Joel Lynch's marriage proposal was straight out of a fairy tale — no, seriously. When the graduate student decided it was time to pop the question to his girlfriend, Cara Szymnski, he wanted to devise a proposal that was fit for a princess. So he spent months hunkered down in his basement sewing a yellow gown just like Princess Belle's. And nope, he didn't have any prior sewing experience.
"[Cara] grew up admiring Belle from Beauty and the Beast," Joel wrote in an Imgur post. "Wanting to recreate the famous scene, I decided to make her the dress to coincide with my proposal." So he got down to business crafting the shiny yellow ballgown from scratch — corsets, ruffles, and all.
The final product is stunningly flawless, but it wasn't as easy as he made it look. "[It was] a lot of trial and error," Joel told The Huffington Post. "I ended up making three corsets before I got one I liked." Over his Winter break, he admitted that he often spent 14 hours a day on the sewing project. He finally finished the masterpiece's corset and sash in the nick of time, just 30 minutes before Cara arrived from out of town for a visit.
On the day of the proposal, the two walked around Joel's campus library perusing the book selection — an apt location for a fan of Belle, the classic Disney bookworm. Meanwhile, Joel's sister set up the gown in a nearby room and prepared for the special moment. When Cara discovered the dress, she immediately burst into tears, Joel told The Huffington Post. Once she donned the gorgeous creation, the cuteness was taken to another level, as a fairy-tale moment unfolded before them.
"Tale as Old as Time" began playing, and the couple danced surrounded by the library's books and magazines. And that's when Joel got down on one knee and popped the big question, to which Cara obviously answered yes. It doesn't get much sweeter and more thoughtful than this!
Keep reading for more photos of the beautiful gown and their enchanting proposal.