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Artfully Elegant Announces Proposal Contest Winner and Runners Up

After reading through many fun entries and making what seemed to be an impossible decision, we are please to announce the winner of its inaugural Proposal Contest, which was held over the holiday season. Kathleen Matson, of Palmerton, won a $100 Artfully Elegant gift card for…

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After reading through many fun entries and making what seemed to be an impossible decision, we are please to announce the winner of its inaugural Proposal Contest, which was held over the holiday season.

Kathleen Matson, of Palmerton, won a $100 Artfully Elegant gift card for use in our store at 451 Main St., or online at for her touching submission.

Matson and her husband, Gary, were married in 1996 after they mutually selected the same engagement ring at different times within the same store.

Matson’s story, listed in full detail below, was selected by Artfully Elegant President and CEO, Ranjeet Pawar, and Director of Operations, Erin Panner, as the best of a very poignant bunch.

“It was extremely difficult to choose,” said Panner. “We received so many great stories, it was tough to go through and pick just one, however, Kathleen’s stood out just a little bit more to us. We’re very happy to announce her as the winner.”

Stories were solicited on social media and submitted through Artfully Elegant’s website. Entries included stories that featured the Bethlehem Public Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem’s Rose Garden, the movie “Back to the Future” and many more.

A full listing of stories can be found at this link:

Runners’ up were Samantha Kleinrock of Bethlehem and Dan Maher of Bethlehem, respectively.

Below, we will list the top three submissions.

Kathleen Matson’s submission:

Kathleen and Gary Matson 2

“In January of 1996 Gary suddenly lost his wife of 30 years after a heart surgery. He spent a lot of his day mourning her loss. His daughter Nicole and I were friends and she invited me to go with her to cook meals, hang out, go out, etc.

“(Gary and I) became friends too. In April, we went on a date and began spending more time together. In June, Gary asked my father for permission to propose. In July, he learned he would need heart surgery

“He procured a beautiful ring and told me the line from “When Harry Met Sally” (my favorite movie) ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want that to start as soon as possible.’

“It was no fancy location, his kitchen in Bucks County, but he got down on one knee and proposed. Of course, I said, ‘Yes.’ During his surgery recovery, we picked invitations, venues, caterers, and set the date for December 7. After he left the hospital we went to pick wedding bands.

“We each went to a different side of the store. We both met in the middle and said, ‘I found the perfect ring.’ He asked me to take him to my selection first. He looked and said it was nice.

“Then we were off to see his selection. He took my hand and led me across the store to another jewelry counter and pointed to his selection. It was the exact same ring. Just another sign we were meant to be.

“Along the way to our wedding we encountered the naysayers who thought he was too old or I was too young, he didn’t wait long enough, and other reasons why we shouldn’t marry. On December 7, 1996 we did marry and this Monday celebrated 19 happy years together. No fancy location but a genuine heart-felt proposal that led to a long and happy marriage.”

Dan Maher’s submission:

This is a thing that happened today with Elizabeth Wiggins.Thank you, Ben Hallman for recording this moment for us.#real

Posted by Dan Maher on Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 2013. I pretended to be a German performer named Dieter Bieber. I helped run some of the games at Oktoberfest. In most of my downtime, I chatted up this nice girl named Elizabeth, who also worked the event. We both lived in very close social circles, but this was our first time actually talking to each other.

The entire time I stayed in character, pretending to be from Dusseldorf. A few days later, I talked to her on Facebook for the first time as Dan. I told her my friend Dieter said I should ask her out. For the next two years, I continued to insist Dan & Dieter were two separate people.

October 2015, as Dieter, I just finished hosting the Dachshund races at Oktoberfest. Elizabeth sat in the crowd. We were about fifty feet away from the exact spot where we had our first conversation. The sun was out. This was a happy moment. I planned to do this the following weekend, but the moment felt so right.

I asked the audience to stick around for one more thing. I told them I spent the past two years with Elizabeth and that I wanted more years with her. All the years with her. I stepped down from the faux-mountain from where I oversaw the adorable dog races. She stepped out from the stands. I asked her to be my wife. She let me know she was in a pretty committed relationship with Dan. I told her we were the same person. October 2016, we’re getting married. Fortunately, our friend Ben Hallman happened to video-record the dog races and just kept rolling.

Samantha Kleinrock’s submission:


Around this time last year I started to have a feeling that might now fiancé, Chuck, might propose! But winter came and went and in the spring, we spotted a house that we really loved (in walking distance to Artfully Elegant!) and decided to move forward with buying a house together.

In April, we closed on the home and started painting and making changes before finally moving in May. Our weekends were filled with family coming to help and projects and to-do lists.

And then, one random Saturday after breakfast at Blue Sky and a trip or three to Lowes, Chuck said “Hey, you should go get some pictures of the house printed for your grandparents anniversary party tomorrow.”

I said “yeah you’re probably right” and walked into the kitchen where he was standing looking through my camera.

I started to look through the before and after pictures until I came to a random picture of a bookshelf I knew I didn’t take, followed by another, and another…. and then a picture of Chuck holding a poster saying “Sam” and the next “will” and so on.

I truly blacked out and just remember ending up sitting on the kitchen floor wearing a ring he designed around a diamond from his mothers engagement ring.

We think he officially asked and we I think I officially said yes. After drinking some champagne, we called our families and not one single person answered the phone. We eventually got to share the good news and surprised my extended family in a toast to my grandparents marriage at their 65th anniversary party the next day. We’re getting married in Bethlehem at the Ice House in October!

Artfully Elegant would like to personally thank the dozens of submissions. We will continue to share them throughout the year to inspire others on their own proposal endeavors.

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