'Tis the Season to Get Engaged

Last December, Joe Imperato, now 29, became the first to pony up for the stiff drink that comes with an even stiffer price tag. This concoction certainly hit the spot with his bride, Melissa Beck, who took some celebratory sips after fishing out the 1.85-carat square diamond. If you purchase your own ring, the Algonquin will serve it up just the same. You just pay the standard $14 for the drink. Just don't go crying to the bartender when your gal swallows her gemstone.

3. Catch of the Day: Take a deep breath if your date orders "Rocks on the Rocks" at Old Original Bookbinder's, a Philadelphia institution since 1865. The waiter will bring a diamond ring on a bed of ice, served up just like a shrimp cocktail. Former Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose is among those who got engaged this way. You'll have to bring your own ring. But if you want to make sure that diamond is the real thing, the seafood restaurant's nutcrackers come in handy.

4. Fishy Behavior: Talk about taking the plunge: The only bubbly around when Eric Large got engaged came from his scuba gear. On Oct. 16, he surprised his bride-to-be Andria Sannutti at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J., by appearing in the tank during the Ocean Realm Exhibit water show with the rest of the aquatic life. From behind the glass wall, Large held up a "Will You Marry Me" sign.

Aquarium officials say they've helped out with similar stunts over the years, and charge just for cost, on a case-by-case basis.

For some strange reason, getting engaged or married underwater is not that rare. Resorts at Turks and Caicos now offer divers gear with audio headsets, and they say several couples have taken advantage of the ocean depths to bring their relationship to the next level.

"You might ask yourself why people do this, but people want a fantastic story to go with their engagement, so why not pop the question while you're exploring one of the world's largest coral reefs," says tourism spokeswoman Meghan Lee. "One thing's for sure, unlike a restaurant, when you get engaged under the sea, there won't be constant interruptions."

Ocean-loving landlubbers can also turn to the Dolphin Dome at the Indianapolis Zoo to ponder the porpoise of life.The zoo rents out this unique observatory for $1,500 clams and has done so several times in the name of love. They will even let these Romeos jump in the water to pop the question, though a woman might be immediately reminded that there are always other fish in the tank.

5. Lord of the Wedding Rings: When the Indiana State Museum opened its "Lord of the Rings" exhibit last month, it didn't take long before museum officials obliged one anxious groom who needed to catch a second alone with his gal in the "Ring Room" and become the happiest hobbit on Middle Earth.

"There in a darkened room, suspended in mid-air was the ring," the groom later recalled on his wedding blog, which is subtitled "When Geeks Marry."

"I turned to Vanda and asked, 'Do you think this is the real One Ring?'"

"Yeah, I think it is," his bride-to-be said.

"I don't think so," he responded.


"I think this one is," he said, pulling out his own sparkler.

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