When I discovered that Foster the People were playing in Austin on June 5, 2012, I immediately snatched up two tickets. They’re one of our favorite new bands, and I thought it would be a fun early birthday gift for Will. Little did I know that with that purchase part of my fate was set into motion.
Several months later we drove up to The Backyard in Austin, TX to see the show. It was a hot day in June and dust was kicked up all around us as we shuffled through the crowd to the entrance. Will nonchalantly suggested that we try to get backstage passes since he knew someone who worked at the venue. I was a little skeptical, but when we showed up at the ticket counter they gave us backstage passes and let us skip the line and come right in. I settled into a spot on the grass while Will grabbed us some barbeque. After I was sufficiently occupied with my brisket sandwich, he made an excuse to step away. I was completely oblivious to the fact, but he was actually going backstage to coordinate with the band and the stage manager to prepare for our proposal! He had taken a shot in the dark a few days earlier by tweeting Mark Foster, the lead singer of the band, and asking if he could propose onstage at their concert. And he said yes!
Will suggested that we watch the first half of the show from the crowd and move back to the side stage about halfway through the set. As we made our way backstage with our handy passes, I spotted the opening performer, Kimbra, preparing to go back onstage to do a song with Foster the People. We stopped her and said hi while waiting to be taken up the steps to the stage. We finally got settled on the side stage with a few other lucky people, and had an amazing view of the band while they performed “Pumped Up Kicks” their breakout single. After the song, I was stunned when Mark Foster invited “his friend Will” out onstage! Will showed up onstage seemingly out of nowhere and asked that his girlfriend be brought out to join him. I think a stage hand guided me out there by the arm because I could barely move.
I was shaking and couldn’t stop smiling. I listened while the man of my dreams knelt and proposed to me, echoed by the cheers of 7000 supporters. They were there to see Foster the People, but in that moment I felt like the crowd was there just for us, and that I alone was the most special person in the world. The lights were blaring, and the cheers deafening, but in that perfect moment I looked into the eyes of my love and heard his beautiful words asking me to be his wife. I managed to let out a breathy “yes” into the microphone at which point the crowd erupted into an even greater euphoria. Will put a gorgeous diamond ring on my finger and stood to kiss me. The joy in my heart at that moment was unlike anything I’ve ever felt.
We hugged and high-fived the band as we made our way off stage. Our friends Aaron and Caroline, who met us at the show earlier, were strategically there to capture the stills and video of the proposal. I am so grateful to them for documenting a moment that we will remember forever.
How can I describe what I felt? I wouldn’t have believed it could get any better, but when we walked back to the side stage my mom and stepdad were there to congratulate us! I think I burst into tears at that point because the love I felt was just pouring out of me. I have never felt more special or more loved.
We were shortly joined by my best friend Amanda and her husband Matthew, as well as our friends Bryan and Emily, who had all been in the audience the whole time! Will had arranged it all beforehand and made sure that the most important people in our lives who could be there, were there to witness our special moment.
In the hours, days, and weeks following we have been amazed at the outpouring of love and support not only from friends and family, but from strangers who witnessed the proposal, local media, and the countless viewers of our video online. I am so blessed that our love and our story could be a small point of happiness in the lives of others. Our story is a true testament to the power of love, and how impacted a person can be by simply witnessing a true, real, blissful moment in the life of a stranger.
Unbelievable photos by Caroline Joy Photography, based in the rolling hills of Austin, Texas.