The Knot’s Top 10 Viral Wedding and Proposal Stories of 2017 That Will Melt Your Hearts Again

Bride surprises grandmother by wearing her wedding dress from 1962. Credit: Kortney Peterson

In a year when natural disasters, political turmoil and social unrest dominated the headlines, it was especially important to remember the ties that bind people together—namely, that of romantic and familial love. And 2017 had no lack of that. Funny fashion faux pas, empowered brides and tales of sweet love were among The Knot’s top 10 viral stories of the year. Read on to see which stories made the cut.

10. Tenacious Grandmother Insisted on Taking This Touching Photo on Her Granddaughter’s Wedding Day

Lenore Cusick’s opinionated grandmother, Jean “G” Altman, had one important request for her granddaughter’s wedding day: that they strike a particular pose to commemorate Cusick’s big day. “G requested weeks prior to the wedding that she would like a photo of her holding the bride’s dress,” photographer Virgil Bunao told The Knot. “I almost forgot about it. Then, she brought it to my attention during the family photo session, and said, ‘When are we going to do my photo?’”

9. Olympic Gold Medalist Shaunae Miller Stages Empowering Swimsuit Shoot With Her Bridesmaids

When Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller brainstormed how she wanted to pose with her eight bridesmaids, her thoughts turned to strength. Specifically, feminine strength. Miller and her eight bridesmaids donned matching one-piece swimsuits (hers was a plain white one with a corset top, while her bridesmaids donned black ones with the words “Bride Squad” emblazoned across the front) and posed for a professional swimsuit shoot in the Bahamas, where Miller grew up.

Olympian Shaunae Miller bridal party

Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas poses with her bridesmaids for a bachelorette party shoot. (Photo credit: Stanley Baby / Stan Lo Photography)

“All of my ladies are fit,” Miller told The Knot in an exclusive interview. “And I thought it would be a great way to show the strength of women.”

8. Six Women Showed Up to Friend’s Wedding in the Same Dress—And No, They Were Not Bridesmaids

It’s (many) women’s worst nightmare: show up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else. Or perhaps more unthinkable still, five other women. In September, six wedding guests showed up to their pal’s nuptials in the same lace, navy, tailored pencil-dress, and the image of them posing together with the bride went, inevitably, viral.

7. This Bride Helped Plan Her Best Friend’s Proposal at Her Own Wedding

Selfless bride Jess Nakryako had a lot on her mind on her wedding day—because in addition to walking down the aisle, she was in on a plan to help her best friend Jessica Kieley get engaged as well. At the reception, Nakryako passed Kieley her flowers during the bouquet toss, and Kieley’s boyfriend, Adam Brake, was down on one knee at the ready to pop the big question immediately after. The sweet story caught like fire on social media and reminded us of the power of love, times two!


6. Best Bridesmaid Ever Stages Hilarious Photoshoot in Dress From Friend’s Wedding 20 Years Later

Everything old is new again! When children’s book author Tammi Sauer shared a few throwback photos from her very ‘90s wedding to Facebook, along with a picture of the entire wedding party along with the caption: “Sorry about those dresses, ladies,” she likely didn’t expect what happened next. One of her bridesmaids, Heidi Mann, wanted to prove that there were no hard feelings about the floor-length, burgundy velour dress; in fact, she’d taken to wearing it around the home. Photos Mann shared online quickly went viral, and it’s not hard to see why.

Best bridesmaid dress

The best bridesmaid ever recently repurposed her bridesmaid dress from a 1995 wedding, and the photos went viral. (Photo courtesy of Tammi Sauer)

5. Bride Has the Perfect Response to a Personal Trainer Who Tried to Body Shame Her

Cassie Young wasn’t having it when a personal trainer tried to guilt her into slimming down for her wedding day. The bride-to-be shared screen grabs of a fiery exchange between herself and the unnamed trainer, who suggested that Young needed to “get in shape.”

Bride body shaming bride

Cassie Young tried to be patient when a personal trainer contacted her on Twitter criticizing her body, but when push came to shove, she fought back. (Cassie Young / Facebook)

“If you think of life as a ‘game’ with being skinny as how you ‘win,’ this guy is offering to play by the rules and get you there. I’m telling you the game is BOGUS. You don’t need the game. I reject the game,” she wrote. “Go be happy and live it to your fullest.”

4. This Bride Surprised Her Grandmother by Wearing Her Wedding Dress From 1962—See Their Emotional ‘First Look’

One bride from Boise, Idaho, shared the ultimate “first look” when she donned her grandmother’s vintage 1962 wedding dress. Jordyn Cleverly wanted to keep the reveal a total surprise, and it worked. After seeing her granddaughter in the dress for the first time, Penny Jensen was “speechless,” according to Cleverly. “All I heard her saying in the back was, ‘Wow, wow, wow.’ I finally went up and hugged her and she whispered in my ear, ‘I married my high school sweetheart in this dress and so will you.’”

Bride surprises grandmother by wearing her wedding dress from 1962. Credit: Kortney Peterson

3. Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Will Marry the Firefighter Who Saved Her Life

Roseann Sdoia had a lot of thoughts coursing through her on the day her leg was blown off at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, but finding love likely wasn’t one of them. What happened, however, is the stuff of fairy tales. Sdoia slowly but surely fell in love with the firefighter who saved her, Mike Materia. In the weeks and months following her hospitalization, Sdoia recalled to the New York Post this past February, she grew fond of Materia. “I was probably not the nicest to him from the get-go,” she said of their first meeting. “I was in pain. But now, we laugh and blame it on the morphine.”

Boston Marathon bombing survivor fireman firefighter engaged

CHARLESTOWN, MA – MAY 14: Boston Marathon Bombing survivor and amputee Roseann Sdoia was released from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and was escorted to her North End home by fire engines. Boston Firefighter Mike Materia, is credited with helping to save Roseann Sdoia after the Boston Marathon bomb attack. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

2. Bride Slips on Cat Shirt and Sweatpants for an Unexpected First Look Session

Erin Goldberg had the ultimate surprise for her husband-to-be when the pair was set to take their “first look” photos on their wedding day—in place of the typical gown and hair and makeup, she decided to ditch the gown and opt for an oversized cat shirt and sweats instead. “We will remember how much pressure it took off the rest of the wedding day process having started off with that hysterical, laughing moment that just the two of us shared,” Goldberg told Yahoo. “It was a lot easier to relax and take more serious (and incredible) first-look photos when we were more comfortable.”

1. Navy SEAL Gives Wife a Kiss for the First Time Since Accident in Moving Viral Video

Get the tissues ready! The most viral story of the year is a tear-jerker: North Carolina couple Laura Browning Grant and her husband, Navy SEAL Jonathan Grant, experienced an emotional roller coaster earlier this year when Jonathan was involved in a car accident that left him in a coma and then with severe brain damage.

Laura Browning Grant husband Jonathan navy SEAL

Laura Browning Grant and her husband, Jonathan Grant, on their wedding day. (Credit: Megan Kime Photography)

After undergoing months of physical therapy, Jonathan was finally able to take slow steps again; the viral moment took place on one of his better days, when he could not only walk, but also plant a big kiss on his wife of five years.