” (Foozle) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A puzzling proposal

    With the help of game creator William Thurston, they created a special version of Foozle that would post a proposal message after a certain level.

    “I have to say I was a little nervous because the proposal was set to pop up after level 7. And man, I struggled to get past it,” Joe told TODAY.com. “I was laughing, thinking how funny it would be if she couldn't.”

    Jen luckily wasn’t suspicious when he suggested the new game since he often gave her games to try out. It was much harder trying to record her reaction without her realizing, according to Joe. Jen was shocked and speechless for a little, but this proposal ended with a happy "yes."

    (Joseph Sypeck) Back to slideshow navigation
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