Proposal Stories

VIDEO: This Guy Told His Girlfriend They Were Being Interviewed by Philly Mag—And Then Proposed


So earlier this week, a colleague of mine hopped onto YouTube, navigating her way to Philadelphia magazine’s YouTube channel to grab a link, when she happened upon this.

Curious and confused, she watched it—and then sent the link immediately to me. Here’s why:

Not only were so impressed with how clever and sweet this proposal was—not to mention with the thought and effort it must have taken to set this up—this guy used our very own publication to set this whole thing up! So we did the only logical thing, and stalked out Dan and Kelly.

As expected, they were just as lovely as we imagined they’d be after watching the video. Here’s what they each had to say about the proposal—how Dan came to set it up, and what was going through Kelly’s mind:

From Dan:

I knew that I needed to have a reason to get Kelly dressed up without suspicion. I knew that I wanted to have it videoed and photographed. I also knew that I wanted both our families there. So this all just came together in my head: The story about the 40 under 40 living and working in Philadelphia sounded believable—and I had the personnel to back it up with my friends being in certain careers that could help me. I have three friends (that Kelly had not met yet) from my gym, Fearless Athletics, that happen to also be a professional Photographer (Amanda Iris Photography), professional videographer (Diana Bowen Productions), and my friend Jerome Kurtenbach (an actor and music producer from LA) who played the “Philly Mag” producer and interviewer.

It was very hard to keep it a secret for so long. I kept wondering, Does she know, does she know? I got the ring from my friend Marc Weinberg (M. Weinberg & Co.), and it was hidden in our house for a while and I kept wondering if she found it, but just didn’t say anything. That was the hardest part … keeping this from her, even thought it was all for her!

I coordinated our families meeting at The Continental in Old City after the engagement for one more surprise. We are both so close with our families, and to have them there meant the world to both of us. There a lot of things that had to go right with this plan—the weather, the timing, Kelly not finding out, the pictures, the video, the interview questions, the coordination of a lot of people—and it went flawlessly. We are very lucky not only to have each other, but to have friends and family so committed to our happiness.

Kelly is my best friend and I can’t wait to marry her! I wanted the story of our engagement to be one that we were both excited to tell and show, even 50 years from now.

From Kelly:

Little did I know, Dan had been planning this proposal for months and had been setting me up the entire time.

He had told me that he was being considered for Philly Mag’s 40 under 40 edition, which is completely believable, because not only is Dan successful, but his company has worked with Philly mag on their events before. He had told me that part of the article was to include me and what it was like to live and work in Philadelphia. So to believe this without any suspicion was pretty easy to do. (My friend did ask me the day before the “interview” if I thought it could be a set up for him to propose, but my response was, “Absolutely not!” I figured that if it was fake, Dan would have had to slip at one point, but he never did.) This plan had such a level of detail that he even told me that the “Philly Mag” photographer told him to tell me to not wear any patterns because they don’t play well on camera. He had me stressing about a dress for two weeks.

The week leading up to the “interview,” he had sent me fake pictures from “Philly Mag” of him at the gym, at work with customers, at softball, and told me that “Philly Mag” was following him around for a week, for the article.

Everything looked and felt so professional, even going through the interview and the pictures, I really thought it was all legit. Even when Dan proposed, I wasn’t even sure it was real at first, I thought it might just be for the article!

Looking back on the video now, I should have been suspicious at some of the personal questions they were asking us. I was so nervous about my responses that I don’t think I fully processed what they were asking in that moment. Even after the proposal, I was in shock and still didn’t comprehend what was going on.

Dan even had our families there to celebrate the moment, and I am so thankful that we have pictures and video of this special moment that we can re-watch on our anniversaries and to show our kids one day.

I’m extremely lucky to have a best friend and fiance that puts so much thought into our relationship and our future!

We love it! We have a feeling whatever kind of wedding these two cook up will be pretty memorable. Congrats from Philly mag, guys (really, this time!) and here’s to many, many happy years together. We’ll be sure to call you if we ever actually do a “40 Under 40.”

For more proposals we love, go here

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