Troy’s Side: The story goes like this… I somehow managed to convince my then-girlfriend Eliza that a video crew (the Bradley Productions team) had taken interest in our love story they heard “through a friend” and wanted to include us in a documentary about online dating. This was all just a ploy to cover up how we could get a film crew to capture the whole day!
Eliza, who loves photography, was given a Polaroid camera so she could, unbeknownst to her, document her very own proposal day throughout the various locations we visited to tell our love story. We also flew in her mother and sister from Maine, who she doesn’t get to see too often but is very close with, to add to the surprise. We knew it would be so special to have them there.
But pulling off a triple surprise was not something I was ready to do alone! I had a lot of help from the great people at Match.com to pull this whole plan off. They helped to put me in touch with a great proposal planner, Sarah Pease at Brilliant Event Planning, and helped me get the video crew, Bradley Productions. They also assisted in getting the lights put up on the house for the proposal!! It was truly amazing.
Leading up to the day of, I was a bundle of emotion – fluctuating from excited to VERY nervous. But when the day of the proposal came I was really very calm and had a great time talking through our story and reliving memories we’ve had. The nerves did not really start to kick in until I was walking off of the beach with one of the film guys (to go do “one more interview”) when, in reality I was really headed home to change into my suit and actually DO the proposal. I honestly did not have ANY idea what I was going to say to Eliza as I kneeled before her. Then, while waiting for her to get home, standing and waiting with all 6 of our children, that time span felt like it took DAYS!!! I could fell my heart and it felt like it was going to pound right out of my chest… Then when I seen her round the corner and look at me. I still had no idea what I was going to say, and just consciously thinking to myself – Don’t cry, don’t cry…
The biggest challenge to me was trying to pull off the rest of the surprise. Along with her mother and sister, we also had SEVERAL of her fellow teachers that knew what was going on and that were also there to help us celebrate. She is NOT an easy person to surprise… She really is the type of woman that will Google the ending of a movie while we are watching it! But somehow we managed and the whole thing went off without a hiccup.
Eliza’s Side: I could not have been more impressed that Troy, along with everyone else a part of the production, was able to keep everything a secret! I whole-heartedly thought we were filming a documentary on successful couples that met online. It was believable to me because Troy and I are a perfect example of finding true love online. None of my co-workers, family or friends led me to believe otherwise. They were all in on this surprise and totally supported me and helped prepare me for my documentary.
Fast forward to that moment: When I walked around the house and saw Troy and the kids standing there I quickly realized what was going on… I was surprised, but I did know that someday we would get married. The way Troy had himself and the children standing is exactly how we discussed we would stand for the ceremony when we get married. It was perfect! When my family from Maine came running out of my house, I screamed with shock. Never in my wildest dreams would I of ever expected them to be there for this very special moment. My mom has not been to Florida since my husband passed away almost 7 years ago. It was such a beautiful surprise. The whole experience was priceless!!