The Whole Family Played a Role in This Adorable Race Street Pier Proposal

While Justin was busy serenading Casey on his violin, their families held up signs asking the big question.


race street pier proposal

Photography by Erin Lyn Photography

The sweet proposal stories just keep rolling in! After dubbing December Proposal Month here at PW, we found ourselves flooded with too many heartwarming, real-life, only-in-Philly ways to pop the question to keep the celebration contained to just thirty days. Here’s another favorite from an Old City couple, who makes the most of a favorite Old City destination in their adorable Race Street Pier proposal.

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The Couple: Casey Barnett, 28, and Justin Bernardo, 27, of Old City

How They Got Together: We met in physical therapy school at Drexel in 2012. We were together for three years before getting engaged.

The Proposal Story (as told by Casey): Justin recruited my best friend Kaytlin to help with the surprise. She told me she was coming to Philadelphia for a “family reunion” and that I was invited to the dinner and pictures beforehand. We were set to meet at the Race St. Pier for pictures before dinner.

We get to the pier, and it is pouring down raining. I look down the pier and start to see familiar faces. My family from Pittsburgh, my friends from home, and my mom, dad and two brothers were all waiting (with umbrellas) as I walked down the pier. There was much going on, from my favorite flowers layed out to pictures of Justin and I around the tree posts. It was hard to take everything in!

I look in the distance and see Justin and my two brothers playing a slow version of “I’m Gonna Be/500 Miles.” The song is a song that Justin and his friends would always request when they went out to this piano bar. It’s just been one of those songs that when it comes on, we all start to go crazy and dance! I guess it’s like our friendship anthem.

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I look around and see that Justin’s family and friends are there as well. Justin and my brothers start to pick up the tempo and begin to play the real version of “500 Miles,” and as this is going on I see my family and Justin’s family start to reveal letters.

“W….I….L…L…Y…O…U…” and you can guess the rest!

Justin then comes over and makes a speech about how he knew I wanted my family and friends to be here for the proposal and how even though the weather was less than perfect it was more about having the people we love the most surround us during such an important moment in our lives.

After the speech, Justin got down on one knee and asked if I’d marry him. I screamed out “Duh!”

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Justin had the rest of the day planned. We all celebrated at Dave & Busters (Justin LOVES to play games) and later went out into the city to continue the celebration.

It was honestly an epic day and I was never more impressed with Justin’s ability to plan such a huge event!

Details on the Wedding: Happening this Fall at The Inn at Penn in West Philly.

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