Getting down on bended knee proposals are so yesterday. Nowadays, grooms strive to be more original in planning how to pop that age-old question, “Will you marry me?”

If your wedding story or proposal is one that will have family and friends talking for years to come, then it could land at the top of the list for this fall’s University of South Carolina “Love Story.”

The 14th “Love Story” wedding will be planned by students in professional wedding planner Annette Hoover’s Hospitality, Retail and Tourism Management class, along with the help of local sponsors and vendors. They will provide at no charge everything for the couple, including flowers, photography, entertainment, décor, invitations, rings and the honeymoon.

The bridal party will be limited to three bridesmaids, three groomsmen and 100 guests.

The wedding date is set for Nov. 18 at the Mitchell House in Lexington.

Interested couples should submit an application essay of at least 500 words, along with their photo or a three-minute video. Eligible couples must be currently engaged, and at least one of them must be affiliated with the university (including children of alumni). The essay should be emailed to myUSClovestory@gmail.com by midnight Saturday, Sept. 15.

In the essay, couples should include how they met, how long they have been together and why they should be chosen for the “Love Story” wedding.

Four finalist couples will be selected and are required to appear for the announcement at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the McCutchen House on USC Horseshoe. If the winning couple is not present for the announcement, the runner-up couple will be chosen.

For more information, email Hoover at aahoove@mailbox.sc.edu.

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