Mariel and Tyler's Public Alley Concert Proposal

How We Met: Back in June 2012, I made the decision to join I wasn’t feeling as though I was having much luck finding a person I connected with on an intimate level out in the real world. My mother was a fan of online dating and had some success, so I decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose? Just $75 for a 3-month subscription for a few possible so-so dates. I received Tyler’s email on June 17, 2012 and I could tell right away that he wrote well and read through my profile, especially after receiving several emails prior to his that consisted of very poor grammar and just nonsense. However, he left his name out. I figured this may be a normal part of online dating. My mom and I scoped out his pictures and thought he was attractive and may be worth a response. So, I crafted one. From there, we went back and forth with emails about seven times, and I finally learned his name after about four emails. My mouth dropped, since my brother’s name is also Tyler. Was this a sign that it was fate, or was it not? After a few more emails, Tyler determined it was time to set up a date. We picked a mutual location that was about halfway between our residences, as I was living in Ossining, New York, and he was living in Ridgefield, Connecticut. We exchanged phone numbers and set a time to meet for lunch at a local restaurant on June 23, 2012.

That morning, I was extremely anxious since this was my first online date. Little did I know this was his first online date as well. I also had a family gathering later that day in Long Island and needed to leave for that event by a certain time. My mom wished me luck and I left my house around 12:10 PM. He texted me while driving to let me know he was running late. Turns out, he was about 30 minutes late since he got lost, and I became even more anxious as I waited inside the restaurant. Was he even going to show up? I decided to pick a table outside and wait. Tyler finally texted me and came around the corner of the building with a black 3/4 sleeved shirt on, shorts, and black athletic sneakers that had yellow laces. As he walked towards me, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to hug or not, since this was our first meeting. Tyler decided to give me a hug, and we both expressed to one another how we weren’t sure how this worked. We sat for lunch and conversed about ourselves. I didn’t eat much since I knew I was going to a family gathering. He ordered a beer, and a chicken burger with a side salad. It was clear that he was health conscious like me, since he didn’t order a beef burger or get french fries. When it was time to leave, we walked to our cars, hugged goodbye, and talked about a possible second meeting. Tyler was leaving for the Dominican Republic the next day, so I wasn’t sure when he would contact me again, if at all. From there though, we continued to see each other and the rest is history!

how they asked: Providence has a free summer concert series sponsored by a local radio station (95.5 WBRU) on Friday nights. When the listing came out in May, Tyler listened to each of the bands who were going to play at the concert, and decided he liked the band “Public Alley” the best. A few weeks prior to the scheduled show, he reached out to the band via email to ask them if they would be willing to let him propose on the stage towards the end of their set. It took the band about two weeks to respond to him, as they had to sort it out with the radio station to make sure all were in agreement with the plan. Tyler then met up with members of the band outside of our apartment to introduce himself, and discuss ideas of how the proposal would happen and how to ensure I would be willing to attend the concert with him. They all landed on the idea that he would be selected through a Twitter contest (since I don’t use Twitter and have no idea how it works) to win a mystery prize that would be presented towards the end of the show. Tyler had the band send him a “fake” email on the evening of Wednesday, July 22, 2015 regarding him winning the contest and meeting the band at Waterplace Park on Friday, July 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM to review how the prize would be presented.

He showed me the email as I was preparing dinner on the evening of the 22nd. We discussed why he would have entered such a contest, how he knew the lyrics to the song (the contest was identifying the lyrics to one of the band’s songs), and what the mystery prize might be (a tote bag or gift card). On the night before, (July 23, 2015), I casually asked him if he was going to propose at the concert, and he, of course, said that he wasn’t. On Friday, July 24, 2015, I told Tyler to call or text me after he had met the band to review the details of how this so-called “prize” was going to be presented. Tyler went to meet the band and called me as he was walking back to work to tell me about the meeting. He was fairly vague about the specifics, but stated we had to be at the concert around 8:30 PM, and that the prize would be presented prior to the last song the band was going to play. Since I’m a gullible person, I went along with the story. As the day became night, we got ready to attend the concert. They were calling for rain that evening so I wore black pants, a striped tank top with a black cardigan, and my hair back, which I rarely do. He wore his usual gray jeans, black v-neck, and a blazer. I asked him why he was going to wear a blazer since it was not a dressy event, and he told me it may be cool out. We went to head downstairs and I then asked him why he was leaving the blazer upstairs, and that he should save himself a trip back up. Little did I know he was going to have to get the ring and put it in his pocket. Tyler told me he was going to have to use the bathroom before we left and since I was going to use the downstairs one, he would use the upstairs one. I let it go and we headed downstairs. We sat in our apartment, had a drink, and talked about our lives, per usual. As it was approaching 8:00 PM, we started to head over to Waterplace Park. We had to stand in this one area near the stairs so Tyler would easily be able to enter the sage. Tyler told me he had let the band know ahead of time that I was going to be with him, and that I could come down the stairs as well. I told him that I didn’t want to go on the stage if I didn’t have to, but would go on the stairs while he went up there. It began to drizzle and I was getting anxious about when he would be presented this “mystery prize”. Tyler rubbed my back and I continued to look around me for someone from the radio station to signal when he was going to have to go on the stage. I was also getting hungry since we didn’t eat dinner yet and were planning on doing so after the show.

It was approaching 9:00 PM and Public Alley was ending a particular song, and Tyler stated “This is it”, and climbed over the yellow tape onto the stairs. He told me to come with him. The band then called Tyler onto the stage, and I stood in the corner and began videotaping him on my phone. After about a minute of Tyler thanking the band for a great show, he said, “I have something really important to say to my girlfriend!”, and pointed to me. I stopped videoing and entered the stage. As soon as he began his speech with, “I’ve been thinking about this moment for so long”, I knew what was about to happen. The crowd was cheering him on, and all I could see were people holding their phones, Tyler, the band, and lights.

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My heart started to pound and I just couldn’t believe by eyes. After Tyler’s wonderful speech about how much I mean to him, he got down on his knee and everyone started screaming. I began nodding before he even asked, “Will you marry me?”.

When he did, I, of course, said “yes”, and proceeded to kiss him and jump on him. All I can remember saying is “Oh my gosh” a bunch of times. He spun me around and put me on the floor.

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I then put my hand out and told him to put the ring on. Tyler put the ring on and everyone cheered, and I couldn’t believe I was now engaged with a ring on my finger. We left the stage and people were coming up to us wanting to look at the ring and say “congratulations”. Members of the band came up to hug us and say how amazing the proposal was. I hugged Tyler and told him how much I love him and what an amazing proposal he orchestrated. It is a moment we will always remember.

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Concert Series: WRBU
Band: Public Alley
Photos: Tim Siekiera