Everyone wants to knock the wedding proposal out of the park by doing something truly special. Hire a skywriter to scrawl a message at 10,000 feet, perhaps? Or maybe you'll just carve out a note in the sand during a romantic island vacation?
Fine ideas, for sure, but if you want to really go big with your wedding plans, look to the gamers. Often eschewing the standard sunset-on-the-beach locale for something more…original, the more romantic geeks out there have gone to great lengths to make that special moment all kinds of fun. When it comes to romantic gestures, they're a hard bunch to top.
Here are some of the best geek matrimonial moments:
Super Mario proposal
April had been playing Mario games for most of her life, so when her boyfriend R.W. decided to propose, he figured the best way to do so was by recreating the world she loved so much. He spent two days transforming his living room to the Mushroom Kingdom before popping the question. They'll celebrate their one-year anniversary next month.
Star Trek proposal
We're not sure if Zach Munn is a gamer, but his proposal at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con -- which earned the entirely appropriate blessing of Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself -- is the stuff geek dreams are made of.
Penny Arcade proposal
The online comic Penny Arcade is already a rallying point for gamers and geeks, so it was somehow fitting that site co-founder and artist Mike Krahulik proposed to his girlfriend Kara in one of the site's comics in 1999. Twelve years later, they're still together and have a son — named Gabe, naturally.
Portal 2 proposal
Gary Hudston's creative proposal for his girlfriend Stephy became a viral hit last month, but it took a massive (and unlikely) collaboration. Hudston, two community programmers a few key members of the Valve Software team put together a playable, polished three-level Portal 2 mod in just over four weeks. The wedding's scheduled for February 2012.
Pokemon ring box
We're not entirely sure where this particular piece of wedding hardware originated, but that doesn't detract from its awesomeness in any way. Little black boxes (and even little blue ones) don't let your geek flag fly. But putting an engagement ring in a Poké Ball with a note saying, "I choose you?" That's even cuter than Pikachu.
Bernie Peng's girlfriend was enraptured with PopCap Games' puzzle phenom, so he spent a month reprogramming the game so a ring and marriage proposal would pop up on screen once she hit a certain score. PopCap was so impressed that they picked up part of the wedding bill and flew the couple to Seattle for part of their honeymoon.
Chrono Trigger proposal
After deciding that returning to the site of their first date to propose was too obvious, one clever geek decided to recreate that location in his girlfriend's favorite game, discretely adding in a few of their favorite memories to the dialogue along with a proposal. She said yes, but not before adding "You are such a huge nerd!"
Geek proposals are one thing, but weddings that revolve around old-school games really take things to the next level. Chris and Kelly both love games, so they eschewed flower centerpieces for pixilated Lego spheres and had Rock Band up and running alongside the D.J. — with a wall separating the two so they didn't interrupt each other.
Man marries video game character
Sometimes geek love goes a bit too far. In 2009, a Japanese gamer who goes by the handle Sal9000 'married' Nene Anegasaki -- a character in the Nintendo DS game, Love Plus. The ceremony took place at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and, yes, featured a real human priest. "Some people have expressed doubts about my actions, but at the end of the day, this is really just about us as husband and wife," said the groom. "As long as the two of us can go on to create a happy household, I'm sure any misgivings about us will be resolved."